Must Visit – Milwaukee, WI

My husband’s work recently took us to Milwaukee, and we absolutely loved it. This was our first time to ever even go to the state of Wisconsin, so I was trolling Facebook and my WI-based customers for what in the heck we should do there. I knew it would be cold, and that’s about where my expectations started and ended.

It was cold, but Milwaukee was a fantastically delightful city. If we need to go again, I will very eagerly return. Except unless it’s in January or February; that’s way too cold for me. One of our Uber drivers said it was “absolutely hellish” in the winter, and that it was only warm June to September. One word: yikes. Guess we’ll stay put in Texas!

Stay

img_1442The Pfister Hotel

Wow. Gorgeous hotel! It was comfortable and affordable, and oh-so-lovely. We highly recommend staying here. Also, the Orlando Magic stayed there when they played the Milwaukee Bucks. We were enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail in the beautiful lobby bar, and all of a sudden, these really (REALLY) tall guys start streaming into the hotel in single file like giant ants heading for a picnic. We did some covert spying of luggage and figured out who they were. So… you know… if it’s good enough for the NBA…

Eat

Lake Park Bistro

Cozy and delicious. I only wish we could have seen out the window, but it was too dark.

Harbor House

Great food with awesome views of the lake and the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Cafe Benelux

Good food and beer.

The Public Market

img_1463

Drink

The Pfister lobby bar, and their bar at the top of the hotel, Blu, with excellent views of the city and the lake.

Lakefront Brewery

Surprisingly fantastic gluten free beer (and regular beer). Apparently they’re the number one gluten free beer in Canada. Who knew, eh?

Colectivo Coffee (Lakefront)

Really cool coffee bar in an old flushing station.

Do

The Public Market

Cute shops and good eats.

Milwaukee Art Museum

We didn’t have enough time to go, but I definitely want to visit next time.

Notes from the Moon Shell

At a most appropriate time, my mother gave me a copy of Gift from the Sea, a must-read for all women (in my humble opinion).
I recently returned the book as a temporarily loan to Mom; I felt that the timing was right. As I handed over the book, I noticed that while reading it a few years back, I dog-eared a number of pages for safe-keeping, and I opened it to the below. At this moment of my life during which I mightily struggle more than ever before to balance all that is urgently pressing and dear: love and the future that is rapidly approaching, family, work, friends… it was almost as if the spirit of Ms. Lindbergh were politely coughing and pointing from the great beyond to her words of wisdom.
I share this passage here with you and hope you pick up your own copy.

Is this then what happens to woman? She wants perpetually to spill herself away. All her instinct as a woman, the eternal nourisher of children, of men, of society, demands that she give. Her time, her energy, her creativeness drain out into these channels if there is any change, any leak. Traditionally we are taught, and instinctively we long, to give where it is needed, and immediately. Eternally, woman spills herself away in driblets to the thirsty, seldom being allowed the time, the quiet, the peace, to let the pitcher fill up to the brim.

Purposeful giving is not as apt to deplete ones resources; it belongs to that natural order of giving that seems to renew itself even in the act of depletion. The more one gives, the more one has to give, like milk in the breast.

If it is womans function to give, she must be replenished too. But how? Solitude, says the moon shell. Every person, especially every woman, should be alone sometime during the year, some part of each week, and each day.

Peaceful reminders

Take Flight

Everyone has Oceans to fly…
              if they have the Heart to do it.
                                                        Is it reckless? Maybe.

But what do dreams know of boundaries?”
 – Amelia Earhart

Remembering

News that my flight from LAX to DFW was canceled last Monday meant momentary aggravation followed by the realization that I was going to need another book. I was wrapping up reading Ape House (the second book by the author of Water for Elephants; I recommend you check it out) and figured for my sanity’s sake that I needed back-up for a potentially grueling trip home.

Jen and I thus headed to Pages, a locally-owned Manhattan Beach book store, to poke around for awhile. Stricken with ADD, I wandered around and around the tiny store, desperate for something to read and as equally indecisive in what I should select. Finally, I circled closer and closer to Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany.

While I pray that I never have to face a Holocaust in my lifetime, or endure anything remotely as horrific and challenging as a World War, I do sometimes wonder what I’m made of. If I were tested, how would I fare? Am I wily enough to outsmart and out-survive an enemy as depraved as the Nazis? When you sum up all my parts, would I be brave enough? Would my moral compass point true and North?

Whether I’m weak or strong has yet to be tested such depths, but I nonetheless honor those who, throughout time, have stood up for what is right, no matter the cost.

Terracotta Rooftops, Verdant Hills, Prosecco and Goodbye

5 Ottobre 2010 | Firenze

The sun is setting on my final night in Firenze. I celebrate with sparkling wine and a vista of the city. I am proud of myself.

The bells of the Duomo sing six o’clock.  It is a beautiful day.

The city stretches out beneath me, cradled by green hills. A breeze cools the setting sun, tickling the potted flowers on the terrace, and kissing my warm shoulders.

I never sit like this at home.

My fellow friends of the terrace luxuriate in the arrival of the evening.

We watch the shadows shift across the Duomo, and we drain our cups. For most, this is the first stop in the night. For me, this is why I’m here.

Cin cin!

I Did What?

I’ve been home for well over a month now, and my voyage is slowly slipping away from me. The peace it brought to my heart, mind and soul remains, but somehow this thing I accomplished is fading a bit with each day. Thus, I am glad I still have posts yet to publish from my journey.

I *gasp* wrote by hand quite a bit on my Italian sojourn, and so today I open my small but well-worn travel journal and share with you the first of a few stories and experiences left to tell.

Buon appetito!

Flowers at the Campo di Fiori market in Roma