western vacation

ma and i are taking off, and it feels not that long ago that i was posting about us going to maine, but i do work hard and deserve to take time off right?

this time it’s the exotic state to the west – wisconsin.  you might remember from post not but a month ago that i was just in milwaukee, but that was business, and this is pleasure, at least mostly.  and since it was a vacation ma and i decided to spare no expense and took the ferry across.  we also figured that we could add it to the fun budget category in addition to transportation, since it would be on a high-speed boat racing across lake michigan.

little did i know how wrong putting it in the fun category was.  turns out the winds were a little high and as soon as we got underway the boat started pitching, my stomach started rumbling, and the next thing you know i spend about 45 minutes with myself locked in the mens room clutching the toilet.  ma tries to find some help and a nice man named bill manages to convince me that some fresh air, a look at the horizon and some ginger ale would be much better for me than the smell of urinal cakes.

i manage to stumble out of the bathroom, ma races behind me with all of my clothes that i have thrown off because of the cold sweats, and we find a spot out on the deck.  i stare at the horizon, practice every little bit of meditation skills i have learned, drink ginger ale, put cold water on the back of my neck, and ma pushes on the pressure points on my wrists.  i’m shaking, and trying to forget that i have to make it though another hour and a half of this, and wishing with all my might that we would pull into harbor.

and then slowly the pitching is less, and the cold air is helping, and ma bless her heart distracts me with stories of her obsessive compulsive childhood, and i start to almost feel human.  as we pull into harbor i figure i might as well get up and see milwaukee from the ferry as that was one of the main reasons for wanting to take the ferry.




and by then i’m actually not feeling totally terrible, though i’d hardly say i’m feeling great.  just about the time i finish snapping pictures it’s time to get in the cars and head out.  i’m so thankful for dry land.

figuring it’s sunday and that is a great day to hit an art museum and we had heard so much about the architecture of the milwaukee art museum, we seek it out, but not without some food.  even though my stomach was still in knots, ma was hungry, and i had not eaten anything much all day, i figured a mild little something would help.

we rolled by the public market and how could we not stop.  my hopes were high, and i have to say they were quickly dashed.  take all of the things i most like about public markets, the crass vendors, the hustle and bustle of things being loaded and unloaded, the old men shooting the breeze, get rid of them leaving only a polished and sterile market experience for tourists, and milwaukee’s public market is what you get.  i still enjoyed my bowl of chicken noodle soup, which really hit the spot, but if my precious eastern market ever looks like this, i will be oh so disappointed.

with food in our bellies we went off in search of the art museum

the architecture of the museum is truly stunning, and especially the inside.  after spending several hours of the day quite disoriented, walking into the soaring light filed atmosphere of the art museum was pretty amazing and a little bit disorienting as well.

i can’t say as much of the quality of the art, there were a few lovely pieces, especially a sol lewitt that ma and i both agree was our favorite piece, but overall the collection left us a little underwhelmed.


lewitt - this is just a detail, each of these squares is 6 inches across and the entire piece is about 12 feet by 15 feet


i also really enjoyed the pairing of this duane hanson  with this chuck close piece.


chuck and duane


while the art might have left me underwhelmed, dinner did not, three brothers for serbian food.  three brothers had just about all the things i like in a restaurant. it was homey and nice, but not fancy; located in an old schlitz tavern with formica tables and mismatched china.  the service was great but not over bearing, and the food was amazing.

for starters we had drinks ma “serbian tea” and i a golden pheasant  beer from slovakia.  turns out the serbs idea of tea is just warm brandy with spices in it.


serbian tea


and then the meal of roast lamb which we split




it was a huge  lamb shank roasted for four hours with peppers, onions, garlic and tomatoes, served with serbian pickled cabbage, carrots and brown rice.  both of us were a little intimidated by carving into the lamb shank, but the moment that the fork hit the meat it just fell from the bone, so tender.  it was absolutely amazing, i savored every bite, and even though we split it we still had to take some home.

with no room for desert, we took something home “grandma’s favorite” which proved to be a seven layer torte with chopped walnuts and apricots in between layers, and covered with delicate not too sweet whipped cream.  while i don’t tend to be a huge sweets person, this was great.

the meal almost made the motion sickness worth it, but next time i’m still driving around the lake.


2 responses to “western vacation

  1. Schlitz! It takes a tasty beer to support a 6:1 consonant to vowel ratio.

  2. Beautiful photos, a nice trip I’d also enjoy…Ginny

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