The Almost Travel Blogger Tours Wisconsin: Milwaukee


Yes, it will be sad when the Lake Michigan lake monster gets you, but here are some ways to spend time before it does…

Wisconsin tends to have a reputation among those who don’t live here, and sometimes among those who do, of being a flyover state. That’s there’s not a ton to do. And the fact is, on the face of things, it’s not necessarily wrong.

When I moved here just over four years ago, everyone was trying to “sell” me on Wisconsin.

“Oh, you’re going to love it. There’s the farmers’ market and concerts on the square.”

“Has anyone told you about the concerts on the square? Or the cheesy bread at the farmer’s market?”

“We have this big farmers’ market! And concerts. They’re on the square.”

“I mean, you’re going to go to the farmers’ market, right? And the concerts on the square? Right? You’re going to go?”

Guys. That’s only two things. That’s not that many things.

And do they count as two when they’re both on the same square? What happens when you leave the square? Political discourse? Quiet reflection on the changing nature of time as you get older? Everyone eats cheese in silence?

Needless to say, I wasn’t convinced. And also I was pretty insufferable to be around, but that hasn’t changed.

It was about a year later that I was sitting on a flight to New York, listening to a young woman in the seat behind me complain about how boring Wisconsin was, and how she couldn’t wait to be back in the city after spending two weeks here.

She “literally” couldn’t wait, which must have been a real bummer considering we were stuck on the runway for two hours because of air traffic in Chicago, our connecting city. That’s really bad timing for literally being unable to wait.

It made me angry. Not because I hadn’t said similar things, because I had. But because I could tell she hadn’t tried. And because she was talking loudly enough that the whole plane could hear, but mostly because she hadn’t tried.

And really, there are things to do in Wisconsin if you’re willing to dig. And only most of them are on squares!

Continue reading

Totes My [Yule] Goats: The Almost Travel Gets Weird About a Goat

Sometimes life gets tiring.

Your job is getting you down. It’s cold outside. The bills are due. You have a hangnail. The president is a jackhammer to democracy, a danger to the nation, and sandpaper to the senses. Also your car needs new tires.

See? Tiring!

Everyday I’m reading about something in the news that makes me want to pull my hair out. And then I go on social media and read people’s responses that make me want to pull my hair out. (Lesson I can’t ever seem to learn: never ever read the comments!) I don’t have a ton of hair left, guys.

Scrolling through Instagram, the current social networking platform that doesn’t send me into a fit of rage as it’s mostly full of artistically filtered pictures of people’s Christmas trees and carefully plated food (my pictures included), I came across this picture courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Continue reading

When the World is Your Oyster: The Almost Travel Blogger Ends Up With Legroom

There’s something about the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Still feeling the lethargy that only eating 17 pounds of casserole can produce, but having to muster the energy to go to work tomorrow and make it look like you’re super into catching up on your work emails.

Is it ok to post a sign on my office door that just says, “Be cool, guys. Go away”? Or “you can only knock on this door if you brought me a casserole”?

While I’m doing a decent job catching up on my laundry, and I bought actual vegetables to make a not-casserole for dinner, I spent most of yesterday napping and have only worn pants that stretch since I flew back to Wisconsin from my home in North Carolina yesterday morning.


Getting back to life, back to reality, is a pretty rude awakening, but luckily, my attempt to save a couple dollars on plane tickets by flying back on a Saturday softened the blow. You see, I had a whole row to myself.




The traditional “I have the whole row to myself” stance.


Let’s be clear. That never happens. Ever. Never ever.

Will I get a seat next to a man who insists on storing his backpack in my foot space so he can put his legs where his bag would have been? Yes.

Will I get a seat next to a woman who repeatedly jabs me with her elbow as she excitedly plays her iPad games? Also, yes.

Continue reading

The World According to Sound

Lately I’ve been trying to have a life outside of work, my apartment, and the occasional meal with friends where we talk about work and our apartments. I’ve been taking classes, scoping out speakers. I went to a scary story slam, and I was on a trivia team that came all the way in third. Basically I’m a very exciting person. I’ve studied history, and I’m 80 percent sure this is what a renaissance is.

And sometimes when you’re renaissance-ing, you take the wins where you can get them. Not wearing pajamas by 6:00 because you’re doing a free thing that isn’t perusing promotional potato chip flavors at the grocery store counts as a victory.

That was the thought behind last night. That was the thought that took me to a music studio at a local college to sit blindfolded for an hour and a half while two perfectly coiffed gentlemen make noises at me.

What did you guys do last night?

It was a live version of the podcast “The World According to Sound.” Each 90 second episode features a sound. Perfectly articulated, haunting, funny, surprising, sounds. And that was basically how the live show was advertised. “Come listen to sounds! Also, you’ll be blindfolded and the lights will be turned off!”

Continue reading

The Almost-Travel-Blogger Goes on an Almost-Vacation

I’ve never quite come to terms with the calculus of adulthood.

Guys, why do I have to load the dishwasher, run the dishwasher, unload the dishwasher, and then repeat when I have more dirty dishes? Forever? Side note, guys, did you know cooking for yourself involves a lot of dirty dishes?

Team, I get it. 401Ks. It’s important to plan ahead for retirement, but also…what if I didn’t? What if I kept that money, and really fleshed out my colorful scarf collection? And then bought myself a burrito? Or even just a new set of tires? That seems fair. (If you are reading this, and you are my father, don’t worry. I still contribute to my 401K, and only pout a lot of the time about not having more colorful scarves and a shrimp burrito.)

And HEY! Student loan stink-nerds! I’m talking to you! Do you know how many vacations I could take if you guys would just chillax about payments for a minute??! Answer: a lot of vacations.

Obviously these are the words of someone who is either profoundly lazy, or aggressively spoiled. Or both! I can multitask! I know I have it pretty great, and I promise guys, I’m fine. But that doesn’t mean “the usual” doesn’t get old.

Continue reading

Chipmunk-Treachery: Battling Invaders in Your Garden

Some things you should know about me.

I am a person with a hat. Trust me, it’s a big deal.

Today I found a surprise stash of crazy straws when I was cleaning my apartment! My beverage game is unmatched right now.

And I have a garden that I talk about a lot.

…Oh my gosh! I’m so glad you asked! You see, my garden is going through something.

I seem to have unintentionally crafted a nature preserve on my 8 foot by 5 foot patio patch of cement.

Real things the neighbors get to hear:

  • “I only want the best for both of us!”- I yelled at a bee. To my credit, the bee was getting all up in my business.
  • “BIRDS! THERE ARE OTHER PATIOS!”- I yelled at a pair of birds who were either getting amorous or discussing the new Game of Thrones trailer on my patio as I was trying to eat breakfast.
  • “Nobody wants you here, cat!” – I yelled at a cat who was trying to climb on my patio.

Continue reading

Milwaukee Chronicles Part 2: I am a person with a hat.

Hey team. Welcome back.

It’s been awhile! Unfortunately the job that pays me takes precedence over the blog that doesn’t, but I’ve missed you guys.

Some news! And before we go any farther, let me say, this is going to be a very important blog post. This is basically breaking news.

I am now a person who owns a hat!

Milwaukee is home to local millineries, the Hen House and Brass Rooster, two connected shops that make hats for women and men respectively. After two years of perusing the hats as a curious shopper, thinking they were too expensive for that particular trip, snapping a picture for Instagram, and running out the door, on my recent birthday extravaganza, I decided it was time to make a purchase.


Continue reading