Saturday, May 24, 2008

Milwaukee




It was our anniversary May 18th. We try, but don't always succeed to get out of town for a weekend. Just the two of us, no work, no cats, just us. While Dorothy likes to go someplace and relax, I tend to like to go places and explore. It makes an interesting discussion about what we do on vacations. We weren't able to get reservations in our usual places in Chicago, so we thought we would try Milwaukee.

We both took Friday off for a long weekend and we hit the road mid-morning. I really wanted to get through Chicago before the rush hour. Well, we did that, but of course we ran into road construction on the way out of downtown Chicago. Stuck in stop and go traffic for 45 minutes or more is no fun. I really don't know how people can put up with it day after day.

After some more fun in traffic, we got to Milwaukee. It's a bigger town then Grand Rapids, and I noticed a lot of good architecture on the way into town. We checked into the hotel and decided to take a walk. Unlike Chicago, there really were not a whole lot of shopping places to go to. My first impression was that there was a drinking place on every corner. We came across a anti-war rally, somewhat small, but very vocal. We had a good dinner at a micro brewery and retired back to the room.

Saturday morning, we went to the art museum. I had kept hearing good things about it and of course I wanted to see the building itself. It didn't disappoint me. The building is gorgeous and the exhibits were grand also. The only thing I wished for was a bigger selection of photography.

In the afternoon, we went on the Miller Brewery tour. It was fun, and enlightening. At the end we got free samples. I was reminded how much I hate generic American beer. Out of the 3 samples they gave us, I only liked the one they imported. In fact Dorothy ended up drinking most of my samples.

Dinner was at Beni Hanas. This is "our" restaurant and we were really disappointed when they closed their downtown Chicago store. We walked around a bit in the evening and I was struck about how dark the downtown is. Looking closer I realized it is all the closed shops. I was really surprised about how empty the downtown area is. We would see a string of 4 or 5 closed shops and then one open store. Repeat again and again. Considering the revival of downtown GR and other cities, it seems strange.

Sunday I decided we would take the ferry from Milwaukee to Muskegon. A 3 hour boat trip across the lake and a short 45 minute drive home. The ferry was a bit pricey, but considering I didn't have to put up with Chicago traffic, I thought it was worth it.

All in all, a delightful weekend. The only problem was it was too short.

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