Milwaukee Road Trip

March 1, 2010 at 3:25 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I know I’ve ranted and raved about the shoddy customer service behind the megabus, but the truth is they sometimes have really great deals.  Case in point – myself and four others trekked to Milwaukee for the day on Saturday for a grand total of .50 cents, round trip.  Yup, all five of us got there and back for less than a dollar.

Now I personally had never been to Wisconsin, let alone Milwaukee.  When my man friend, some of his friends and I purchased tickets back in December the trip seemed a long time coming, and we weren’t even positive we were all going until the night before.  I’m really glad we made it though because it was a pretty great time.  We met in downtown Chicago around 11am Saturday morning and about two hours later we arrived in downtown Milwaukee.  We didn’t really have much of anything planned, so we set out walking.  Luckily it wasn’t completely freezing, although it wasn’t exactly warm.  We walked the streets for a bit before getting subs at a place called Cousins, which I’ve only ever seen in Milwaukee.  Sadly, the person in the sub suit was not there during our visit.  Cousins seemed like a nice Subway knock-off and they boasted 7.5 inch subs instead of the foot longs.  While we were eating, an ad for Subway played over the radio and that made the whole eating-in-a-faux-Subway experience all the more Twilight Zone-esque.  After we ate, we hit the Art Museum.

I thought this place was pretty damn cool and I could have gladly spent more time there than the two hours we had.  We perused works there by Andy Warhol, Claude Monet and Georgia O’Keefe, to name a few of the more famous, plus lots and lots of works by people I’ve never heard of (which is not to say they weren’t famous – I’m admittedly clueless when it comes to things like that).  Here’s a photo I did not take of the museum:

Yup, the building looks like a ship.  The huge structure at the top resembles a whale fin, which I found supremely cool.  I wanted to take a picture of it as we were leaving but when I walked out and turned around, the fin was gone.  As I was questioning my eyesight and also my sanity, a man standing next to me informed us that when the museum closes, the fin go down.  How cool is that?  When I turned around again I could actually see the structure slowly lowering itself.

Here is another picture from the museum, one that I actually took myself.  Gasp – I’ve learned how to take photos from my cell phone and put them on my blog!  Look out world!

This is a hand blown glass display (obviously) that made me think of my Mom.  Hi Mom – isn’t it pretty?  The museum had all sorts of art besides the usual paintings and murals – one piece was a life-sized replica of a janitor, who was leaning against a wall and looked creepily real.  So real that I was careful to step around him the first time I walked into the room because I thought it was some weary old man leaning against the wall.  Lifelike indeed.

As I mentioned, we spent a couple hours in the museum and actually had to be chased out by the volunteers.  I would recommend the place to anyone who is in the Milwaukee area, as it was a hell of a deal for $12 (if I had said I was a student like those I was with it would’ve been $10).

After the museum, we walked around a bit more.  We still had about six hours before our bus back to Chicago so we strolled along the streets like a group of homeless vagrants.  The river that flows through all of Milwaukee provides a nice little river walk to go with it, and we spent a lot of time playing around on there (a miniature statue of the Fonz from Happy Days provided much comic relief…there are pictures from that but they are probably not appropriate for this here blog).  The river itself was frozen solid and the boys I was with spent a lot of time throwing various rocks at the ice, trying to get it to break.  The rocks broke, but not the ice.  Then they started pitching snowballs out into the river to see who could out throw who.  I just watched, mainly because I didn’t want to make them feel bad about themselves if I got up there and beat them all.  Yeah, that was it.

We then spent a little bit of time in the Wisconsin Cheese Mart, here on the left.  This place was open until 1am and they served wine, beer and just about every type of cheese imaginable.  There was one small wheel that was aged 13 years and cost over $75.  Now, I am a huge cheese lover but I would not pay that much money for any type of food unless it came out the other end in pure gold.  The Mart also sold cheese related shot glasses, eyeglasses, books, ties, bow ties, magnets, bottle openers and hats (cowboy, baseball, cheese-shaped and more).  The place was heaven for a mouse.

After our cheese experience, we ate dinner at John Hawks Pub, seen here.  I commented on how rare it was to see an actual phone booth anymore, until the guy I’m seeing pointed out that it sort of went with the whole British decor of the place.  Duh.  Anyway we spent a good deal of time here, eating, drinking and being merry.  After we had our fill of food and beer we decided to walk around a bit more in search of another place that would serve us…that’s right, more beer.  Unfortunately two of the five in our group were underage and we weren’t exactly able to get into any of the other places we tried.  C’est la Vie.  So we walked around for a bit longer and then it was time to catch our bus back to the Land of Lincoln.  The return bus was a double-decker, usually reserved for densely populated trips, but there were perhaps 15 of us on the entire thing.  Which was good, because the bus was acting like a sauna and if there had been many more people on it we all would have fried.  I actually stripped down to my tank top and rolled up my pant legs, and I was still warm.  Of course, that all changed once the bus stopped in Chicago.

We got back a little after 1am and my man friend and I got back to his place about an hour later, after listening to super drunk and obnoxious people all along the way.  Fun stuff.  The wasted girl waiting for the L who was bragging about having her independent boyfriend wrapped around her little finger was especially entertaining.  I’m proud to share my gender with people like that (insert sarcasm here).

That about wraps it up for my first trip to Wisconsin.  Milwaukee was a pretty cool little city although I could imagine how it would be much nicer given warmer weather.  Guess I’ll just have to go back and drink beer there again another day!


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