About once a year we go to Milwaukee. Usually it’s to see the Minnesota Twins play the curious brand of baseball they have in Wisconsin, which is played on a substance called “grass” in a curiosity known as “an open roof stadium,” which means there’s sky up above and sun and clouds and no teflon. Schedules didn’t permit that this year, but our friends were getting married this weekend and we made the trip.

A rainy day in Wisconsin

It was raining as we set out, and continued to rain, and was very wet and miserable and occasionally nightmarishly dreadful. Torii sulked in the back while we took brief refuge at a 50s-themed diner on the road. Now, when I was a kid, these independent theme diners lined the highways of America. It’s nice to see a few are still around.

Stone Camel at outside of Shriner\'s Building

Torii made a friend at the Shriner’s building near the B&B where we stayed. They had a series of stare-down contests; Torii won the best of seven series.

Milwaukee Art Museum

We had a hard time convincing Torii that this museum wasn’t a really big, killable, eatable bird. Even when we took him inside and showed him the art work. He’s convinced his brother and sisters now that the bird just ate him first, but he survived.

Duck Pond

And there our troubles just began. When Torii saw the more reasonable, catchable-sized fowl in the duck pond, well, we just had to go out in the pedal-boat to save him from some his own big appetite. I think he’s learned what I already knew: geese are mean!

Solly\'s famous buttery hamburger Alterra Coffee Shop

Whew! After all that misadventure, we needed to re-energize ourselves with buttery hamburgers (yep, you heard me right) at Solly’s, complete with Sprechers root beers, made right down the street. Then we had treats and coffee at Alterra Coffee Shop, a curious cafe in an old pump house, and setting of a crucial scene of a story I just sold to Cicada magazine. More about that later.

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