Wednesday, August 21, 2013

there was wisconsin.

This week we got back from my favorite place on Earth: Milwaukee. I haven't been to a lot of places, but I'm sure it's the best of them all. Because Milwaukee is where our families live and where we grew up and where it's perfectly acceptable to drink a beer at 11am. And all these things, plus a couple more, equal the best place on Earth. So this trip was filled with exactly those things; friends, family, and beer. 

There were a few other things as well. Here they are in no particular order.

There was the Wisconsin State Fair, an annual event that my family takes pretty seriously. I have chronicled our love of the Fair several times. This is R enjoying a butterflied pork sandwich, which is the Unofficial First Thing You Have To Eat As Soon As You Get To The Fair. (Yes, I make up these rules.) If you don't eat the pork sandwich when you first arrive at the fair, you'll jinx your whole day. All your fried foods will be soggy, the cream puff line will be too long, and it'll rain. Luckily, we are pros, so we shared a pork sandwich and the rest of the day went swimmingly!

There were baby animals. And sweet nephews who were enthralled by the baby animals. 

There was food on a stick. In this moment, there was candied bacon and a deep fried bratwurst. Which we washed down with a beer. Of course. 

There was Uncle R and another sweet nephew having a quiet moment in the DNR building. Because sometimes the Fair is a lot to take in if you're two, so Uncle R knows just the right quiet spots for two year olds. 

There was milk. Flavored milk to be exact. Chocolate, root beer, and cherry vanilla milk. And paired with beer flavored doughnuts, they were the quintessential ending to a perfect Wisconsin Fair day. (I know what you're thinking and the answer is yes, every stereotype you have ever heard about Wisconsin and beer is true.)

There were other things on our trip. There was a baby shower for one of my best girls, Megan. So naturally, there was baby shower preparations. 

And during those preparations, there was crafting, and champagne, and catching up on our lives because we are adults now and scattered all over the country. And in between the champagne and paper scraps, there were some girly tears because these are legit women and legit friendships and we all know how lucky we are to have this.

And for the very first time in our little circle, there is a baby! So there were sweet little moments of saying, "Here, put your hand here. Can you feel it?" And there were gasps and oohs as we felt that sweet little baby rocking and rolling around. And the conversation and laughter and champagne went long into the night because summer nights in Wisconsin with your best friends who are usually scattered all over the country are rare and precious and should be savored accordingly.

There was also more time with my brother and my sweet nephews. Uncle R found a cool little climbing rock in a local park, made specifically for working on technique. So there were boys of all ages testing their skills. 

And some had some impressive skills. 

There were triumphant summit bids. 

And while the big boys climbed, there was a date on the playground with this handsome guy who is just so cute I can't stand not to photograph him. 

And in between all the family and friends, there was a little time to get some coffee and take our camera out and photograph the city I love.

(And some other things I love.)

There was a cookout at R's parent's house with both families. And there were puppies who love licking the face of their favorite little messy eater.

There were cigars and bourbon and, yes, more beer. 

There was my sister's sweet Pit Bull Roxy who knows how to charm the fellas, like my father-in-law. 

There was wine and lots of conversation that, of course, went late into the night. Because, again, when you find yourself on a back porch, stuffed with a great meal, with all the family that you love so much, you just don't want to hurry those kinds of nights. 

There were quiet mornings of writing and drinking coffee on that same back porch with my favorite pup. 

And now we're home and there is our little family, avoiding unpacking and reluctantly getting back in to our routines... 

Until next time. 

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