Memorial Day Trip to Milwaukee, WI.


I hit the road around 2 PM Friday from Wausau to visit my daughter in Milwaukee for a long holiday weekend. I made it to her place around 5. Traffic heading north was very congested and backed up in several places but, I was heading south and never had a problem. I saw her new apartment and met two of her three roommates. Her place is loaded with closets. Olive Garden won out for our first nights dinner.  We had to wait over an hour for a table for two. It’s a special treat for me since Wausau doesn’t have an Olive Garden. When we left there wasn’t a wait so next time I would wait and eat later or use call ahead seating. Next we walked off dinner at the Brookfield Mall. Sarah spent her Gap gift card from Christmas. Our hotel was 40 Winks.  A small Mom and pop place just down the road from Sarah’s place.

Saturday we got started about 11 and visited the lake front to view the kite festival, took a few pictures and walked along the lake shore. Next we visited the Art museum and viewed it top to bottom.  Then Sarah showed me a huge used book store downtown and we spent a good hour scouting around there. My legs were getting tired so we hit Barnes and Noble at Mayfair Mall for a Starbucks and some light reading. TGI Fridays was our dinner choice that night.  We stopped and picked up a dress Sarah will be wearing in her friends wedding this fall and I had to see what a Stein Mart was like.  I found a pair of denim trousers, a tank and a cardigan I couldn’t pass up. Then back to the hotel for the night.


Sunday we hit the road south to McHenry, IL to pick up my Mom. We made a lunch stop in Lake Geneva at a Pot Bellies for a sub.  The traffic was bumper to bumper to get through town and the line for food was long but it’s a real neat place and the food was very good. My niece Autumn was having her senior solo concert. She started out singing with her school group, played a few piano pieces, a few solo violin pieces and finished up with her quartet. She’s very talented and will be continuing her music studies in a college this fall in Toronto Canada. Dinner was at Bakers Square with dessert to go for later. We spent the night at my Moms. Some bad storms blew through over night but all was well in the morning.

Monday, Memorial Day we were back on the road to Milwaukee. The weather was really heating up. Once we got into town we were hungry so we went to the nicest McDonalds ever in Brookfield. The food tasted the same but it’s very upscale.  They have flat screen TV’s everywhere and I mean everywhere.  In the women’s bathroom they have a TV in the mirror, pretty cool! Since we were right there by the Mall again we hit a few stores and got Sarah some shorts. It was getting so warm we wanted to go back to the lake and put our feet in.  We found a place to park then hiked down to the water and it was very cold but that didn’t stop people from swimming.  The sun was very hot so it wasn’t long before we were looking for some shade.  Sarah pointed to the Altera Coffee Shop down the road so we went back to the car and ended up taking a ride several miles north before we could turn around to get back to the coffee shop.  The homes along the lake shore are just beautiful.  Huge old stone mansions with perfectly manicured lawns and gardens. There were artists painting at their easels by every corner, there must have been something special going on.  The trees were in full bloom so I was very happy for the detour back.  Altera was packed, we were lucky enough to find a parking space but had to wait in a very long line to order.  We both got iced coffee because by this time we were very hot.  It got up to 82 at the lake that day. Sarah’s air conditioning in her car doesn’t really work so we were hot!

A little about Altera and the building. Built in 1888, the historic Milwaukee River Flushing Station is now home to Alterra at the Lake, a unique cafe/deli serving sandwiches, soups and salads, plus freshly brewed coffee, espresso, tea, and bakery items made daily from scratch.

Next Sarah took me to the largest used book store I ever saw.  It was in the downtown area. The store must have been an old warehouse, three stories tall and huge.  It was filled corner to corner with 10 foot tall book shelves stuffed full of books. Every book was sorted by subject and they had signs everywhere for each section. The place was amazing. I love books and I have an interest in used books that I can pick up cheap and resell.  I use a scouting program on my PDA to search for books of value.  I scanned for an hour before I gave up, not finding even one book to resell.  My guess is that the owner must also sell books online that are of great value. It’s a place to see. We headed back to the hotel to cool down before dinner. We decided on Edwardo’s pizza just around the corner from the hotel.  The place was pretty empty.  Guess everyone was cooking brats and burgers on the grill and having a picnic. While we were eating my husband called to see how we were doing so it was nice to talk with him.  After dinner Sarah got her things and went back home to do her laundry and get ready for the work week.  I spent the evening reading and watching TV.

Tuesday the temp dropped to 50 and it was windy. On my way to the highway I picked up a Starbucks for breakfast and headed north.  I had to stop at the outlet Mall in Johnson Creek at the Lands End Store.  I get their catalog and wanted to see what sizes would fit me.  I found a few things on clearance.  The other items were at regular catalog prices so I passed them by.  And next store was a Crocs store.  My daughter actually wrote a paper for school about her dislike of plastic, fun colored Croc shoes.  That didn’t stop me.  I wanted a pair because they are so soft to walk in. I ended up with a thong, flip flop in white with an aqua insole.  They are perfect for around the house.  It’s like walking on pillows and I love them.  The traffic was still pretty heavy heading south so I think some people extended their holiday weekend too. Going North was no problem.  I made it home around 3.

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