Monday, October 16, 2017

New York City, October 2017

I had enough points at Marriott so that our stay at the Residence Inn on 48th Street was free.  Our flight was also free with Delta points!

Wednesday October 11, 2017
  • Leave home at 7:00AM
  • Depart MKE   9:05AM           DL3472
  • Arrive LGA    12:20PM
  • Uber to Residence Inn, 148 E. 48th Street
  • Guggenheim Museum – reciprocity with MAM
  • Frick Museum – reciprocity with MAM
Thursday, October 12
  • Woodlawn Cemetery
    • #4 Train to Woodlawn Station (end of line): ½ block
  • Spamilton
Friday, October 13
  • Queens
    • Socratese Sculpture Park - free
    • Fisher Landau Art Museum - free
    • Beer at Dutchkills Centraal
    • Lunch at Baharni Greek Restaurant
  • Greece             Theater 80       80 St Mark’s Place
Saturday, October 14
  • Open House, NY
  • Trinity church cemetery
    • Hamilton
    • Robert Fulton
  • Alexander Hamilton Customs House
  • Henry Street Settlement House
  • Marble Cemeteries
  • Dinner at Matisse on 49th & 2nd Avenue
Sunday, October 15

  • Uber to airport
  • Depart LGA    9:30AM           DL3453
  • Arrive MKE    11:10AM

Monday, July 24, 2017

London, Luxembourg City, & Brussels - May 2017

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
  • Leave home at 10:00
  • 10:40 AM Bus to Chicago
  • Air Canada flight 7594
§  Change plane in Montreal
§  Departs ORD at 3:25PM

Thursday, May 4
  • Arrive LHR at 7:25AM
  • Tube to Holborn Station
  • House of Parliament- closed pending elections!
  • Beer in Trafalgar Square
  • Dinner near our flat at La Castalletta
    • Tagleatello
    • Lamb shank
Friday, May 5
  • The Map That Changed The World
    • William Smith map ar the Royal Geological Society
  • High Gate Cemetery 1:45 tour
    • Toured East cemetery first
      • Douglas Adams
      • Karl marx
    • East Cemetery
      • Alexander Litvinenko – Russian Journalist
  • Dinner at Savoir Faire
Saturday, May 6
  • British Museum
  • London Free Mason Museum
  • Courtauld Gallery
    • Very nice
  • Tate Modern
  • Walk back home
Sunday, May 7
  • Victoria & Albert Museum
    • Lots of stuff
  • Natural History Museum
    • Crowded and under renovation
  • Punjab for Indian food for dinner
    • Acharri Gohst (lamb)
    • Acharri Murgha (chicken)
Monday, May 8 – travel day
  • Train Luxembourg City
    • Leave St Pancras at 8:00
    • Train in Brussels was taken out of service.  Replacement train came in about 15 minutes.
    • Arrive Luxembourg about 3:30
    • Johanna met us and took us to the apartment.
    • Dinner at Grand Café in Place Guillaume
      • Carpaccio
Tuesday, May 9
·         Luxembourg History Museum
·         Lunch in Place de Guillaume
o   Sausages, potato pancakes, and beer
·         Bus to American Military Cemetery
o   Patton’s grave
·         Dinner at Basso in the Grund (valley)
o   Snails
o   Schnitzel cordon bleu
o   Spaetzels with lardons
·         Nice walk home
Wednesday, May 10
  • Ville Vaudon
    • Bosch exhibit
    • Edward Steichen exhibit
      • Moved to Milwaukee at age 10
  • Walk through city park
  • Walked to train station to get tickets to Brussels
  • Lunch at Place de Paris
    • Beef burgundy
  • Long walk to Clausen
    • Got a little lost
    • Ended up at Scott’s across from Bosso for a well deserved beer
  • Dinner at Café Grand
    • Prime Ministers of Luxembourg (Xavier Bettel) & the Czech Republic were there too
Thursday, May 11 – travel day
  • Train to Brussels
  • Rue de la Fourche 7 Brussels
  • Frites at Georgette café
  • Magritte Museum
    • Saw Atomium from window!
  • Beer
  • Georgette café for dinner
    • Asperges a la Flamande was is season!
Friday, May 12
  • Antoine Wiertz Museum
  • Mannekin Pis
  • Beer & snacks
  • Lunch at Chez Leon
    • Moules & frites
  • Walk through St Catherine
    • Oysters on the street
  • Dinner at Georgette cafe
Saturday, May 13
·         AC Flight 833
·         Departs BRU at 10:45AM
§  Change planes in Montreal
§  My suitcase didn’t make it
·         Arrive ORD at 2:49PM
·         Bus to Milwaukee
·         Home by 6:00PM

