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Memory Road Trip Heading West

Memory Road Trip Heading West

Heading west on a great road trip with my father. This is a dream journey with my father. He took me all over the west on road trips each summer. We begin in Champaign Illinois heading west on Interstate 80.

Molina Illinois

Lagomarino’s Soda and Candy Store The Best Chocolates and Ice Cream

The City of Moline sits on the banks of the Mississippi River. We stop at Lagomarino’s Soda and Candy Store. This candy shop opened in 1908 by Angelo Lagomarino, a Northern Italy immigrant. The store is the fourth generation. They have handcrafted chocolates with the finest ingredients. The store has an old-fashioned soda fountain. The soda menu includes the Green River (A Chicago drink named after the Chicago River that is dyed green for St. Patrick’s day).

Taking my father here was such a treat. He recalls the stories of going to the soda shop his uncle owned as a child. He talked about IronPort soda, a Utah tradition. It is a cross between root beer and Caribbean spices. He went for the hot fudge sundae (a surprise at the bottom was more fudge). I enjoyed a variety of hand-dipped chocolates during our road trip back west. This is a perfect place to stop and enjoy. They are the recipients of a James Beard Award.

Activities and Fun in Molina Illinois

This city is situated near the Iowa state border and sits on the mighty Mississippi River. This town is rich in history with being a part of the Underground Railroad and the home of industrialist John Deere (In 1848, he built his first Moline plow factory). There are many fun things to do here.

  • Washington Square Charles Deere built an upscale three-story five unit Italianate row house in 1890. His brother-in-law, Merton Cady, is the architect. The initial name for the complex was Deere Row and renters were said to be employees of the Deere factories.
  • Downtown murals love the Midwest and the vast varieties of murals. Molina’s downtown murals provide a view of Moline’s waterfront, as it would have looked in the early 1850s.
  • Rock Island played a large part of The Underground Railroad in Molina. This was the first stop for many slaves seeking freedom. The first state near several water sources provided transportation undercover. There is also a set of channels and tunnels underground that provide another escape route.

Leaving the mid-west I recall the experiences and beautiful people I meet. They have made a lasting impression on my life. This area of the United States provides history from slavery to the industrial age. The loss of jobs and industries is present everyday. The areas are gorgeous to visit and see. You feel the hardworking middle class that drove America into the modern world.

Iowa Road Trip

Sitting in a car all day with your father is a wonderful way to collect stories about his life. The first thing I learned is he loves to collect maps. Iowa is a great location for this collection.

Iowas Road Stops

Iowa has the best rest stops in history. You pull up to find a store, information about the area, books, and free maps. The first stop in Iowa my father returns with a collection of Iowa maps. He opens them up as we drive out of the rest stop.

Road Trip Memories

We enjoyed a day of talking about the years as a child I traveled the western US with my two brothers and parents. The summer trips to Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, and Southern Utah. My dad would hitch the camping trailer to a yellow rambler and off we would go. We saw so many natural beauties. The adventures from my childhood are endless. The time my mother lost the car keys in the sand dunes. My father lost his new fishing pole the first time he cast out at Strawberry Reservoir. This results in our fishing trip looking for the fishing pole. This is never seen again.

My father is a military retiree. He spent decades as a medic in the Air Force. He would bring back great dolls, toys, and white lunch boxes they would feed the crew. He tells his stories of going to the Philippines, Japan, Korea, and Europe. The time he spent counting hours on the cargo plane counting the hours to coming home to see the three of us fight over the white lunch box.

Smokey D’s BBQ

Lunch is at Smokey D’s BBQ in Des Moines, Iowa. The year of BBQ adventures and the history of each region is fun. My dad enjoys a half rack of ribs; I go for a lighter side with a veggie wrap. The menu includes great home comfort foods. The fries are crispy and seasoned. The ribs feel right off the bone. The BBQ meat and sauce are award-winning. The BBQ founded by Darren and Sherry Warth in a trailer in their driveway.

Nebraska Adventures

The time in Nebraska is spent traveling through various rest stops and counting up more water towers. This is a tradition my sister and I started on the way out to the Midwest in spring. Many times this is the tallest thing on the horizon. We see a total of 177 water towers on I-80 through the Great Plains.

