Tuesday, September 3, 2013

To "The Good Land" and Back


"In fact, isn't 'Milwaukee' an Indian name." asked Pete.

"Why yes, Pete, it is," replied Alice. "Actually, it's pronounced 'mill-e-wah-que" which is Algonquin for 'the good land.'"

- From the novelization of "Wayne's World."

- Passing Chicago.

Chicago is a wonderful city, despite the Cubs and their fans. Every time I visit, I throughly enjoy myself. It's one of those cities that people visit from smaller major cities and they say: "I'd love to live here." The problem people often forget is that what you do on vacation wouldn't necessarily reflect your normal life if you moved to a place. Not that you couldn't adjust and still enjoy it, you certainly could, but it seems like no one really takes the reality of living their lives somewhere into effect when they enjoy being on vacation.

I could relocate to Chicago and I think I'd truly enjoy it, but if I really had to pick one city - it'd be Milwaukee.

- Milwaukee Art Museum.

Milwaukee's motto should be "low key Chicago." It's a major city, it's urban, it's on the lake and it has the nice river walk snaking through downtown. But there's less traffic, less commotion, everything's cheaper and overall just seems to have less stress in the air compared to its Windy City neighbor just an hour or so away.

The people are friendly anywhere you go. They take pride in their city even showing you the industrial ports on their boat tours despite how bad the area smells. There's great beer and cool brewery tours other than the one that has "Miller" in the name and the people enjoy their beer without being snobs about it.

- Breaking wall.

Milwaukee is just what it is - Milwaukee - and what it is, is wonderful.

- Harbor.

Not that Milwaukee doesn't have its drawbacks. When you and your friends travel to watch the Reds take on the Brewers, if you want a case of beer for your hotel room, you better buy it before 9:00 PM. If not, local PBR "3 for $5" specials aren't bad either. Oh and the baseball stadium is great too with its retractable roof and "secret stadium sauce."

- Miller Park, Secret Stadium Sauce and PBR tickets via my Instagram.

Milwaukee is just the one place I've ever visited that I truly enjoyed every single part of. From the seagulls on the lakeshore to the restaurants on the beach that look like the hang outs of villains from 80's movies to the vendor selling a copy of Jurassic park on the street for 95 cents.

- Souvenir. 

- Reflections of the city in the harbor.

- Boat tour.

- The riverfront.

- Downtown Milwaukee.

- Factory on the river.

- Abandoned bridge.

- Looking into downtown Milwaukee.

- The "good land's" skyline.

- Former Coast Guard light house.

- Lake Michigan waters.

- Harbor.

- Industrial Milwaukee.

- Boat tour.

Unlike our trip last year, we skipped watching The Reds play in Chicago. However, we did make one quick stop in The Windy City. A pilgrimage to the sight of the house used as the establishing location on one of the greatest television shows of all time: Family Matters:

- The holy land.

Then we went home.

- Indiana wind farm outside of Chicago.

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