  • Suite case delivered on Monday

Monday, October 24, 2016

Piettes In Ireland 2016

Saturday 10/1/16
  • Arrive Dublin 7:55AM
  • Aircoach bus into Dublin
  •  Parliament Apartments, Lord Edward Street, Apt 5
  • Dublin Castle
  • City Hall
  • Chester Beatty Library
  • Dinner at The Winding Stair
Sunday 10/2/14
  • PM: Trinity University
    • Book of Kells – need tickets
  • National Library
    • WW I exhibit
  • National Museum of Archeology
  • Museum of Natural History
  • St Stephen’s Green
  • Snack at The Hairy Lemon
  • Greek food for dinner
  • Organ recital at St Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Guinness & Jameson at Fallon’s
Monday 10/3/2016
  • 10:30 tour of Glasnevin Cemetery
  • 2:45 Kilmainham Jail prison tour
    • Walk back to flat
  • Dinner at The Woolen Mill
Tuesday 10/4/2016
  • Bus to Galway – 11:15
  • 10 Mary Street Apt 1
  • Dinner at Oscar’s
  • Irish dancing
Wednesday 10/5/016
  • Walked around
  • Forthill Cemetery
    • Grave of 300 sailors of the Spanish Armada executed in 1588
  • Dinner at The Pie Maker
Thursday 10/6/2016
  • Bus to Dublin – 10:45
  • 31 Scarlet Row Essex Street West
  • Dinner at Bull & Castle
  • Traditional music Pub Crawl
Friday 10/7/2016

  • Boyne day trip with Mary Gibbons
    • Hill of Tara
    • NewGrange
  • Dinner at Kathmandu Kitchen

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Piettes in Mexico City - 2016

Mexico City, March 8-13, 2016

Tuesday March 8, 2016
  • Leave home at 9:15
  • 9:40 AM Bus to Chicago
  • AA Flight 2327  Departs ORD at 1:25PM arrive DFW 3:50
  • AA Flight 2233  Departs DFW at 5:12, arrive MEX 7:49
  • Cab to Hotel Cathedral

Wednesday, March 9
·         Templo Mayor (p70)
·         Palacio Nacional (p70).
·         Museo de la Tortura (p74)
·         Palacio de Bellas Artes (p77)

Thursday, March 10
·         Teotihuacán (p146)
Friday, March 11
·         Museo Nacional de Antropología (p83)
·         Castillo de Chapultepec (p83).

Saturday, March 12
·         Museo Frida Kahlo (p93)
·         Leon Trotsky museum

Sunday, March 13
·         Volaris flight 934
·         Departs MEX at 8:50AM
·         Arrive ORD at 1:45PM
·         2:20 Bus to Milwaukee
·         Home by 4:00PM

Miscellaneous things to do in DF
·         Plaza Garibaldi (p74).
·         San Ángel’s Bazar Sábado (p129) market.
·         Don't forget the churrascuria Los Moros! You will love it!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Piettes in Paris: October 7-18, 2015

