Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Our Easter Weekend

Every Wednesday I share a travel post.   The past month I have been sharing all my latest Florida adventures, but I thought I would skip that this week and talk about what my husband and I did for Easter instead.

With the kids in Florida for Easter, hubby and I were alone for the holiday.  Instead of getting all mopey if we are alone on holidays, we always like to make the best of it by getting out and doing something fun.  I think that is the real key to enjoying your twilight years:  getting out and doing things together.  Don't stay home in that recliner pining for the years when all your babies were younger.  Every season has it's blessings and it's trials.  The blessing of the golden years is NO KIDS!  You can go and do whatever you want!

We decided to go to our hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin to see our old church's Easter musical, visit with friends, get a nice hotel room, and attend the Easter Sunday service.

My husband and I met over thirty years ago at a church in the Milwaukee area.  We we were married in this church, and dedicated our children in this church.  I will always have a special fondness for this church in my heart.  My biggest regret of leaving Milwaukee was leaving this church.  I've been to countless churches since, and I have never been truly happy at any of them the way I was at this church.  My husband would probably say the same.   Every Sunday we just wish we could beam ourselves there and be in one of the services.  But sadly, we live over four hours away now, and that's impossible.

My husband grew up in this church when it probably contained all of about fifty people.  Since then, it has grown to over 4000 and is the largest Assembly of God church in Wisconsin.  This church, knows how to do it right.  It has managed to change with the times (providing contemporary music, dance, and children/youth ministries),  yet still maintain foundational, biblical truths.  

The facility of this church is amazing.  Of course, one of my favorite amenities is the Starbucks located right inside the door.  They also have a cafe that is open before and after services.

 This is just one wing or entrance to the church.  It is where the bookstore, cafe, Starbucks, and children's ministries are all located.

 The first thing I always notice about this church is how friendly it is.  The staff works really hard at making sure everyone is greeted and appreciated, no matter how big the church gets.  There are greeters at every entrance (and there are a ton of entrances) and at the doors to the sanctuary.  Plus, the staff walks around in the foyers and wings greeting and talking to everyone before, between, and after each service.  But the friendliest isn't just because of the workings of the staff, even the congregation itself is so friendly.  So many people seemed genuinely polite and interested in talking to us and each other.  It's a rare thing I see in most churches today...especially in the area I live.

This is their beautiful sanctuary.  We were there to see their Easter musical, which was wonderful.  My husband and I use to be in all their musicals and I still miss not being a part of them.

 Flash photography wasn't allowed at the musical, so I didn't take any pictures.  If you'd like to see  pictures of the musical, check out Oak Creek's Facebook Page HERE.

After the musical was over, we chatted with people we knew from when we attended there and met lots of new members as well.  Then Todd and I went to one of our favorite restaurants in Milwaukee...Gyro Palace...with one of his best friends from childhood Kirk (pictured on the left in the picture below, and Shannon's hubby) and his son Brandon.  Shannon and their daughter Tori couldn't join us, because they had another show to perform.

This picture was actually taken the following morning after the Easter Sunday Service.  And yes, I wore my new Easter outfit that I showed you in THIS POST.  It was only in the upper forties that day, but I wore a white coat and really only had to walk from the car to a building, so I wasn't uncomfortable.

The church had the most gorgeous spring flower arrangements I had to show at least one to you.  Isn't this Stargazer Lily just beautiful?  And it smelled wonderful too.  Shannon said a lady in the church makes all the fresh flower arrangements herself.  What a wonderful ministry!

I love the use of spring branches mixed with spring bulbs and Easter lilies.

In addition to attending the Easter musical and the Sunday morning Easter service, we also had the rare opportunity to catch a movie.  We don't go to movies too often...probably only twice a year, because we live forty five minutes from the nearest town.  When my hubby has to drive that distance every day, he doesn't want to drive it again on the weekends.

I love the "Divergent" movie series, so I was super excited to see the third movie "Allegiant".   The plot is so interesting, plus I love anything with a strong female lead.  Of course, I didn't think it was as good as the very first movie, but I liked it nevertheless.  There were some really exciting, fun scenes in this movie.  I especially liked the one where they scale the wall as shown in the marquee behind me.

What made seeing this movie even more fun was seeing it in a historic theatre in my old neighborhood:  Bay View.  It's always so interesting to return to your childhood romping grounds and see how things have changed.  Usually things change for the worst, but I was awestruck at all the improvements that were made in this neighborhood from when I use to live there.  It went from a run down, poor neighborhood to a really hip, cool place.

They remodeled the theatre in 2014 making it larger to include a restaurant/bar and multiple theaters, but the original charm of the old place was still there.

These are pictures of the foyer.  It was built in 1929 and is styled with a Spanish motif.

Our movie was shown in the newest theatre and we had to walk this long, gorgeous hallway to get to it.  Sorry for the grainy pictures, but the lighting in this building was quite dim.

The big surprise about this theatre was the amazing seats.  They have huge, reclining, leather seats with tables!  A waiter comes to your seat and offers a menu shortly before the movie starts.  You can enjoy dinner and a movie at the same time!

And here is the bathroom.  Is this lux or what?

And here is the outside of the theatre with the historic sign lit up at night.

And of course a trip to the big city would also involve some shopping too!  We managed to stop at a few stores and I picked up a pillow for my "Beauty Room", a scarf, hat, jewelry and chocolate.  My husband is always so good to me!

And that was how we spent our Easter weekend!  It was a quick, but fun trip;  always over too soon!  I hope you all had a great Easter weekend as well.  I would love to hear how you spent your weekend in the comment section below.

Have a Great Day!   Amy

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  1. A Starbucks at church?! Now that is something I've never seen before!!

  2. Thank you for sharing your special Easter weekend Amy! The church building is magnificent and makes a lovely atmosphere to gather together to worship the Lord. How special that you were married there and had your children dedicated there! I have also been part of (as well as directed and choreographed) plays and musicals for Christmas, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter, Pentecost, Thanksgiving and other special times. Oh, how we love to celebrate God's love and tell the stories!! I believe God has given us talent and the arts to worship Him and glorify His Name!! Happy to hear that you have dance! I did a celebration dance on Easter morning with banners as part of a 5 minute drama, "Turning Darkness to Light". Praising God is such a joy: with singing, playing instruments and dancing!! Hallelujah!! All these expressions are Biblical.

    Blessings to you and your family!
    Happy Eastertide!


  3. Sounds like an awesome Easter! I love that you and your husband are making a point of enjoying each other and doing fun things. Having a great church home has sure made a difference in my life. Glad you got to visit your old one.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  4. What a nice way to spend the Holiday! Sounds like an amazing church with so many great activities. And I love the movie theater! What a fun time you had! We are still waiting for my husband to have weekends off so he doesn't have to work every Easter, but luckily his work day ends at 3pm so there was still plenty of time to enjoy the Holiday - although I wish it didn't rain that day!

  5. It sounds like you made the most of your weekend and had a lot of fun! That church looks beautiful, and how cool that there's a Starbucks inside! If we ever moved away I'd miss our church terribly too, I love it so much.
    Shea |

  6. Beautiful images of a nice Easter moment ! xx

  7. What a fun weekend you had! I've been to a movie theater like that in California and it was so fun :) What a beautiful church. Unfortunatly, we don't have anything like that here in Connecticut. Thanks for sharing your adventure :)


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