Hello Wisconsin!

For my birthday I wanted to get away from work and daily life, even if just for a night. Not wanting to stray too far from Chicago but still see somewhere new, R and I packed our bags and headed an hour north to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was pretty excited when we crossed the border since it was my first time in Wisconsin. It may not be the most exciting state in the US but one of my favorite things in the world is exploring new places. I wish I had a chance to take a picture with the Wisconsin welcome sign but we were speeding on the expressway and deep in conversation when I noticed we were passing the sign. I had my camera ready and as you can see in the photo below, it’s a bit blurry, but at least I got it though.

Before heading to downtown Milwaukee R and I spent the day skiing at a small ski resort just a half hour away. This ski resort was not the size we were used to (Whistler, Breckenridge, or Tahoe) but we still had a blast seeing the local kids practice their jumps and flips in the terrain park. Most of all we enjoyed watching the annual Spring Splash Pond Skim where skiers and snowboarders of all ages came down the hill and had to skim across a small man made pond of freezing water. It was quiet entertaining to watch.

After our day of skiing we were looking forward to checking into our hotel because we knew it had a sauna and hot tub waiting for us (which didn’t disappoint). While booking a hotel R and I debated over whether to stay at the typical Hilton, Marriot or Hyatt or find a hotel unique to the city. R ended up finding Hotel Metro, an art Deco boutique hotel located in the heart of downtown.

