Milwaukee adventures

On July 12, 2018 I, and two friends, went to Milwaukee, WI for a day of fun and food. We started out at Float, a place that has sensory deprivation tanks. That’s right, you pay someone money to float in a pool of very salted water, in a pod that blocks out of all light and noise. You can choose to have light or music, but I wanted the full experience. We’ll get to that in a moment.

The place itself is unassuming and has very nice people running it. They were super chill and super nice. I like people like that. The guy told us how the pods worked, to shower before and after, and then let us get settled in. One of the things they told us about was to place a small towel by the pod so that if you get water in your eyes, you can immediately grab the towel and not have to stumble around in the dark room.

I absolutely did that as I knew I would probably touch my face at some point. I was super excited to get started. I have heard of sensory deprivation tanks for some years now and really wanted to experience it. What would my brain do? What neat things would I see in my head? I was ready to go.

Once left to our own devices, I showered, turned off the lights, and climbed into the pod. A gentle woman’s voice tells you when the experience is starting. I got into the pod, closed the lid, turned off the sound and turned off the light…

My brain, which had been working just fine that morning (wrote new material in an unfinished book) went blank. Which might be good for some, as that allows for relaxing, but I was bored. I wanted to DO something. It felt weird just lying there.

I moved around a bit, and realized my neck was in pain. I didn’t grab the ‘head halo’ as they called it. I thought I wouldn’t need it. Annoyed, I sat up in the pod, and immediately placed my rather salty hand to my face. Yes, I really did.

The guy helping us told us there was 1000 lbs. of Epsom salt in each pod. There isn’t that much water. There is a lot of salt to make a person very buoyant. And it is, but it also means it is very bad for the eyes.

Having placed my hand on my face and feeling the water start to drip towards my eyes, I opened the pod as quickly as I could, and grabbed the small towel I had placed close by. I was seriously not surprised that I needed the towel, by the way. I do things like that sometimes.

After making sure no salty water was going to drip into my face, I climbed out of the pod, and went to the bench on the other side of the room. I grabbed the floating head pillow, which is a thin Styrofoam doughnut ‘pillow’, and threw it into the pod. I climbed back in, closed the lid and settled back down, this time, with my head propped on the head halo. That helped.

Unfortunately, my MS really wasn’t cooperating. The rest of the time was spent trying to figure out why my left calf muscle was tensing, amongst other symptoms.

I also heard some interesting body functions that I have actually heard before. I heard my heartbeat, found out my tinnitus was not loud enough to be distracting in the no noise environment, heard what I think was my blood flowing through my veins. Towards the end, I heard my stomach growling. That was louder than usual but didn’t bother me.

I was able to relax well enough towards the end that I kept almost falling asleep, but right about the time I would, a limb would twitch and bring me back.

Looking back, it’s as if my insomnia kicked in and decided nothing would make me relax. All in all, it was interesting, but it wasn’t the WOW experience I was looking for. It was a bit disappointing. A part of me thinks that I might try again, to make sure it wasn’t just a fluke that I didn’t feel as relaxed as other people have.

My companions on this day had a better experience. One was able to relax fully, and I think said she fell asleep. The other decided to open her eyes to see how dark it was and saw images she is now planning on drawing. I’m interested to see how that works out. Since they had good experiences, I’m glad I went. And the rest of the day was awesome too. I’ll get to that shortly.

Side note, for women reading this, if you have your period when you make your appointment, it’s not a problem. I had no issues in the pod. If you want more information on that ladies, talk to me privately.

We did a lot more that day. The next place we went was lunch at Screaming Tuna. I had a roll called Rising Sun. From the menu: seasonal salmon, avocado, blackberry, cucumber, scallion, orange slice, black tobiko (fish eggs), spicy mayo, togarashi (spices). It was fantastic. No fishy taste on the salmon whatsoever. The fruit lent a bit of sweetness which I really enjoyed.

Next, we went to Indulgence Chocolatiers… Needless to say, I spent a lot of money. Which I don’t regret one bit.

Next, I got my second tattoo, by Nicole Hughes at Serenity Ink Tattoo. Nicole is a friend of mine, she used to work with me. The first time I got a tattoo, I knew what I wanted when I walked into the shop, had a picture and everything. Solvej did an awesome job at making me feel comfortable and helped me to have as good of an experience as you can when getting jabbed by a needle over and over and over again.

With this tattoo, though I knew I wanted a poison dart frog, that was all I knew. I gave Nicole creative control and when she asked if she could add some foliage, I said sure. Though I wanted to see the design before the tattoo appointment, she told me she doesn’t usually have the design done until the night before or the day of. I decided, since I like her art anyway, to be ok with it.

We got to Serenity Ink Tattoo, and she showed me the piece almost as soon as I walked in the door. I fell in love with it at first sight. It was and is beautiful. The frog looks like she’s smiling and has a glint in her eye! Like seriously! It’s beautify and adorable!

Let me tell you though, getting a tattoo hurts. It’s like having a cat slowly scratch you over a sunburn. It is not pleasant. Why did I do it twice then? Well, the first tattoo was small. It was over quickly. This one is big, but I really wanted a frog tattoo. I’ll tell you why a frog some other time. So I laid on this massage table with my companions sitting close by, getting a needle stuck into my over and over and over again for over an hour. I watched some of the progress, but as Nicole got closer and closer to being done, I stopped looking. I wanted to see the finished product.

Once she was done, I stood, went to the mirror and fell in love with it all over again. I’ve included a picture of the tattoo so you all can see it. I love it. I can not say that enough. Thank you, Nicole!

After the tattoo, we went to MAM. Milwaukee Art Museum. I love art museums, well all museums, really. My favorite piece at MAM is one of the modern art pieces. There is a suitcase on the ground. When you look into the suitcase, there is a grate, and inside the grate, a few feet away, is water, and plants, and if you’re looking from the correct angle, you can see part of a person holding a baby. It’s like you’re seeing their lower half. It’s really cool.

Side note: if you’ve never been to an art museum, you should go. The amount of art in museums means that there will most probably be something you like. Also, it’s the history of humans in art form. It’s amazing.

After MAM, we went to dinner. Lucky Ginger. That was also really good food. We picked our restaurants mostly by chance. We did not go wrong.

At the end of it all, the day was pretty freaking awesome. Float may not have been what I wanted, but everything else beyond my expectations. If Float seems like an interesting idea to you, try it out. There’s no reason you won’t find it fun.

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