The Great Plains is seen as little value to many traveling west in the mid-1800s. Soon many ranchers release that the Verdant Platte is of great value. Today the highway runs along this geography changing areas.

Winter Quarters, Nebraska

This location is a gathering location of the member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A stop my father looked forward to seeing. Many members of our family stayed here as they prepared to travel west to a new home.

There is a history of death, birth, and husbands leaving to fight the Mexican American War. They crossed the frozen Mississippi River in 1846. This gave them time to gather much needed supplies to make the journey across the Plains and over the Rocky Mountains.

Some of our relatives made this journey without basic needs including shoes. Some pushed their own carts. A few did find themselves in the middle of a winter storm needing rescuing to survive. This is a free museum.

We ventured across the street to the modern temple. This is a location that is used seal families together in family forever. Off the temple grounds is a cemetery. We were able to find a few of our relatives’ gravesites.

Kearney, Nebraska

We stay for the evening in Kearney, Nebraska. It was fun arriving late in the evening and walking around to stretch the legs and enjoy a few McDonald’s French-fries.

The food for the morning is oatmeal, nuts, dried fruit, and yogurt from Aldi’s, a wonderful grocery finds in Champaign Illinois (this is a store located worldwide).

Kearney has a beautiful museum, The Archway, that stretches over the I-80. This museum is a celebration, “For over 200 years, the path along the Platte River through Nebraska, once called the Great Platte River Road, has been a road to adventure.  From the Oregon Trail era through today, the Archway’s family-friendly historical exhibit tells the story of those who followed the Great Platte River Road and helped to build America.”

Cheyenne, Wyoming

The last stop before returning to Orem, Utah is Cheyenne, Wyoming. This western town is full of fun and explorations.

Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant

We find an authentic Mexican restaurant, Guadalajara, locally owned and operated. The ambience of Mexico is felt from the decor to the menu. The food is regional as well as traditional American Mexican.

I enjoy Camarones Al Mojo De Ajo. Rincon de Guayabitos in the estate of Sinaloa. This is a beautiful community that is a beach resort. It is known for fresh red snapper and other seafood including large shrimp.

This was a great dish with large shrimp, mushrooms, and a beautiful garlic sauce. It is served on a bed of iceberg lettuce with a slice of orange. The heat and cold with a touch of sweet tang from the orange inside a warm tortilla is perfect after a long day of driving.

My father enjoys an Enchiladas De Mole with shredded chicken. The mole is flavorful with a nice hint of heat. Mole is a sauce containing up to 20 ingredients. The sauce usually contains fruit, chili pepper, nut, and such spices as black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, and chocolate.

Exploring Cheyenne, Wyoming

The first thing you notice is the town is filled with large cowboy boots. This is a fun scavenger hunt for the family through town. Local artist paints each boot. We enjoy searching for these boots.

The town is the capital of Wyoming. There is a great museum near the capital that had maps for free. We leave with a stack of Wyoming maps.

The best stop here is the National Guard base that has F-84F And C-130 Aircraft (a favorite plane of my father). My father spent 35 years in the Air Force reserves as a medic. He worked a civilian at Hill Air Force base.

This was a fun day exploring Cheyenne and all the history in this town. This town goes from dinosaurs to the frontier days, and 19th century covered wagons. There are great museums including

  • Cheyenne Depot Museum
  • Cheyenne Botanical Garden
  • Wyoming State Museum
  • Cowgirls of the West Museum

This is a wonderful town to really see the migration west and the history of settling the American west.

This was a fun day exploring Cheyenne and all the history in this town. This town goes from dinosaurs, frontier days, and 19th century covered wagons to the railway travel.

This was a great journey with my father. It was great sharing memories from his childhood, my own childhood, and creating new memories. The remander of the journey back to Arizona is my dog Hyde and I.

Kanab, Utah

Kanab is the location of all road trippers on 89. It is the center of many national parks, great river rafting, and tons of fun.

