1. I went to Milwaukee for the first time in…like 20 years, I think? on Saturday. One of my friends lived in Milwaukee for a little bit after college, and a few of her friends were going to the Yule Ball at Turner Hall on Saturday, so a couple of us from Chicago made the trek up, too. I wasn’t raised on Harry Potter like a lot of people in my age group, but I’ve read all the books and seen all the movies since becoming an adult, so I thought it sounded like it could be a good time.
BOY was it ever!
To be honest, I really had no idea what to expect, other than a Harry Potter Yule Ball-themed event. I was there for maybe .2 seconds before I declared it my favorite party I’ve ever attended, and I still stand by that claim.
First of all, Turner Hall was everything I want in a building. Old? Check. Beautiful? Check. Full of character? Check. Bonus points for signs of age (uneven floors, missing paint, etc.)? CHECK. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen so instantly in love with a building as I did with the ballroom at Turner Hall. It was one of those places I knew I would IMMEDIATELY Google as soon as I left to learn more about it (the National Historic Landmark nomination form has, unsurprisingly, a solid history of the building, in case you’re interested).
UGH THAT CEILING. YES.
Second of all, the party was pretty much everything I want in a party. There was the perfect amount of people there: not so many that it felt crowded, but not so few that it felt empty and sad. They had a DJ playing music you would expect to appeal to the sorts of people who would show up at a Harry Potter themed party–i.e., music primarily from the 2000s, with some Harry Potter soundtrack pieces thrown in. It was never too loud. There were plenty of places to hang out other than the dance floor. There were vendors selling all sorts of Harry Potter-themed paraphernalia–pillows, wall art, sculptures, candy, etc.–on the balcony. It was AWESOME.
I really hope they do it on a different weekend next year, because I have a non-negotiable wedding to attend that weekend in 2020, but I also really want to go to next year’s Yule Ball! Especially because I’d bet that at least 75 percent of the girls there were wearing floor length dresses and I was so jealous. I didn’t realize it was going to be such a fancy occasion! I’ve been looking for an excuse to wear a floor length dress for ages, and I’m super bummed I had one and didn’t realize it! Oh well.
2. I spent the night in Milwaukee after the Yule Ball, and then went to Brunch the next morning for, you know, brunch.
If I the Yule Ball was the best event I’ve ever attended, then brunch the next morning was the best breakfast I’ve ever had.
I can’t get over how good this meal was. I would legitimately go to Milwaukee just to eat at Brunch again. I had an omelette with a side of a cinnamon roll pancake (I KNOW) and an apple cider mimosa (I KNOW AGAIN), and the whole thing was stupidly delicious.
3. I wanted to put up a post on Tuesday as a kickoff to my sub-2:00 half marathon training, but work continues to be nuts, so that didn’t happen. Instead, you get this!
I’m really excited to be training for a big goal again. While I obviously loved getting my (sub!) 4:45 marathon last October, I also loved taking training seriously. Having a big goal motivated me to work a lot harder than my usual get-most-of-my-runs-in-and-hope-I-somehow-magically-get-faster-in-the-process method of training. While it wasn’t easy to drag myself out of bed almost an hour earlier than normal three days a week to strength train or do 800s when it was 80+ degrees outside, knowing that I didn’t stand a chance of running a 4:45 if I didn’t put in the work to make that happen made it easier to do those things.
What really mattered to me with the marathon–and what really matters to me with this half marathon–is that I get to the start line knowing I’ve done everything I could to set myself up for success. Sometimes the stars just don’t align on race day, and if that’s the case, so be it. But I don’t want the stars to not align because I phoned it in on my training. The process is as important to me as the outcome. I’m glad to be starting the process again!