Musings of a Museum Fanatic: June 2016

6.30.2016

Getting Ready for Windy City Smokeout [Promo Code]



**I've received complimentary tickets in exchange for promoting this event, all opinions are my own & I am super stoked to be going!**

Summer in Chicago means it's festival time. There are festivals for every single theme you can imagine. We've got food fests, art fest and good old neighborhood fests. So naturally I would put something fest related on my 101 list. I realized that I tend to avoid the really large iconic fests because they can be ridiculous and a total crush. With that being said I've totally missed out on some iconic Chicago experiences though! We all know I can't have that.



Of course I'm jumping at the opportunity to get a chance to go to the Midwest's foremost BBQ and country festival, Windy City Smokeout July 15-17. I invited my best friend Becky along to experience Windy City Smokeout because she is a huge country fan. The line up for the weekend is definitely a country fans dream. There are some amazing acts scheduled.With names like Maren Morris, Old Dominion, Chase Rice, Billy Currington, Phil Vassar, and tons more you know it's a good weekend for some country. Not gonna lie ​2004 me was super excited to see Big & Rich with special guest Cowboy Troy on the schedule. I love me some "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy."





With all that being said I'm not going to lie I am not a big country fan. Becky knows this and she totally asked me what in the world I was doing going to a festival with all country act. I had three words for her "ummm ... BBQ hello!". I absolutely love barbecue.


So yeah Windy City smokeout has definitely been on my radar for a while now because of just the sheer volume of amazing BBQ that will be there, don't believe me look at the awesome menusThe culinary lineup features a amazing group of pitmasters including, world champion pit master and television star Myron Mixon, the St. Louis staple Pappy’s Smokehouse, Tennessee’s Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint. Don't worry though Chicago is definitely representing with our own top joints, Lillie’s Q, Bub City, Chicago Q and Smoque.


Not a BBQ fan? Not sure how you couldn't be after these mouthwatering images but just in case there are definitely some options for you too. Drago's with their charbroiled oysters, the Lobster Shack brings you some New England favorites and The Salsa Truck has got you covered with some delicious tacos. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of that webpage and take note of the fact that Three Dots & a Dash has tiki drinks! I'm definitely stopping at their booth ... multiple times ... 

Now that you're ready to attack all the wonderful BBQ I've got something awesome to share. I've got a promo code that will get you discounted general admission tickets! 

Enter the promo code below before adding your tickets to the cart. 

FANATIC
 
The promotion is 3-day GA festival passes for $75 (original ticket price: $110).  The codes are valid from Thursday, June 30th at 10am until Thursday, July 7th at 11:59pm. So act fast!!!

I hope you take advantage of this awesome deal and join me for some great BBQ and tunes!

6.29.2016

Kevin Says What?

I've been reading Life According to Steph since I started blogging I think and one of my absolute favorite posts are her monthly Shit MFD Said. I read them and think that MFD and Kevin are each other's spirit animals. The things MFD says are so much alike Kevin it's ridiculous. So it inspired me to actually pay attention and write down the ridiculous things Kevin says instead of just shaking my head and chuckling.

So I've been doing that for the past few months and I've compiled a list of some of the crazy things Kevin says. Here are the more appropriate ones!

On washing the sheets.
You're still sick and I still fart so we should wash them.

Wait, what's throwing shade? Is that what happens to Kim Kardashian because her butt's so big?

What would happen if we both took the DNA test in Kevin's mind.
We did the ancestry test and found out we're brother and sister. Whoops and we're already married.

Me trying to be romantic

You're my forever person. That's still so crazy.
I'll try to hold a few farts now.

Kevin being up on what movies  That looks good. I also want to see Bad Grandpa
That came out years ago didn't it?
*Looks it up on IMDB*
Yeah that came out in 2013

On fighting for the middle of the bed space


As soon as I move your butt is going to go back to the middle. Back to the middle and around again 100 percent pure love


6.27.2016

How to Be a Tourist in Your Own Town


I hear from a lot of friends and relatives that they never do X in their town or always wanted to do Y, that they just would rather go and experience some other place. Talk like that drives me nuts! I realize that not everyone lives in the city or even the suburbs like I do but unless you're literally in the middle of nowhere you don't have much an excuse! Even then I don't buy it.

I've got some ideas to help you be a tourist in your own town.

1. Check with your local tourist board.
Most towns of various sizes have some sort of government entity that takes care of this type of info. It can range from a huge one like the City of Chicago to a small one like Lisle. Honestly this is a good resource to check out when you're visit places too. 

2. Keep an eye out 
I see information about what's going in my area all the time. When I'm in the grocery store, driving past places with signs, even through Facebook. Gotta love the stalker location ads they have going on lately. You really never know where you'll see information about what's going on.

3. Search
So you've done the first two tips and you're still lacking. Take some time and search. I will just put the search term "museum" into Google Maps and it will pull up all sorts of interesting local institutions. Sometimes I'll search by date "What's happening in Chicago weekend of August 27". There are so many resources that are right at your finger tips. It's just a matter of putting in that correct search term or sentence!  Check your local library, a lot of times they offer local history type programs or will have ads for programming in the area.

4. Keep a list
It doesn't do you any good to do all that research and then forget! For our trip this week to San Antonio I did lots of research and saved the websites for what I knew we wanted to check out to word document and saved that to my Google Drive. That way when we're figuring out what to do that morning I'll be able to pull up the website easily. This is what I do for what I want to do in the Chicago area as well, although for that I go a little more hardcore with my 101 List. The 101 list helps me to not only keep in mind certain places and events I want to go to but puts them into the goals format which helps to get it accomplished. 

