Happy Birthday to Me!
Main goal of the day: kayaking
Pack Up + Go included the postcard Life Is Better At The Beach (see the envelope post), which suggested several adventures near or on the water. Milwaukee Kayak Company didn’t open until 10am. As an early riser, I had plenty of time to kill.
I took the long route to Holey Moley Coffee + Doughnuts. Actually I initially wanted to stop at Colectivo Coffee – US Bank. Strolling through the city like I know where I’m going, I come up the area of the coffee shop: a giant corporate looking building. Crap.
ME: Uh, excuse me sir, if there a Colectivo Coffee shop around here?
Guy: Yes ma’am, inside the US Bank building.
ME: Inside? Dang.
Guy: Yea, in their cafeteria area.
ME: That sounds like a lot of work to get to.
Guy: (chuckles) Nah, just go up the escalator.
Ish. Corporate life is not where I wanted to start my birthday. I wandered away toward Third Ward to find Holey Moley, which turned out to be an excellent option. Back to the rad brick buildings, the Third Ward had a great atmosphere.
Post caffeine and sugar binge >> lakeside walk.
Oooo, a lighthouse!
Hello random girls, would you mind taking a photo of me doing a random yoga pose in front of the lighthouse? Not weird at all, right? That’s me.
Less than a block away from Milwaukee Kayak (or so the map said), I feel like I am lost. I see no storefront for anything. It looks like a parking lot/shipyard, I see a man getting stuff out of his car that looks likes it has been up on blocks for a while…and yet I still wander in. Seems legit. O.o
Thankfully I finally noticed signs for the kayak company and make my way to several boxcars being used to hold the kayaks and other river equipment. Nifty! A very nice lady and to younger girls were there to run things.
Me: Hi, I’m here to kayak.
Lady: Did you make a reservation?
Me: No. Do you have any openings left?!
Lady: No problem!
Me: I’ve never kayaked before, is that a problem?!
They pulled out a kayak, got me fitted for a lifejacket (she definitely stressed that I shouldn’t take this off, lol), loaned me a dry bag for my purse, gave me tips for where to go (along with a laminated map on the kayak), and sent me off!
The water was calm and the weather was perfect. I had the rivers to myself most of the time. Seeing the city from a different point of view was fantastic -- easily one of my favorite parts of the trip.
Several hours later I returned sweaty, suntanned in an odd pattern, and starving! Purple Door Ice Cream was my first instinct for a close option on a hot afternoon. Halfway there I ran across another Colectivo Coffee location: Foundry. Conveniently I’d gotten a text from a friend between my first attempt at Colectivo and now telling me it was a definite point of interest. This location had a good looking patio, so I gave it a chance and was thanked with the ultimate pesto veggie wrap. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Thennnn I made it over to Purple Door Ice Cream. A fresh waffle cone and a scoop of lemon ice cream…uh, duh, yes please!
So there I was, a sweaty smelly mess, wandering through downtown happily enjoying a giant ice cream cone. Birthday bliss!
A long walk and clean-up session at the hotel had me ready for an evening beer. Milwaukee Ale House was my brewery of choice. Definite win. Guess what I did after…yup, a long scenic walk! There was really so much good scenery here! I wandered along the Riverwalk to take in the sunset and wind down for the night.
Hello 34, I've arrived and I’m happy to be here.