Images from the Milwaukee Museum of Art

A little while ago the hubby and I made a trip up to Milwaukee for a concert and spent some time wandering around the lakefront however we didn’t leave ourselves enough time for an actual visit through the very impressive Milwaukee Museum of Art.  Luckily, we won free tickets to a Primus concert at The Rave/Eagles  Ballroom in Milwaukee (of which, once again, I was unable to get a photo pass) so we made the point of heading up to the museum earlier. I’ve been here one time before and even though I live in Chicago, home of the gigantic Art Institute, I find myself enjoying this museum just a bit more.

 Part of that feeling might be due to the overall higher level of accessibility to Milwaukee’s lakefront (holy free parking on Sunday Batman!) and another part may be the beautiful and unique architecture of the building itself.











View the full set here!

Till next time,



Images from the Milwaukee Lakefront

In my previous post I reviewed a show from the Hey Cruel World Tour featuring The Pretty Reckless and Marilyn Manson. Before we attended this show we spent some time along the lakefront from which I took a few photographs which is something I haven’t had the opportunity to do for some time.

Perhaps next time we will get there earlier and take a visit through the Milwaukee Museum of Art since it’s been a couple years since our last real trip there. For now though, enjoy some happy sunny day shots from our most recent visit to the Milwaukee Lakefront as well as a pit-stop to the Mars Cheese Castle.

Mars Cheese Castle B & W close up

Come to me

Milwaukee Museum of Art, B & W

Peek A Boo

Side Angle of Milwaukee Museum of Art

Milwaukee Art Museum Hallway B & W

Milwaukee Art Museum Cieling



Smushing Flubber at Lake



on bench near Milwaukee Skyline

See the full set here.

Till next time folks,


The Patio Theater and Regulus Coffee House offer up nostalgic style in Portage Park


The Patio Theater in Portage Park

In a world filled with gigantic yet bland multiplexes, Portage Park offers Chicagoans a chance to revisit a more grand and unique movie going experience at the recently restored Patio Theater. The Patio, located at 6008 W. Irving Park Rd., is one of the few remaining historic movie theaters in the city having originally opened in 1927 but sadly had to shut down operations in 2001.  Fortunately though, The Patio has reopened with plenty of care and detail towards it’s ornate and dramatic fixtures. As you enter the building be sure to look up as the front ticket lobby, with it’s neo-Pompeian style, has been fully restored showcasing it’s extraordinarily beautiful chandelier and intricate ceiling designs.


Look up!

The viewing room which features an open space seating of about 1500 and features one of the largest screens in the Chicago area, is what most customers of The Patio’s past seem to remember. Entering the room, one can’t help but be somewhat mesmerized by the exquisite light fixtures adorning the walls of the outer aisles. The main screen itself is surrounded on both sides by balcony style archways coated in a lighting scheme of purples and reds giving the room a feel of vintage romance. Once you sit down be sure to look up if you haven’t already noticed the twinkling lights and moving clouds adorning the makeshift night sky.


Offering lot more personality than your average AMC

Aesthetics aside, another solid reason to visit the Patio theater is the ridiculously reasonable price of $5 dollars all day, every day, for any age. Admission prices aren’t the only thing you’ll find pleasant considering that the Patio offers a large popcorn (in the traditional bucket) and a large drink all for $8 dollars which is something that you won’t likely find in most modern multiplexes.


Technically, The Patio is considered to be a second run theater which means it gets new movies a few weeks later than the first run theaters. Personally though, seeing a movie at the Patio feels more like an experience rather than just sitting in a dark room.


Final screen image of "My Week With Marilyn" at The Patio Theater

This past weekend the hubby and I had the pleasure of seeing “My Week With Marilyn” right before Oscar night which tallied my total  Oscar films  I’ve seen this year to one (Yay me!).  Anyway, there was definitely something unique about watching a film that takes place during a time when glamor and opulence was a major part of Hollywood in a theater filled with that similar Old Hollywood style.


Regulus offers "Good Coffee" and more

The Patio isn’t all that Portage Park has to offer. About  a block away sits Regulus Coffee House Company, located at 6032 W. Irving Park RD. Regulus offers fair trade, organic, locally grown coffee along with a wide variety of teas, sodas and signature drinks. I very much enjoyed their Italian Cream Soda which had the option of an additional flavor shot. I chose the Toasted Marshmallow flavor shot which may seem odd to some but I consider myself a connoisseur of all things marshmallow flavored. I also had the pleasure of tasting their delicious raspberry kolaczki pastries which was just one of their sweet offerings.


