Travels, trials and other random tidbits about my summer

ME!         Journal

Tips to Students

All About My Travels and Fun-ness

Week 1

Milwaukee is also a town of festivals.  There are two large parks here: the State Fair park and the Henry Maier SummerFest Park and in the summer, there is at least one festival going on a week.  This weekend I went to the CajunFest at the State Fair park.  There was a lot of music and a lot of food.  Not as much fun as I had hoped as there was not much to do besides listening to the bands (though there were some pretty good ones).  It was really nice going to a new part of town, though.

Week 2

This weekend, my sister and my friend, both from Denver, Colorado, came to visit me.  They flew into Chicago, so we met at a hostel there.  We spent the weekend there, siteseeing and everything.  There is not a lot in Chicago except for really big buildings!  On Saturday night, though, we randomly decided to go to the top of the John Hancock building and ended up watching two fireworks shows on the lake from there.  It was wierd looking down on fireworks!  It was fun getting to see someplace new though.  I took the train there and back so that was interesting becuase I had never taken a train in the States before.

The skyline of Chicago from the Sears Tower; ME! next to a pic of the Sears Tower in the Sears Tower!
Week 3

My sister and my friend stayed through this week, so on Thursday we went and took the Miller Brewing Company Tour.  That place is huge!  The tour was very nice, though.  First of all, it was free!!  And at the end, they give you 3 free glasses of different beers!  Not just little samples, but actual glasses!  So that was fun.  There really wasn't much else to do in Milwaukee, so they mainly hung around campus during the day while I worked.  Since they had occupied most of my time during the week, I decided that I would just spend a nice relaxing weekend in my dorm room catching up on some reading and correspondence and everything like that.  It was nice having a laid back weekend!  I also worked at the mall on friday night, so that was fun, too.
Also, on Wednesday night, there was a band in Chicago that my sister wanted to see, so we took a bus out there and back.  Its good being that close to a really big city that you can go out there for just an evening!

Week 4

I didn't do anything too exciting during the week this week.  In fact, it was pretty boring.  I am not used to not having a car and that severly limits what I can do around town.  So I read a lot this week!  Luckily, I was able to work my retail job Friday night, and again, that was fun and it got me out of the dorm room for a while.  This weekend there was a live radio show that Allison wanted to see in Madison on Saturday, so we went and saw that.  It was called "Whad'ya Know?" and is played on NPR.  After that show, we walked around the farmers market they have by the state capitol.  It is supposed to be one of the larger farmer markets in the state, if not the nation.  After that, since we were right at the state capitol anyway, we decided to take a free tour of it.  It is a very big capitol, rivaling our nations.  In fact, during the design, they had to decide to lower the dome by three feet so it wouldn't be taller than our nations capitol!  We drove around Madison after that and saw UW-Madison and both the lakes that surround Madison.  My favorite part was going to a restaurant called Old Chicago.  It is where I hang out all the time in Fort Collins, so it was fun going here.  I am addicted to their food so I was starting to miss it!
Earlier this week, Allison won some tickets on the local classical station that we listen to here at work.  It was to the Waukesha Symphony Orchestra's patriotic concert.  It was outdoors and the weather was beautiful!  They played really nice music and there was a world-renowned harmonica player who played Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.  It turns out that Gershwin actually wrote that arrangement for him!!  And there was a nice fireworks display at the end.

