Milwaukee 2016:
Day 2


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Milwaukee 2016: [Day 1 - Friday] [Day 2 - Saturday] [Day 3 - Sunday] [Day 4 - Monday]

Saturday, September 3, 2016: For breakfast, we were going to eat baked goods, but we woke up too early so Tom picked up some Burger King for us. Once we were ready to start our day, we stopped at CVS to get Tom some replacement reading glasses, then headed to La Flor De Trigo bakery.
It's a tiny Mexican bakery with a couple of self-serve display cases. We purchased a cinnamon bread thingie (second row from the top on the left here) and a cream-filled horn-shaped flaky pastry to eat later, plus a couple of Diet Cokes.
We headed into the city, ...
... and parked in the shade by the Marcus Center, a nice central location for the walking we'd be doing.
Here's the beautiful Pabst Theater.
Milwaukee has a fantastic riverwalk that stretches for many blocks up and down the river.
Our first point of interest was the Bronze Fonz statue. It's small but most likely to scale, since Henry Winkler is pretty short.
We headed downriver, ...
... and encountered this sculpture a block away, titled "Gertie Gets Her Ducks in a Row." We'd be seeing more of Gertie soon.
This cool sculpture is titled, "Supporting the Question."
A couple of blocks over is the Ladybug Building, officially known as the Milwaukee Building. Oh, to be in that meeting: "Hey, guys, how about if we attach gigantic ladybugs to the front?" "Yeah, that's a great idea!"
We stopped walking south when we got to the docks for the Milwaukee Boat Line, since we knew we'd see all the scenery further south on our cruise the next day.
We were on the hunt for Gertie and her babies next. We found Millie on the east side of the river, ...
... not far from where Gertie and Dee Dee were located in the middle of a bridge.
Black Bill was on the other side of the bridge, ...
... with Freddie and ...
... Rosie farther up the west bank.
We got to see this cool display a little closer up. From here, you can tell that the fish are attached to electrical outlets so this display lights up at night, but we weren't ever downtown late enough to see it.
This sculpture is called "Acqua Grylli." It features what appear to be good luck charms attached to the arch.
It's right next to a lovely series of arches leading north.
Here's "S. S. Core," a sculpture created from end caps of propane tanks.
Up one block and across the river, we enjoyed this juxtaposition of colors between the children's stage sign and the colorful tour boats on the water.
We had to move our car at this point as our two-hour limit was up, and we found a spot across the river near the Letter Carriers' Monument.
We walked across the river again to our next destination, ...
... International Exports Ltd., ...
... better known as the Safe House. We were the first people to arrive and since we didn't know the password, we had to do three ninja poses to gain access. During our lunch, we saw other patrons on the TV as they had to perform tasks to enter, including clearing the room with imaginary guns, hopping on one leg, and walking like penguins.
We were seated in the Asian section of the restaurant in our own little booth. We ordered the Furtive Fish Fry (Debbie) and the Hail Caesar wrap (Tom), then set off to tour the premises with our spy instruction sheet. Yes, Debbie got caught in the restroom when she touched a metal plate on the wall which set off a shotgun sound.
We watched a tour boat head up the river, causing bridges to be raised along the way.
It's a little terrifying to be on one of the bridges when the alarms go off and the traffic arms go down.
Next, we drove to Lake Park, where North Point Lighthouse is located.
It's a pretty park on the bluffs over Lake Michigan. We were here only briefly but it was a very surreal visit.
Nearly every single person in the park was looking at their phones playing Pokemon Go. If they weren't looking at their phone, they were with someone who was. Every. Single. Person. We cannot emphasize enough that we are not exaggerating here.
We drove north on Lake Drive and passed this cool sculpture, titled "Spillover II."
We attempted to find the home of Debbie's sophomore year boyfriend from memory, but she wasn't even close as it turned out to be five miles further north. Here's a house on the street anyway.
Our next stop was Sprecher's Brewery.
We love their sodas, especially their Red Apple seasonal soda, but were sorely disappointed to find that even though it is shown on their website, it no longer exists anywhere.
We waited for a while in their waiting room for our 2:00 Reserve Tasting tour, ...
... then headed in for our first samples prior to the tour starting.
Our tour guide told us all about the history of Sprecher's beer and how they expanded into sodas, which are a much larger part of their business now.
Here's the bottling room with a lovely mural.
