Monday, August 02, 2004

Milwaukee, Wisconsin—Day 184

I arrived in Milwaukee yesterday (after spending the previous day at Banff National Park in Canada which is SO COOL) and was picked up at the airport by my friend Clark, who also went to Macalester with me and is currently working at a law firm in Milwaukee over the summer. He picked me up (minus my luggage that didn’t make it and would have to be delivered) and we set out on a tour of Milwaukee before heading to my hotel to check in. I checked in and found that I had a special zoo rate for my room (a first!) and even got a concession zoo ticket with my hotel room. How great is that!

Clark and I then headed to Sun Prairie, Wisconsin which is just about and hour and a half or so from Milwaukee (sort of a suburb of Madison) to meet his family for Sunday dinner at his parent’s new condo. I was truly in luck because not only was dinner wonderful and Clark’s family just super but I was also able to see their new huge TV that Clark’s dad and JUST bought. It was quite the TV (it was so big, I am not even sure if it really qualifies as a TV! More like a huge screen with speakers or something….) anyways, it was really fun and despite having ice cream after dinner. Clark and I stopped off at a Culver’s on the way back to Milwaukee. Clark dropped me off and we made plans to meet for dinner the next night.

So that leads me to today where I woke up pretty early and got my things together to go to the zoo. I headed downstairs and inquired at the front desk for a shuttle over to the zoo. I got dropped off at the pedestrian entrance and gave them ticket and headed over to the main entrance with my map in hand.

Finding the hippos wasn’t a problem, but I had to wait quite a while before they were out. But I didn’t mind because I had come at the perfect time of day to see them. So I waited near the warthogs and watched the single albino giraffe among the typical giraffes for a bit (very cool—they’re white with tan spots!) and talked with a keeper about the hippos, Patti and Puddles. She told me that I could tell the difference between the two females (mother and daughter) because Patti would be taller and Puddles would be wider. Sure enough, when they came out you could instantly see not so much that Patti was taller, but that Puddles was much, much wider. It was kind of funny, Puddles was definitely more oval shaped in the stomach area. So I took pictures of them heading out to the nice pile of hay in their enclosure (thankfully set up so that people could watch them eat!) and then when they were done, pictures of them resting and walking around in search of more food. They were great and I could call their names and they would look straight at me. I watched them for about two hours in total and then headed back to the gift shop where I picked up a few things. I called the hotel for my shuttle and soon enough I was heading back to the hotel.

It was getting to be a super hot day and luckily there was a mall nearby my hotel where I could kill time in the afternoon waiting for Clark. My hotel was quite a ways from downtown Milwaukee so spending time at the mall seemed like the most aimless, yet most enticing thing for me to do. So I killed time by watching a movie (“Napoleon Dynamite”) and perusing the shops. I then finally went back to the hotel where I worked on the pictures from today and called Clark who was just about done with work. Before I knew it he was at my hotel and caught me a little off guard by being early. So I finished getting ready and we went out for dinner in the downtown area. We then drove around a bit checking out really cool huge mansions along the water front and near the University before Clark dropped me back at the hotel.

(c) 2004 Sarah Galbraith. All Rights Reserved.