Mamma Mia!

On Sunday, August 24, my mom took the train up from Chicago and spent the day with us. We had no particular agenda other than hanging out and catching up, which always makes for a fun visit in my opinion. The weather was gorgeous so we headed to the lake after I picked Mom up from the Amtrak station.

We started the morning with coffee from Alterra at the Lake, along with roughly 85% of the entire metropolitan Milwaukee population. When we arrived, the line was triple-wrapped inside the store and ran all the way out the door. It's damn good coffee, plus we didn't have anywhere to be until 11:30, so we waited. It was a beautiful morning so we took our coffee across the street to the marina, where we sipped and chatted and watched the boat people tend to their boats before they headed out to sail on Lake Michigan.

Next up, brunch with my friend Lisa at Cafe Hollander. It is located on Downer Street on the east side of Milwaukee. I think Downer Street needs to change its name to promote a more upbeat image. It was quite the happening avenue on Sunday morning! I had the Guinness waffle, Mom had the Eggs Benedict, and Lisa had the Tuscan omelet. The food was pretty good, but it was the company that made the meal so memorable. I think we set a record for the number of times the phrase "love grotto" was uttered in a single sitting.

Later, Mom and I went to World Market to browse. I had to return some unfortunate curtains (they seemed like a good idea at the time, but remember, I purchased them on an empty stomach). I picked up a few bottles of wine and my favorite Belgian lambic (Lindemans -- I like the Framboise and the Peche best). My mom walked away with a bottle of wine and a bag of Snapea Crisps -- I kid you not! I have yet to hear whether or not she enjoyed them as much as I did, but at least she had something fun to read on the train ride home.

We then spent some time at the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop in Brookfield. Among other things, we got a bunch of travel guides for Mom and Al's upcoming trip to Washington D.C. When we piled the guides on the checkout counter, the bookseller asked, "Going on a trip?"

After our afternoon of shopping, we picked up the mister and headed down to the Third Ward for dinner at Rustico, a newish pizza joint. Again, the food was OK and the service was slow (but very friendly), but we had so much fun talking that we didn't mind.

From Rustico it was a short drive to the Amtrak station, where we dropped Mom off to catch her train back to Chicago. We had a great visit and can't wait for the next day-trip! Anyone else who wants to visit is welcome, and with enough visitors helping us through trial and error, we hope to find the best brunch in town one of these days.

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