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
  • Leave home at 10:15
  • 10:40 AM Bus to Chicago
  • AA Flight 42
  • Departs ORD at 3:30PM
Thursday, October 8
  • Arrive CDG at 6:45AM
  • Air France bus to Gare de Lyon
  • Notre Dame
Friday, October 9
  • Musée Bourdelle (10:00 – 18:00, T – N)
  • Montparnasse cemetery
  • Trocadero views of the Eiffel Tower
Saturday, October 10
  • St Eustache church
  • Rue Rambuteau market
  • Pompidou Center (11:00 – 22:00 W-M)
  • Saint-Merri (9:00 – 18:00, M-S)
Sunday, October 11
  • Orangerie museum (9:00 – 18:00 W–M)
  • Musée d’Orsay (9:30 – 18:00, T-N)
  • Packers at WOS
Monday, October 12 – travel day
  • Train to Lyon -10:58 Gare de Lyon
  • St John the Baptist church
  • Walk through Old Lyon
Tuesday, October 13
  • Funicular to Fourviere
  • Basillica of Notre Dame
  • Gallo Roman museum & ruins
  • Boat ride down the Saone, up the Rhone, and back
  • St George church
Wednesday, October 14
  • Beau Arts Museum
  • Museum of Confluences (11:00 – 19:00 T-N)
  • Museum of the Resistance
Thursday, October 15 – travel day
  • Train to Paris 11:34 Lyon Part Dieu
  • Madam Curie museum (13:00 – 17:00 W – S)
Friday, October 16
  • Carnavalet Museum
  • Maison Victor Hugo (Place de Voges 10:00 – 18:00 T-N)
  • Petit Palais Beau Arts museum
  • Rue Cler
Saturday, October 17
  • Sacre Coeur
  • Montmartre
Sunday, October 18, 2015
·         AA Flight 41
·         Departs CDG at 9:25AM
·         Arrive ORD at 11:50AM
·         12:20 Bus to Milwaukee
·         Home by 3:00PM
·         Packers at 3:25
Miscellaneous things to do in Paris
  • Musée Monmarttan Monet (10:00 – 18:00, T-N)
  • Musée Jacquemart-Andre
  • Catacombs
  • Natural History museum
  • Maison de Balzac (10:00 – 18:00 T-N)
Miscellaneous things to do in Lyon
  • Lyon greeters
  • n caraf d’eau = caraf of tap water
  • Un pitcher du vin = pitcher of house wine

Monday, August 31, 2015

Seattle - August 12 to 16, 2015

In August we went to Seattle for our nephew Charile and Nicole's wedding.  We arrived around 6:30PM on a direct Alaskan Air flight from Milwaukee.

We only had one day in Seattle itself, but we did make the most of it:

  • Pike Market
  • Antique firefighteing equipment museum
  • Alaskan God Rush museum
  • City Hall
  • Olympic Sculpture Park
  • a bunch of other stuff.
We stayed in Belltown at a great little AirBNB that was very conveniently located.

On Friday we went to Union, WA for the wedding.  We stayed in a little cottage, another AirBNB.

The wedding was a lot of fun!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day in Chicago, 2015

Memorial Day is a good weekend to go to Chicago since not a lot of people do.  We got a great hotel (Marriot Residence in on East Walton) for $90/night and were two blocks from the lake.  If you're going to Chicago, you want to be north of the river, preferably in the Gold Coast or Old Town neighborhoods.

We had three things we wanted to do:  Adler Planetarium, Oak Woods cemetery and Enrico Fermi's grave (my wife loves me), and dinner with our friend Joe.

We got them all done.

