The last weekend of February Kevin and I decided to take a little time off (prompted by our babysitter needing a Thursday and Friday off) and go on a mini family vacation. The end of January into February ended up being a more stressful time for us; the hot water heating pipes in our attic crawlspace burst and leaked onto Calvin’s ceiling and down into our basement (fixing it all wasn’t too horrible, luckily), Kevin and I got food poisoning a week after that happened, then two weeks later we all got colds. Combine that with a weekend of Chamber Chorale concerts Feb. 13 and 14 and we were really needing a break from our hectic home life. One of my favorite things about our trip home over the holidays was how road-tripping makes you feel like a little family bubble, working together and being free from all schedules and routines. We wanted that feeling again, so we decided to drive to Milwaukee, WI for a very quick trip.
We left Friday morning around 7:30am, stopped once to let Calvin stretch his legs before his nap, after which he proceeded to sleep for 1.5 hours, and got to Milwaukee around 11am. I even got to take a nap! First thing on our agenda was a quick meal (thank you Qdoba) and then we went to the Milwaukee Public Museum. Kevin had been to Milwaukee 2 years before for a conference, went to the museum all by himself and loved it. He’d been mentioning how fun it would be to go as a family, so we finally did it! His favorite exhibit at the Public Museum highlights cultures from around the world and throughout time. There’s a whole wing of “Old Milwaukee” and an old “European city” that has cobblestone streets, buildings, alleys, stairs and windows that give you a glimpse of a room styled in unique ways. It’s really adorable. Less adorable were the HOARDS of school age kids there for field trip day. Honestly, it was jam packed with kids, which made it a little harder for us to enjoy the museum with our stroller and active baby. Kevin and I don’t love crowds, so we ended up only staying about an hour and a half before deciding to move on.
We decided to drive north of downtown and stopped at a park on the shores of Lake Michigan. It was a sunny semi cold day (around 33 degrees) and we decided to walk along the lake while Calvin slept on me in our Ergo. It was peaceful and lovely to be outside, even if it was windy and chilly!
He woke up a little before 3 and we decided to head to our hotel, Hotel Metro Milwaukee. We decided to splurge a little bit and get a suite at an eco-friendly boutique hotel. Our room was the most basic suite, but it was lovely, had fancy Aveda products and felt more exciting than standard chain hotel rooms. It was conveniently located near lots of restaurants, so after exploring the hotel a bit, we went to a nearby Irish pub to get some Reuben sandwiches we had been craving. We got plenty of looks from the happy hour crowd at the pub when we came in wearing a baby, Calvin behaved himself for the most part and didn’t get too fussy. We scarfed down our deliciously greasy food though and headed back out to walk along the riverwalk area and see more of downtown. We got back to our hotel by 6:30 or so, gave Calvin a bath and got him down for bed. The two of us kicked back and watched Spectre (the new Bond movie) in peace and quiet. Calvin gave us the gift of being awake from 3:30am-6am. He seemed to be struggling with some gas pain (too much yogurt before bedtime?). Finally he fell back asleep and we slept in til 7:40am, which is later than I’ve slept in a long time!
We purposely tried not to plan much for Saturday. We had a few museums we could go to, but decided to start the day by walking around the city. We grabbed some bagels at a nearby bagel shop and headed towards the lake. We passed the Children’s Museum, a good option, but would Calvin enjoy it? We made it to the lakeside and saw the very cool art museum and the funky looking Discovery World next door. When we checked it out inside we realized WE would enjoy the science and technology exhibits it had, including an aquarium and decided to pay the slightly high rates to get in.
It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed our 2.5 hours exploring the interactive exhibits. They had a full size replica of a Great Lakes schooner that Calvin especially loved.
After we finished there we walked along the lake then headed back to our car, parked in an overnight garage near our hotel. On the way we tried to eat a Dogg Haus restaurant (a hot dog chain restaurant recommended to us), but they were all closed! Luckily we happened upon Real Chili, a very unique hole in the wall diner that offered, you guessed it, real chili that you could add spaghetti, beans, cheese and a variety of other toppings to. We went for two chili cheese dogs and tried to ignore the grease dripping through the buns onto our fingers. They were delicious! The drive home was fairly uneventful, Calvin and I napped a bit and we got groceries before landing at home around 5:30pm. I made us some spinach salads to help with the unhealthy eating of our vacation and we got Calvin to bed early.
It was so wonderful to get away and so nice to still have a Sunday to spend at home together! There is something so magical about getting out of your home neighborhood and seeing something new as a family. We immediately started planning our next trips! Hopefully one of them will allow us to see some of our dear family and friends!