Adventures in Milwaukee and Chicago

I am super duper late on this post but what can I say, I’ve been pretty busy. I spent a good portion of time in Southern Wisconsin for the Fourth of July and as the week went on I was able to make it as far as Chicago. As you can imagine, it was a long trip and there is lots to talk about so I’ll try to cover everything or at least the really stand out moments so I don’t end up writing you a novel about my four day long trip.

I kicked off the week by driving down to Milwaukee after work on Sunday, and as far as the fourth goes, it was pretty uneventful. We wandering the beach, watched some fireworks, met up with ShawnPoirier (one of my favorite partners in crime). I ate a bunch of corn and that was that, it is always good to spend some time with the family. You know, just your average Fourth of July.

The real excitement began on July 5th. That was the day I picked up my favorite adventure pal from Kenosha and braved the Summerfest crowds. The day began well as seems to be the trend for this particular adventure.It was a peaceful and warm day we spent just hopping from band to band and eating the ice out of the lemonade cup. After a couple of hours of moseying around with Chris, my friend Ally joined us. Ally and I started off the night strong by walking directly into the men’s bathroom, only really realizing it when some man said “wrong bathroom ladies”. So far, that is the second time in my life that I have walked in to a men’s room unintentionally. We wasted a lot of time just walking around and catching up. It was then we realized that the ferris wheel was the only thing worth our attention at that moment. We boarded only after every one of us failed to guess the correct color of the seat we would be in. Chris took some A1 pictures at the top and Ally got a video of me sounding extremely whiney a win-win really.

When we got off the Ferris Wheel we realized we had about five minutes to get to the concert we went to Summerfest for. Jason DeRulo was the main event at the Miller Lite Oasis and let me tell you, his fans are animals. It was packed when we rolled up to the scene. Ally and I wanted to get closer because it’s hardly an experience to listen from the back, Chris would have been content anywhere else I’m pretty sure. Deciding to go closer was either the worst idea I have ever had or the best. It’s hard to say. Trying to get up to the screen was such a  difficult task, and that’s as far as we got we fought our way through and didn’t even see Jason. Throughout our journey to the jumbotron, Ally got a joint dropped on her, the same guy spilled three drinks on us, a very sweaty guy told me he was on ecstasy, and a girl passed out on top of us. We all were elbowed in the head and pushed into people, I even got a cut on my leg from the bleachers. It was not a child friendly environment. The concert in itself I really didn’t love. It was fine, but not great. I think it was really the experience. When we went to meet up with my family afterwords, my sisters who had a spot on the bleachers were still pretty and happy, meanwhile Ally, Chris, and I emerged bruised and sweaty, looking like we had just fought for our lives. Actually, that might not be too far off. Like I said, it’s the experience.

It was the day after that that my family headed for home and Chris and I headed for Chicago. We were expecting to encounter a lot of traffic because of Taste of Chicago and whatnot, but the drive was great and short. We got in a little after noon and we were able to begin adventuring right away. The whole day was like that, super easy and wonderful. Thanks to Chris’s aunt and uncle we got free parking and got into the museum for free, it was the nicest thing. The first thing we got to was Millennium Park because how could we not see The Bean? We listened to some sweet orchestra jams and looked on to the silent movie they were showing before making our way to the art museum. I was in heaven with their special exhibit, as it featured Georgia O’Keeffe who is my favorite everything. Chris let me wonder around babbling about all the pieces while he was busy finding new subjects for his snapchat masterpieces. It was a good time for both of us. After that we walked the Mag Mile like a couple of dumb tourists and Chris found a neat little record store. We ate dinner at a cute Chinese restaurant with Chris’s relatives, who were very kind and funny. The last thing on our list for the day was Navy Pier. It was a beautiful night on the pier, the weather was perfect. We sat and listened to some nice Chicago jazz as others danced. The last thing we did in Chicago was the Centennial Wheel, we were going to stay for the fireworks but we were just so darn tired from the concert that we decided to go back and spend the night watching It’s Always Sunny.

It was when we got to the hotel that we realized the day had gone just a little to perfectly. As I went to check into the room I booked, the clerk brought something to my attention that had not been an issue a few years previously, Illinois does not allow anyone under age 21 to check into a hotel. So it goes. Chris and I went back to Wisconsin, forfeited our second day in Chicago, and the Shea family was nice enough to let me stay in their house and cuddle Fenway.

Even though our last adventure day was not spent in Chicago, I still had a lot of fun. As we have done every time I have gone to Kenosha, Chris and I went to the lake. We had a lovely breakfast of Dunkin Donuts at the beach and watched the birds. Then we took on the Kenosha Public museum, there was a ton of cool art as well as a wooly mammoth. After I met Chris’s other friends, unfortunately I had to head home and say goodbye to my adventure pal.

I carpooled with my dad on the way back to Milwaukee and it took me almost no time to fall asleep in the passenger side.

Summer Reading

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If you’re looking for a fun summer pastime you have come to the right place. Reading is something I will never get sick of, and like many other people out there, I have a summer reading list. Because June is over, meaning that summer is quite underway, I have already gotten through a couple of the books and I will hopefully get through the rest before I move into my new apartment in August.

The list is as follows:

  1. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  2. The Knockoff
  3. How to be Parisian Wherever You Are
  4. Summer Days and Summer Nights
  5. The Unexpected Everything
  6. The Cuckoo’s Calling

I know, I know, this list doesn’t seem unattainable. It probably isn’t but I would like you to keep in mind some books are series (The Girl Who Played With Fire / The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest), sometimes I add books as soon as I find out they exist (The Unexpected Everything ), and sometimes books I feel like I need to read to get better at something in life (The Photographer’s Eye / Unofficial Guide to GoPro).

 

I have made a bit of progress in my list so far. I’ve finished Stieg Larson’s first of the trilogy, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and I’m halfway through the second book. I actually tried to read this series once before in high school but couldn’t get into it. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. This time around I finished the first book in two days. I get why they were so popular a few years ago, these books are intelligent and well written. I can’t read them fast enough. Larson is a genius.

Also in my done pile is Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza’s book, The Knockoff. There were a couple reasons I didn’t love this book. I think number one might just be that I read it in the wake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and may have been suffering a bit of a book hangover. The other reason I had kind of a qualm with this one was it seemed to demonize technology and make millennials out to be a little bit crazy. I might be biased though because of my millennial tendencies. Needless to say, this was no Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

I’m about half way through How to Be Parisian…, it kind of took a back seat once I started the Millennium Trilogy.

The other three books I picked based on past reading material. Summer Days and Summer Nights seemed like a great summer read, first of all. Secondly, I really loved the My True L0ve Gave to Me Christmas short stories put together by the same person, the lovely Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss. I chose The Unexpected Everything because Morgan Matson is the bomb.com. She has never once disappointed me, even when I doubted the future of YA literature. If you pick up Second Chance Summer, Amy and Rodger’s Epic Detour, or Since You’ve Been Gone you will not be disappointed. I am very excited to read this one. My last pick is Cuckoo’s Calling simply because J.K. Rowling. I don’t feel as though I need to say more.

So, whether you are just trying to squeeze in some reading on break at work or looking for something to take with you while you sunbathe, I stand by my list.