*notcot in travel , 14:03

Inspiration: ORD to Iron Mountain, MI- 09.02.14

up0.jpg On continuing this year’s trend of doing things i’ve never done… just knocked 3 more states off the list! This weekend we flew into Chicago, spent a night, and road tripped through Wisconsin and into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a lovely wedding in the woods, with pit stops in Chicago, Sheboygan, and Milwaukee and explorations around Iron Mountain, Norway, Vulcan, Faithorn and more. Ready to see what inspiration we found? To the next page!

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Avoiding freeway traffic from O’Hare into Chicago, we took it as an excuse to cruise surface streets wandering down Milwaukee Ave and stumbling into Longman & Eagle. How could we pass up a window that said “Eat Sleep Whiskey”? To our surprise there was even a 4Runner with a rooftop tent parked right outside! The food, drinks, and space are fantastic and definitely worth a stop… even a detour! No wonder why it has a Michelin star and been named one of the best new restaurants in America.

Their beef tartare which is more like a deconstructed ultimate burger and bone marrow are incredible. And devoured too quickly to take pics, their Warm Cheese Gougeres, Gruyere Mornay Sauce - is more like the Beard Papa or Gougeres. up2.jpg

While they make a good Manhattan… this BEER is served to look like a manhattan… delicious! up3.jpg

Has to try their L&E Whiskey Flight… the first was definitely my favorite. Oooh and the Duo of Pork… with Berkshire Tenderloin, Whiskey Glazed Pork Belly, Compressed Peaches, Smoked Maitake Mushroom, Green Beans, Bacon Fat Hush Puppies, Peach Puree… most incredible dessert: Dark Roasted Peanut & Bitter Sweet Chocolate Eagle, Chocolate Pudding, Chocolate Genoise, Blackberry, Raspberry, & Popcorn Puree, Sorghum Crackerjack, Old Style Ice Cream. up4.jpg

Fun postcard from Longman & Eagle. up5.jpg

Spent the night at Public Hotel - where I couldn’t help but giggle waking up to these portraits of cows in fancy hats in our room. up6.jpg

View from the room… up7.jpg

First thing in the morning we started the ~5 hour drive north. Lunch stop - The Black Pig in Sheboygan. Delicious sandwiches and mouthwatering mac & cheese…

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When we made it up to Iron Mountain in the UP we checked in and headed to wedding festivities. Spots not to forget… the Long Branch Saloon in Faithorn, they put on quite the Friday Fish Fry. Also White House Tavern - cutest white house filled with presidential memorabilia and delicious local fare.

On more local food, we had to try a yooper pasty! We found the tiny Jean Kay’s Pasties, with just a register and a small counter for to go orders, they had a map filled with pins of places all over the country their pasties have been flown to! While i’ve had a few of these in the UK, they apparently originated Cornwall - particularly from their miners. And as Cornish miners made their way around the world - so did these! The Wikipedia article on Pasty says, “The Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In some areas, pasties are a significant tourist attraction, including an annual Pasty Fest in Calumet, Michigan in late June. Pasties in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan have a particularly unusual history, as a small influx of Finnish immigrants followed the Cornish miners in 1864. These Finns (and many other ethnic groups) adopted the pasty for use in the Copper Country copper mines. About 30 years later, a much larger flood of Finnish immigrants found their countrymen baking pasties. The pasty has become strongly associated with Finnish culture in this area, and in the culturally similar Iron Range in northern Minnesota.”

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Then time for the wedding in the woods! Here’s a peek at the lush forest as they took wedding pics… up9.jpg

… and a peek at the house the Bride’s mother built. up10.jpg

Wandering the woods ever so briefly, I was enamored by these adorably bright little mushrooms… up11.jpg

Orange ones! up12.jpg

And this fungus… which apparently is Tremella Mesenterica aka Witch’s Butter - a jelly fungus! up13.jpg

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The reception was at the Iron Mountain Park - the deer enclosure has an albino deer, and there are dozens (if not more) of bunnies hiding out beneath the little log cabin like structures. This fawn was especially curious!

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We also learned that chalk pen + condensation = creepy drippy text! But swings + beer = good fun! up19.jpg

Breakfast at the Lake House! Ominous and overcast… but surprisingly warm water - and lots of fish! We grabbed a bite, said our goodbyes, and then it was road trip time again to catch our flight in Chicago.

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On the drive back down, to see a tiny bit more, we stopped in Milwaukee and checked out Erehwon Mountain Outfitter (they are only in Il and WI) looking for last minute things for our upcoming adventures… and then for brunch at HoneyPie on Kinnickinnic (couldn’t stop saying this street name!).

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Tried a delicious Breakfast Casserole (Scratch-made biscuit, potatoes, mushrooms and sausage gravy, broiled with Cheddar cheese and a sunny side up egg) and the guys couldn’t resist trying the Breakfast Pork Fries (A giant pile of breakfast potatoes topped with BBQ pork, pickled jalapeƱos, cheese sauce, a sunny-side up egg and some bacon for good measure) - it was all a hearty brunch to carry us through the long trip back to LA! up18.jpg

… and phew we’re back! Quick trip, but we’ve seen so much!

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