DRINK (& EAT) WISCONSIBLY - kenosha|big east
Spent the weekend in Kenosha, Wisconsin for the 2017 NCAA Big East Cross Country Championships, in which my cousin Christiana Rutkowski was racing (she runs for Seton Hall). Arriving Friday evening, we were a group of five (my aunt and uncle, mom, Tae, and me), so I knew I'd need to do my research for spots that had plenty of options and would suit every palette.
Here, a recap of our first day.
We had about 4,437,437 laughing fits before even arriving at the hotel, including in the Uber ride from the airport where our driver (who was all but 12) could hardly make out my new york accent (i didn't think i had one). but the feeling was mutual, because when he described a town in north wisconsin as "two-ish hours north", i thought he had said "two-way showers north." so that gives you an idea of how this trip was going to go (and we hadn't even had cocktails yet...).
We arrived at the Delta Marriott Racine (technically we were staying in Racine, about 25 minutes out of Kenosha.) This is also where the team stayed - it wasn't the best hotel, as they seemed to have a ladybug infestation, but since ladybugs have surrounded my cousin since she was a little girl, we took this as a good sign. It was clean, with a good hotel restaurant/bar. Basically, it served its purpose, though I didn't 100% love the response we received when we reported the infestation to the front desk, but i'll let that pass.
After checking in, we met at the hotel bar where my aunt passed around Seton Hall pirates gear (!) and then we had the awesome privilege of joining the Seton Hall team for their team meeting, complete with motivational speeches from the legendary Coach John Moon (legendary? yes. in 1960, he tied the world record for the 100-yd dash; he won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics 100-yard race while at Tennessee State, and has gone on to coach not only US national track teams, but was appointed in 2000 to 1st assistant men's coach for the summer Olympics in Australia - so yes, the stuff legends are made of). I was so inspired, and also so proud of my cousin who, as co-captain, described in her speech the grit that this team has forged through together.
After the team meeting, we went for dinner at a jazzy spot with live music and an excellent menu: Sazzy Bs who takes their cuisine influence from around the globe. The menu boasted everything from pasta (really good pasta) to fish tacos. Their drink menu stole my heart with their "choose your own adventure concept" : choose your spirit, your style (spicy/sweet/etc) and your cup. I asked for spicy, mezcal, and a coupe, which I learned is like a martini glass but rounded rather pointed outward (note to self: buy coupes for the apartment). It was a great, low-key but great vibe way to kick off the weekend with really entertaining uber rides there and back.
After dinner, we had a nightcap at the hotel, conserving our energy for the much needed cheering for the following day.