Hello! As part of a trip to the northside of Chicago last weekend, we also headed up to Milwaukee - we've been there several times before and have always enjoyed our visits. You'll learn three reasons why in this post!
Even before we got to Milwaukee, we stopped just over the state line to here:
This is the Jelly Belly Center near Pleasant Prairie, WI. There is a tour of the warehouse, which we took during our first visit. Now we just cruise the retail store looking for deals. There are often by-the-case sales at phenomenal prices (if, for example, you don't mind eating Valentine's Day candies after that holiday has vanished). There's always specials on the "Belly Flops", which are Jelly Belly seconds - misshapen, several stuck together and other quality control issues. Still the same great taste, though. The BOGOF pricing the day we were there meant that our Belly Flops cost around $2.00/lb, way cheaper than what Jelly Bellies cost.
(In case you were wondering, a Jelly Belly factory tour is available at the Fairfield, CA facility. We went on that tour in 1997 and that was fun!)
Continuing on our way, our first stop in Milwaukee was this store:
If you're thinking that the wording on the sign portends an oddball store, you are right. AS & S is based in Chicago but we started going to the Milwaukee store while visiting a brother of mine who lived in Milwaukee for a year. AS & S specializes in surplus, which means there's a little bit of everything sold, or so it seems. As their name belies, there's all sorts of science stuff for sale and they also have a great section of storage containers in various sizes and shapes. Years ago I got a set of small food storage containers there and have used them constantly ever since, for lunchbox treats and small amounts of leftovers. They look as new as the day I got them; I don't think they'll ever wear out!
Not everything they sell is as sturdy - there's flimsy made-in-China junk too - but it's a blast roaming the aisles just to see what's there. My husband had gotten me a Groupon from this store and it had to be used by July, so of course we had to stop so that I could spend it. I ended up getting things from the crafts and garden departments, but it was hard to choose among the many, many items for sale. (if your curiousity is piqued, they also sell by catalog and website).
Still not "crazy" enough for you? Okay, then, how about lunch at Jalapeno Loco? It's a Mexican restaurant near the airport. Great food and quite a bit of it - there were enough leftovers from what my daughter and I had ordered (flautas for her, carne asada for me) for two lunches when we returned home!
There is a lot to see and do in Milwaukee, but that is all we had time for. It was fun though.