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Making a Quick Study of Milwaukee

I grew up all over the Midwest, but met my best friend three weeks into my stay at Millikin University in Decatur, Il.

She returned to Decatur after making her world tour of jobs and experiences and is tending her beautiful family there. Recently, they launched an annual family vacation experience and she chose Chicago as the destination.

As we are both native to Illinois, we both know Chicago well and have plenty of friends and acquaintances in the area and have tossed out multiple promises for dinner, drinks and get togethers "when we're in town" with those very Chicagoites. So, I did understand her attempts to reunite with persons in the city and vacation in one fell swoop. She's always been practical.

When said friend calls and mentions she's taking the train to Chicago, however, I am confused and hurt. I asked her "Why didn't you guys choose Milwaukee? There's so much here and you could have seen me!"

She shot back a quick text message "Uh, lots of reasons, lake, Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, Gino's East Pizza"

Now, I am new to Milwaukee, I've only been in town 8 months, so I was impressed with the speed my little fingers could fondle the keys on my qwerty pad as I shot back "Uh, same lakefront, Discovery World/Pier Wisconsin, Miller Park (in my backyard), monstrous zoo (in my backyard), incredible art museum (on said lake) and Pizza Man"

(I do love Pizza Man and yes, I have eaten at Gino's East.)

Despite the fact that she didn't suddenly change an entire week's plans with two small children in tow, I was pretty excited.

I haven't lived here long, but when put to the test, I have learned a great deal about what makes Milwaukee Milwaukee. Aside from tourist-like notable attractions, I could still show you some little pockets of town worth seeing--not all of them, mind you, I'm still new--but I claimed the city as my own and the city's self-promotion has stuck.

When faced with battling out Chicago for fun, I'd say Milwaukee could be a hands down winner. Course, the friends and family in Chicago will always pull me there, but here's hoping my adoption-- hook, line and sinker--of Milwaukee's self-promotion and my persuasive abilities will also pull them just an extra 80 miles to Brew City.

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