I am choosing to make a bit of a diversion from my usual blog content considering that this summer has kept me very busy with fun activities and therefore unable to make posts for the past two months. Wisconsin is notorious for its bitter cold winters which highly limit the amount of outdoor activities one can do without layers upon layers of insulating, frost-bite preventing protection during those months. It is because of this that Wisconsinites use their short summer to cram as many outdoor festivals and activities into their weekends as physically possible, sometimes hitting festival after festival after festival in just one day! Peter and I have been delighted to have the opportunity to partake in some of these activities on the weekends this summer, especially considering that school begins in a month and soon after that we will be getting married, both which will require a lot of time and attention. However for the next month we will continue spending time in the sunshine, partaking in fun Milwaukee activities, and overall enjoying our free time in warm and pleasant weather. Here is a look at some of the Milwaukee activities we have done this year.
On June 22, in my role as the Coordinator of the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center, I chaperoned a group of 2 middle and 2 high school students to the Washington DC. These students were winners of the 2015 Holocaust Essay Contest and their prize is a visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. We spent about 3 hours at the USHMM where we went through the permanent exhibit as well as a few of the temporary exhibits. I was also fortunate to walk through the "Remember the Children: Daniel's Story" exhibit. This was an exhibition based on the 1993 book by Carol Matas and it provides a glimpse into the life of a family living in the Lodz ghetto during the Holocaust, through the eyes of a child. Intended for children, the exhibit provides a hands on and very creative look at the Holocaust in a very visual and digestible manner for ages 8 and up. While this was not my first time at the USHMM I was once again awe-struck by the "Tower of Faces", created out of hundreds of photos of the Jewish people in the Lithuanian shtetl Eishyshok between 1890 and 1941. In 1941 Nazi mobile-killing squads entered the shtetl and massacred the entire Jewish population in 2 days. These portraits still haunt me.
In addition to visiting our favorite Estabrook Beer Garden, we have also been spending a lot of time enjoying the serenity of our own gorgeous backyard where we have done a lot of planting and have a comfortable patio set up. I really love flower gardening and Peter loves vegetables, so we have a nice variety plants to care for and watch grow this summer. We have a lovely deck and patio set so we tend to eat meals and read out there (when it's not too hot). We have also been spending time with our upstairs neighbor's puppy, Oliver! He loves to take us on long walks in the evening so he can chase squirrels and look at the fireflies that are always on peoples lawns as dusk settles. Here is Oliver running up to greet me on our patio.
The 4th of July this year was spent with us checking out Summerfest and listening to some of the bands there. Among the ones we heard were Big Data, Weird Al Yankovich, Jane's Addiction, and (the highlight) Robert DeLong. Of course we also enjoyed some ice cream while there...
Last week we were delighted to have Peter's parents visit us from Arizona! While they were here we did a lot of exploration activities like visiting the Milwaukee Art Museum, Discovery World, catching a Brewers game and checking out the Jelly Belly factory. We also enjoyed some delicious food from the South Shore Farmer's Market, the Old German Beer Hall (my FAVORITE), Colectivo on the Lake, and the O&H Danish Bakery. The four of us also traveled North where we stopped in Port Washington for the Port Fish Day on our way to Door County where we relaxed, hiked, and visited Washington Island. And of course, on our way back to Milwaukee, we visited Green Bay and Lambeau Field.
This past weekend was jam-packed with activities as well. We took our inaugural trip to Alpine Valley Music Theater which is absolutely gorgeous to hear my all-time favorite: Dave Matthews Band. It was my third time seeing them and Peter's second and I have to say that yet again they did not disappoint. Unfortunately we didn't stick around for the encore and of course as we walked across the parking lot towards the car we heard the crowd explode with excitement at the opening of "Ants Marching"... Oh well; we cranked it up in the car on the way home. The following day we visited Germanfest where I wore my Dirndl, which I think is adorable! While there we of course enjoyed beer, brats, pretzels, and strudel: so worth it. While Germanfest is of course my favorite of Milwaukee's array of ethnic festivals, we will be visiting Irishfest in a few weeks and I'm sure that will be a blast too. No Dirndl for Irishfest though... it will just have to wait for Oktoberfest season. Prost!