Week 5

I went to the one of the largest music festivals on Monday night.  It is called SummerFest and that is where everybody goes!  It lasts for about a week and a half or so and they just have tons of bands come and play on about 10 or more different stages.  It was very crowded and there was lots of food and vendors and stuff also.  I went to go see Lewis Black, a comedian who is on the Daily Show which airs on Comedy Central.  He was very funny and at the end, I was able to get his autograph!!  I took the sky ride back to the other end of the park before I left and got a very nice view of the lake and the city at sunset.
This weekend was the 4th of July weekend, so it was a long weekend.  Allison and I decided to go visit the twin cities in Minnesota (Minneapolis and St. Paul).  It was a 6 hour drive up there, which I did all of since I haven't driven in 5 weeks.  The scenery was really nice--very green with rolling hills and cute farms every where.  We stayed in a nice hotel near the Mall of America.  It was nice to get away from the dorms for awhile!!  And there was a TV there (neither Allison or I brought a TV) so it was fun to rot my brains for a while again.  On Friday night (the 4th) we got take out Chinese and watched TV (I got to see the Simpsons!!).  We were staying on the 16th floor, so at dusk we went on the balcony and watched all the firework shows in the distance.  We were facing away from the city, but we could see at least 10 shows in the distance, though it was probably more like 20.  I never realized how many places put on firework shows in each city!  The next day we went to the Mall of America.  It took us 5 hours to walk through all the wings, plus a few stores!  We also rode the rollercoaster that is inside the mall!  That night we went to Minneapolis and had dinner at my favorite restaurant, Old Chicago and then walked down to the Mississippi River.  On Sunday we drove through St. Paul and headed back.  On the way back, we stopped at the Spam musuem.  Yes, that's right, they have a musuem for the food product Spam.  It is in Austin, MN where the Hormel plant is.  It was interesting in a freaky sort of way!  Traffic was horrible on the way back, so we took some smaller highways and saw some really cute towns and such. It was a really nice weekend.

Allison and I at the Spam Museum with "Spammy"

Week 6

There was a random used book sale at a library in southern Milwaukee, so Allison and I decided to check it out.  When we got to that area, there happened to be a random parade going through town, so we sat and watched that.  It was interesting to see a parade in a different state.  They have a lot more baton twirlers than we do in Colorado, and it looked like they had less marching bands, too.  After that, we decided to drive down to Pleasant Prairie, WI (near the border of Wisconsin and Illinois) where the Jelly Belly warehouse is.  They have a free tour, so we decided to take that.  It wasn't really a tour, but it was interesting nonetheless.  They had a motorized "train" that you sat on and it did a circle of the warehouse (the warehouse being one big room) stopping periodically to show videos of how the beans are made.  The videos were really interesting.  I would like to see the actual factory now sometime (which is in CA).  At least we got some free samples at the end!!  On Sunday, Allison and I went up to Kohler Village, a town about an hour north of Milwaukee, and went to the Kohler Design Center.  Downstairs was a small museum showing old toilets and tubs that Kohler first designed and upstairs were their new products.  They had a lot of new fangled tubs and showers with jets and everything.  They were pretty interesting to look at.  So that was pretty much my weekend.  Nothing too exciting, but at least I got out.

Week 7

My boyfriend was able to come visit me this weekend.  We didn't really do much this weekend.  We walked downtown a little, so that was nice.  But mainly we have been playing cards and watching some movies and just hanging out, which is nice.  I got to see the hardships of flying standby this weekend, though.  He was supposed to fly out here on Friday, but all the flights that he was supposed to fly on were full, so we bought a cheap ticket for him for Saturday so I had to spend all day Saturday waiting for him instead of being with him (his father is a pilot so he is able to get free standby tickets).  But he is here, so that is good . . .

Week 8

 . . . but, since it's summer and everybody is traveling, even though it looked very feasible to get standby on the way home, he is not having a lot of luck (though I am certainly not complaining!).  He actually ended up staying until Sat. morning (4 more days than we expected) and flew from here to Cleveland, stayed the night there, then flew to Denver on Sunday morning.  The price of flying cheap.  So I didn't really do much this weekend except for drop him off at the airport.  On Sunday I worked 6 hours at my retail job so that was fun.

Week 9

I decided to go to the Milwaukee Public Museum on Sunday this weekend.  It was interesting.  Nothing too spectacular there, just a normal museum, but it was fun.  The displays were nice.  It turns out that the current way of doing the dioramas originally came from the Milwaukee Public Museum and bare the name Milwaukee Diorama, or something similar to that.  I thought that was interesting.  I also saw the IMAX film "Coral Reef" which was interesting.  That was the excitement of my weekend.  

Week 10

My parents are flying out to see me this weekend, so I am looking forward to that.  I am writing in advance, since my program is now over.  My parents and I are going to Chicago for a couple of days and then coming back to Milwaukee to pick up the rental car and driving up to Door County, the little penisula by Green Bay.  It is supposed to be really pretty and quiant up there with lots of light houses and cute towns and such.  My parents have never been to Wisconsin before, so it will be fun to show them where I spent my summer.