5. Make time.
I think most people don't really think the place that they're in day to day is really special so they just don't make a point to do anything there. I am totally the same way. For years I had never even been to the Lisle Station Museum since I'd lived in Lisle my entire life it's like ewww Lisle. Finally after being at home after my masters coursework I forced myself to go and visit. It was great, such a gem in a smaller town and I had never appreciated before!

6. Enlist a friend
Going to experience fun places and events is usually more fun when you share the experience with others. Plus if you enlist the right friend *cough cough Stephanie* they can make sure you do end up taking time enjoy and go to the those events you always talk about experiencing.

What are some of the local experiences you've always been meaning to go see?

6.23.2016

Two Brother's Brewery

I love it when I can seamlessly integrate accomplishing a 101 task with life. This past weekend I was able to cross of "Take Kevin to a brewery tour" off my list while enjoying a fun father's day and Kevin's birthday celebration all in one fun filled afternoon.

Since we were looking for a very specific date and time there were only a couple of choices for brewery tours to choose from, and with the tastes of the beer drinkers in the family Two Brothers Brewery won out. We went to the Tap House location in Warrenville, which is where the brewery still is. They also have the Two Brothers Roundhouse in Aurora as well as an Arizona location now.

The best part of the Two Brothers tour experience is that it's a free tour and you end up getting tickets to try three sample size beers. I did use two of my tickets for my own tasting and gave one to Kevin. It was his birthday after all! So Louie, Kevin and I went on the tour and my Mom, Bethany and Lane chilled out in the nice covered outside patio.

The three of us really enjoyed the tour!










After the tour we joined the table again and enjoyed some drinks and food. The guys were deep into the beer conversations. I ordered the fish tacos and they were fantastic! Definitely need to get those again soon. Bethany and Mom both got the pan roasted cod. It was delicious as well, Bethany was nice enough to let me try a little. The pretzel we got a pre-meal treat was great too. We found out that Two Brother's carries Graham's ice cream and we were sold on dessert too. Everyone got the seasonal blueberry but I opted for the decadent chocolate. So worth it! Lane wasn't too convinced about the blueberry, as you can tell in the video! All in all it was a great afternoon with family.

 








6.21.2016

Summer 2016 Goals

Life According to Steph

​Whoa how is it already just about one week away from our long fourth of July trip to San Antonio?! With how full my calendar is this summer I'm not surprised it's flying by. I was able to get quite a few of my spring goals finished and I'm linking up again with Stephanie and Sara.

1. Pick a date for and have a lobster/low country boil with Kevin's parents.

2. Work on getting the Schmidt family binder up to date for the reunion this year.

3. Work on Kevin's 101 list item... taking the fish off the hook!

4. Work on clearing the clutter in the apartment.

5. Work on a place for everything and everything in its place

6. Use one summer hours day off to scan and digitize personal stuff (gamma phi paper work and personal photos)

7. Decide on a major fest to go to this summer and attempt to go! This summer is pretty packed so here's hoping I can check this one off.


Bring it on summer!!

6.16.2016

Architectural Artifacts

Have you ever had a place where you sorta know what it is but not really, it seems like it would be cool but you're not sure what to expect and it's probably right up your alley? Architectural Artifacts was this for me. I had seen people who had their weddings their but couldn't really tell what it was, it was somewhat hard to tell what you'd be walking into from the website but needless to say it looked like a place that I needed to visit. 

In May, my friend Britta and I made a point to get together and visit. We are so happy we did. 

Architectural artifacts was super cool. Yes I know I sound kinda lame putting it that way but there is really no better words to describe it than super cool. It is literally right around the corner from the Montrose Brown Line stop so we had a few minutes to chat about how we weren't quite sure what to expect but were excited to see it together. 

When you walk in you enter a hallway first then as you really enter the building it just opens up and you realize that what you thought was just one or two of the warehouses from the outside is probably most of the city block! As we started to walk through we quickly realized that it wasn't just some architectural salvage it was architectural salvage of all shapes and sizes. There was a room of mirrors that had been moved here all the way down to staples from the late 19th century. 

Really words don't do it justice ... 


Britta needed to give some context to how big this jar actually was!















6.06.2016

Women of Vision at the Field Museum

Earlier in May I got the opportunity to go to the press opening for the new Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment exhibit at The Field Museum. After reading about the exhibit on the website I was prepared for it to be good but was not prepared for how breath taking and intense the photographs and the exhibit itself were. The evening was kicked off by an introduction given by the president of the Field Museum, Richard Lariviere, I met him randomly at lunch when I was still an intern at the Field.


The premise behind this National Geographic and PNC Bank sponsored travelling exhibit is the showcase of eleven different National Geographic women photographers. Their work is insanely diverse, from the front lines of the war zones in the Middle East to following teenagers to the circle of life in Africa.





These women have a way of bringing the viewer into the scene of the image and evoking emotions. I absolutely love the labels for this exhibit. I know right? Museum nerd alert. I'm serious though, in some photography exhibits you can just breeze by the labels but in this one I found myself reading every single word and then sometimes reading them again. The labels make the photographs resonate and come alive. You don't just get the information about what exactly the image is, you also learn the back story behind that image. That story that the photographer immersed themselves in just to get that one shot.





The video oral histories were my other favorite part. As someone whose best friend is a photojournalist hearing how these women got into their passion and other amazing stories resonated with me. I think I sat there and watched the entire video twice. I loved hearing these inspiring women tell their stories and how hard they've worked to accomplish what they have.







Women of Vision will be at the Field Museum until September 11. I plan on going back this summer so I can see the exhibit again as well as the other special exhibits that will still be at the Field Museum like China's First Emperor and His Terracotta Warriors and Echoes of Stone Age Greece. The Field and Women of Vision is a must add to your summer Chicago list.