July 20, 2010

[TRAVEL/ADVENTURES] 070. Take the train up to Milwaukee for a day trip or weekend

Posted in Travel & Adventures at 9:10 am by Heather

While I worked in Wisconsin for five summers, went to camp there since I was seven, and have a sister who went to Marquette, I’ve never actually BEEN to Milwaukee, except for Summerfest if I was lucky enough to have a night out from camp on a good day.

So, I decided since friends of mine do day trips to Milwaukee all the time, that I should take the train up and enjoy a day trip.   As luck would have it, my good friend Steve lives up there and was in town that weekend AND the Brewers were playing.  So I asked him if he wanted to go to the game with me, and I lucked out in that Steve, in all his Awesomeness, decided to be my host for the weekend.

Other than the Brewer’s game, the only thing I wanted to do was go to the Safe House, which left most of the weekend wide open.  My train arrived at 11:50, and Steve picked me up, I checked into my hotel (in order to get my Hilton points back, grr), and we were off to try out AJ Bombers.  For the record, Steve did not let me drive his car there.

AJ Bombers is going to be on Food Wars, and Steve hadn’t tried their burger yet, so that was the destination of choice for lunch.  The place caters to the technophile – there is a screen up right when you come in with all the @AJBombers mentions, and when I checked into foursquare it notified me we get a free Peanut Bomb when we check in (and was kind enough to mention that everyone got one, but hey, it’s the thought). 

We then made our way to the Safe House – and tried to go in the exit.  That’s not as much fun as the entrance, if you’ve never been there before.  While inside, we made friends with the bartender and Steve got the Electric Chair (right), and was a good sport about it.

That took us up to 3 pm, and the game didn’t start until 6, so what’s there to do in Milwaukee?  Drink.  We took the drinking tour of Milwaukee, including a trip up to “THE” Milwaukee bar, Wolskis, where I vaguely remember introducing myself to a half dozen people and asking what there was to do in Milwaukee, but unlike later in the night, there is no audio or visual proof of this, so I claim plausible deniability.

Then it was off to the game – or rather, to Long Wong’s – Milwaukee’s ONLY Chinese-American Sportsbar.  That’s right kids, a sports bar that serves chinese food, and since this is Milwaukee, Brats.  The bartender made me a drink that “tasted like purple” (it did, although there was disagreement from the peanut gallery) and then the AWESOME thing about Milwaukee?  You can get a drink TO GO and take it on the wee shuttlebus to the game!  So, of course, we did.

Props to Steve on the choice of seats.  The Dome was up due to the possibility of a thunderstorm (it did) and the place was miserably hot.  But thanks to our lovely club seating, we had air conditioning back by the bar, meaning we didn’t take advantage of our waitstaff as it was too hot.   But turns out I am a lucky charm for Corey Hart, as not only did he knock one out to take the lead, he managed to get a starting position on the All Star Team.   Now, if only he would shave.

After the game, and the wee shuttle bus ride back to Long Wong’s (honestly, best way to do Milwaukee Baseball, you get out before everyone), we had a decision to make: White Trash Fest, or Casino.   Yeah, we chose Casino – probably not the best choice as while Milwaukee has gone non smoking, the casino is on indian land and is not subject to such silly government restrictions, and my lungs and throat were not pleased.  We taught people the right way to play PaiGow, and ended up leaving 2 hours or so later and went to the Miller Time Pub. Surprisingly, they had a decent beer selection (for those of you who care), minus one specific American beer.

And then I turned into a pumpkin – so we called it a night.

The next day I asked Steve to take me to his favorite breakfast place – Ma Fischer’s in the artsy district, where we had skillets.  Of the potato and egg kind.  Tasty.

Then, quite stuffed, we made our way to Bastille days, where the 45 ft tall Eiffel Tower replica was about the only French thing there.  It was more of an arts and crafts festival, with an around the world choice of food.  They did have wine and beignets, as well as crepes, but they also had brats, pizza, ice cream, and cheese curds.

We were a little too stuffed to try any of that (sad about the cheese curds), and made our way to Bar Louie so I could watch the World Cup final, and Steve could watch the Brewers game (Corey Hart had the walkoff home run on that one too, I’m totally his good luck charm).  The great thing about the trains to Milwaukee is that they’re not reserved, so I was flexible on the time I left – I thought maybe 3 pm – nope, and not 5:45 either.

We caught up with his friend Jodi, and went to dinner at a local place called the Water Buffalo for dinner, and then to a pub nearby to wait out my 7:30 train.  Good thing I did decide to push my leaving time, because turns out there was a woman struck and killed on the line (2 blocks from my house!!) by the 11 am train, and things were probably a mess until about 5:45 pm.

All in all, it was an incredibly awesome weekend – mostly thanks to the Awesomeness of Steve and his hosting skills, and that Milwaukee is a pretty cool town to visit.  Especially if you like Bratwurst and Cheese.
 

Restaurants

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:08 am by Heather

  1.  Spring (Bucktown/Wicker Park) – Sept 1, 2009
  2.  Hot Chocolate (Wicker Park) – October 27, 2009
  3.  Chalkboard (Lincoln Square) – December 6, 2009
  4.  West Loop Tavern (West Loop) – Jan 5, 2010
  5.  Gemini Bistro (Lincoln Square) – Jan 31, 2010
  6.  Kuma’s Korner (Logan Square) – March 26, 2010
  7.  Naha (Near North Side) – April 1, 2010
  8.  Marigold (Uptown) – April 8, 2010
  9.  LM Le Restaurant (Lincoln Square) – June 21, 2010
  10.  Otom (West Loop) – July 16, 2010
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