A Birthday (Trip to Milwaukee)

Today is A.P.'s 32nd birthday. As I told him last week, there's no turning back. He's officially in his thirties. To celebrate his birthday, I surprised him with an overnight trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I made a fake travel brochure for him outlining all the things we would do while we were there. I made arrangements for my nephew to stay at our place and watch the animals. And then I lied. I lied my ass off all week and made him think that we were doing something Saturday and then something else on Sunday. This way he didn't make any plans, but he didn't know we were going out of town. I was worried though that we might have had to cancel since it snowed about five inches the night before. I decided, though, that weather, in this area anyway, is always going to be an issue. So I bit the bullet and decided we'd just go. Saturday, I packed a bag with clothes and told him we needed "supplies" for our "activity." It was pretty funny. Then when we got in the car, I gave him the brochure. He told me he better run upstairs and pack some clothes and I told him everything had been taken care of. I revealed the house sitter, the game plan, and then we were off!

Milwaukee is only about an hour and a half away from Chicago, so the drive goes by pretty quickly. Before know it, you're in another state and then another city with another view of the lake. I've been to Milwaukee a few times before, but not for a while and not enough to know what's cool or where to go, so it was a lot of fun to plan the trip.

We started out at the art museum, which is located right on the lakefront and is housed in the beautiful Quadracci Pavillion. Surprisingly, the museum houses some amazing works of art, including one of my favorites (the Josef Albers Homage to the Square - Early Rising seen below)

From there, we checked into our ultra-modern hotel room at Aloft Milwaukee Downtown. We checked out the room and rested up a bit.

Then, we took a short walk from our hotel on the River Walkway and headed to the one rad place I remember from my last visit: The Safe House. The Safe House is a spy bar and to get in, you have to know the secret password. And guess what? I didn't know it! I thought I did, but I didn't. No worries, though, if you don't know the password, they just make you do silly stuff, which the whole bar watches on a closed-circuit TV. We had to do one of those Russian-style high kick dance moves and go, "Hey!" at the end. Once inside, you find a bar and restaurant covered in spy paraphernalia and collectibles. It's so awesome. A.P. and I were lucky enough to sit in a little private room. There, we had a drink and took in the atmosphere. We even took some nice shots together using my Gorilla Pod (one of my kickass photography Christmas gifts). I also snuck into the women's bathroom, which has what looks like a stall but is actually a viewing area with a two-way glass. You can see people walking around outside, but they can't see you at all. So rad!

(View from inside the two way mirror room)

After The Safe House, we headed to The Rumpus Room, a gastropub in downtown Milwaukee. The food was delicious and according to A.P., so was the beer. Since we had plans to see a movie after and I was driving, I had the root beer, which was also delicious.

After dinner, we headed to Wauwatosa to the Rosebud Cinema to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Formerly the Tosa Theater, the Rosebud now offers super comfy seating in the form of various reclining chairs and love seats and sofas. It's awesome. It was like watching a movie on a huge screen from your living room. We curled up and enjoyed the late show. So fun!

The next day, we slept in and then headed down to the famous Brady Street for brunch at Balzac, a little French wine bar. Brunch was delicious! And after, walked around a bit. It was so fun, albeit a bit cold and rainy. We had plans to go to a lighthouse, but the weather wasn't cooperating, so after, we just headed home.

(Like my tilt-shift? I've been working on this a little lately in Photoshop. More on that later!)
It was such a fun little getaway and so very needed. We decided we're going to try to do some more mini-trips this year. They're a fun way to get away, but they don't cost a lot. And since we can't take a real, long vacation until the spring, it's nice to be able to still get out of town. Thanks for letting me share my photos with you! And please join me in wishing my wonderful husband a very, happy birthday!

(Photos by me!)


  1. Looks like a very nice trip, and you're looking very good on those pics! (if you tell me it's makeup and you look awful underneath, I'll be as proud of you LOL)

  2. May I just say - I loooove that you're the kind of people who strike silly poses in front of art. The *only* way to do museums imho . . .

  3. You look so purty and happy! Glad you had a good time. The Wisconsin sign made me homesick.


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