I'm not sure when we'll be there next, but I do want to see the play "Burning Bluebeard" this winter.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Forest Home Cemetery

Forest Home Cemetery has announced its free walking tours for 2015:

The 2015 "A WALK IN HISTORY" Tours have been announced.
Monday, May 25th (Memorial Day - 2:30pmMilwaukee History
Sunday, June 7th - Beer Barons of Milwaukee 2:00pm
Sunday, June 21st - Cemetery Art and Symbolism 2:00pm
Saturday, June 27th - Civil War History 2:00pm
Sunday, July 5th - Milwaukee History 2:00pm
Sunday, July 19th - Famous Milwaukeeans 2:00pm
Sunday, August 2nd - Milwaukee Mayors 2:00pm
Sunday, August 16th - Cemetery Art and Symbolism 2:00pm
Saturday, Sept. 12th - Civil War History 2:00pm
Sunday, Sept. 13th - Milwaukee Beer Barons 2:00pm
All tours start under the awning of our Halls of History building. Our tours are guided by Paul Haubrich, Bob Giese, Tom Ludka, and/or Margaret Berres. Tours are free but donations are greatly appreciated. These tours are presented by the Forest Home Preservation Association.
I haven't heard if they are having re-enactors on Memorial Day like they did last year (or was it the year before?)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New York, April 2015

 On April 9, we went to New York City with our friends Amy & Sara Nolan.

 See all our photos here.

Our flight was originally scheduled to leave at 9:10AM, but after several delays because of a mechanical issue, it was finally cancelled all together.  We ended up leaving on the 3:00PM flight that was itself 45 minutes late.

That was a long time to sit in an airport.  But, everyone has airline stories and they are mostly uninteresting.  There are worse things than hanging out in an airport bar all day.

We got in to NY and to our hotel, the Hilton Vacation place on west 57th Street, right by the Russian Tea Room, without further incident  A & S are members and graciously allowed us to stay there.

Our room, a “Studio Plus,” was great!  Big bathroom, sitting area, separate bedroom area area, and, best of all, a huge balcony on 57th St., looking north.  We could see Central Park!
Looking west down 57th Street from our balcony

Friday was a museum day with lots of walking.  
Laurie, Sara, & Amy on Fifth Avenue
We started out at the Frick Museum.  The Frick is one of our favorites and we go every time we’re in New York (it helps that it has reciprocity with the Milwaukee Art Museum).  There are two portraits there, one of Thomas Cromwell and one of Thomas More (hardly a saint in my book), that have become quite popular because of the books, play, and now Masterpiece show, “Wolf Hall.”
Amy & Sara in the Frick
After the Frick we went to two museums we hadn’t been to before (thanks Amy!), El Museo Del Barrio and the Museum of the City of New York.

These museums are somehow linked and buying tickets to one gets you into the other.  But oddly, they don’t cost the same.  El Museo is $9 and the Museum of the City is $14.  Of course we went to El Museo first and Laurie and I got the added bonus of the senior discount!
Senior Matthew and August Belmont

After lunch we hit the Nicholas Roerich museum on the upper west side.  Roerich was a Russian painter who spent a lot of time in Tibet.  If you’re in the area and have a little time, stop in.  It’s pretty interesting stuff.
Dinner Friday night was at Sullivan Bistro on Sullivan Street just north of Houston.  This was a great find by Sara.  The place was very small and it seemed everyone there was from the neighborhood.  The food was excellent.  I had mussels, Laurie and Amy had shrimp, and Sara had salmon.  Laurie and I split an order of sautéed calamari and our waiter brought them a salad when our squid arrived so that they wouldn’t feel left out.  We had some fun political conversations with the people next to us.

Saturday was Brooklyn Day.  We spent a little time in Prospect Park waiting for the Brooklyn Museum to open.  11:00 seems pretty late to me.  After a few hours there we headed for Dumbo for lunch, then walked back across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Laurie on the Brooklyn Bridge
We meandered our way back to the hotel, stopping for some wine along the way.

We had snacks and drinks at the Hilton’s happy hour, then went to the Booth Theater to see the play, Hand to God.

A nightcap at the Whisky Trader, then we were ready for bed.

5:00AM came pretty early, but we made it in plenty of time for our 8:30 flight back to Milwaukee.  We were home in plenty of time for a restful Sunday.

Great trip & friends!