Regulus offers an open relaxed atmosphere

Atmosphere at Regulus is very relaxed though they do have a swear jar for the “S” word, you know, as in Starbucks. It was simply a nice place to spend time in as I could picture myself kicking back with a good book and a warm drink on a cool Chicago day or a nice chilled beverage on one of those notorious Chicago summer days. The coffee house itself is decorated in comforting earth tones along with the added personality of a handwritten chalkboard style menu featuring gold colored picture frames dividing the menu’s sections. A variety of board games and books are left out for customers enjoyment during their visit as well as hand made jewelry, mugs and featured artwork that are available for purchase. I applaud them too for not overly crowding the room with tightly packed in tables which as I mentioned in my last post, is a major pet peeve.


The Regulus Coffee House Menu

Regulus often features deals in conjunction with the Patio such as offering discounts or even free drinks when you present your movie ticket stub. Also featured are various events like Family History Night coming up Thursday , March 1st at 7:00 pm, where guests can learn how to embark on discovering the history of their families.


Sure that's the exit but why would you want to leave?

Regulus is definitely a welcomed addition to the area along with the return of the Patio and it’s wonderful to see two local businesses working together ultimately helping their community grow. Here’s hoping that both business will continue to flourish and possibly help influence future business openings in Portage Park.

Be sure to “Like” The Patio and Regulus Coffee House Company on Facebook to stay in the loop on upcoming discounts and events!

Till next time,


4 Nights in Starved Rock

During the last week of December the hubby and I took our annual winter break trip to Starved Rock State Park located in the small town of Utica, IL.


Starved Rock Lobby Entrance

We really enjoy visiting the lodge and the park itself during the winter time and look forward to the scenic view of the park covered in snow and ice. However, we did not get ANY snow. Not one bit. This trip was the first time I had my good camera with for a Starved Rock trip so I was really hoping to get some majestic snow shots in, however many of the hiking pics ended up feeling like they were taken on a crisp fall day, not the last week of December.

Fireplace in Dining Hall at Starved Rock Lodge

Fireplace in Dining Hall at Starved Rock Lodge

Regardless of the fact that snow was MIA for this trip we still very much enjoyed our stay. The lodge itself is really perfect during the winter when I look to achieve that rustic-warm-by-the-fireplace-hot-cocoa-in-hand feeling which you can literally do here. The Great Hall has a large two sided fireplace, the Dining Hall has another one and you can even have a fireplace of your own if you rent one of 4 Sunset Cabins that have one. The Dining Hall has some delicious food and I am happy to see they have incorporated more vegetarian friendly options on their menus. The Sunday Brunch Buffet is also something worth checking out. You will not walk away hungry. If you do, well, then your doing it wrong! Also, be sure to stop at the Backdoor Lounge, located near the Dining Hall for a drink.

Cow, Bar and Christmas Lights

The Backdoor Lounge at Starved Rock Lodge

Utica, is a very small town but that’s part of it’s charm.  One of the places we make it a point to stop at every year is the Illinois River Winery. This year we purchased some Strawberry wine, Hallowine (a Halloween spiced apple pumpkin flavor best served warm) and one called Festiva which is very much like a champagne. The Festiva was a perfect choice with New Years Eve being right around the corner. Another one of our favorites is their Cranberry Snow which we’ve often found in local Chicago liquor stores. If you can’t make it down there in person they do make most of their wines available for online ordering.

Moon over the Illinois River Winery

Illinois River Winery

We also made a stop at Finnegan’s Bookstore in it’s new location. I’m always happy to set foot in an independently owned bookstore in this day and age. Finnegan’s has a diverse selection of new and used books in a wide variety of topics and genres. Make sure to ask for your Free Wooden Nickel! Seriously, do it.

We also dined at two wonderful establishments, Canal Port and the Uptown Grill. Canal Port, also located in Utica, has some wonderfully tasty food including some the largest fried mushrooms I’ve had in quite a while. They have a wide variety of seafood, pastas, meat dishes and salads. Ask for a table near the fireplace for a little extra ambiance.

Outside of Canal Port

The hubby outside of Canal Port

Uptown Grill is located in LaSalle which is only a short drive from Utica. Uptown describes themselves “polished casual dining at it’s best” and I have to agree. This was a really great restaurant which was decorated nicely for the holiday season. Their menu is LARGE! I ordered the Saganaki and Portobella Fajitas which were both delicious. I also ordered a drink called the Fine and Dandy which certainly lived up to it’s name.

Uptown Restaurant

Uptown Restaurant

Oh and last but not least, Starved Rock State Park itself! Again, I wish we had at least a bit of snow for picture purposes but alas it did not work out that way. Regardless, the scenery was quite beautiful and relaxing. The benefit to no snow was that we were able to walk near Canyons that have been blocked with ice patches in the past.

Stream into Canyon

Stream into Canyon at Starved Rock State Park

If you would like to see more pictures from our trip as always here’s the link to my Flickr set.

Till next time folks and once again have a Happy New Year!

Lighted tree