NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Birthday Girls Do Milwaukee

My mother called me the other day and asked me if we were going to do anything for my 47th birthday.  I suggested we meet up and drive in to Milwaukee for lunch and an adventure.

While we were driving to our lunch destination I pointed out The Mackie and The Mitchell, mentioning they were my favorite buildings in Milwaukee.  Mom had never been, so I parked the car, fed the meter, and gave her the quick tour.  I'm glad I did, because I finally lucked out and The Grain Exchange room was unlocked.

Mom admiring the murals in the Grain Exchange room in The Mackie Building

The room is available to rent for events, but we got to see it without having to attend a wedding.  Of course I wasn't planning on photography and all I had was my iPhone.  It was good enough for the job of getting a shot of me outside The Mitchell though.

I couldn't resist making her cross the street for a quick look at the fabulous atrium in The Loyalty Building just across the street.  While we were reading the display signs about the architecture of the building I found out there were old bank vaults in an area I hadn't explored and we found a staff person to direct us.

Prior to the establishment of the Federal Reserve Bank in 1913 every bank issued its own notes.  The National Exchange Bank originally occupied the southeast corner of the first floor and a whole tier of safes were constructed as part of the building in 1886.

From there we drove less than a mile to George Watts Tea Shop, where I struggled whether to have the Asian chicken salad or the portabella mushrooms stuffed with risotto and asparagus.  I went with the salad, but I don't think you can go wrong with anything on the menu because everything we had was delicious.

Since it was my birthday I got a candle in my blueberry pie.  Luckily only 1 and not 47 of them!  We hadn't celebrated my mother's birthday from May yet so she could have cake guilt free too.

After lunch we darted out in to the rain and drove over to the Milwaukee Historical Society which is located in an old bank building.  If it looks a little familiar to you it might be because it was used to film a bank robbery scene in the film "Public Enemies" starring Johnny Depp.

From there we made our way over to the Third Ward shopping district and bought a few things in Bangles & Bags and the Mainstream  Boutique.  Both are owned by the same lady who was very enthusiastic in selecting items for my mother to try on and we both went home with our wallets a little lighter.

After a quick stop at Whole Foods we drove past The Lion House on Prospect Avenue.  Built in 1855 it stood for 4 years with its wooden lions out front before succumbing to fire.  The lions escaped unscathed but the house was rebuilt and the lions who guard it now are replicas made in 1985.  They were well over a hundred years old after all, older than my mother and myself combined!

What did you do on your last birthday?


  1. Sounds like you had a great Birthday, love those safes and the architecture

  2. Wow, those are some incredible old buildings!

  3. Happy birthday! Looks like a fine way to celebrate.

  4. Happy birthday, Pam! It looks like you had a wonderful day with your mom. Those are some beautiful buildings.