Day 78: Milwaukee

Have you ever wondered where happy is made? Happy is made in places like this.

. . .

We arrived in Milwaukee today for Amy's cousin's wedding and a kid-free weekend. Having never been to Milwaukee before, I had a few preconceived notions about the city which included all things beer, all things cheese, and all things sausage.

Based on the gift bag waiting for us at the hotel desk, I wasn't far off.

We had places to be, but after almost four hours in the car, a cold beer sounded pretty good. It was time to put my college education to good use.
Warm can of beer + sink full of ice + spinning the can for 90 seconds = cold beer.
As I spun the cans in the sink, Amy seemed skeptical.

Amy is no longer a skeptic.

. . .

Sharing the ride north with my brother-in-law and his wife, our first stop in Milwaukee was the Lakefront Brewery tour which had come highly recommended. Ten bucks or so covered the cost of the tour, four ten ounce pours, and a pint glass at the end. If you're ever in Milwaukee, count me among those who recommend this tour.

That said, I was a little annoyed with the clearly scripted humor of the tour guide and the belly laughs that came from the crowd of seemingly-first-time-beer-drinkers as a result of his inauthentic punch lines. I swore that if he had us repeat the word "adobe" I was going to ask where the basement was and make a break for the nearest red bicycle.

Wow. That's a lot of obscure Pee-Wee's Big Adventure references wrapped into one sentence.

. . .

Dinner was at a place called Stubby's which came at the suggestion of a guy from the brewery. It was okay, I suppose, but I got the feeling that it was not much more than a glorified Applebee's -- just with more beer options.

Additionally questionable, Stubby's website currently redirects to a "Best Online Casinos" page.


I went after the "Pork Bomb Sandwich" but almost went with the "Humboldt Hipster Black Bean Burger."

The Pork Bomb was pretty solid but I have to admit, I honestly would have preferred the black bean burger. I just couldn't bring myself to order anything with "hipster" in its name.

. . .

The bride and groom and several of their family and friends gathered for a drink or two at an Irish pub later in the evening. It's my understanding that the place was actually called The Irish Pub.

I chuckle.

Maybe our hotel is really called "The Place Where People Sleep."

. . .

So far, as a first time visitor to Milwaukee, here are my take-aways thus far:
  • Walking over the river, I smelled all of Milwaukee at once. Beer, meat, and sewage -- all in one breath. It was like Wrigley Field had become its own city. And it was glorious.
  • I had never used Uber before today...but now, I'm an Uber master. You're telling me I can pay somebody with a clean car five bucks to transport me safely from THE Irish Pub back to my hotel in an unfamiliar city where I've had a few drinks? Sold.
All of this was a great start to our visit to Milwaukee, but my favorite moment so far came as we walked down the sidewalk from the brewery to Stubby's. Passing by a tall man in his late 20s carrying a small paper bag, we were energetically greeted from at least twenty feet away with a hearty wave, a toothy smile, and a "HI, HOW ARE YOU DOING?!?"

I'm not sure what was in this guy's bag and I'm not sure where he was coming from, but I'm pretty sure I want to go there tomorrow.


Shawn Robare said...

I haven't visited a ton of places but one of my favorite aspects is taking in the smell of the city/area. Visiting NYC for the first time this past Christmas was amazing for that (and gross depending, but still fun.) I've always heard one of the first things you should do is drink the tap water from wherever you visit to also get a taste, but after Flint, um no.

TL said...

And John McClane taught me to curl my toes into the carpet in an unfamiliar room. Makes you more comfortable.