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Growing up in the Tanzilo household was perfect practice for being in a working band.
We never flew â€“ always drove â€“ when weâ€™d visit family in North Carolina or Milwaukee. And we never stayed in hotels. Once in a while, weâ€™d stay in a motel, but even that was pretty rare. More often we pitched a tent or slept anywhere there was space at the home of the folks we visited.
That was fine. I know that despite working hard, my parents had to be careful with money. We were a working class family and Iâ€™m proud of that. And, like I said, it was perfect practice for the years Iâ€™d spend riding around the Midwest in a van on the way to gigs, crashing on floors along the way.
Picking up my grandparents at the airport was an amazing adventure ... as if I was growing up in the 1930s, not the '70s.
I can remember my first flight. I was going back to New York City to visit for the first time since Iâ€™d moved here a couple years before. I was probably 18 or 19. It was winter and the slippery touch-down set me on track to forever dislike the landing process.
What I canâ€™t really remember is the first time I stayed in a hotel, but I suspect it was at a Hyatt, either in New York City or Chicago, and I can assure you I was already an adult.
Even now that Iâ€™ve stayed in hotels in America, Canada, England, France and Italy, I still feel a bit like an outsider â€“ like the kind of person who doesnâ€™t stay in hotels.
When I stay at a place like The Peninsula Chicago or The American Club in Kohler, I half expect a knock on the door and an eviction notice for being an imposter.
My kids are getting a much different experience. Sure, we sleep in a spare bedroom or whatever when we visit family, but we also stay in hotels of all shapes and sizes and star-ratings, from former Italian castles to luxury Chicago digs to waterpark properties around the state.
They enjoy them all, and I can relate. Like them, Iâ€™m excited to be there â€“ a kid in a candy store â€“ spending a day or two or three away from the pressures, just lounging around and enjoying life and the amenities that seem better than home.
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Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published June 28, 2016
Tis the season for 11 days of nearly non-stop music at the Henry Maier Festival Park. Here, Bobby Tanzilo scours the Big Gig schedule to make some suggestions for some must-see acts at Summerfest 2016, starting, of course, with Sir Paul.
Published June 23, 2016
Today, I spent a little time with architect Craig Eide and Fernwood Montessori School principal John Sanchez touring the Bay View public school's new addition, which is expected to be complete by mid-July, for a Sept. 1 first day of school.
Published June 21, 2016
Recently, we visited Engine Co. 6 on Brady Street, a firehouse that, in addition to being well-known in the neighborhood, has a long history on the East Side. The first station was built here in 1875 and was replaced with the current building in 1946.
Published June 15, 2016
On Tuesday, Milwaukee Christian Center's Neighborhood Improvement Project "dropped" another modular home for low-to-moderate-income families into place on Milwaukee's South Side, in the shadow of the St. Josaphat dome near Lincoln Avenue.
Published June 14, 2016
More than a century and a half after the opening of the first brewery in Milwaukee, the city's identity is still drenched in beer. At Forest Home Cemetery, many of the men who made the beer that made Milwaukee famous lie in repose. You can "meet" them at Brunch with the Barons.
Published June 13, 2016
Last October, Marquette University opened a new Jesuit Residence. But one reader knew I'd be more interested in the building the priests formerly called home. So join me as we take a last look at the old Stratford Arms Hotel before it is razed in July.
Published June 9, 2016
"American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood" is at Milwaukee Art Museum from June 10 through Sept. 5. Here are seven works that especially caught the eye. But, rest assured, in a show with about 100 Benton works, there's plenty more.
Published June 7, 2016
Milwaukee as it could be. That's how artist John O'Neill approaches his unique, colorful, engaging and action-packed Milwaukee Envisioned series of drawings of the city, which mash up the past, present and potential future of the Brew City.
Published June 3, 2016
The Maryland Avenue Montessori School building has been growing periodically ever since the first school was opened on the site in the mid-1860s. With one of MPS' most successful and popular programs bursting at the seams of the building, a new addition is coming.
Published June 1, 2016
Lincoln Warehouse is home to brewers, distillers, hair salons, recording studios, online retailers, artists of all stripes and warehouse space. Get a peek at the creative energy at an open house on Thursday, June 2.