So here we are, three months later and I’m still trying to write about the May Lake Michigan trip. Fortunately, it’s all somehow fresh in my mind.
I’m just going to write about day four and leave it at that. If you’re curious about the last leg of the trip: you can check out a piece I wrote about the route from Sault Ste Marie to Sudbury for Algoma Country (part of Tourism Northern Ontario) by clicking here! It includes butter tarts and homemade drumsticks so I’d recommend giving it a click…
Anyhow, after a rainy day in Chicago, we woke up to, you guessed it, more rain!
We started by driving into Milwaukee. Right off the bat, I was enthralled by the contrast of the towering grey and tan structures against the swooping modern ones along the water. The city was covered in a thick fog, lending it all a dreamlike atmosphere.
Hungry, as we usually are, we were drawn in before long by a bright neon sign that read, “Milwaukee Public Market.”
Turns out it’s a long building jam-packed with food vendors of all sorts and sizes. It reminded me quite a bit of the market at Hamilton’s Jackson Square, or of Toronto’s Parkdale Market. In fact Milwaukee itself reminded me of Hamilton in more than a few ways, and I love me some Hamilton, so maybe that’s what drew me to its southwestern sister.
We spent the morning sifting through specialty cheeses for our friends and parents back home, filling paper bags with locally made malt balls and bridge mix, and chatting up locals.
After the market, it was lunch time, and I was excited. I’d been eyeing up a local diner called The Comet Cafe for weeks and knew we had to go. It has a huge range of vegan and vegetarian items and a super-retro vibe.
It did not disappoint.
I ordered the vegan ribs (a Field Roast product I was told) and Brady got cheese fries. Mine was delectable, the ribs were deep fried and crispy with an interior that actually felt juicy and the barbeque sauce was a sweet-tangy delight. Brady didn’t love his as much but the beery cheese sauce was nice and mellow. In the end, both were dang tasty and it was a real treat to have so many options to choose from.
The folks working at the cafe were helpful and humoured my many, many questions and gave me a rabbit sticker for the road.
After lunch we popped across the road to a corner store to buy some local beer (for my brother-in-law Dan, not us), admire the retro furniture, and then hit the road.
We wanted to make it up to Fayette Historic State Park for the night, but it was a nearly five hour drive, so we weren’t sure it was realistic. Either way, we knew we had to make it up to Marinette, two and a half hours north, to hit up Seguin’s House of Cheese, which I’d been informed had cheesy popcorn that was better than Smartfood (I was skeptical).
We drove into their parking lot with about 13 minutes to spare before closing and bought more cheese than I care to admit. Not eating cheese much these days, I made quite an exceptional exception for this trip.
We filled our cart with string cheese, spreadable cheese, cheesy popcorn, and cheese curds and then hit the road once again.
While we were tempted to set up camp nearby and get right into the cheese, but it was still raining and when I checked the weather it said things were clear over in Michigan so we powered through.
We headed down the peninsula to the park but wound up taking a side road down to a more private campsite rather than stay at the park itself, and spent the most beautiful, rain-free evening there.
We learned something new, too: you can grill cheese curds on a stick with delicious results!
The next morning we woke up and it was my birthday and our last day! We ate more chocolate covered malt balls and espresso beans than anyone humanly should, jumped in the car, and took the North Channel home, which as I said, you can read about here because I’m tired and moving along to the Washington trip I took.