My wonderful husband and I celebrate our anniversary in the Fall and due to school starting and babies, and school starting and babies (it feels like a lot more than it actually is; trust me), we took a weekend away a little earlier this year.
Why do we take time away even in this crazy season of life? Because a couple we greatly love and respect told us to. When we were first married, they counseled us to make a habit of and fight for going away regularly to be just the two of us … and to start early lest we turn around having passed 10 years with nothing more than a “Hey, we should really get away some time.” We never go anywhere exotic or super exciting, but it’s us … and it’s rest … and it’s no kids.
Speaking of kids; my parents (despite what I may otherwise intimate at times) are heros! Heroes … and the keepers of our sanity. …wow, never thought I’d say that about the ‘rents. My 15 year old self would be greatly surprised.
Anyway, this time we escaped to …[drum roll please] … Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Will somebody please explain to me why I feel the need to apologize for Milwaukee? Somehow it’s synonomous with something uncool in my head … which is not at all the real-life case. Maybe it’s the name? Or the association with cheese and brats? At any rate, The ‘Wauk (as I prefer to call it at this moment) is the town that surprises you, and they have a great Third Ward (see Chicago’s North Side for reference) even if you do want to choke on all the Packers’ references and collectibles that are EVERYWHERE. Sidenote: I think every other street is named “Green Bay Something or Other” or named for an NFL player or coach. We were also subjected to a documentary on the making of the cheesehead hat (and how there is apparently one in the Smithsonian now). It’s everywhere, it’s crazy … I don’t get it. But then again, the last time my NFL team of choice won the Super Bowl was 1985. Ahem, moving on …
Some random things about our time away:
- Small irony of our hotel … last year, there was a conference / job fair for the rehabilitation of convicts. This year, there were dual conferences for women in law enforcement and an academy of forensics. Ah, irony. It’s the little things that tickle my fancy.
- Also, go here:
Here = Alterra on the Lake. A beautifully refurbished old building right off the Lake that sells a Starbuck’s-kicking coffee. This was also right across the street from the central stage beach for the city’s annual Air and Water show on Saturday. Nothing like a relaxing latte over the scream and afterburn of an F-16 fighter jet right out your window. …really opens the mind to reflection and meditation, I’m sure.
Here = a place called Amy’s Gourmet Chocolates in Cedarburg (just north of Milwaukee … a please that will make you think the 1950s still exist somewhere). Their apples will make you call your Mama. I actually have no idea what that should even mean, but they’re good. So good that Bob and I don’t share.
- The East Side of The ‘Wauk is as close to the West Coast as I’ll be this summer. There was an open air market outside a great organic restaurant where you could buy soaps, hand-made jewelry, books and vintage fabrics while a guy with a guitar sang about how you can’t get from Milwaukee to Madison by train (a political protest song regarding the Republican governor’s recent decision to table a city-to-city rail plan). And every once in a while, vendors and patrons alike would look up at the sound of the planes from the air show on the beach and cringe at the thought of war machines.
- In addition to all the relaxing we did, we both had a chance to work on some blog ideas. True story:
This is how we roll. Classy, huh? Bob was perfectly comfortable with his technocological self. His wife (no names mentioned to protect the paranoid) spent much of our tech time worrying that the other patrons of the coffee house would think we were taking over the world with all the computers lying around. Apparently I think we look more like super spies than super nerds.
All the shanigans aside, being just the two of us for the weekend was wonderful. So, whether it’s establishing a regular date night, or an annual getaway, I cannot encourage you enough to try this out.
Have a cool marriage renewing vacation tradition? Please share!