Hello. It is me again. It has been a hot minute since I last posted anything because, for the longest time, we didn’t do anything post-worthy. But, we finally took a bit of a road trip and saw some fun things. But before I tell you about that, I have to tell you how we are absolutely insane. What do I mean? Well, let me tell you. We planned an entire three week road trip around a Dinosaur Jr concert in Madison, Wisconsin. I know, I know. What????? Way back in April of 2021, we bought tickets to see Dinosaur Jr thinking that surely covid would be over by the Fall of 2021 when they were scheduled to play. We all know how that went, since covid STILL isn’t over and probably never will be (no matter what most of the world thinks). In spite of the panini still being a thing, Dinosaur Jr finally went ahead with the concert this September and you just know we were there (with our masks on even though almost nobody else wore theirs). And, we are so old we even wore ear plugs. Getting old sucks, doesn’t it?
But, what fun would it be to haul ass to Madison and then just go right back home? Nope, that wouldn’t be much fun at all. And, it certainly wouldn’t be us. So, that meant a road trip.
We started in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I have to say I’ve never really thought of Milwaukee as a place to vacation. Rather, Milwaukee is the place you go to for the State Fair and food on a stick and cream puffs and cheese curds. It wasn’t State Fair season when we visited, but we ended up having a pretty good time.
The highlight was a walk around the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, a place I had never even heard of before planning our trip. Situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center consists of some six miles of trails on some 150 acres. You can walk through forests, along ponds, through prairies filled with wild flowers, and along the shores of the Lake.
We managed to spot some wild turkeys, although they quickly waddled away from us.
It was pretty wet the day we visited, but you know what that meant? Frogs! Lots and lots of frogs!
Our next stop was the Lynden Sculpture Garden, an outdoor sculpture garden on 40 acres. There are no trails, and you can walk wherever you want. And, it is completely free!
One of us (me) also went to the Milwaukee County Zoo. The zoo most definitely is not a “must do.” In fact, perhaps it should be a “must don’t.” I have some fond childhood memories of the zoo, but visiting as an adult I was quite concerned — the enclosures were much, much smaller than I remembered (I felt so bad for the giraffes in particular), the animals looks bored out of their minds, there was poop everywhere, and the aviary stunk. But there are some cute critters there.
But it wasn’t all about nature. You can’t go to Milwaukee and not partake! I mean, it is referred to as “the city that beer built,” Thrillist identifies it as the third booziest city in the U.S., Men’s Health ranks it as the fourth booziest city in the U.S., and USA Today identifies it as the 20th most drunk city in the U.S. That is a lot of drinking!
So, where to drink if you are in town? Well, you absolutely have to stop in to the Vanguard. You can get some of the best sausages in the city, as well as cheese curds and pretzels, and they have a large selection of local beers.
We also both loved Great Lakes Distillery, the first distillery to open in Wisconsin after prohibition. Although that sounds a bit more impressive than it is, given that they opened in 2004. Anyway, they make all kinds of distilled spirits, including gin, vodka, rum, and (of course) cherry brandy. And, they make some lovely drinks at their bar.
We also hit up Lakefront Brewery, a brewery founded in the late 1980’s by two brothers. They were the first brewery in the U.S. to produce a certified organic beer. But, even more importantly, they have some of the best cheese curds in the city!
All in all, Milwaukee was a shockingly fun town for a couple of days.