Street crossing in Downtown Milwaukee.

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The main drawback of communicating mostly through sarcasm (if, indeed, there is any) is this: on the rare occasion when you are sincere, people don’t believe you. They think you are being a snide jerk, and the more you try to convince them otherwise, the worse it gets.

This happened time and again whenever someone asked me what I thought of Wisconsin (and of Milwaukee and Green Bay and the stretch of highway in between).

I answered them honestly. I loved it.

They stared blankly at me.

“Seriously?” they say, hoping for some haughty reply, a cheeky revelation, a well-placed put-down.

Instead, they got this: “Yes, seriously.”

I loved it all. I loved the people and the food and the atmosphere. At some point, I screamed it to Rand.

“This place is amazing. The people are friendly and there’s lots of great bars and EVERYONE IS A PACKERS FAN. We have to move here, immediately.”

He agreed with most of my sentiments, but wasn’t so keen on the last bit. Even if it did mean he could watch every Green Bay game surrounded by a sea of fellow fans.

Clearly, everyone needs a little more convincing when it comes to Wisconsin’s awesomeness. These pictures from our trip should do the trick.

  1. Getting my ducks in a row. Riverwalk, Milwaukee.

    Note: Running after them while screaming, “DUCKIES!” will not, as I had previously thought, make you look like a total badass.

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  2. Milwaukee Public Market sign at dusk. (Is it just me, or does the sign look kind of familiar?)

    Of course, they have the good sense to put their market indoors …

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  3. Window display on the Comet Cafe, Milwaukee.

    I concur.

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  4. Chalk art in the Historic Third Ward, Milwaukee.

    What is it about fictional-witch homicide that’s so hilarious?

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  5. A throne fit for a Rand. Mader’s German Restaurant, Milwaukee.

    Now he knows what it’s like for us short gals.

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  6. Old facades, downtown Milwaukee.-
  7. Quadracci Pavilion, Milwaukee Art Museum. -
  8. Old Pabst Brewery Sign, downtown Milwaukee. -
  9. High Life Cruiser, Miller Brewery.
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  10. Exit sign for Waldo, Wisconsin(pop. 503)

    “Oh my god. Rand, WE FOUND HIM!”

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  11. Sunset, as seen driving back from Green Bay to Milwaukee.
  12. At Lambeau Field, Green Bay.- 
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Comments (21)

  1. 1
    Jen says:

    I was born in WI but moved when I was 4 months old. I still very FROM WI as all of relatives have ties there. I am a Packers fan, and much to my husband’s chagrin, so is my 2 year old. Maybe you just didn’t talk about it, but you missed Kopp’s frozen custard. Based on your culinary tastes, your tastebuds ould be very pleased. Next time, I’m sure :) I still think about it from a visit during a late 90s vacation.

  2. 2
    Kyla says:

    I would just like to point out that those “duckies” of yours aren’t ducks at all but Canadian geese, and if you did live here they would no longer be so exciting because THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. I occasionally have to wait for a group of them to cross the road in front of my work before I can pull into the parking lot.

  3. 3
    Kristen says:

    Agreed. Milwaukee is one of those strange cities that you would expect to be boring but it just isn’t. And it’s even more beautiful in the summer. It’s possibly the NYC of the midwest. Oops, Chicago…? Whatever. Keep the Milwaukee love comin’.

  4. 4
    Joanne says:

    A dear friend who grew up around the world lives on an old farm between Milwaukee and Madison. I have a bedroom there. When I think about getting in my car and driving to the end of the road, that’s where I think of going.

  5. 5
    Mike says:

    That pic and caption of Rand in that big chair is too funny!

  6. 6
    stephanie says:

    i, too, visited wisconsin in recent years, and loved it! if i didn’t hate snow, and cold, being far away from my family, i would consider it as a place to reside.

    squeaky cheese curds!

  7. 7
    Katie says:

    It just makes me so excited that you were so close to my hometown and that you loved it so much!

    Fun (and completely true) story about Waldo, WI. I’m from Sheboygan and in high school I was in class and we were discussing some of the surrounding small towns. Someone brought up Waldo, and one girl in my class (who wasn’t the brightest crayon in the box) shouted out “Where’s Waldo?!” Everyone in the class started laughing, and it took her a super long time to figure out why.

    Anyway, I’m glad you loved Wisconsin. I know I do.

  8. 8
    Melissa says:

    You’ve made the Midwest look pretty close to magical; never been and now I want to go! And buy chalk to draw witch legs everywhere.

  9. 9

    I’m with Stephanie. I live in Philadelphia, PA and at my age, I am just not willing to move anywhere that has colder, snowier winters, which pretty much rules out anywhere north of Philly, near a Great Lake (the infamous “lake effect snow”), much of the Great Plains as in “where the wind goes sweeping down the plain” (“Oklahoma” reference) and anywhere higher than 5,000 feet. (Hmm, the coastal Pacific Northwest might be warmer, but I’d probably have Seasonal Affective Disorder year round and the meds would make the cost of living too high).

    Geraldine, don’t go losing the snark. Just tell us when you’re serious by starting the sentence with, something like, “Seriously – no, I mean serious with no eye rolling”). Then we’ll know it’s safe to take a sip of coffee without it exploding out our nose while reading.

    Being from Philadelphia, when I tell that to people, they just stand there waiting for the rest of the Philadelphia joke — especially if they are also from Philadelphia.

  10. 10
    Jennie says:

    The way you feel about Wisconsin is how i felt about Minneapolis. I only spent one full day there but LOVE. And people always think i’m being obnoxious when i say that.

    • 10.1
      Kate says:

      Ha! I moved to Minneapolis from North Carolina a few years ago and got the same reaction when I told people where I was heading. But now that we’re in Mpls, I’ve been wanting to drag my husband over to Milwaukee. These last few posts are moving the trip higher on the to do list – thanks!

  11. 11
    Kelly Meier says:

    I live in Milwaukee and went to college in Green Bay, in every road trip we would yell “where’s Waldo?” When passing that sign. I am glad others find it as amusing as me.
    Also, did you see the golden ducks?

  12. 12
    Jam @icoSnap says:

    That seat in the Mader German Restaurant is awesome! I want one in my house.

  13. 13

    Very nice! I wish I would have made it a point to make it over that way when I was living in Minneapolis a couple of months ago!

  14. 14
    Paul says:

    I really enjoyed looking through this post, and especially the photos. As an Australian traveller, I’ve been to a fair few places around the world and have a lot of US cities on my list but towns like Milwaukee are ones that a lot of us outside of the US know about, but would never really think of visiting. There are the kinds of cities that I enjoy and plan on visiting a lot more in my future travels. Milwaukee, consider yourself added to the Bucket-list!

  15. 15
    Carol says:

    I learned to love Wisconsin during the few years I lived in Chicago. Last year, we spent a weekend in Madison, which we both fell in love with. I’m an Austin native and Madison felt so much like Austin, and yet not. It was one of our favorite places ever, beating out London, New York and even Cabo San Lucas!

  16. 16
    Krishanu says:

    A post about Milwaukee and no mention of Harley Davidson? Blasphemy.

  17. 17
    Emy says:

    I’ve lived in Chicago almost 3 years and have STILL not gone to Wisconsin, everyone tells me not to bother “it’s boring”. I think I’m going to look into a day trip, thanks for the inspiration!

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