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A Weekend In Milwaukee + Chicago

If you've been following me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I spent last weekend up north. My dad had to go up there for business, so he decided to bring my sister and me along so we could make a long weekend out of it. I got to go to my favorite city, Chicago (see last year's Chicago recap here) and I discovered a new city - Milwaukee!

On Friday, my dad had a meeting in the morning, so my sister and I hung around the hotel until he got back. Then, the three of us walked around and explored downtown Milwaukee - what a cool city! We ate lunch at Milwaukee Public Market, where we found something for everyone: avocado toast (my new obsession), fries, and mac and cheese. It reminded me of the indoor area of the Dallas Farmer's Market.

yes i'm wearing a sweater because it was 65 degrees and i'm from texas
Afterwards, we walked around the Third Ward and did a little bit of shopping. We also walked along the river - Milwaukee is so cool!

Then, we walked over to Purple Door Ice Cream, aka my new favorite ice cream shop. I got their salted caramel, and it was the salted caramel that put all others to shame. I have nothing to say, except wow. Wow.

We then went for a run along Lake Michigan... I don't think I could ever get tired of running on trails next to the gorgeous blue water, especially since it's a good 25 degrees cooler in Wisconsin than in Dallas.

We decided to be spontaneous and go bowling, since that's one of the things Wisconsin is known for. All I will say is, it takes a certain kind of talent to get a gutter ball even when you have the lane blockers up :/

After bowling, we headed to dinner at Cafe Centraal. I will admit, it was not our favorite... the atmosphere was great but the food was a little bland. However, their skillet brownie topped with salted pretzel ice cream was phenomenal :)

We started Saturday morning by heading to what would soon become my new favorite brunch spot: Cafe Benelux. Between the gorgeous atmosphere and waffles that put Rufus Humphrey's to shame, I fell in love with everything about the cafe. I actually ordered the Hippie Bowl, which was nothing short of incredible, but after a few bites of my sister's Nutella Brioche waffle I was on cloud nine.

After breakfast, we walked around the city some more. I seriously love Milwaukee so much... any place with big buildings and a riverwalk is the perfect city for me.  I especially love how there are flowers everywhere and all the streetlights are turquoise... #justbrookethings hahaha.

We then drove down to Chicago, where we spent the rest of our weekend. We stayed in a hotel in the suburbs, which was a nice change of pace from the busy city.

For dinner we ate at my all time favorite Spanish restaurant: Cafe Babareeba! Their tapas and paella are to die for. We ordered the patatas bravas, the grilled peaches with goat cheese, and a chicken + veggie paella. So good.

After, we walked down the street to Jeni's Ice Creams (the BEST) and walked around while eating our dessert. I got a half scoop of salted peanut butter and a half scoop of brown butter almond brittle. All of the flavors at Jeni's are amazing because they're so creamy and made with fresh ingredients!

Sunday was National Cheesecake Day, so we went to a cheesecake festival! Totally random, but then again, when aren't we random?? It was hosted by Eli's Cheesecake, and we got to try different flavors and eat cheesecake gelato.

We then drove into the city and walked through some of Chicago's parks - I've said it before, but Chicago has such cool parks. From the green grass, to the cool sculptures and playgrounds, to the blooming flowers... wow.

Side note - I remember a few years ago seeing pictures of The Bean (the mirrored sculpture above) and I remember thinking, I want to go there if I ever go to Chicago one day. But I probably won't get to go there for a long time. That was probably four years ago, and now I've been twice and it's my favorite city. Life is weird.

No trip to Chicago is complete without a slice or two of the city's famous deep dish pizza. My personal favorite pizza place is Giordano's, so we headed there on Sunday night. Their pizza is so good that it doesn't even compare to regular pizza; deep dish pizza is in a category all its own. (we hit a lot of favorites on this trip, as you can see!)

We started Monday morning with a long run through a nature trail, then headed back to our hotel to pack up. After that, it was back to Milwaukee, where we ate once again at Cafe Benelux... because we just couldn't get enough and we had to try their fries (which are very good, especially when you dip them in their garlic aioli.)

As if we hadn't had enough food already, we made our last stop at Leon's Frozen Custard, the inspiration for the diner in Happy Days. I'm a sucker for frozen custard + retro diners (but you know that already) and this spot did not disappoint.

After that, it was off to the airport - the weekend went by so fast that it feels like it didn't happen, but it was so much fun! If you enjoyed this post, make sure to go watch my travel diary here!

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