MKE is the Place to Be

Wisconsin was home for something like 3 weeks. I stayed with my friends Christa and Ted (you may remember Christa from my Atlanta adventures last Fall) off and on as I completed a house sit in Madison, explored the Apostle Islands with Christa, and did a lot of sleeping.

Christa is the sort of person who is never fazed by even the most ambitious list of things to see and do. She has the most insane schedule, but seems to have time for it all. She's really good at saying yes and knowing that she actually has bandwidth, not just saying yes to be nice and then regretting it. She's always up for trying something new and asks a ton of questions because she's insatiably curious and completely unafraid to ask for directions or clarification. She says hello to almost everyone she passes on the street, no matter what. She is always trying to make a connection with another person, however brief. She's a great role model for me in all of those respects, and it makes her a very good travel partner.

Here's a partial list of the fun stuff we did in Milwaukee:

  • Walked over 8 bridges on the Seven Bridges Trail in Grant Park on Lake Michigan
  • Cleared 4 schools of old science curriculum and scored a giant collection of chemistry glassware. Christa's a science teacher and picked up some extra work this summer, which turned out to be a little bit of a bear, so I helped
  • Visited Foundation Tiki Bar for some excellent fruity drinks
  • Listened to a new friend, Caitlin Scarano, recite her excellent poetry and won a chapbook of hers because I was the only person in the room willing to yell to get it for free; the polite Midwesterners all shuffled their feet and looked at the floor
  • Finished the whole shebang off with an Old Fashioned at Boone & Crockett because we never made it to a supper club, which is now on my list for a future trip.

I freaking love Milwaukee. I'm sure that Christa and Ted's enthusiasm for the place, the people, and the nightlife there had a lot to do with it, but I also liked the Bay View neighborhood vibe, the huge number of parks, how very nice everyone was, and the close proximity to the lake and the city. I'll be back here for sure.

It's been awhile since I cried my way onto the highway, but I did after a very long hug goodbye. Thank goodness I suffered through that first year of college in the wrong place; I couldn't imagine my life without the friends I made there.