Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Weekend in Milwaukee

Hanging in the Third Ward.
The rooftop at Cafe Benelux.

Bloody Marys taste better in Milwaukee.

Jillian and Derek's wedding at the Milwaukee Historical Society. Jon Ryan looks pretty handsome!

 9/10 of the YABs with the beautiful bride - just missing Monica!

 The happy couple.

After graduating from IU (the first time) in 2010, I moved to Milwaukee, WI to work in the buying office for a chain of department stores. And while I was definitely feeling the FOMO at first for not moving to Chicago with the rest of the IU graduating class, I have to tell you, I ended up having the TIME of my LIFE. Not only was I enjoying sufficient personal space in the apartment that I shared with ONE other girl (a foreign concept, having lived in a 105-girl sorority for the previous 3 years), but I relished in the fact that I had a steady (yet measly) income and could afford a beautiful apartment on the river and, if I was lucky, a mani/pedi a few times a month.

On top of all that, I met my YABs. The story of the "YABs" started on our second-annual girl's trip. We headed to Florida, and after a long day of laying by the pool, all 10 of us went out for a nice dinner. During our meal a man came up to us and asked "who's getting married?!" to which we ALL enthusiastically replied "NO ONE!" His surprised response was "well then, what are you celebrating?" - without even thinking someone yelled "being young and beautiful!" And that was that. These girls are my best friends, my soul mates, my crying shoulder and my belly-ache laugh - they are my YABs and any time I get to see them is a big deal. It happens to be an even bigger deal when the reason for the reunion really is because someone is finally getting married. 

I had a wonderful time celebrating Jillian and Derek this weekend - I was lucky enough to see their love grow from the beginning, and because of that, the wedding meant so much to me. I have never witnessed a more touching, beautiful, sweet ceremony (at one point, my boyfriend had to nudge me to stop sniffling because I was crying so much). I had a blast hanging out with my best friends all weekend as well: visiting all of our favorite restaurants and bopping around the city that will always be my home. While I know that leaving Milwaukee to pursue my MBA was the best choice for me in the long run, I never leave the city without a tinge of sadness that I don't get to see my girls every day anymore. Never have I ever had a group of 10 women who get along so well -- women who support each other and love each other and are genuinely happy for either other's good fortune. My mom always affectionately reminds me how lucky I am to have met these girls and how rare it is to find such an easy, low-drama group of 10. 

If you have been following my blog, you will know that there have been a ton of changes for me over the past year-and-a-half and that a few of those changes were a liiiiiitle rough. There were times when I would call my mom crying, telling her I never should have left Milwaukee and the life that I loved there. And then my mom, being the wise woman that she is, would remind me that all of the YABs are moving on as well and that all I can do is be grateful for the time that we had together. She is right (as she frequently is). I am happy for my beautiful friends and for the lives that they are going on to lead. I am excited to celebrate more weddings, birthdays, reunions, and (eventually) baby showers. I am happy because I know that no matter where we all are in our lives, we will always be ecstatic to reunite, drink a summer shandy, and belt out some Celine Dion. And I know that will never change.

Now, if you have never been to Milwaukee, I HIGHLY recommend it. It is such a fun, easy-going city. Plus, there are so many great lake towns and resorts nearby that you could take a few extra days and make a long weekend out of it. It's a perfect Midwestern mini-vacay. My 7 favorite things to do in Milwaukee? It's hard to choose, but here they are:

1.Visit the Third Ward: This cute area of the city boasts tons of shops and restaurants. Pictures 2 and 3 above are from one of my favorite restaurants, Cafe Benelux. Check out the rooftop, enjoy a Bloody Mary here or at the Wicked Hop, and bop over to the Milwaukee Public Market.
2.Check out Lakefront Brewery: Milwaukee is home to many breweries, both large and small, and Lakefront is one of my faves. The tour is short and sweet, and funny.
3. Elsa's on the Park: the trendiest burger joint you ever did see. Order the "just broccoli" and a dirty martini.
4. Drive the Lakefront: Beautiful views of Lake Michigan, the Calatrava, gorgeous homes, and Bradford Beach
5. Head up during Summerfest, Bastille Days, or one of the other amazing festivals.
6. Stay at the Iron Horse hotel: a boutique hotel with an amazing bar and (dog-friendly) patio. I personally have never stayed as a guest, but love the rustic decor and the food is amazing.
7.  Finally, attend a Brewer's Game: The BF will kill me for including this (we're Reds fans), but I will always have a tiny (teeny tiny) soft spot for the Brewers. Where else do you tailgate before a baseball game?! 

Wearing // picture 1 -- dress: Gap // bag: Old Navy // shoes: Sam Edelman // jewelry: Michele, Alex & Ani // sunglasses: Ray Ban
picture 4 -- dress: Rebecca Taylor // shoes: French Connection // bracelet: J.Crew


  1. I luv my morning read of S&S! Even more, I luv you Abs! Miss you already (insert multiple tears) XO -em

  2. Love your white dress. Super chic.
    I'd love to hear your thoughts about my latest post... http://www.fashboulevard.com/


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