The town has a great old western movie museum, Frontier Movie Town. This is a fun look at old film sets long before green screen and animation. This is a free museum behind the gift shop in the cottonwood trees. There are so many adventures near Kanab they include

  • Hiking
    • Cottonwood Wash Narrows
    • Slot Canyon
    • Paria Canyon
    • Wire Pass
    • Elusive Wave
    • Zion’s National Park
  • Drives
    • Glen Canyon Damn
    • Lake Powel
    • North Rim Grand Canyon
    • Kodachrome Basin State Park
  • Explore
    • Coral Pink Sand Dunes
    • Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
    • Moqui Cave
    • Green River Whitewater Rafting

Lunchtime is at Big Al’s Burgers at the Junction Drive-in (Thank you Cherie for the suggestion). Must have a traditional Utah meal. I worked at a local diner Provo as a teenager. The best meal is milkshake, hamburger, and fries with a Utah tradition of fry sauce (mayo and ketchup dip). This was a lot of fun, good food, and super busy. What a great location for fun.

This is a wonderful time to explore and travel the US. It was great meeting so many wonderful people and tremendous adventures. What is your favorite vacation? Post your response with #4chionstyle on social media.

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Ebertfest ~ Film Festival

Ebertfest ~ Film Festival

Roger Ebert created Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival or better known as Ebertfest. Ebert was a TV and Chicago Sun-Times film critic. This festival is held at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign IL. This location is near Ebert’s hometown, Urbana. This year celebrates 20 years of Ebertfest. The film festival is set to bring back some great films and panels.

The panel discussions and film festival are organized by College of Media at the University of Illinois and his wife Chaz Ebert. This year they are bringing a festival that brings the concept of films that need to be films that give these films and their filmmakers a well-deserved second look. This five-day festival, April 18-22, will bring together film writers, directors, actors, directors, and film lovers.

The panel discussions include:

THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2018

  • 9:00 am – 10:00 am
    THE CRITICS’ PANEL SPONSORED BY ROTTEN TOMATOES
    CRITICAL MASS: THE FUTURE OF FILM CRITICISM
    Moderated by Claudia Puig
    Hyatt Place Hotel, Lower Level

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2018

  • 9:00 am – 10:00 am
    THE ALLIANCE FOR INCLUSION AND RESPECT PANEL
    CHALLENGING STIGMA THROUGH THE ARTS

    Moderated by Eric Pierson
    Hyatt Place Hotel, Lower Level

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2018

  • 10:15 am – 11:15 am
    Leveling THE PLAYING FIELD: HOLLYWOOD IN THE TIME OF #MeToo and #TimesUp
    Moderated by Carrie Rickey
    Hyatt Place Hotel, Lower Level

SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 2018

  • 9:00 am – 10:00 am
    FREE LECTURE:
    THE LUMIÈRE BROTHERS AND THE BIRTH OF CINEMA
    Led by Dr. Richard Neupert
    Hyatt Place Hotel, Lower Level

This is just for starters for the week. There are six women directors included in appearances for the festival. These women are Ava DuVernay (13th), Amma Asante (Belle), Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust), Shari Springer (American Splendor),  Catherine Bainbridge (Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World), and Martha Coolidge (Rambling Rose).  Other guests include:

  • Director Andy Davis TheThe Fugitive 
  • Professor Miguel Alcubierre Intersteller
  • Gregory Nava Selena
  • Ruth Ann Harnisch Columbus
  • Kogonada Columbus
  • Andrew Miano Columbus
  • Bill Harnisch Columbus
  • Alloy Orchestra A Page of Madness
  • Shari Springer Berman American Splendor
  • Robert Pulcini American Splendor
  • Jeff Dowd The Big Labowski

The film screening schedule for the 20th Anniversary is:

4/18/2018

  • The Fugitive 7 PM

4/19/2018 

  • Intersteller 12 PM
  • Selena 4 PM
  • Belle 8:30 PM

4/20/2018

  • Columbus 12 PM
  • A Page of Madness 3:30 PM
  • American Splendor 8:30 PM

4/21/2018

  • 13th 10:30 AM
  • Daughters of Dust  2:30 PM
  • Rambling Rose 5:30 PM
  • The Big Lebowski 8:30 PM

4/22/2018

  • Rumble The Indians Who Rocked The World Noon 

Friday night, April 20, there will be a band, cake, and ice cream on the Plaza at the Virginia Theatre to celebrate the 20th anniversary. Sunday, as is tradition, a musical event will take place following the screening of Rumble: Indians Who Rocked the World.  This festival will be bringing films from the past to current issues facing the film industry. The festival will honor Egbert and films with equality.

