Sunday in Milwaukee

Wed, 23 Apr 2008 01:21:21 +0000

Milwaukee Index A Day of Travel

That was without doubt the best night's sleep of the trip so far. A real shower and a real bed in a quiet room. Amazing. It may never get that good again, so I'm savouring it while I can. Not to mention Jenice cooking up pancakes for breakfast, which is verging on the decadent. Here's me and Fawkes, part of the Godley menagerie:

Andrew and I went down to the lake so I could add to my collection of Photographs of Great Bodies of Water of the World, and also because it was a beautiful sunny day, probably the first of Spring in Milwaukee. The lakeside seems to be very nicely done up, making me wonder if Milwaukee is on the same yuppification trajectory as Perth. But it's possible that I'm just comparing Lake Michigan to Lake Titicaca, which is not entirely fair.

There were some pretty spectacular kites being flown down by the lake, although oddly not very many people. The only populated part seemed to be the coffee shop. People need to get out and enjoy the sunshine more. Certainly Andrew and I did, to the point of getting a dose of sunburn.

After picking up Jenice from church (they had a book sale going on, where I was tempted by a history of Europe that would have cost me 50c and the gigantic memoirs of Kruschev which were going for a dollar - but alas, I just don't have room), we went to an Indian restaurant for lunch. I'm avoiding "foreign" restaurants on the grounds that I'm visiting most of those countries anyway, but India isn't on the itinerary, so that works. And the food was excellent. I'm terrible at buffets: I'm never able to take small portions so I can try everything. But I stuffed myself with a fair selection. The masala tea was particularly good, and might even divert me from my strict PG tips diet in future.

When we returned home it was time to brush the cobwebs off my guitar-playing skills. I spent a good fifteen minutes doing my best Oliver North impression: "I have no recollection of that, sir". But after a bit, the memories started to wake from their long slumber. Somehow I managed to at least put together the skeletons of the solos for Fade to Black, Unforgiven, Nothing Else Matters, Enter Sandman, and even some of Tornado of Souls. If you'd asked me a week ago, I probably wouldn't have even remembered the names of those songs. Maybe it was the margeritas (again, thanks Jenice!)

Andrew, bless him, strongly feels that I should be exposed to as wide a variety of life experiences as possible, which is why we spent the late afternoon watching ultimate fighting on TV. Certainly something I wouldn't have been doing if merely left to my own devices. But as I said to the suggestion: "I can sit through anything". It is very violent, and there was a great deal of blood. I certainly want to know how the doctors who are on hand square it with their professional associations. But most of the fighters are clearly more athletic than their boxing counterparts, so it's not just a question of big lumps of meat slapping each other. They are also much, much more polite and friendly with each other than anything in the boxing world, despite the desperate goading of the interviewers. This goes a long way towards gaining my respect for the sport.

For dinner I had to have something typically Milwaukean (other than beer), which meant going to "Milwaukee's oldest frozen custard stand". What exactly sets frozen custard apart from ice cream was a subject of some discussion: probably the inclusion of egg. They also do hamburgers, so I got a bacon cheeseburger with onion rings. It's been a while since I've had a proper fast food hamburger like that, especially of that size. The bacon did add something to the experience. The frozen custard, "mississipi mud pie" flavour, was good, although I'm not sure the egg, if that's what it is, makes all that much difference.

All in all, Milwaukee was a good reminder of how weekends are supposed to be, rather than spending them hunched over a computer as I have done for the last four or five years.

Milwaukee Index A Day of Travel