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A 20-something writer’s take on a windy winter day in Cream City.

My MKE Staycation is an ongoing series on Milwaukeemag.com. We ask writers and contributors to describe their ideal day off in Milwaukee. Catch up on the entire series here.

My full-time gig doesn’t give me many days off to linger and fully enjoy life, so I decided to take a recent Saturday off from freelance work and take in all that Milwaukee has to offer. Here’s the itinerary of my exhausting and exhilarating day.

8 a.m.

Even though it’s my staycation, I still have to get a run in. I wake up early, slightly hungover from a night at Lost Valley Cider Co., to jog from my East Side apartment to the Lakefront Colectivo to meet my running group, Milwaukee Running Group – OMG. Even though it’s a miserable, rainy day, the great company makes our five-mile loop along the Lake Michigan shoreline and through the Third Ward enjoyable.


8:45 a.m.

We’re done running and are waiting in line at Colectivo to replenish the calories we burned. I order a large coffee and their baked oatmeal, which is the best option on the menu for a cold winter’s day. The cinnamon flavor is comforting and the oatmeal itself is warm and gooey.


10 a.m.

After chatting with my running group friends for a while, I’m finally back at my apartment, where I feed and water my five-month-old kittens, Arthur and Gwen. I recently adopted them from the shelter I volunteer at, Happy Endings: No Kill Cat Shelter, and they’re absolutely adorable.

Arthur and Gwen


11 a.m.

My boyfriend and I are both cat lovers, and we’ve been dying to check out the new cat café, Sip & Purr. We shell out a few dollars to spend an hour with the cats, who are so, so sweet. I sip coffee because it’s way too early for the wine on the menu.

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2 p.m.

After heading back to my apartment and cuddling the kittens, I’m feeling a bit stir crazy, so I head to the nearby Rochambo Coffee & Tea House to grab a coffee and read The Perfect Nanny by Leila Silmani. The cafe’s rich blend is a perfect accompaniment to the gripping psychological thriller. In some of the more messed-up chapters, I almost wish I had ordered their Irish coffee.


5:30 p.m.

My boyfriend and I arrive at Conejito’s, a delicious and cheap Mexican joint in Walker’s Point. We both order strawberry margaritas while waiting for our food, enjoying people-watching the eclectic mix of 20-somethings and families that populate the restaurant. I order their cheese and onion enchiladas, which is served on a paper plate, somehow making it even more delicious.


7:30 p.m.

We head to the nearby Urban Harvest Brewing Company to meet up with a few friends to see the comedy group Big Hot Robot perform. I order their delicious Espresso Amber beer and settle in to watch the troupe completely improvise a musical. They are truly hilarious, and all of my friends and I nearly spit out our beers at some points.

Getting ready for Big Hot Chicken at Urban Harvest Brewing


The Old Fashioned bubbler at Drink Wisconsinbly

9:30 p.m.

Not ready to part ways, my friends and I walk through the rain to Drink Wisconsinbly. I have their Old School Old Fashioned, which comes straight out of a bubbler. (It’s sanitary, I swear.) The bar is satisfyingly packed, and we all have fun recounting our favorite parts of Big Hot Robot’s show.


11 p.m.

After such a long day, I don’t have the energy for a late night, so we take off relatively early. I arrive back to my apartment and collapse in bed to snuggle with the kittens.

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