Mother-Daughter Milwaukee Weekend

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8…Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!  (Millennials, ask your parents.) I showed Brooke an episode of Laverne and Shirley before we headed out on our mother-daughter Milwaukee weekend.  And yes, I made her reenact the opening right out on the street in public.  Considering I was taking her to a Miranda Sings concert, it was more than a fair exchange.

IMG_2896

 

Milwaukee is such an easy weekend getaway from our Chicago suburb of Naperville…just under a two hour drive.  Packing for a weekend is so simple: one wheelie suitcase (of course from Baggallini) with two outfits for each of us, bathing suits for the pool and spa, pjs, and loads of textbooks so Brooke could get her homework done in between  the concert and sightseeing–let’s not discuss whether that happened or not.

Brooke’s backpack was filled to the brim with makeup for the Miranda Sings concert at the Riverside Theatre. I’ve never seen more red lipstick in my life!  I had no expectation for the concert and it was actually so funny. Colleen Ballinger is super talented, although not appropriate for children under 15 in my opinion.

 

IMG_6029red

IMG_6042redred

IMG_2951

IMG_5924makeup

A lot of prep for a 60 minute concert!

 

Where we stayed:  

If you visit Milwaukee, I can’t imagine you’d want to stay anywhere other than The Pfister Hotel.  If you don’t know it’s history, it’s fascinating.

IMG_2885

Known as  the “Jewel of Milwaukee,” the first thing you’ll be swept away by is the ornate Romanesque Revival architecture. Built in 1893, it truly felt like we time traveled.  The opulence of staircases, chandeliers, muraled ceilings and marble accents will make you instantly feel like royalty. The Pfister Hotel has the largest collection of Victorian art in America.  The pool, spa, suites and lounge areas all get 5/5 ratings in our book. The only disappointment was the restaurant, Mason Street Grill.  It was honestly the worst Halibut I’ve ever had and Brooke’s flatbread pizza had the soggiest crust.  We were greatly disappointed but the beauty of the hotel and the city definitely made up for it.

IMG_6003pfister

IMG_2876IMG_2902IMG_5988

IMG_5922room.jpg

IMG_2973 window

What we did for two days in Milwaukee:

Knowing basically nothing about Milwaukee, we were excited to explore the city.Here’s what we learned just by meeting people, asking questions and a bit of research:

Milwaukee is a German settlement and the influential Captain Fredrick Pabst’s name is everywhere. He was a German-American brewer who purchased the Pabst Theatre in 1890. Milwaukee is divided by the Milwaukee River. The east sits along the Milwaukee Bay which spills into Lake Michigan.  The buildings here are full of character.  City Hall could probably be mistaken for Big Ben and the Federal Building looks like a European castle.  The west side of Milwaukee seems more suburban and is home to Marquette University–now on Brooke’s college radar. Along the lake is the Museum of Art.  It looks like a ship or perhaps a whale.  Either way, it’s a work of art in itself!

IMG_6004art3IMG_6005art2

IMG_2906IMG_2907IMG_2899IMG_2911IMG_2913

IMG_2893

 

Although we were surprised not to find any breweries, there’s definitely not a lack of churches in Milwaukee.  There almost seems to be a church on every block and the architecture is magnificent.  Again…European teleportation.

1200px-Gesu_Church_Milwaukeetumblr_o61pz8t69x1rh805no1_1280

 

Overall, we’ve decided that we’d “walk” all over Milkwaukee anytime!  What an architecture gem!

IMG_6035riverIMG_2886streetbIMG_2892onstreet - Copy

Have you ever visited Milwaukee?  We will definitely return…maybe for a college visit!

 

 

Fifteen Reasons Winter Doesn’t Suck

Unlike my mom who views winter as the season of sadness and hybernation, I view it as a glorious time of year.  Yes, the nights are loooooooong, the days are short, and it can be painfully  freezing, but in my opinion these fifteen reasons to love winter far outweigh any negatives:

Read more

Mom, You’re Way too Old for Instagram

Two years ago this February, my mom started an Instagram account.  When my brothers and I found out,we were a bit upset to say the least. Ok, seriously pissed off. There was no way she was going to be creeping on us. Moms and other old people should know their place… Facebook. Go tell the world how to make precious Pinterest Pumpkin napkin rings, or brag about the money saving organic, gluten free, vegan mangoes you found at Trader Joes. Anything! Just stay the beeeeep away from Instagram!  Everyone knows Instagram is solely for those 25 and younger.  It’s clearly written in the Millennium Code Book for dummies.

Read more

Brooke’s Balance Bracelets

 

 

 

 

Since I can remember, I have wanted to own my own business. I am a natural boss–just ask my two older brothers. They’ll tell you just what a “leader” I really am! (Don’t you love euphemisms?)

Honestly though, as far back as preschool I can remember starting businesses–from selling pretty rocks I’d find in the woods in the brook behind my house, to Brooke’s Beauty Spa where I’d sell certificates for fifteen minute massages and charge a few bucks extra for a therapeutic cucumber eye treatment, to a few years later creating and editing a neighborhood pet newspaper, “The Bow Wow News,” where I’d feature a different neighborhood dog each month. The list goes on and on.  Entrepreneurship runs through my veins.

Besides co-owning PedisNPassports, I have branched out to becoming a jewelry maker. My yoga teacher introduced me to mala bracelets as a part of therapy and stress relief and we would enjoy making them together.  She would bring beautiful stones all the way from Bali and we’d create beautiful bracelets together that I’d give to family and friends. Then, of course, the business light bulb illuminated.  I could sell these!

IMG_7246

Read more

A Magical Mayan Day in Belize

One of our excursions during our Christmas Carnival Cruise 2017 was to the Central American country of Belize.  We narrowed down our excursion choices to cave tubing, scuba diving or hiking the Mayan ruins. Last year, we snorkeled in caves in Riviera Maya so cave tubing was voted off the list. While scuba diving at the Great Blue Hole sounded remarkable, being novices, we’ve really been planning on a full scuba instructional vacation, and furthermore, the phrase “heavily inhabited with sharks” left the Mayan ruins as a fine selection. Besides, we already had water based excursions planned for Honduras and Mexico.

Read more

Pros and Cons of a Central American Carnival Christmas Cruise

For Christmas this year, we decided to trade in the cold and snow for the tropics and set sail on a Carnival Cruise. (Itinerary coming in future post)  Since we had a wide range of age groups traveling, we figured a cruise would meet everyone’s needs.  Don’t get me wrong, we had a spectacular time–laughs, wonderful memories , quality time together, etc. However, upon reflecting if we’d cruise again during the holidays, or anytime for that matter, this is still left undecided.

Read more

Breaking Traditions–We Must Sail On

Christmas.

Forty-seven years celebrated exactly the same– same family members;  same neighbors;  same hand made ornaments each telling a nostalgic tale, same trivial meal preparation squabbles; same Christmas Eve Mass…sacred traditions created with love and family bonding for almost half a century.

So what happens when you lose an integral part of that tradition?

Read more