I never expected to end up in Milwaukee, let alone while my husband and kids were all the way back in Canada. I’m so used to being with my family 24/7. Travelling long-term with your kids means very little alone time. Most of the time I’m cool with that but every now and then I do feel like I could just lock myself in a hotel room for a few days.
Every mother deserves a little “mom break” from time to time. Whether it be to relax, to visit friends or to do something that fuels their passions. I decided to combine all three and join a group of bloggers in Milwaukee for Bloghouse, a long weekend of learning from top bloggers and touring the city to learn what makes it great.
The professional development time was great. I wouldn’t call 14 hour days “relaxing” but being physically away from my kids meant I could mentally decompress from being a mom. Thinking about only myself and my blog for just a few days was reinvigorating.
Blogging aside, Milwaukee set the scene for a fabulous weekend of food and fun. There is so much good stuff going on in Milwaukee and, as someone who always travels with kids, it was nice to get out and do some adult activities. This is a city that is serious about it’s beer!
Here’s what I did on my “mom break” in Milwaukee:
Checked into The Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
Every mother could do with a little bit extra sleep! This is your chance to get it. There are three essentials for a “mom break” hotel room – blackout curtains, a huge bed and lots of pillows. My room at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino checked all three boxes and I couldn’t have been happier to have a quiet, comfy space to decompress at the end of each day.
I admit I spent a little time enjoy the casino floor with friends on the first night. I may have even got lucky on one of the slot machines! The restaurants on site were great. I had lunch at Rumi and Locavore and an excellent chai latte from Stone Creek Coffee. Being able to enjoy a meal or drink alone, without having to assist anyone else or have anyone touching me was bliss! I would have loved a trip to the spa if I hadn’t been busy every day and evening.
Toured the Harley-Davidson Museum
I’m not a biker girl so I was skeptical about visiting the Harley-Davidson Museum but I heard great things about it before visiting and it certainly was one of the highlights of my weekend. A striking space, the Harley-Davidson Museum is beautifully laid out and will capture even the non-bike enthusiasts with it’s stories of the history of Harley-Davidson Motor Company, examples of bikes dating as far back as the early 1900s and stories of how these bikes shaped history. There is a very powerful and moving exhibit on a Harley-Davidson motorbike that washed up on the shores on British Columbia from Japan after the devastating tsunami in 2011.
Ate My Way Around the City
Milwaukee is a foodie city! I wish I’d brought stretchy pants. Seriously. Stick with leggings when you visit Milwaukee. I ate a lot! And the city’s German roots make the food less than forgiving on the waistline!
I spent my an evening on a “Bikes, Brews and Brats” tour from Milwaukee Food & City Tours which encompassed the Harley Museum, a trip to the Wisconsin Cheese Mart and a tour of the Lakefront Brewery (more on that later).
Wisconsin is all about the cheese, don’t ya know? Wisconsin has long been the largest cheese producing state in the USA and they really know what they’re doing. I sampled some great cheeses on the tour – blue, cheddar & mind-blowing garlic, almost always served along side honey and cranberries, another of Wisconsin’s most famous exports.
The Wisconsin Cheese Mart is also has a bar onsite with dozens of local brews on tap. A friendly local drinking at the bar asked me what kind of beer I liked and suggested I have a Left Hand Milk Stout which was dark, creamy and poured over Nitrogen making it incredibly smooth. Gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and brats were on hand to soak up the alcohol.
Can we talk about deep-fried cheese curds a minute? No visit to Milwaukee would be complete without this decadent little snack. I made sure to sample them at a few different places to get a really good idea of what they taste like, and boy, do they taste good! Squeaky white curls of cheese are lightly crumbed and then deep fried to perfection. Best served along side a beer, of course.
Another great place I ate on my trip to Milwaukee was the Milwaukee Public Market. With fresh and prepared foods on offer, I enjoyed a stroll around and picked up some gifts for the family back in Canada. I wouldn’t dare take a mom break and return empty handed! I procured some incredible balsamic vinegars and olive oils for Lee and handmade chocolates for the kids. St Paul’s Fish is the place to go in the market for lunch and I had a killer sandwich stuffed with salmon, bacon and spinach. A winning combination.
Went Behind the Scenes at The Lakefront Brewery
Hands down the funnest part of my trip to Milwaukee was the tour of The Lakefront Brewery. I would never have thought I could laugh so damn hard on a brewery tour but our tour guide was incredible. It was more like going to a stand up comedy show than on a guided tour. Not only did I spend a hilarious hour learning about the brewing process, I also got to taste some of the great brews they create at Lakefront including the New Grist gluten free beer, the hard-hitting 9% Kyle and the classic Riverwest Stein. I’m not usually a beer drinker but these are really good brews.
Whilst I never would have thought to visit Milwaukee before, the city totally surprised me with it’s great food, history and cool vibe. I encourage you to get a group of friends together and meet from a mom break in Milwaukee! You deserve it.
Learn more about BlogHouse or any of the sponsors of the BlogHouse event:
- Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
- Visit Milwaukee
- Travel Wisconsin
- The Bartolotta Restaurants