Two gems in two and a half days

“All we do is go out and drink in Milwaukee,” said my sweet friend Caitlin as she showed me her town. And appropriately she took me to four bars the evening I arrived. When in Rome…

Caitlin is another acting buddy. She just finished her undergrad in acting at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and is heading to NYC in August for grad school. I am so proud of her and was more than excited to spend time with her and enjoy the hospitality of her parents’ home.

We chatted the night away while exploring Milwaukee’s unique bar scene. My favorite place of the night was Von Trier, a classy German joint with painted scenes on the walls and ceiling and a very nice bartender. Caitlin and I snapped pictures of ourselves trying to capture her looking natural, and giggling when she couldn’t keep a straight face, and eating popcorn and pretzels with soft cheese spread.

We met a bevy of her college acting friends at another bar and then went and sang karaoke to round out the evening. I think it was a record for me in the number of bars in one evening, but in her company it was delightful as it was more about being together than drinking.

Being with fellow actors feeds my soul. We have something crazy in common that doesn’t need to be explained or understood, it just is. And with Caitlin it was not taken for granted and I soaked up her youth, enthusiasm and dreams, along with the beer. We are kindred spirits of the finest degree and I feel a connection that can’t be manufactured or bought, but can be cherished. And I do.

The next day I went to see “F. Scott Fitzgerald” that I met earlier on this trip in Telluride, CO (see my post F.Scott Fitzgerald of the Rocky Mountains). I met him at his beautiful home south of downtown and saw first-hand how he makes jewelry. I was enthralled with this artistic process and more like a kid in a candy factory than I want to admit. I wanted to see every aspect and watched fascinated while he carved wax, mixed silicone, made molds, melted silver, and kept a million things in the air at once. It is such a pleasure to be in the presence of creative genius. I am so inspired by others’ electric energy to make beauty out of nothing. Reminds me of that old Air Supply song “Making love out of nothing at all.”

He took time off to show me around Milwaukee. We got an intense cold press iced coffee that had me shaky for most of the rest of the day. We went to the Public Market and he bought mahi mahi to cook me for dinner and we had a glass of wine outside at the fish market. I was feeling like Zelda again, as he seemed to know everyone in town and I got to be bright and outgoing by his side. But I must say it was sweet bliss to have him cook dinner in his comfortable home and be able to relax and listen to music, laugh, and talk about our living. Conversation was engaging and intriguing, a mixture of combative repartee and philosophical entertainment.

I got to sleep late the next day and was served espresso when I got up. Robert took me to the Milwaukee Art Museum a GORGEOUS architectural sculpture of a building designed by Santiago Calatrava. It’s the kind of place you stare at, from the exterior and interior, with your mouth open. We saw the exhibit on The Posters of Paris, me reverting to childlike wonder again and soaking up the playful imagery, bright colors, and delightful designs of Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha and Pierre Bonnard like a thirsty sponge.

We continued with the French theme and went to Le Rêve (The Dream), and I had the best French Onion Soup ever at a charming table under a tree on the sidewalk. Back at the “ranch” I got to see more jewelry in the making and tried on huge diamond rings with sparkling gems feeling like a queen.

The last bit of heaven was going to get frozen custard, a Milwaukee specialty. Who can resist that smooth and creamy ice cream? A great treat in the sweltering summer heat.

I am noticing that the good-byes are getting harder the longer I am gone, or the closer I get to returning to Seattle. I was spoiled by these two sterling Milwaukee locals and had the best two days any princess deserves. It was wonderful and yet sad to leave them both. I guess I just need to be ok with that. There is nothing wrong in feeling melancholy to leave people who have just become closer friends. C’est la vie! Until we meet again the memories will be near and dear.

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5 thoughts on “Two gems in two and a half days

  1. Loved this post Lori…can’t wait to see where you end up making your home after your expedition or might you go International next? I have amazing destination suggestions if you do! Also, love the loves you gather along the way. It is kind of like the bachelorette only much better! Can’t wait to see if you choose any of the lucky bachelors!

    • Sorry.. Carolina coast. (ok, if we must include Savannah, we will…I suppose we’re all southeast barrier islands in the really big picture.) Anyway, darlin’ (We’d all say that..) you’re having a wonderful run!!!! Go with it all the way home. Remember our back porch conversation the day you left….

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