At the end of the main tour, the masses went to the beer hall for their four beer samples, while we went into the private tasting room.
Our tasting guide brought in a cart with 10 pitchers of beer. We didn't find out until later that those middle two pitchers would also get filled later on.
Let's get started! First up: Grapefruit Radler beer with White Chedder Cranberry cheese from Maple Leaf Cheese. Both were winners and we went back for seconds on this cheese. (OK, we went back for seconds on most of these.)
Our second tasting was Abbey Triple with Morel and Leek White Cheddar, which was one of Debbie's favorite cheeses of the day. In addition to the cheeses, there were pretzels, sausage bites, and root beer-flavored pecans to snack on.
Our third sample was Chameleon Fire Light with Henning's Peppercorn aged white cheddar. Tom went crazy for this cheese but Debbie is not a pepper fan.
This amazing pairing was Hard Apple Pie with Apple Harvest Cheddar. Now we understand how people could eat cheese after dinner and actually consider it dessert.
Our fifth pairing was Special Amber with either Roth Grand Cru Original or Reserve, the younger siblings of the 2016 World Cheese Champion, Roth Grand Cru Surchoix. Debbie had read about this while in Bermuda a month earlier, and still had the page up in Safari on her phone, so she was overjoyed to be tasting this. However, it wasn't all that delicious to our uneducated cheese palates.
Sixth was Cidre de Pomme, which we didn't really like, paired with Clock Shadow Creamery's Double Cream Colby, which we did.
Next, we were served a sample of Sprecher's 30th anniversary special beer, XII, a Belgian style quad. Only 460 cases were produced and we got to try some of it. We both rated it 4 out of 5.
Our seventh official sample was Magnum PA paired with Saxon Creamery's Snowfield winter milk cheese. We liked the cheese much more than we liked the ale.
Our tasting guide told us that not many people liked this next sample, a Scotch ale. We confidently replied that we would like it because we liked Scotch ales. Not this one though - it was very strange. Marieke's Bacon Gouda earned 4/5 on the Bundlings taste scale though.
Our ninth (well, tenth) sample was Russian Imperial Stout (delish) with Marieke's 12-18 month aged Premium Gouda. Four out of five all around!
At this point, we were making friends with our tasting partners.
These women were great fun and temporarily adopted Debbie as the fourth member of their tribe.
Our tenth official sample was not photographed, but it was a dry hopped beer according to our notes, paired with Sartori Citrus Ginger Bellavitano, neither of which we remember. Our tasting guide joined us for a small sample.
Our final sample was also unofficial -- it was a grape-flavored alcoholic something or other that tasted just like grape Koolaid and was quite tasty. We were given comment cards to give feedback to the brewers as to how we liked it, but at this point, we were too busy talking and toasting each other to write words on paper.
Halfway through the tasting, we had learned that Colleen and Mike were fellow Purdue grads, so we had a great time talking with them. Once we were shooed out of the tasting room for the next tour, we went to the beer hall to sober up with some delicious Sprecher's soda and fun conversation with our new friends.
Eventually, we had to move on, but we'd had so much fun that we were an hour behind schedule and had to pick up our pace. We grabbed some chocolates, root beer mustard, a bottle of blueberry soda, and two Sprecher's sampler cases, completely forgetting to buy a bottle or two of the limited edition honey root beer. Oh well!
We decided to save our trip to Miller Valley for the next day if time permitted, and headed to Pabst Best Place Tavern before they closed.
We did a little souvenir shopping, picking up mostly Pabst Blue Ribbon souvenirs in honor of Tom's dad Bruce, who was a PBR fan before it was hipster cool.
Yeah, all of this should be enough for now: two pint glasses, a PBR bottle opener, a Christmas ornament, and a bar of beer soap.
The Pabst Brewery in Milwaukee is no more, ...
... but Gambrinus, the King of Beers, still reigns over the Blue Ribbon Hall, which was closed to the public because a wedding reception was being held there.
We headed up the street one block, stopping for this perfect photo op. Yes, that's a can of PBR on the truck's side step.
We had dinner at Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub. Does that logo look a little familiar?
Yes, it does, says Debbie, wearing her hipster glasses.
Dinner is served. That is some delicious cottage cheese right there.
There's the iconic Pabst Brewery building again. Gorgeous.

On our way back to the hotel, we passed the Dr. Mittens Lamar sign for the second time. Not only is it hilarious, it is genius marketing for the Lamar outdoor sign company.

Day 3 >


Milwaukee 2016: [Day 1 - Friday] [Day 2 - Saturday] [Day 3 - Sunday] [Day 4 - Monday]

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