Travelogue: Milwaukee

April 2022
Where We Stayed: St. Kate Arts Hotel

We spent the cold, snowy, windy first weekend of April in Milwaukee to see Elton John! The tickets were purchased way back in 2019 for a 2020 show — and then, you know, 2020 happened. The show was reschedule and was finally upon us!

Mike and I both went to law school in Milwaukee (though not at the same time), so it was nice to get to spend a weekend there with each other. We had an extremely mediocre brunch at Cafe Benelux (which was disappointing because I used to love that place so much!).  I ordered brandy old fashioned sour and they gave me a glass of grapefruit juice that allegedly had brandy in it. It was so, so bad!  The food wasn’t great either.  Not a super cool way to start off the weekend, but luckily things improved.

We visited the Harley Davidson Museum because Mike had never been. I tell people who visit Milwaukee: GO SEE THIS MUSEUM. Even if you don’t at all care about motorcycles (raises hand, hello, that’s me, too!). It’s a visually interesting space and I guarantee you’ll find something interesting about the museum. Give it a shot!

After the motorcycles, we went to the Milwaukee Art Museum. A nice family gave us their admission tickets — how sweet, right?! We spent about a half hour there. I mainly wanted to visit the super cool lobby (if you’ve been around long enough you know that I’m not a big art museum fan).

As we were leaving the museum, I had my rainbow umbrella out cause it was rain-snowing. A photographer stopped me and asked if he could take my picture – loved the rainbow umbrella contrasting with the snow. I said yes, of course, and it was so fun! He sent me the photo and it was such a random, cool encounter.

We then made our way to the St. Kate hotel to check in.  It used to be the Intercontinental.  It’s been revamped with an arts theme — I enjoyed it! Reasonable prices and a fun atmosphere. Each room has a record player — and our room happened to have Peter Gabriel’s “So”, which includes one of my favorite songs, “Sledgehammer.” Another sign that the day was improving!

I had to cleanse my palette and find a real Wisconsin old fashioned — so we headed out to the Deer District and stopped at Drink Wisconsinbly. Ahhh, yes, a good old fashioned was found and they even had a brandy slush machine. After our drinks, we walked over the Mader’s for more drinks and a giant pretzel.  As you do in Milwaukee, right?

Up next was dinner at Cubanita’s. It was so good! It was one of Mike’s favorite restaurants when he lived in Milwaukee, so he wanted to return — and it was just as good as he remembered.  With our bellies full of Cuban food, we walked to the Fiserv Forum for the show.

Elton John, man. He’s still got it. I LOVED the show. I sang, I danced, I CRIED. Parts were surprisingly emotional because of the songs — and because we all knew this was his farewell tour and the last time he’d be playing Wisconsin. It was such a fun show and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to see him live.  I also loved seeing everyone who got dressed up for the occasion — sequined jackets, oversized sunglasses, feather boas, etc — it was such a joyful atmosphere.  My favorite Elton songs include Rocket Man, Philadelphia Freedom, Levon, Your Song, and Goodbye Yellowbrick Road (*TEARS*).

We also visited the Milwaukee Public Market!
Look at that terrible “old fashioned” – omg, right?
Such lovely spring weather we had.
All bundled up and ready for some vroom vroom motorcycles!
Gas tanks.
That motorcycle crossed an ocean and somehow survived!
The futuristic lobby of the Milwaukee Art Museum
I was a little grumps about the weather.
Our room at the St. Kate
The soap in the bathroom was in the shape of an eraser – cute, huh?
The view from our room. The building with the curved roof is the Fiserv Forum, where Elton played.
Milwaukee is full of German influence.
This old fashioned was the winner – so good!
Sunglasses next to it for scale.
I love love love plantain chips.
I will always find the rainbows.
My dream car finish!
Time for Elton!
A blurry photo of us in a bar after the show. She’s got electric boots, a mohair suit…