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Sponsors include:

College of Media at the University of Illinois

Roger & Chaz Ebert

Shatterglass Studios

SURFACE 51
Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Champaign County Alliance for Inclusion, & Respect

L.A. Gourmet Catering

Illini Radio Group

President & Mrs. Timothy L. Killeen

Busey

Jeanene & Rick Stephens

The News-Gazette

Illinois Public MediaUniversity of Illinois Press

African American Film Critics Association

Fandor

Brenda Robinson, Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP

Chipman Design Architecture

SAGIndie

Celebration Food & Wine Oscars® 2017 Governors Ball

Celebration Food & Wine Oscars® 2017 Governors Ball

Following the Oscars® celebrities like Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Viola Davis, and Casey Affleck will gather at the Governors Ball. This year the top in the food, pastry, and design gather to showcase their talents. This year is a “Magical Transformation.”

oscras-governors-ball-4chion-lifestyle-as
Wolfgang Puck Oscars® Governors Ball

Chef Wolfgang Puck (23rd consecutive year), chef to the celebrities, will continue this year with whimsy and Hollywood glamour. He has a few traditions coming back with new additions. His executive chef works side-by-side with 300 chefs and 600 waiters to make sure that this evening goes off without a hitch. 

New menu items will include Moroccan spiced Wagyu short rib topped with a parmesan funnel cake; taro root tacos with shrimp, mango, avocado and chipotle aioli; gnocchetti with braised mushrooms and cashew cream; lobster corn dogs; made-to-order sushi, custom poke bowls and an array of shellfish; plus selections of Puck’s signature dishes such as smoked salmon Oscars®, chicken pot pie with shaved black truffles, 2,600 lb. ice raw bar with poke, sushi and shellfish, truffle popcorn, and baked macaroni and cheese. The bite-sized hors d’oeuvres and small plate entrées will pass throughout the evening. 

The cocktails and spirits the Oscar® winners and the guests will enjoy the evening theme. Piper Heidsieck champagne poured from Oscar® themed Magnum and filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola wine. There will be three cocktails designed for Oscar® Gold that includes Hillhaven Lodge (director Brett Ratner’s Beverly Hills mansion’s name) Whiskey. The perfect combination for dinner and celebration.

What is dinner without dessert? Pastries prepared by the pastry team of Kamel Guechida, Monica Ng and Jason Lemmonier will make sure plenty playful innovative desserts for the evening celebration. This will include the much sought after 24 karat gold chocolate Oscar® statues, macaroons, lava cakes, seven flavors of gelato and sorbet, vanilla and red velvet waffles and Takoyaki cake balls. The chocolate buffet includes; caramel cappuccino Oscar® lollipops, Oreo cookie s’more domes and chocolate bonbons in “movie theater flavors” like Sour Patch Kids, Red Hots, and Goobers. A perfect ending to a night celebrating. 

The Academy’s Governors Ball will be held in the Ray Dolby Ballroom at the top-level of the Hollywood & Highland Center. Event producer Cheryl Cecchetto (her 28th year producing the Ball) along with her Sequoia Productions team will create a place to accommodate the expected 1500 guests from Oscar® recipients, nominees, and show presenters. The guest will enter the Ball, and “will transition from a dazzling sea of red to a tricolor motif of eye-popping gold and red on an infinite blanket of white. The unique design of the space has been meticulously created to celebrate Oscar® gold,” said Jeffrey Kurland.

Mark Held of Mark's Garden Academy Awards Governors Ball 4Chion Marketing
Mark Held of Mark’s Garden Academy Awards

Academy Awards Governors Ball floral arrangements by Mark Held of Mark’s Garden. He has provided beauty for the Governors Ball for the past 22 years. The room and tables filled with beautiful white and red roses and magnolias. This will bring the final touch of glamor in the decor.

cynthia-erivo-oscars-governors-ball-4chion-lifestyle-al
Cynthia Erivo Oscars® Governors Ball

The Governor, Kurland, works closely to oversee the menu, décor, and entertainment. This is Kurland’s eight year as the Governor. He is a costume designer and Oscar® nominee. Award-winning singer-songwriter Cynthia Erivo is performing at the Governors Ball.

This year’s party is the celebration that is a Magical Transformation for Oscar Gold winners and guests. The 89th Oscars® will be presented on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre, and televised live by the ABC Television Network.

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Photo Credits:

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Matt Petit