Hanging Out in the Loo, Pedis & Trattoria Stefano - September 12th

OK, I wasn’t really hanging out in the bathroom all day, but on this day I must admit I was lurking a tad bit longer than one normally does...and it was actually for art’s sake!

As I began writing this post, it occurred to me all the names we use to describe the loo: powder room, restroom, lavatory, toilet, water closet...so many names for just one room!

Before we planned our trip to Sheboygan, Mom V. was saying that she read in a magazine that in Sheboygan, at the art museum, was apparently the best bathroom in the country because it was outfitted by the Kohler Company (you know, Kohler, the bathroom geniuses who manufacturer all the fabulous, but expensive bathroom accessories), headquartered in nearby Kohler, WI.

I remember Larry and I made a trip a few year’s ago to Kohler’s Design Center and I specifically went to their museum’s restroom to check out this bathroom that Mom was talking about, not realizing that I was reviewing the wrong WC which is actually at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan. I actually remember standing in the room thinking “what’s so great about this? It’s got stalls, a sink and grey tile! Do I not have any design sense where I am completely missing the minimalist design wonder in front of me????” My bad.

Before I get into the specifics of me hanging out in the restroom, I should begin with the start of the day...

It was nice that we were able to sleep in and leisurely get ready for breakfast and to top it off we awoke to a beautiful sunny day, which lately in the Chicago area had been missing. We had heard about this local breakfast joint, Yumes, which was written up on Yelp.com (a great review site) and also raved about by several Sheboygan locals we had been talking to the night before.

We had a full day ahead of us: breakfast together, then Larry and Dad were going to golf and Mom and I were going to check out the aforementioned fantastic bathroom and then go for a mini-spa treatment with pedis (my idea of heaven!).

So we went to Yumes, initially thinking it was right up our alley in terms of greasy spoon with fabulous food. We even had high hopes as we were walking in because two people leaving said “best breakfast place in the city!”

I guess, my review would be just “OK.” The food was fine and the server was very nice, but the food was just OK. My big gripe was that usually with a greasy spoon, it’s good and cheap. This was OK and everything was ala carte – hash browns and toast was extra – which really ticked me off because...you know...that should be included! OK maybe I’m just testy right now because I’m hungry...but really, sheesh!

So we ate and the “boys” dropped us off at the art museum. The museum was just beautiful – it actually had the Kohler family’s original house incorporated into the museum structure – a lovely brick mansion with beautiful details that just aren’t used any more in construction – which in my opinion is a pity.

So, right away Mom and I wanted the scoop on the fantastic bathroom, the suspense was killing us. And to our surprise...there just wasn’t 1 bathroom...there were 6! And actually the 6th was off limits for viewing, but with the heavy persuasion of the Vassallo women, we were able to talk are way into seeing all of them.

To explain in a nutshell, the Kohler Company commissioned artists to design the 6 bathrooms of the museum. And I actually can say that the art in the bathrooms was equal to the art on the walls in the museum – it truly was incredible! The craftsmanship of each room was just amazing – after you see the pictures below, you can see why we were hanging out and taking pictures I might add!

The funny thing was that visitors were able to peek in the 5 rooms, regardless of whether you were male or female, which I suspect might be a bit precarious if you actually needed to use the facilities.

Suffice it to say, we were in awe and after seeing these water closet wonders, Larry and my bathrooms appear to be somewhat underwhelming in comparison...maybe I should write to Kohler and ask to participate in the bathroom design program!

The rest of the day continued to be fabulous. Mom and I went to Jomaji Salon & Spa (www.jomajisalonandspa.com) for our pedis and a last minute haircut for Mom. I must say that this place rocked! Great spa and staff and phenomenal prices. Mom’s haircut was just $20 bucks, something which I almost messed up because my jaw dropped when I heard the price (because it was so inexpensive – I pay $45) and I actually said aloud (much to Mom’s dismay) “Really? $20 bucks? Is that a mistake?” Not my brightest moment that weekend. Yes, it was that price and I was just stunned.

The pedis were fabulous and very relaxing and we walked away with great looking toes and a chic new hairstyle; we’re already planning a return trip next time were in town.

Our dinner local was already planned out way in advance: Trattoria Stefano (522 S 8th St, Sheboygan, WI 53081. Phone: 920-452-8455) – hands down one of the best Italian restaurants I have ever been to and that saying a lot since I’ve been to a ton of Italian restaurants! We actually stumbled upon it on our first trip to Sheboyga, but never actually ate their, just heard great things about it.

I wouldn’t be overstating that if you are in the general area of Sheboygan and even if you are not, you need to go here. The owners, Stefano and Whitney Viglietti actually have 4 restaurants in Sheboygan: Trattoria Stefano (dressy and a bit on the pricey side, but beyond worth it), Il Ritrovo (casual - great pizza place) Field to Fork (casual organic restaurant and market) and The Duke of Devon (an English Pub). And if you are feeling hungry the beautiful thing is that 3 of the 4 are located right next to each other/across the street in downtown Sheboygan (The Duke of Devon is located down on the water front).

Now back to Trattoria Stefano. :) The atmosphere is cozy and the service is fantastic. I think Larry and Mom had trout, Dad had lamb and I had linguini with clams. Add to that yummy appetizers, a fabulous bottle of wine, great dessert and we were all giddy, literally! Actually Mom and I, lightweights that we are, were really giddy!

Needless to say, by the time we got back to the condo, there were no Dominoes for us...I think I immediately crawled into bed and dreamt about my yummy meal. Why oh why can’t we have a restaurant like this in Crystal Lake or even in the general Chicago area!!! It’s just not fair.

Seriously though, if you can go to this restaurant, you would not be disappointed – make the trek north and you will be one satisfied customer with a smile on your face and a full belly.

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