Madison & Milwaukee, WI

May 27-28, 2018

Steven and I love taking weekend trips. We haven't taken as many this year given Steven no longer travels every week as a consultant and we don't have all the miles and points anymore. However, we have kept a lookout for places we can easily drive to from Chicago, and Madison/Milwaukee felt like the perfect combination!

My sister, Beth, has her birthday on May 30, so I offered for her to come join us over the Memorial Day weekend for our weekend extravaganza! She recruited her friend, Silvia (who was also our long-time family friend and wedding planner) to join in on the fun and drove over the morning after her nursing night shift. 

Thanks to Steven, we stayed at the lovely and centrally located AC Hotel Marriott in Madison. The sun beat down that warm weekend. Right after arriving in Madison, we strolled along the State Capitol building. Bucky Badger (mascot for UW) had quite a few cameos that we made cheesy poses with ;) We stumbled into the Red Elephant Chocolate Cafe, which Steven and I have also been to in Milwaukee! It's local to Wisconsin and it just happened to be their final day in business at that location! Every chair, table, and light fixture was on sale and it definitely felt like a moving sale. 

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We walked along State St. and couldn't go to a lot of the recommended sights because they closed early and it was a Sunday. So sad.

No worries, as we discovered our own amazing little spots like Taiwan Little Eats! We are obviously huge fans of Taiwanese food being from Taiwan and had awesome popcorn chicken and milk tea. Stamp of approval :)

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The city actually felt really empty that weekend. The combination of college having wrapped up for the summer and it being Sunday probably contributed to that. And then...we arrived at the UW Madison Memorial Union Terrace.

Summer crowds filled every colorful chair overlooking the beautiful Lake Mendota. There's a fun ice cream place called the Daily Scoop and we had photoshoots on the oversized high chairs. So beautiful!

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In the evening, we had dinner at The Old Fashioned. It. was. so. good. We started off with a cheese curds appetizer, which tasted like life. Have I mentioned that cheese is my pregnancy craving? Give me all the cheese curds, macaroni & cheese, and pizza.

It was Beth, Steven, and Silvia's first time indulging in this delight and they all loved them. We had burgers and salads for entrees before calling it a night in the hotel and watching New Girl for the first time!. 


On Memorial Day morning, we decided we had seen enough of Madison and journeyed to Milwaukee instead! I will always have such a fondness and appreciation for the city after interning there.

For brunch, we ate on the rooftop of Cafe Benelux in the trendy Third Ward neighborhood. I've always loved this place and it was bumping during the early hours! We window shopped at Warby Parker and Anthropologie before heading to the Wisconsin Cheese Mart and walking along the riverwalk.

Milwaukee treated us today. As we walked along McKinley Marina, the official Milwaukee Memorial Day parade stomped by! They handed us American flags as we celebrated the day together. 

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Before finishing up our day with some dessert, we stopped by Ian's Pizza for a slice of their macaroni & cheese pizza and took hipster photos in the Black Cat Alley.

When we're in Milwaukee, we always make a stop at Kopp's Frozen Custard. It's simply the best and rotate 2-3 flavors per day. However, we'd also heard legends of Leon's Frozen Custard and decided to give this one a shot.

It is unbelievably cheap and it's so old-fashioned in the most charming way. They messed up our order, so we ended up getting 2 cups of ice cream for the price of one, score!!

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All in all, such a fun trip to take and get away from our busy lives in Chicago. Loved spending time with Beth & Silvia - family time is always hard to come by now and it felt really sweet to have a whole weekend together.