Sweet Home...

March 3, 2018 (062/365)

"Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

French Friday: Macarons

March 16, 2017 (075/365)

"Follow your bliss and don't be afraid...” - Joseph Campbell

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, so French Friday seems kind of inappropriate. However, although it's still Thursday in Wisconsin, it's already Friday in France so voilà. Monday, March 20th is officially Le Jour du Macaron, but many bakeries are starting specials as early as Friday. Although, I'd loved to still be in Paris, I did recently find some wonderful macarons closer to home. Last week, I attended the Central States Conference for Teachers of Foreign Languages at the beautiful Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. In the hotel, there is a cute bakery called Sugar Bliss Pâtisserie that features an amazing assortment. Having recently indulged at both Ladurée and Pierre Hermé while in Paris, I opted for some non-traditional -- perhaps uniquely American --flavors. I tried toasted coconut, chocolate peanut butter, vanilla birthday cake, strawberry lemonade, Irish Baileys (in honor of the imminent holiday), and yes, you read that correctly -- Fruity Pebbles! Pourquoi pas? Apparently, Sugar Bliss is a franchise opportunity with only two locations in Chicago. Anyone want to open one in Delafield?!

Louis Vuitton Cup in Chicago

June 12, 2016 (164/366)

“That’s the great thing about sport and life: If it’s not over, if they haven’t handed the trophy over, you still have a shot.”- Jimmy Spithill, Skipper - Oracle Team USA

What a great day for the America's Cup World Series in Chicago!

It's the first time an America's Cup race has ever been sailed in fresh water!

What a thrill to see teams from the USA, New Zealand, the UK, Sweden, France, and Japan.

My three favorites!

It wasn't Team USA's day, but it was so fun to watch.

Pardon the fuzzy iPhone photos. 

It has nothing to do with the Champagne ;)

On Track

August 6, 2015 {218/365}

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers. 

This is especially true in the field of educational technology. Tools and applications are constantly evolving to meet the needs of 21st century learners and educators. This morning, I took the 6:15 Amtrak Hiwatha to Chicago to train a group of teachers and administrators at the Youth Connection Charter School. Our focus was Google Apps for Education, a suite of collaborative tools that have transformed instruction, engagement, and assessment of learning. We reviewed the basics of Drive and Docs, explored Add-ons and Chrome Extensions to further enhance learning and productivity, considered the potential of Twitter and other social media tools for building a Personal Learning Network, and modeled the use of Google Classroom to create and organize assignments, communicate, and provide feedback. It was a very full day made even more challenging by the number of educators at various levels of comfort and ability, yet I know everyone learned something that will augment learning in their schools. If we want our students to succeed, all teachers must also commit to continuous learning. It takes hard work and dedication. As Shel Silverstein so eloquently points out, "If the track is tough and the hill is rough, THINKING you can just ain't enough!"

Ferris Wheel

August 1, 2015 {213/365} Ferris Wheel

"The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color. " - Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

Home Sweet Home

June 20, 2015 {171/365} Sweet Home...

"Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

It was a whirl wind trip to California. I've been in five airports in the past three days, and while it's always exciting to discover new places, it always feel great to come home. Today, between 4:00 am and 4:00 pm, I flew over the Pacific, the Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains, and the Great Plains. Yet when we finally circled Chicago before heading north along the shore of Lake Michigan, that warm feeling of home came over me. Still, during my brief layover at O'Hare, I felt that familiar urge to hop on a plane to Paris. Yet fifteen minutes later, when we touched down in Milwaukee, it sure felt good to be home!

French Friday: French Pastry School of Chicago

May 15, 2015 {135/365} Ooh là là!

This morning, Ryan, the PHS culinary arts teacher and I, along with ten Pewaukee High School ProStart students, left school at 5:00 to take the Amtrak Hiawatha train from Milwaukee to Chicago. (Note my how my alma mater is represented in the station!)

Have you seen this movie? Kings of Pastry is available on Netflix. It chronicles the journey of Jacquy Pfeiffer, French pastry chef, as he competes for the honor of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF). Along with Sébastien Canonne, MOF and one of the judges of the competition, Jacquy is also the founder of the French Pastry School of Chicago.

Here is the group with Sébastien.

We got a great tour of the school and briefly watched a master pastry chef teaching about the tradition French wedding cake, croquembouche.

We went into a cooler to look at some showpieces.

Isn't this lotus pretty?

We had expected a hands-on experience, in fact, we had hoped to make macarons. Who knew?

Unfortunately the tour only included a walk-through and some candies for the road. We were quite disheartened. By 9:35, it was over.

After the mixup, we weren't sure what to do. Our return train didn't leave until 1:15.

So we wandered around Chicago...for 9 miles and three hours.

It was too cloudy and humid for the observation deck of the Sears/Willis Tower.

So we walked to Millennium Park.  All in all, it was a disappointing day.

Speaking of disappointment...I miss Marshall Fields :-(

Comparison

January 17, 2015 {17/365} Comparison

"It's a hundred and six miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas...and we're wearing sunglasses."

- Elwood Blues (The Blues Brothers)

Today, we made our annual road trip to Chicago for the Strictly Sail Show. What a difference a year makes! Last year, it was Strictly Sail this year it was Chicago Boat, RV, and Strictly Sail Show. Last year it was at Navy Pier; this year it was at McCormick Place. Last year, it was fun; this year it was not. Last year, we stayed in the city; this year, we went home. But there was one consolation: Last year, it was -25º; this year, it was 56º!