(Wisconsin Welcomes You sign, blurry but I got it)
(Front entrance of Hotel Metro)
(Lobby of Hotel Metro)
Designed in the mid 1930s by the architectural firm Eschweiler & Eschweiler, Hotel Metro has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The lobby welcomed us in with a glow from the fireplace and soft music playing in the background. Our room number was 312 which we took as a sign that the room was for us because we are from Chicago were the area code is 312. The hotel room alone was quiet unique in its design and layout. We took a few steps into the room and walked along the curving wall that gently spiraled us from the entrance and through our living room area and into our bedroom. Our bathroom was a beautiful open space with a simple yet elegant Deco vanity. (see photos below). 
We couldn’t have picked a better place to stay. The moment we arrived the hotel staff was very friendly and helped us with our car and questions we had about the area. The valet, Jessie, was kind enough to park our car for us and help us unload our bags. R had forgot to pack a nice shirt for dinner so we asked the hotel concierge where the nearest store was, he happily looked up a department store and also offered us the complementary car service, a London Cab imported from England, to take us. I couldn’t be mad at R for forgetting shirt since we got to take a ride around Milwaukee in a London Cab.
(Excuse the lighting, it was dark once we got to our room to I didn’t have the best light. Curved wall in our room)
(Bedroom side of the curved wall, and yes we had two TVs in our room)
(Our bathroom)
We didn’t have to stray too far from our hotel to find a delicious Cuban restaurant, Cubanitas which was recommend to us by the assistant concierge Jessie (also known as valet Jessie) I know what you are thinking, why would we go to a Cuban restaurant when we are in the meat, cheese and beer capital? Well lately Cuban sandwiches have been popping up on menus at places R and I keep eating at and we have been looking for a Cuban restaurant to try one at. We did not regret going there. The place was packed with people when we walked in so we waited at the bar until our table was ready, sipping on our Caipirinhas (Brazil’s national cocktail made with half a lime, 2 teaspoons of brown sugar and 1 2/3 oz of Cachaça). A delicious drink I will have to try and recreate at home. 
Both of us were hungry from not eating since lunch so we immediately ordered a plate of Cuban Guacamole with Plantain Chips. Once our table was ready we sat down and fully took in the atmosphere of the restaurant. From the music flowing around us to the laughter and chatter of people sitting around us, it felt like we had been transported to Cuba and were enjoying a night out in Havana and not Milwaukee. After dinner we walked across the street to a nightclub for a quick drink and to see Milwaukee nightlife. Having driven to Wisconsin and skied all day and continued to Milwaukee we were both exhausted and made our way back to the hotel shortly after.
(Dinner at Cubanitas)
(Top: R’s Sandwich Cubano; Bottom: My Lechon Asado – roasted pork with rice, beans and Mojo which tasted like onions with lemon and were delicious! This picture doesn’t do the meal justice)
(Left: Clock inside of Milwaukee Public Market; Right: Cubanitas Restaurant) 
Eager to see more of Milwaukee R and I headed downstairs for breakfast in our hotel the next morning and who were we welcomed by? None other than our waiter Jessie (also the valet and conceirge). Yes, he seemed to do it all at the hotel and was happy to see we were enjoying ourselves. We both couldn’t resist ordering a stack of pancakes with a side of bacon, to celebrate our morning in Milwaukee and my birthday. After breakfast we ventured out towards the Milwaukee Public Market. Just a ten minute walk across the river and south of our hotel we found ourselves inside the market hall. The place was filled with people eating and drinking all kinds of deliciousness. R and I had just eaten breakfast so we didn’t try anything but the aroma enough satisfied us.
We walked around the market, looking at the rows of chocolates, candies, wine and especially cheese. Never have I seen so much cheese, the display case was filled with every type of cheese imaginable.  The shop that interested me the most was The Spice House since I recently have become obsessed with finding new spices to cook with. This new love for spices began last winter in St Lucia when I was shopping in the Castries market and bought a handful of spices to try out. There were spices of al kinds and I found a bag of pink Himalayan salt which I had been trying to find for a while now. Pink Himalayan salt has over eighty four minerals and elements that nourish our body and can help detoxify, boost energy and improve digestion. I wanted to try for it for myself and see how it tasted. Happy to have found my pink salt, R and I walked around the neighboring blocks of the market and before heading back to the hotel for our car.
(Our Sunday breakfast – chocolate chip pancakes for me, banana for R)
(Morning walk through downtown Milwaukee)
(Mackie building – Chamber of Commerce Building also known as the Grain Exchange)
(Ice cream and candies in Milwaukee Public Market)
(Cheese upon cheese that wrapped around the counter in Milwaukee Public Market)
(The Spice House – where I bought my pink Himalayan salt)
(Crossing Milwaukee River)
Before we said our goodbyes to Milwaukee R wanted to show me the Milwaukee Art Museum he had visited during a school trip. Designed by Santiago Calatrava, a Spanish neofuturistic architect and structural engineer, the Milwaukee Art Museum spreads its wings along Lake Michigan’s water front. The 217 foot wingspan unfolds and folds twice a day and we were fortunate enough to see it open. Although we didn’t have time to explore the exhibits, the architecture and structural elements of the museum were remarkable to see.  We had two kitties waiting for us back in Chicago so we couldn’t leave them for too long.
Visiting Milwaukee even just for a brief moment was special and R and I both got a mini break away from work and our everyday lives. I wouldn’t have celebrated my twenty fourth birthday any other way. Next time I take the hour drive north I hope to see more of Milwaukee and stop by in a brewery for a beer.
(Pedestrian bridge leading to the Milwaukee Art Museum)
(Left: Sculpture at inside the lobby of the Milwaukee Art Museum; Right: Inside the lobby looking up at the roof structure) 
(Looking out towards Lake Michigan)

Links to things I mentioned in my post:

Where we stayed: Hotel Metro
Where we ate: Cubanitas
Where we shopped – Milwaukee Public Market: The Spice House
Link for more information about pink salt from none other than LC herself: Pink Himalayan Salt
x the Adventurer

Posted by

Travel, food and wellness blog written by a twenty something year old girl always dreaming of adventures with a cup of coffee in hand.

29 thoughts on “Hello Wisconsin!

  1. It IS nice to get a break from everyday life. I would like to see the Milwaukee Public Market someday, so a trip may be in order, but maybe in the summer. I am so over the cold, hah!



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s