Showing posts from 2020

Introducing a Partnership with Rouxbe

Free Trial to Learn to Cook with the Pros It’s a strange time. We’ve all been stuck home more than ever. Most travel has been put on hold. Even eating out has slowed down, in some cases to a dead halt. What that means is that we are also cooking more. That’s why I was excited when I was approached by Rouxbe to try their online cooking instructions. Rouxbe   is the top online culinary school in the world. It’s been around for 15 years as a training tool to chefs (over 600,000 in 180 countries) and restaurant staff, as well as an outlet for those who want to hone their home skills. The other thing I like about Rouxbe is the fact that they try to focus on cooking a little healthier. Don’t worry, the recipes aren’t all filled with kale and cauliflower, they just incorporate ingredients that are a little more nutritious. (There are many plant-based dishes if you are vegan or vegetarian.) You’ll find a focus on safety at this online school too as you browse

A Different Ravinia This Year

Ravinia is one of the most unique music presentations in the world. I am a huge fan of the music festival and can’t believe I just discovered it a few years ago. The Ravinia Festival has been running all summer long for over 50 years. Located in Highland Park, Illinois, it’s always presented top performers from around the world, with genres that cover all the bases. Unlike other music festivals, Ravinia is non-profit and runs on sponsorships and gifts. Last year  I did a story on the ZZ Top concert  I had seen at Ravinia the previous year, along with a preview of the upcoming season. I also included it in a number of my CI Living segments. I had planned on doing the same thing this year, but, this year, as we all know, life is quite different.  During the Ravinia Festival in 2019, I had the pleasure of seeing Nickelback perform, with Buckcherry opening for them. I have always been an unapologetic Nickelback fan. They have produced some of my favorite song

Tasting Chicago during the Holidays

Brittany and I woke up pretty early at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago .  We had a pretty full day and I didn’t want to overdo. We had breakfast downstairs at Fisk & Co. as we planned our day. Our first outing was to the Christkindlmarkt .  I had never been to one in Chicago before, but had a good time at the Carmel one last year (and really loved the ones in Europe ).  The Christmas Market is a great place to get handmade souvenirs and German treats.  I picked up a few Christmas tree ornaments and warmed with hot chocolate, while bringing home some potato pancakes and a pretzel. I didn’t want to eat anything at the market because we had a brunch plan—and it turned out to be a big one. After a nap, we took an Uber to the restaurant. River Roast   turned out to be an excellent choice for brunch. The location was scenic along the river and there was live jazz music in the background. We put in an order for the freshly baked ci

Holiday Time is a Great Time to be in Chicago

I was back in Chicago right before the holidays with Brittany and my scooter. We had a few more things to discover before I took some time off for more back surgery.  We checked into the Kimpton Hotel Monaco , which has a perfect location downtown. I had never been to a Kimpton before. It was unfortunate that we didn’t get a chance to take advantage of their wine in the evening.  What we did get to see was one of the best rooms I’ve ever had in Chicago. The one-bedroom suite is reasonably priced (compared to most of the suites in the Windy City) and very big.  I loved the separate bedroom, with large window seats. We were in a corner, so they provided a beautiful view and also had cushions large enough for kids to sleep on. I’d definitely recommend this room as comfortable for a family of four, or even six.  The original plan was to check out some outdoor activities, such as the Lincoln Park Zoo lights or the Christmas tree at Millennium Park. The weather wa

A Variety of Chicago in the WInter

The first time I was every in Chicago was in the winter. It was after the holidays, but many of the decorations were still up.  It was freezing (-12!). I still thought the city was magical. Fourteen years later, I live two hours away and love taking trips to Chicago. I can’t tell you that I know my way around the city because I’m always looking to discover something new, or at least new to me. I went to a different section of the city to a museum I have never heard of before.  Wndr Museum is nothing like any other museum I’ve ever been. It’s fun enough for adults, and perfect for a family outing. It was just Brittany and I on this outing. While the modern art is beautiful, this museum is more about experiencing it than looking at it. Mirrors, music, textures, and shapes help you immerse yourself into the wonders of the Wndr Museum.  At the end, there’s something else for kids of all ages. Instead of the usual hot dog and popcorn snack bar, th

Welcome to 2020

Happy New Year! 2020, It's not only a new year, but also a new decade. As you obviously know by now, I've slowed down a lot over the last years, but I am still here! Now that I have cut down on travel, I really hope to get caught up with my stories and photos on the places I haven't written about on this blog yet. Although I've done stories, there are so many more details I get to include on Wine And Spirits Travel I'm looking forward to telling you about Mackinac Island, Michigan, Rockford, Illinois, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, Richmond, Indiana, and many other places I've loved. I also have some other news: I've been invited by Amazon to be one of their official influencers. The program, which began two years ago with high profile influencers such as Shark Tank's Mark Cuban, has no been expanded to real people like me, with many followers on various platforms. My page is all about things I do, wear, and use. Your not going to find expensive face