Four years ago, Jamie Rand read OnMilwaukee.com's "100 Things To Do in Milwaukee" article. At the time, she was a nanny for a Shorewood family with three boys and discovered the list after looking online for new activities to do with the kids.
"I have lived in Milwaukee almost my whole life, and after reading the article, I realized I needed to get out more," says Rand.
So Rand decided she would complete all of the items on the list – including the things she had already done in the past.
"I never set a time limit on it, and it became a fun thing to do on weekends when I had spare time," says Rand.
So far she has completed 63 of the 100 list items. The first thing she did on the list was No. 26, "Take a booze cruise."
"My friend Sarah and I booked one with Riverwalk Boat Tours. We had some margaritas, talked, laughed and realized we forgot the Dramamine," she says. "Afterwards, while on dry land, we saw Gertie the duck along Wisconsin Avenue, which is No. 85 on the list."
Rand often invited her friends to pick something off the list that they wanted to do.
"Anything that had to do with bars and restaurants quickly got crossed off," she says.
One of her favorite list items has been No. 83: "Take a Milwaukee food tour." Rand organized a group of friends and family to take the Bloody Mary Brunch Tour from Milwaukee Food Tours. She also plans to take the Brady Street Tour in the near future.
Rand also really liked visiting Koz's Mini Bowl – No. 80 on the list. "Those tiny bowling balls are adorable," she says.
A trip to the Wisconsin Humane Society (No. 35) resulted in her adopting a cat, Sammy, but the most significant list item turned out to be No. 30, "Have a drink in The Yard at the Iron Horse Hotel."
"I had never even heard of The Iron Horse before seeing it on the OnMilwaukee.com list, and once I arrived I realized I had been missing out on one of the coolest spots in Milwaukee," says Rand.
A few weeks after her initial visit to The Yard, Rand decided to have her birthday party there and that night, she met Tim whom she dated for the next three years.
"I had my birthday party at The Iron Horse Hotel three years in a row and last year when we were there, Tim surprised me with a birthday card that said my gift was a trip to Jamaica," says Rand. "We left on the trip the following morning and he proposed on the beach that night."
The couple, now living in Racine, got married this past May on the Riviera Maya in Mexico.
"Without the '100 Things to do in Milwaukee' list, we never would have met that day," says Rand. "OnMilwaukee.com you are a million times better than Match.com."
The couple continued to cross items off the list together and, this summer, they plan to "Pull up a boat to a slip at Barnacle Bud's or Water Buffalo" (No. 5), "Bowl a few lines on America's oldest lanes at Holler House" (No. 40) and "Have breakfast at the Plaza Hotel on Cass Street" (No. 71).
"It was always nice to have the list available for weekends when we had nothing going on, especially when Tim and I first met. It gave us ideas of places to go together that we wouldn't have thought of otherwise," says Rand.
The couple’s favorite list item that they’ve completed together was No. 34, "Make a difference at the Volunteer Center."
Last November, the couple – along with a friend – signed up for "Make a Difference Day" hosted by the Volunteer Center and helped elderly men and women get their houses ready for the winter.
"We met the nicest lady named Alice," says Rand. "Alice was in her 80s and lived alone, so she was unable to get the yard work done. She was so grateful that we were there to clean up her yard and thanked us several times. We raked the leaves in her yard, pulled weeds, washed her windows and had a fun time talking with her."
But not every list item has been a joy. Rand says her least favorite activity, so far, has been No. 11, "Bike the (108-mile) Oak Leaf Trail as far as you can muster."
"I'm sure this would be a really fun activity for most people, but I have never really been a fan of bicycles," says Rand. "I put on my helmet, climbed on my Huffy and headed to the trails. Just biking down the street to the Oak Leaf Trail was enough for me. And I wish I was joking, but I seriously had to crawl up the stairs when I got home."
Another disappointment occurred when Rand went to the Mars Cheese Castle – No. 47 – and ordered a ham and cheese sandwich.
"They forgot the cheese! What?!" she says.
Most of all, Rand says she is dreading No. 68 – "Rent a kayak and take a ride down the Milwaukee River" – but still plans to do it for the sake of completing all 100 items on the list.
"I know I am going to capsize immediately," she says.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.