so much chrome (milwaukee’s harley-davidson museum)

Headed north to Milwaukee for a Wisconsin State Fair creampuff (which I understand is legendarily good) and found myself here. The Harley-Davidson Museum.

So many motorcycles, so much chrome.

This 1909 Model 5-D is one of 12 twin-cylinder motorcycles built that year. And the only survivor.

This 1936 model is a wow.

This 1973 Electra Glide V-Twin is tricked out.

There’s a wall of tanks.

And memorabilia by the boatload.

Vroom vroom. This visit was beyond fun.

strawberry sour cream pie from norske nook

Norske Nook. If you’ve hustled your way north to Eau Claire, you might know to pull off at Osseo for this Norwegian American bakery and restaurant.

My family has been pulling over for the Nook for more than 30 years because PIE.

I pulled over yesterday and promptly plopped myself down by the counter. Wanted to try something new, and Strawberry Sour Cream looked like a good wager.

Osseo Wisconsin Norske Nook Strawberry Sour Cream Pie

It was. Very light, with a strawberry whipped cream topping. I ate the entire slice.

Osseo Wisconsin Norske Nook

Osseo is a small town; approximately 1,700 people call it home. I don’t live in a small town but admire the persistence of places like Osseo. And bakeries with pie.

Osseo Wisconsin

Osseo Wisconsin

Osseo Wisconsin

hunting trolls at the morton arboretum

If you have an afternoon to spare and enjoy searching for gigantic troll sculptures, the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, is a good bet.

The sculptures are huge. If I had to guess, between 20 and 30 feet in height.

Trolls are ultimate mischief makers in Norse mythology. They create natural disturbances and set riddles for humans to solve (or not).

a perfect cup of espresso: the Franziskaner from Julius Meinl

Sometimes the smallest of experiences can transport you to across-the-world places. A cup of espresso from Julius Meinl in #Lakeview did that for me earlier today.

Chicago Illinois Lakeview Julius Meinl Franziskaner Espresso

It’s the Franziskaner–a double shot of Viennese espresso with steamed milk and a dollop of whipped cream. To visit Julius Meinl is like stepping into an Austrian cafe. All of their drinks are made to order and served on a silver tray with a spoon, complimentary caramel biscuit, and glass of ice water. Lovely taste-of-Vienna experience.

the ukrainian national museum on w. superior

#Chicago is a diverse quilt of a city. Interesting neighborhoods in all corners and in between. A Near West Side neighborhood gem is the Ukrainian Village, and a gem in this gem is the Ukrainian National Museum on W. Superior. Founded in 1952, this museum boasts a cool collection of fine and folk arts. This painting by Yuri Olishkevych draws the viewer in.

Chicago Illinois Ukrainian National Museum Yuri Olishkevych painting

On the second floor is a huge collection of pysanka (Ukrainian easter eggs). These tiny decorative eggs take, on average, four hours each to paint.

Chicago Illinois Ukrainian National Museum Pysanka Ukrainian Easter eggs

There is a room devoted to portraits of Cossack military leaders. This is Yurii Khmelytnsky, who spent a portion of his life as a monk.

Chicago Illinois Ukrainian National Museum Yurii Khmelytnsky painting

There are also instruments to admire.

Chicago Illinois Ukrainian National Museum Instrument

And then the traditional Ukrainian embroidered items–shirts, dresses, coats, collars, you name it–are boldly colored and patterned. Much to learn and appreciate here, and admission is just $5.

Chicago Illinois Ukrainian National Museum Traditional Ukrainian embroidery

Chicago Illinois Ukrainian National Museum Traditional Ukrainian embroidery

happy bees, happy life

Local bees are taking full advantage of spring flowers in Oak Park, and who could blame them? These nearby cherry blossoms are potent draws for bumblebees.

Oak Park Illinois Cherry blossom

These flowering honeysuckle shrubs also attract bees and cast the best smell. The air is perfumed with their scent. Dreamy.

Oak Park Illinois Honeysuckle

You might be wondering, what makes bees happy? An article by Melissa Caughey offers insight on what makes bees cranky. We can infer the following on what contributes to bee happiness:

  • Good weather
  • Abundant food sources
  • Freedom from predators
  • A nice queen

To read up on bee behavior, click here.

all the pretty houses

The weather has been pretty hit or miss the past couple weeks, but when it hits (i.e., is warm and sunny), I love to explore. Oak Park has pretty houses in abundance. And three distinct historic districts to boot.

Here are some cool finds:

This Victorian in the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District has enviable porch space. Perfect for hanging Kimberly Queen ferns, IMO.

Odd and interesting: This driveway arch with the little sunroom above.

And then this home, well, all of it is spectacular.