Muse by David Teitsma

My attempt to understand and be understood.

5.27.2007

Milwaukee -- Day 1

This holiday weekend I have the opportunity to explore Milwaukee. To make this more interesting I am packing light and taking my bike. What drew me hear is the proximity to GR and this city is the home to my employer. From what I have read, Milwaukee is bike-friendly and encourage in many places

Even though Milwaukee is a long drive, I got here in only several hours via the Lake Express ferry. For just over a hundred dollars, we crossed great a very glass-like calm Lake Michigan.
The service and accommodation's of the Lake Express are impressive. The process was smooth allowing us to actually leave early. The boat was spotlessly clean and run smoothly. The seats were comfy, and there was a in-ride movie, however it was only on a tiny screen that was 20 feet away. I could have changed seats for a better view. The boat arrives several miles south of downtown, so after debarking I rode up some quiet rodes to my hotel.

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My initial impression of the city is how quiet it is. Streets are empty. I found the huge green Veteran's Park that is nestled between the skyscrapers and Lake Michigan. After a few wrong turns I arrived at my hotel, the Comfort Inn and Suites Downtown. While preparing the night before, I could only find negative evaluations of my hotel, which slightly discouraged me. Upon arriving, I felt the critiques of poor staff and inadequate rooms were not true. My lake view room has a great view of the lake and the beautiful Milwaukee Art Museum. The decor and amenities are up to date. Also, while hotel rooms are important, I intend to spend as little time in them as possible. One great benefit, is the free WiFi that I have enjoyed using!

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After a brief nap (only a couple hours or so...) I went out seeking some nourishment and a map to the Oak Leaf Trail at the visitor center. At the visitor center located in Discovery World, the attendent tried to help but didn't even know what the Oak Leaf Trail was! I guess this bike friendly town isn't as much of a place to bike as I thought. After that disappointed and no map, I needed some grub. Heading down to Rock Bottom, I passed Mo's on the way. While both were recommend by a coworker, a little Italian food from Mo's sounded better than the classic American at Rock Bottom. While a little early for the dinner crowd I got the window table. This isn't what you think. It is actually was one of two tables higher than the rest that are right up to the windows that every one walks past. While slightly unerving at first, I quickly became used to it. After some great tasting cannoloni's and a local beer likenburger sweet honey ale, I went back to the hotel to relax.

While ready to explore, it seems most places I would like to go close at 5. While the cannoloni's tasted great they were not very filling. Desiring to try-out more restaurants, I picked up a stromboli at Louise's and brought it back to my room. While not what I expected, it was great! Filled with several types of cheese and a perfect crust I was satisfied. Not only did I get the stromboli, but it came with bread. This breadstick like bread was covered in seasoning and the occassional onion. It was great!

After eating, I was tired and ready for bed, so I watched a little tv, thought about reading and dozed of to sleep.

I did see the Northwestern Mutual buildings while walking to dinner. There are two building an old columned building and newer typical plain looking office building. Both positioned close to the lake and in the heart of downtown. It was great to see them. But it was not what I expected, as I thought there would be four or five buildings. Also, there wasn't anything modern or significant to them, it kinda goes along with the company's traditional style.