Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Milwaukee Bucket List

Last fall I wrote a book about the parks- 101 Things to do in Milwaukee Parks. It was a book that was  well received in the community, which was also fun to write.  This fall I've written another Milwaukee book, The Milwaukee Bucket List.  I spent the summer finding unique and wonderful adventures you can do here in Milwaukee both in and out of the parks.

I came up with the list of 101 Things by having a brainstorming session with my family, and then I checked a few websites where users can give reviews- yelp, tripadvisor, google, and urban spoon.  My list may end up being different than yours, but I tried to find something that will keep everyone finding something new about Milwaukee.  There are still plenty of things to do outdoors in the parks. But there are also adventures that take you into neighborhoods, public buildings, and even some tours.  I think everyone who reads it will find something new to love about Milwaukee.

So what have I been up to that is outdoors?  I went on a charter boat fishing with my son-in-law, his dad, and a friend.  This was the first time I'd ever gone fishing on Lake Michigan.  We picked Captain Andy with Ray's the Limit Charters. I chose him because he's a fireman who also has a fishing boat, he had good reviews, and he was cheaper than the rest by a good deal.  You can read his blog at the website where he talks about what's being caught and who he's been fishing with.  It's quite interesting. He made it so easy for us!  The boat was completely decked out with poles, nets, a cooler for caught fish, and a depth and fish finder.  We could see how deep the water was and if there were any fish nearby.  We ended up staying out for 5 hours and caught 7 lake trout.  I reeled one in and let me tell you, it was heavy and a struggle!
Captain Andy showing me the fish I caught (but he took it off the hook!)
My son-in-law's dad helping me with the pole.  Don't you love the belt they put on me to support it?
 I also had a pirate cruise with Milwaukee River Cruise.  It was a birthday party for my son who turned 9.  It was fun for everyone- even parents.  They hold it once a month during nicer weather.  The boat was stocked with plenty of water balloons and super soaker water guns.  Lunch was provided with the $25 per person.  It lasted 2 hours, which was just enough time to go find a barge full of fire breathing dragons and pirates who were shooting water at us.  It was quite exciting!  Even Captain Jack Sparrow was there to greet us and cheer us on in the good fight!  I loved this type of cruise and would definitely do it again.  We were in a covered boat, so weather really didn't matter. Keep that in mind if you want to book a tour.
Captain Jack

An authentic pirate barge!  How cool is that?
My son dressed like a pirate using a super soaker

Look at all those water balloons!
I tried yoga rocks the park at the base of Lake Park grand staircase.  It was so much fun with live music playing and an instructor talking you through the poses.  It was packed most weekends. I also checked out a new aerial yoga studio called zenzen yoga arts. I wasn't sure I could hang upside down, but the instructor was great about talking us through it.  I think just about any healthy person could do this.
yoga rocks the park outdoors all summer

aerial yoga is quite different from what I've tried before!



I enjoy tours and love hearing about the history of Milwaukee.  There's a Seven Seat Bike Tour that begins at Whole Foods and takes you along Lake Park and what I call Mansion Row.  It was a beautiful fall day when I went.  The bike is very cool.  You're all seated in a circle and you have to watch your feet- pedal with the tips of your shoes as the pedals are quite close.  It was a good workout, but there were plenty of stops where our guide Shlomo talked about ghosts, shipwrecks, burial mounds, and lots of other haunted topics.  We started at 4:30 and finished up at 6:30.  I thought I knew quite a lot about Lake Park, but he had information about the Nike missile station that I had not heard before, and we actually stopped at the lighthouse and prehistoric burial mound.  The bike definitely attracts attention. Many people stopped to watch us ride by.  It also takes up a lot of space, so it makes it tricky to get up and down sidewalk crossings.  Most of the time we rode on the street. You should try it!
4 of us taking a break on the 7 seat bike
There's a lot more in the book- coffee, chocolate, aerial yoga, ethnic restaurants....I could go on and on.  It's better that you pick up a copy in the local bookstores or order one via amazon.  It could motivate you to have a little more fun and meet some new friends!