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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Fun in Wisconsin: Summerfest and New Glarus

More travel stuff today! This past weekend we went up to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the last weekend of Summerfest. It was our first time ever going to this music festival, and wow, was there a lot of people there! The crowds were crazy, and it was huge! But, it was all worth it - we had a great time, and we saw a ton of amazing bands perform.

The main reason we wanted to go to Summerfest was because we found out that Mindi Abair would be performing there, and she is actually a distant cousin of mine! My aunt and uncle have mentioned her several times over the years and are big fans of her music. She's a great saxophone player, and performed at Summerfest this year with her band, The Boneshakers.

Until this weekend, I had never seen Mindi play or met her in person. It was really cool to see her perform, and we even got to meet her and chat a little after the show. She was so nice and friendly! I bought a couple of her CDs there, and she happily signed them and left her contact info. We hope to see her play again sometime.

The same night we saw Mindi play, we also got to see The Fray. We didn't have the greatest view, but it was pretty cool, and they still sounded awesome.

The next day we drove down by the festival again, and ate lunch at a cool little place on the lake called the Milwaukee Sail Loft. There was a dock literally right next to our table, and to top it off, the food was amazing. I think I ate the best caesar salad I've ever had!

After lunch we went to Summerfest again, and hung out there in the afternoon. We rode the ski lift ride from one end of the grounds to the other...

We rode the ferris wheel...

Sat on the rocks by the lake...

Trent "test-drove" a Harley (that was stationed to the ground)...

And I totally ate a watermelon-flavored Hawaiian Shave Ice. It was a fun day, and the weather was perfect!

The night was great, too. We had tickets for the Weezer concert, and we saw so many great bands play that night. Andrew McMahon opened up for Panic at the Disco and Weezer, and I love him! He's one of my favorite artists of all time. It was surreal to finally be able to see him perform live, and he had so much energy.

The view from outside the concert arena was also pretty awesome. During Panic at the Disco, we stepped out for a little while to enjoy it. We could see the lights, the lake, the sunset, and the huge crowd forming in front of us for Barenaked Ladies.

It was especially awesome to see the fireworks that were shot off over the lake. We were totally not expecting to see them, but it was definitely a cool moment!

We left Weezer a little early and got to see some of the other bands playing that night, too - as in: Barenaked Ladies, Death Cab for Cutie, Skillet, and ended the night with Ben Folds! All in all, a great night, and a great couple of days at Summerfest.

Then, on the way home the next day, Trent really wanted to go through New Glarus and stop by the brewery there. It was a tad out of our way, but I'm glad we took the little detour. New Glarus was a charming little Swedish town in the Wisconsin countryside.

We ate lunch at a cute bed-and-breakfast-looking restaurant on a hill called Kristi's.

We enjoyed some yummy breakfast food outside on the porch.

My veggie omelet, toast with locally-made raspberry jam, and coffee were all pretty awesome.

Since we had to get moving, we didn't have a lot of time to explore or go into a lot of the shops, but I would love to come back here someday and spend a whole day here.

We did go into one of the giftshops, and it had a lot of Swedish and European-inspired items. It was pretty cool to explore, but I really wanted to stop into some of the cheese and chocolate shops, too. Maybe next time! Aren't the buildings cute, though?!

Our last stop on our trip was the New Glarus Brewery. Of course Trent loves visiting breweries, but this was actually a really cool place.

The facility was really nice - you can go on a self-guided tour, and visit the gift shops and the huge beer store with limited edition brews...

But the best part was the tastings and the outdoor area. For $8, you can get a tasting glass and 3 samples of their beers on tap. The samples are good sized, and once you get one, you can wander around the facility, inside or in their awesome outside area.

There is an amazing view of the countryside of New Glarus.

There are tables everywhere, spaced out and secluded enough so that you can hang out and enjoy your beer samples. We explored a little bit, and with the beautiful landscaping and view, the entire area was really cool.

On the way out of the brewery, we stopped by the hop garden. It's a little garden out front with hop plants, and some beautiful flowers.

If you're ever in central Wisconsin, I definitely recommend a stop in New Glarus to check out the brewery and the quaint downtown area.

We had a great little trip overall. Now the next vacation will be...COLORADO, In August! We can't wait. All hotels are booked, and the planning is in full force. This is shaping up to be a pretty eventful and memorable summer. Now, if only we could get some work on the house done... :)

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