Monday, January 19, 2015

2015 is going to be a busy travel year.  Our big vacation will be Paris & Lyon (Lyon has a Museum of Confluences!) sometime in the fall, probably October.

We have a number of other trips already planned:

  • February - Chicago for a wedding
  • April - New York with our friends Amy & Sara
  • June - Madison for a wedding at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens
  • August - Seattle for a wedding
I'm sure we'll get to Chicago at least one more time.  I would like to see Burning Bluebeard if they're performing it next December.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Montréal, October 22 - 26, 2014

Laurie and I had been looking at trips to Montreal for a long time.  But it is expensive to fly there, so we never made it.  This spring I was checking flights and saw they were at around $400/ea. That was as low as I had ever seen them, so we decided to go.  It was a good decision.

Two things struck us about Montreal: the food and the people.

The food was outstanding.  We had four evening meals at four excellent restaurant.  Two were Quebecois fare, one was Portuguese, one was Catalan, and all were pretty close to our hotel in Old Montreal.  Joe Beef was the only one that was more than a few blocks away and it was only about a mile and a half.

The people in Montreal also fed perfectly into the Canadian stereotype:  friendly, polite, helpful, and a good sense of humor.  Ever drivers were very polite.  We never saw anyone go through a yellow light.

Our hotel manager, Paul (photo below), at the Hotel Epik, was great.  He had excellent recommendations for us & made us reservations at a couple restaurants, had a great tip on Mont Royal (approach from Rue Mont Royal, not Rue Peel!) and directed us to a cool little Chinese dumpling place.  We had a lot of fun chatting with him over a bottle of wine (we had the wine, he was working).

It was fascinating to hear people seamlessly transition between English and French, even within the same conversation.  Wish I could do that.

Below are the details of our trip.  You can see all of our photos here.
Laurie, Paul, & Matthew

Wednesday 10/22/14
  • 7:20AM      departure from MKE
  • 10:37 departure from ORD
  • 1:42PM      arrival in Montréal
  • Hotel Epik Montréal, 171 St Paul Ouest, Old Montréal
  • Walk along the La Chine canal to Little Burgundy
  • Dinner at Joe Beef 6:30PM
    • Paté with cherry sauce & tripe with chorizo in tomato sauce as appetizers
    • Horse fillet wrapped in bacon w/ fried egg and sausage & roast Guinea fowl as mains
Joe Beef in Little Burgundy.  Make your reservation well in advance!

Thursday 10/23/14
  • Redpath Natural History museum at McGill University
  • Cemetery Notre Dame des Neiges
Entrance to the Cemetery

  • Beer at a brew pub on St. Denis L’amere a Boire
  • Wine and cheese pizza at Resto Apropos
  • Dinner at Porto Mar
    • Moulles a la Portugal & grilled squid appetizers
    • Clams and pork & grilled sardines and mains
Grilled sardines at Porto Mar

Friday 10/24/14
  • Walk up Mont Royal – good advice!  Approach from Rue Mont Royal, not Rue Peel
Stairs on the way up to Mont Royal

  • Marche Jean-Tallon & Little Italy
  • Wine at Bily Kun bar – about 20 stuffed ostrich heads on the wall
  • La Banquise for a small poutine with hotdogs.  Small diner, very busy.  Poutinbe is ok, tasted a lot like what we get at the Red Dot
  • Dinner at L’Original in Old Montréal
    • ½ dozen oysters
    • Brussels sprouts with pasta, bacon, and fried egg & Minestrone soup with oysters
    • Crusted cod with Puy lentils, kale, clams, and bacon & Mustard glazed rabbit, polenta, and cabbage
Brussels sprouts, bacon, pasta, and a fried egg at L'Original

Saturday 10/25/14
  • Notre Dame basillica
  • Museum of Fine Arts
Napoleon's hat at the Museum of Fine Arts

