Midwest Adventures

Thanks for all of the suggestions for road tripping and Milwaukee specifically. My friend and I got super excited every time a new comment came in and the tips about restaurants and running kept us occupied for the 1,000 (ish) miles of driving.

I knew that Friday was going to involve a lot of sitting and driving, so I woke up super early to run 10.5 miles with Elyssa. It was humid, my legs were tired, but I got it done. Phew.

And then I rewarded myself once I got to Grand Central (my friend picked me up at a train station outside the city, so we could avoid traffic). Lately I’ve been drinking a lot of really strong cappuccinos from the place near my apartment (Daily Press) and Joe the Art of Coffee. Extra strong espresso, with whole milk. YUM.

The road trip itself was a lot of fun! I was able to check four new states off my “been there” list – Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

We made sure to pack lots of healthy snacks and eat at least five fruits and vegetables per day.

Hah! Kidding. What’s a road trip without some fast food? I don’t eat this everyday, but every once in awhile french fries and a frosty (or a pumpkin pecan custard from Culver’s!) is the perfect dinner.

On Saturday, we decided to drive a bit before running (logging miles in the parking lot beside our hotel was not appealing….). After about 3 hours of driving, we made a pit stop in Indiana to run along Lake Michigan. It was reallllly windy and our legs were stiff from all that sitting/driving, but we were able to run a little over 3 miles. I was skeptical of this “stop half way through the drive” plan (nope, we didn’t shower after), but it was actually a really nice way to break up the drive. AND a million times better than running in circles around the Quality Inn parking lot.

Once we reached our destination on Saturday evening (yeah Milwaukee!) we were pretty tired and I ended up passing out before 10pm that night and not waking up until after 8am the next morning. It was AWESOME. All that sleep prepped us (or at least me…) for a long-ish run along the lake front. Hannah and explored the paths and were able to log about 9 1/2 miles on Sunday morning. Running while on vacation/out of town always feels like a huge accomplishment.

We made sure to hydrate very well later in the day. My beverages of choice were PBR and Schlitz – consumed during the tour of the historic Pabst Brewery.

In New York City (and I suppose Brooklyn specifically…) PBR has become the ironic/cheap beverage of choice amongst hipsters, so that’s what I associated it with. It was really cool to learn about the history of the brewery and it’s long-standing connection to Milwaukee.

We watched some vintage Pabst commercials and I’m pretty sure this flash dance-inspired gem from the 1980’s is my favorite…


Of course, a girl cannot live on french fries and PBR alone (if only!), so I also tried to make healthy-ish choices when I could. On Sunday afternoon I was able to find some seltzer (elusive in the midwest!) and a turkey-provolone-veggie sandwich. Mmm, vegetables.

Hannah and I hit the lake front path one more time this morning for a sunrise 4-miler and then I headed for the airport. I’m safely back in the BK, cooking up a giant pot of vegetarian chili for the week.

The long weekend by the numbers:

Miles driven – 1,000+

Miles run – 27

States visited – 7

PBRs consumed – 6

Cheese curds procured – 0 <—-And that can only mean one thing – Wisconsin, I’ll be back.

What’s the best road trip you’ve ever been on? Now, I’ve got the traveling itch!

Also, thoughts on seltzer…is it primarily a New England/New York thing? Why is it so hard to find everywhere else?!

  • fuuuuun! i’ve never been a road trip. i think that needs to change.

    seltzer is primarily, in my mind, a jewish grandma thing. but maybe that’s just me…

  • Ctb0501

    omg, even in philly where i go to school, seltzer is difficult to find!! i live for poland springs lemon flavored seltzer and it legit does not exist here. I have to go to trader joes to get anything close to it. At home in new york its at every grocery store and convenience store!!!!

    drives me crazy!! i miss pizza, bagels and seltzer!!

  • I had never even HEARD of seltzer until I moved to NYC. I can find it at home now that I look for it but people think I am very strange!

  • Oh cheese curds are the best! You definitely have to go back…or you can also get them in upstate ny 🙂

  • That frozen custard looks amazing. WANT.

    Maybe this is weird, but I have never really heard of seltzer except as a mixer. Isn’t it just sparkling water? Regardless, I think you’d have a hard time finding it here in Northern CA, too, at least by that name.

  • I love seltzer! I didn’t even know that it’s not a universal thing… I was so happy when my college dining hall installed a soda machine that dispenses seltzer. I bring an extra water bottle to the dining hall every time I eat there and steal some to bring back to my dorm. 
    I don’t go on many road trips (or any, really) because I’m an NYC girl and never learned to drive. But I love traveling by train! In high school two friends and I went on a week-long trip to the south (Atlanta, Savannah, and Charleston) that was awesome. We feasted on pralines and cornbread the entire time. 

  • sarah

    If you ever want to deep fry your own cheese curds, I am AT your place for a challenge.  No joke, they are as delicious as they don’t sound.

    Sounds like your Midwest travels were more fun than mine! The dairyland states are more fun, I guess, when you don’t subsist on crap from rest stops. No drive-thru PBR at the Ashtabula roadside oases!

  • Anonymous

    yes to a cheese curd party! i’m free any of the following 3 weekends. then we can follow it up with ample hills ice cream. yay dairy products.

  • Holly

    Sounds like a lot of fun! I am a midwesterner living in Ohio right now. I have been up near Lake Michigan it is beautiful!

