I just finished up with a "ladies weekend" celebrating a family member's birthday. There were 12 women, ranging in age from 20 to 87, three generations. Friday night, we all checked in at the Residence Inn downtown and had our own dinner and drinks in the room I was sharing with my sister and mother. This was the 2nd time I personally stayed at the hotel, others in my family have stayed there multiple times. I was impressed by the sheer size of the rooms - huge (I mean huge) windows and very tall ceilings made the rooms seem just gigantic. The hotel itself is centrally-located, so I recommend it to anyone who needs a base for activities downtown or otherwise.
Saturday, we all got up and headed to the Domes, which were okay. It was a little disappointing that only 2 of the 3 domes were open for visiting, so we were in and out of there in an hour. It helped to take up a little time perusing the bead/jewelry sale that was happening out in the lobby, but I would prefer going back when all 3 domes are open. The tropical and desert ones were very neat, though, and not something you see every day.
After the domes, we went to the Milwaukee Public Market for lunch. This was the first time I had been there in the middle of a weekend lunchtime, and it was a little crazy. Lots of people, although that is great to see in our town! I had a falafel and hummus pita (yes, I like chick peas...) from Aladdin, the Middle Eastern place. It was really delicious, although a little too slathered with hummus. Very fresh ingredients, though. I also went down to St. Paul Fish to get some clam strips to go, and the place was a madhouse. I've been there a couple times in the past for their $12.95 lobster dinner, but you can't get that to go, and since I was joining the rest of the group to sit upstairs, I just opted for a quick snack. It wasn't quick... ~15 minutes to wait, but I give them a little slack because the place really was packed. The clam strips are huge, and really delicious.
We all perused the market for a little while after lunch (got some saltwater taffy at the candy place), then shopped a little in the Third Ward. I've said before in my posts that the Third Ward can be a little pricey, but it really was apparent after going in most of the stores that it really is. We had fun perusing, nonetheless, but were impressed by Bangles and Bags, which was pretty much the only reasonably-priced store we went into (aside from Retique, the Goodwill store that I like. FYI, Retique has public bathrooms.). By the time we got back around to Shoo, we were pretty punchy, so the $295 shoes really set us off into goofy giggle land... which was not amusing to the store clerk. Oops. ;)