  • Beer at Le 3 Brasseurs
  • Dumplings in Chinatown at Ming Xiang Hua
  • Archeology museum with multi-media show
  • Beer at a different 3 Brasseurs
  • Dinner at Les Pyrenees Catalan restaurant
    • Chorizo & anchovy salad
    • Chorizo with potatoes & beef cheeks with potatoes
Beef cheeks and mashed potatoes at Les Pyrenees

Sunday 10/26/14

  • Leave Montréal 2:05PM
  • Arrive ORD 3:39
  • 5:20 flight to Milwaukee
  • Arrive Milwaukee 6:08PM

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Baltics: Riga & Vilnius, May 9-17, 2014


You can see all of our Baltic Adventure photos here

NB:  This is about right - we used it as our guide, but it didn't work out exactly like this, but it's close.

Friday 5/9/2014
  • Leave Milwaukee 11:40AM bus to Chicago

Saturday 5/10/2014
  • Arrive RIX 12:20

Sunday 5/11/2014
  • House of the Blackheads - 185
  • Metzendorf’s House – 188
  • Museum of the Occupation - 188
  • Museum of the History of Riga & Navigation - 193
  • Museum of the Barricades
  • Three Brothers
  • Riga castle - 193

Monday 5/12
  • Motor Museum - 200
  • Art Nouveau walk – 202
  • Art Nouveau Museum

Tuesday 5/13
  • Morning bus to Vilnius

Wednesday 5/14
  • Cathedral square - 281
  • Gediminas Hill – 280
  • National Museum of Lithuania – 282
  • Museum of Genocide victims - 293

Thursday 5/15
  • Afternoon bus to Riga

Friday 5/16
  • The Castle of Light
  • Central Market – 194
  • Holocaust Memorial - 195

Saturday 5/17
  • Leave RIX 9:15
  • Arrive Milwaukee 3:40

Miscellaneous things to see in Riga
  • Central market – 195
  • Dome Cathedral – 191
  • Cat House – 190
  • Swedish gate – 190
  • Freedom Monument – 194
  • Holocaust Memorial – 195

Miscellaneous things to see in Vilnius
  • Cemeteries
  • University courtyards

Monday, April 21, 2014

Chicago - April 2014

We had a short weekend in Chicago and we were absolutely on fire the whole time.  Every connection worked perfectly - trains, buses, subways, cabs, elevators, you name it.  People let us in free to things, we were not scolded at the very fussy Rosehill Cemetery, weather was perfect.

I'm not sure when we will be back, but probably this fall.

A map with a 1:1 scale defeats its own purpose...

On Exactitude inScience
Jorge Luis Borges, Collected Fictions, translated byAndrewHurley.

…In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a
single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety
of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the
Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and
which coincided point for point with it. The following Generations, who were not so
fond of the Study of Cartography as their Forebears had been, saw that that vast Map
was Useless, and not without some Pitilessness was it, that they delivered it up to the
Inclemencies of Sun and Winters. In the Deserts of the West, still today, there are
Tattered Ruins of that Map, inhabited by Animals and Beggars; in all the Land there is
no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography.

—Suarez Miranda,Viajes de varones prudentes, Libro IV,Cap. XLV, Lerida, 1658

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Latvian Connection

How did I not remember this?

Yesterday we went to our favorite French restaurant in Milwaukee, Chez Jacques, to meet our friend Pat W for moulles, frites, charcuterie, and wine  as we occasionally do.
(Here is me with Xavier, Jacque's friend at his restaurant in Paris)
From Paris - 2009

We mentioned to Pat that we are going to Latvia this year.  He reminded us that Ingrid, Muskie Mike's wife (Muskie is Pat's brother and the only person in the world who looks more Irish than Pat) is from Latvia!  I knew that!

We will have them over in a few weeks to discuss all things Latvian.
From Harley-Davidson's 105th Anniversary Party

(Pat, Shirley, and Laurie)

I like to think that we picked the Hanseatic Cities because of all this subliminal information.

Yeah for us!