    Running sounds like a great way to break up a long road trip 🙂

  • Loved hearing about your road trip!  I have a couple weeks off in November and I’m pondering a road trip.  I hear that driving the California coast is fun so I’m pondering heading from San Diego to San Francisco…plenty of places to stop along the way, and not a TON of driving.  Just enough to keep myself entertained because driving is a bit of a novelty when you live in NYC, right?  And it’s supposed to be pretty!  I’m interested to see what other suggestions you get!
    Being from the midwest, I will admit that I never heard about so many people drinking seltzer until I moved to NYC.  No idea why that is…

  • RunTheLongRoad

    Wendy’s FF and a Frosty = delicious!  They did switch to “natural” fries, right 😉

    In college, I did a road trip from San Fran (my favorite place on earth) to LA.  That was nice!

  • Anonymous

    Ok, confession. In high school I worked at a Wendy’s and think I OD’d on Frosty’s. Why are they so delicious? I’m so glad you had a good time! Road trips are so fun. The best one I’ve done is from Boston to this little Island in South Carolina near Hilton Head. So fun.

    Also, WTF, Megan’s foot? Hope it feels better soon, friend!

  • Kate

    We definitely have seltzer water here!  La Croix is a big brand…and Canfield’s too!  Although sometimes it’s labeled sparkling water.

    PBR is definitely iconic and I love Schlitz but you missed Wisconsin’s great craft brews – Spotted Cow is a big one (New Glarus brewing co) and Lakefront Brewery or Sprecher – both located in Milwaukee – are also delicious (and have great tours).

    For custard, you have to try the real deal – a local custard stand like Kopps or Gillies. 

    Sooo, when you come back for cheese curds, don’t miss Kopps and a craft brewery tour!  For veggie/vegan friendly food, try the Beans and Barley Cafe…they have *the best* walnut burger! 

    Those are my tips, albeit a little late 😉  Glad you enjoyed running along the lake!

  • Anonymous

    We wanted to go to Lake front Brewery, but it was closed on Sundays 🙁 and Kopp’s was also on the agenda, but driving there on Sunday after a few beers didn’t seem like the best plan. Next time for sure!

  • Amy

    Huh, that’s so interesting that you cannot find seltzer/sparkling water.  It is readily available here in DC!

  • Katie Gast

    Next time you come back to the Dairy State, you also need to go for a Friday Night Fish Fry.  We really like fried food and dairy in this state 🙂  We also enjoy our Badgers, Packers, and Brewers!

    I think you may have picked the windest weekend to visit Wisconsin…makes for horrible driving weather and tough running conditions. 

    I hope you had a fabulous time and took some cheese to go!  Come back soon 🙂

    P.S. Locals also believe that PBR is the cheap beer / hipster beer. 

  • Nice! Glad you had fun and actually got in some awesome mileage!
    Have you road tripped through the Rockies yet? Its amazing. Also, I highly recommend driving to the Grand Canyon.
    I want fries and a frostie!!!

  • We call seltzer “sparkling” or “mineral” water. Klarbrunn is a WI brand, bottled in Watertown. Also, La Croix is delicious; they have a Target-exclusive coconut flavor I love. I’m a WI girl at school in MA, so I miss Milwaukee!

  • I live in a very rural part of Kansas where the cows outnumber the people, and seltzer water is pretty easy to find around here.

  • Erin

    Polar Seltzer company is based in Worcester, Mass- I’ve always lived in the CT/MA area (and now NYC) so I can’t comment on whether it is or is not popular outside the Northeast. But, this caught my eye- new seltzer “Autumn” flavors. I must find these in NYC and try the pumpkin! 

  • Anonymous

    i saw an ad for that pumpkin flavor!! i need to look for it. polar and vintage are the two brands that define seltzer for me. i would like to find some la croix though.

  • Anonymous

    i think seltzer and sparkling water are sort of the same thing, although sometimes sparkling water tends to be a little fancier (i.e. perrier) whereas seltzer is just carbonated water. not sure if that makes sense…i guess it comes in many varieties and can be called different names!

  • So glad you got to visit our fair city of Milwaukee. I love it here, especially running next to lake Michigan.

    No one here drinks seltzer unless it’s part of a cocktail. Our beverages of choice: beer and coffee (in no particular order). 

  • Anonymous

    haha, beer and coffee are solid choices! in most instances i think i would choose them over seltzer…

  • Page

    Dang, I want to go on a road trip with you guys! If I ever asked to stop and go running, I would get instant laughter and they would continue on their way.
    Also, seltzer isn’t big here…in fact, I’ve never seen anyone order it in CA. Hmmm..

  • Looks like you guys had so much fun on the road trip! So exciting that you get to travel with an old friend like that, in exciting cities like Milwaukee (who knew there was so much to do?) Nice work on getting in some miles and tasty food along the way!

    I haven’t really done a true road trip, unless you count being dragged to Cleveland (PA is theeeee longest state ever) or North Carolina when I was like 10 for family trips. Far, far less exciting.

  • Sounds like an awesome trip!! I’ve gone on plenty of long car trips (though none that are nearly as fun or exciting as this) and have never thought to stop halfway and run. I love that idea. Next time.

    I know seltzer is a pretty big deal in New England but I didn’t really know people drank it all the time until I moved out here (from the midwest). So maybe we’re all just weird over here on the northeast coast.

  • You were in Indiana and you didn’t drive 4 more hours south to come see me??! I’m hurt Megan, really hurt. 

  • Anonymous

    until you have the bebe and can drink again, i am keeping my distance.
    j/k, kind of.

    <3 <3 <3

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