Unexpected Surprises: The Milwaukee Public Market

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Last month I traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to visit the Harley-Davidson museum and learn more about black biker culture.

Have you ever been to Milwaukee? This was my first trip and I’ll be honest, at first, I wasn’t excited about it. I thought to myself, what could possibly be in Milwaukee that is so great? And in the dead of winter? Nawl!

Initially I wasn’t feeling it, but I stepped out on faith because I wanted a new experience, and who passes up a free trip–even if it’s to the frozen tundra?

When I stepped out of the airport I was greeted by the cold, but it wasn’t as freezing as I expected. Good sign. The car took me and a few other journalists to the Iron Horse Hotel to check in and get situated. Because I had a few hours to myself I decided to head out and see something. Before traveling, I’d already looked up places of interest and had heard about the Public Market. I decided to hop a cab and see what it was all about.

The Milwaukee Public Market is located in the city’s Historic Third Ward, a gentrifying area  filled with shops, restaurants, art galleries, and lofts. The Third Ward also borders the river and in the summer, I imagine it makes for beautiful scenery.

The Public Market consists of food shops, spice stores, bars, candy shops, gourmet stands, and cute little desert shops. I was hungry when I got there, but because I was met with so many options I had to do two laps around the market to figure out what I wanted.

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I didn't know what the heck a Cow Pie was, so I took pictures!

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Who wants one?

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All of these smelled SO GOOD. I should have bought some. #fail

After making the rounds and oohing and ahhing over the treats,  I decided to grab a turkey sandwich from The Green Kitchen. Although it sounds very plain jane, the sandwich was totally gourmet! It was filled with mascarpone cheese, sun dried tomato pesto, spinach, and tomatoes. I didn’t have my camera on hand (all these pics were taken with my phone), but I don’t think it mattered, I just dove in!

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Above the Public Market

I took my sandwich to the second floor, which includes a small lending library where you can borrow a book to read, and enjoyed my meal above the busy market.

Before I left Milwaukee, I HAD to meet up with a friend and AMAZING photographer, Christina. Christina and I “met” years ago when she began reading a blog I was writing at the time, and she became like my sister-from-another-mother. She damn near brought me to tears in the market when she gushed about my writing & how it inspired her to start blogging (and now she’s DOPE). Because she’s also a chef and foodie, we had to grab a treat before we left. I picked a chocolate covered rice crispy treat, which was hard as hell on my teeth, but so so good!

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Before we left the market, Christina snapped a photo of me, and although I was super tired (and my eyebrows look a mess) I quite like it. Whatcha think?

Moi!

Going to Milwaukee reminded me to always operate with an open heart and mind. Although I was a little suspect about the trip going in, I ended up having a WONDERFUL time and connecting with many, many interesting people (and, I’ll be learning how to ride a Harley soon #score).

So the next time someone asks you to go somewhere or do something you never really considered before, do it! You never know how much you’ll enjoy something until you give it a shot.

Have you ever been to the Milwaukee or the Public Market? What was the last place you went that really surprised you? 

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London Lowdown, Part 1 (with video!)

London, Buckingham Palace

Outside of Buckingham Palace

Last month I took my first solo trip across the Pond and landed in London, England. Although I had been planning my trip for MONTHS (and dreaming about it even longer), once I was on the plane I was FILLED with nervous energy.

The questions ran through my head:
Would I have fun alone?
Would I get mugged?
What if I got lonely?
What if I lost my passport?
I’m on a budget, can I REALLY have a good time in one of the most expensive cities in the world?
HELP! I’m going to London alone!!

Luckily, all of my nervousness melted away once I touched down and began to feel the infectious vibe of the city. I’m going to go into my trip in more detail a little later, but just know that I had an AMAZING time and all of my fears were unfounded.

While I was in London (and Paris!) I connected with a lot of really amazing people, I went out EVERY night (yes alone), and in all eight days I spent wandering the city, I never experienced a dull moment. Not one.

I made sure to take lots of pictures and even shot some video footage while I was there, so I decided to do a quick clip about my trip.

Check it out & let me know what you think!

Have you ever been to London? What did you enjoy most?