Sights with Sami

Follow the Currents Editor on her mission to explore Eau Claire this semester

More stories from Sami West

Sights with Sami

A three day weekend meant three whole days of Eau Claire exploration.

For one, I spent my Friday afternoon swimming in the Chippewa River. Everyone always talks about tubing down the river. But in actuality, you don’t need a tube. Find a day hot enough, get a group of people, grab your swimsuit, pick a spot on the shore and walk right in.

My afternoon on the Chippewa sans tube was the perfect combination of exciting and relaxing, and eased me into the weekend in the perfect way. Not only did I have tons of fun swimming (who doesn’t love swimming?), I also got the chance to laugh with friends I hadn’t been able to see all that much all summer, or during my hectic first week of classes.

On top of that, this outing cost me exactly zero dollars, and my dorm room experienced no extra clutter from a bulky inflated tube. Talk about a win-win-win.

My weekend fun continued on Saturday when my family visited me, and I shared two staple Eau Claire activities with them — the downtown farmer’s market and Antique Emporium on Main Street.

We spent the morning enjoying music and checking out local produce and flowers at the farmer’s market. For only five dollars, I scored a beautiful bouquet of flowers that brightened up my tiny dorm room immensely. On top of that, my parents bought fresh cilantro, squash, a gorgeous bouquet of Chinese Lanterns for my grandma, and Wisconsin cheese curds to bring home to Minnesota, all for only $16 — a financially savvy college student’s dream.

If you haven’t already gone to the farmer’s market this year, I implore you to do so while you still can, stocking up on fresh, local goods for little money.

After the farmer’s market, my family and I headed to Antique Emporium. Old books, art, dishes, clothes, magazines — old just about anything — cluttered each of the store’s three floors. Exploring the entire store took over an hour, and even my dad and brother remained interested the entire time we were there, which is saying something.

In my book, Sunday mornings are for finding a new place for coffee. So naturally, I had to do just that, especially since I had an extra day to procrastinate doing my homework.

I found myself at The French Press, a small cafe, ordering a French Press, excited for a morning of coffee and conversation, two of my favorite things.

However, I had no idea what I was in for when I ordered French Press. A server dropped off a tray with a huge, strange pitcher of coffee and a timer. She told me my timer was “still going.”

I, as embarrassing as it is, panicked. Why do I have a timer? What is this pitcher? What in the world did I order? I frantically Googled “French Press,” trying to figure out what I was supposed to do in five minutes when the timer went off.

Then, I took a step back and looked at the pitcher, and realized it was quite simple. All I had to do was push the plunger at the top of the pitcher, which had a mesh sack filled with coffee attached to it, down so that I could pour the coffee.


During my panic, my friend laughed at my confusion, though she had no idea what I had ordered either.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed three of the best cups of coffee I’d had in a long time, all for less money than my friend had spent on her single chai latte. I guess the confusion payed off.