I am sitting in a hotel room in Milwaukee. I am in the midst of completing mission 1: solo travel.
Milwaukee is actually a really nice city, being in such close proximity I never spent much time here. In high school I used to visit a friend from camp in the close burbs, but never in the city. I wandered the halls of the MIlwaukee Art Museum looking at beautiful and creative works of art. The exhibitions Sensory Overload (I think it was called) and Unmasked and Anonymous were really fantastic. The former was mainly photographs by local artists with a few others like Diane Arbus thrown in. Sensory Overload included an infinity room, something that I guess was a hit in the 60’s, it’s all mirrors and lights in a small room where you have to wear booties over your shoes to enter. It’s like seeing a million little stars (okay lights) going down (if looking down) or up (you get it). Really kind of wild. There was also room that was dark but lined with paraellel hanging blue lights on strings. I’m no good at explaining art, but it was great. And let’s not forget about the architecture of the building on it’s lakefront setting. Stunning.
I then went for a walk near the lake and drove around the city for a bit. Checked into the hotel and then left to go to Milwaukee Public Market. I guess I was expecting something like Seattle’s Park Place or San Francisco’s Ferry Building (is that right?), but it was basically a gourmet food court. I decided instead of heading back to the hotel I’d wander the Historic Third Ward District. It’s that kind of urban renewal neighborhood with converted factory buildings, little shops, and hipster restaurants and bars. Defiantly a place to visit again.
Mission 2: Have a drink and dinner at a bar solo.
Filled with mostly business men talking budgets, meetings, and deals, I was the only female in the hotel bar besides Lu, the bartender. She suggested the Blue Lagoon Martini which when the blue liquid was poured from the shaker smoked. Thus, the lagoon (and dry ice). Nothing screamed CHICK more. But it was tasty, not to sweet like Lu said. Although sports was on every flat screen in the joint, I entertained myself. Smoking was allowed. Pizza was eaten. I proved to myself I could sit in a bar by myself solo for an hour. Go me.
Now I need to come up more 28 more missions.
These are the 3 books I’m taking with me on my solo road trip: Swim Naked, Defy Gravity & 99 Other Essential Things to Accomplish Before Turning 30, The Late Bloomer’s Revolution, and How Now: 100 ways to celebrate the present moment. I was just about to pack them in my bag, when I realized they scream QUARTER LIFE CRISIS or maybe that was DEALING WITH HEARTACHE or maybe it was a singsongy CRAZY, or maybe it was an index finger and thumb shaped “L” on the forehead with John Travolta’s wife in Jerry Maguire saying LOSER in her malicious drawn out way that changed the connotation to the word as it was had changed once again from the word being cool thanks to the musical genius Beck.
You still with me? May I ask you why?
Since I blog for myself anyhow I’ll continue.
Strolling through Target yesterday on my 30th birthday I found the Late Bloomer’s book. I knew after reading the first sentence on the back cover I had to buy it to read on my trip. “Amy Cohen imagined that by age thirty she would be juggling a thriving career, a devoted English husband, and two adorable children with shag haircuts.” I knew had to read the memoir of a fellow late bloomer to cheer me up. I’ll write about it if it does (goal 1 for 30th year of life: blog more).
Jo gave me How Now as a gift. I’ve been working on mindfulness, or actually, have been meaning to working on mindfulness for years. What better reading while tucked in a robe at a day spa?
Swim Naked came to me tonight from my neighbor Carrie. I mentioned it was birthday yesterday and while a year late I hope to spawn some ideas from my self-fulling prophecy: 30 While 30.
Mission 1: Vacation by Thyself. Tomorrow I’m off to Milwaukee. At a safe hour and half from home, I’ll stroll the Milwaukee Art Museum by day, and live it up in a 4 star hotel at night (thank you Priceline). Wednesday I’ll go to a famous spa, get massaged, drain my pores in a steam room, envelop myself in a Jacuzzi, swim in a cool pool…I deserve this. (Repeat 5 times).
I want to hike by the lake and capture the golden leaves in a state park. I want to challenge myself to get a drink at a hotel bar. I want to prove to myself that I am strong enough to travel alone, and have a great time doing so. I know it may sound like a small mission, but it’s a big one for me, and I’m excited about it. Off to a good start.