MKE in five hours.

Summerfest, Wisconsin's major music festival in mid-summer, annually draws some of the best artists to its -- 12? -- stages. Every night for 11 days, a major headliner plays at Marcus Amphitheater and other artists are on other stages throughout the night, so one only hopes there aren't two bands playing at once that you'd like to see. In all the years it's been on, I've never once gone. Honestly, the crazy festival atmosphere always makes me a little tense. Crowds -- especially tightly packed ones -- are not generally my thing. But last night my sister and I made an exception to go see Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (their most popular song, "Home," here although my favorites on their album Up from Below are "Desert Song" and "Kisses Over Babylon"). There's a good story about how this band came about.

But first! --I worked until 4pm, so as soon as I could afterward, I picked Ali up and we drove the two hours to Milwaukee, getting pseudo-lost as usually happens when we try to navigate that city, and finally making it to my other sister Maddy's new apartment. It was a perfect evening... 67 degrees, clear and dry, and driving around the east side of town around dinner time was wonderful because everyone was sitting outside, enjoying the sunshine and all their company.

We were looking for dinner before heading over to the Summerfest grounds, so we walked to Alterra, the local Milwaukee coffee shop of choice, but they were out of many of their daily food items, so we decided to go around the block to Ma Fischer's, one of those 24-hour fam-resties that serves the most food for your buck. I had a Super Duper Family Restaurant Moment when I decided to order one of the most heartily American things on the menu: chicken strips -- with ranch sauce, french fries, the biggest dinner roll I've ever seen, cheese tortellini soup, a side of veggies, and rice pudding for dessert. And a gigantic chocolate milk. All for about $12. Seriously. This might have been the most astounding part of the whole evening:

Anyway. We got to the festival a little later than we maybe would have liked. Typical hipster-kid kind of show. Everyone was in their early twenties and dressed to impress, or at least look like they didn't care, but really did. The sound quality left a little to be a desired, and we had to stand quite uncomfortably packed like sardines on bleacher seats (bleacher seats, really?)... I love Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. LOVE THEM. Their one album
is one of my all-time favorite albums. It's amazing. But the show was a typical festival show, and it was a little uncomfortable and not exactly super.

I would love to see them again, but maybe after another album is released... ;)

Regardless, we had a great time in MKE, and now that Maddy lives there, I look forward to more frequent trips to visit and check out the restaurants and such nearby. She keeps reminding me that there's a fab sushi place I've got to check out. ;D

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