I am pleased to announce that we are more than halfway done with our first semester in our respective PA/medical school programs! Getting back into the routine of attending class, studying, and taking tests has definitely been a challenge, but we are finally hitting our stride and finding efficient and effective ways to approach the material being thrown at us. We’ve even started study marathons at local cafes on the weekends again (throwback to college…)!
Over the past month, we have also been intentionally trying to enjoy the fall season in Wisconsin and take advantage of the nice weather while it is still here. Recently, we helped out at a small Harvest Festival at our church (hosting a game where children had to eat donuts off of a string) and went apple picking at The Elegant Farmer with some friends from MCW (the chicken pot pie and the “apple pie baked in a paper bag” were both delicious)! We sampled over nine varieties of apples while we tromped through the orchard with our basket, and Jonny even climbed a tree or two to snag the specific apples that I wanted.
Later that week, I made some of the apples into an apple crisp which we brought over to our friends’ apartment when they had us over for a cider and cheese night! We had a lovely night of conversation, great food, and Mexican poker with JP and Misaye.
Also, last weekend we were blessed to host our first non-family visitor in Milwaukee! Mimia was in Chicago for a conference and graciously agreed to take the train up to Milwaukee on Friday evening to hang out with us. We went out for perch fish fry and lobster at St. Paul Fish Company in Milwaukee Public Market followed by fried cheese curds and custard for dessert at Gilles Frozen Custard. Unfortunately it was raining on Saturday morning, so Mimia and I hung out/studied at Colectivo Coffee while Jonny went to volunteer at a health fair. On the 1.5 hour drive back down to the Chicago airport, we stopped at Portillo’s for a lunch of Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian Beef Sandwiches. It was there that we also unfortunately found out that Mimia’s flight had been cancelled due to an approaching thunderstorm. Since we were en route to Chicago, we decided to head into town anyway for an evening of unexpected downpour and dining choices before heading back to Milwaukee. Though it was a long weekend with lots of driving, it was great to catch up and fellowship with an old friend, and it definitely reminded us of the loving and supportive community that we have back at home.
This past weekend was Marquette’s Fall Break, and I was grateful to have an extra two days off to decompress a bit. We decided to drive up to Door County for a speedy 24-hour getaway, and it was amazing. The fall colors were truly incredible (I took so many pictures of trees, it’s kind of ridiculous), and we enjoyed two lovely hikes in the state parks along the Lake Michigan coast. On Friday afternoon, we explored the Eagle Trail in Peninsula State Park, and on Saturday morning we hiked the Black Trail in Whitefish Dunes State Park/Cave Point County Park.
We also enjoyed a delicious meal at the famed and historic Door County Fish Boil at Old Post Office Restaurant. A fish boil is an old tradition dating back to the 1800s when Scandinavian immigrants fed their entire logging/fishing community with potatoes, onions, and locally caught fish boiled in large kettle of water and salt. Our experience at the fish boil was a historical demonstration as much as it was a meal, and the food was simple and delicious from the local Lake Michigan whitefish to the handmade cherry pie. To our surprise, we were seated at the same table with two strangers that ended up being Class of 2009 Berkeley grads randomly visiting Wisconsin from the Bay Area. What a small world.
We definitely did not have enough time to explore all the things in Door County, but we did have the chance to stroll around town, explore the local Farmer’s Market in Sturgeon Bay (we sampled the best caramel corn ever), and a visit a small-scale working Dairy farm (where we saw cows being milked and petted baby cows and miniature ponies).