Welcome To My Blog

Weekends are for wandering Wisconsin. That's what Rick, my guy, and I do. Occasionally we wander during the week, too. Sometimes we just drop in on other people's lives.

This blog is my way of sharing where we've been, neat places and things to do that we've found.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Where's the beer?

I'll admit it - I'm a beer snob. And so is Rick. At a bar or restaurant if a server doesn't understand that Bud and Bud Light aren't really in the class of good beers, we're concerned about what other offerings might be on tap. Maybe it's our Wisconsin roots.

Fortunately, we did find one bar during our Florida travels that had good beer - the Dunedin Brewery, the oldest craft brewer in the state. The Brewery also served deep fried cheese curds. The chef who put that tasty item on the menu was from Wisconsin!

With live music offerings and a great beer selection, the Dunedin Brewery
is a fun place. And with Wisconsin Cheese Curds on the menu, this is one bar
not to be missed.
Another Wisconsin connection we found was at the Linger Lodge in Bradenton. The man who originally built the place was from Wisconsin. It's been called one of the top five weird restaurants in the country. Could be because of all the dead animals mounted on the walls. Unfortunately the beer selection wasn't very good but the setting was quite beautiful and that made up for the lack of something appealing to imbibe.

We were hoping to find a Packer bar to watch the play-off game on January 15th. I had downloaded a number of choices from a website listing the Packer bars in the area where we were staying. Last year when we were in Orlando during the Packer-Falcon game we found a great bar, One-Eyed Jack's, where the fans were hard core. I don't think I've seen as many Packer jerseys and foam cheeseheads on fans in any Wisconsin bar on game day. We were expecting the same in the Seminole area.
Regrettably, one of the bars on the list that we stopped at didn't even recognize us as customers let alone Packer fans. So we went to the Angry Pepper, a place we'd been at two days before that had good food and a good selection of craft beers. Another customer who saw us in our Packer "finery" even gave up his seat so we'd have a better view of the big-screen TV to watch the game. I guess that’s what they call southern hospitality!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Winter Birds

Even though we love our state, sometimes Wisconsin wanderers have to leave for respite from winter. What a joy to have been in Florida for the past two weeks. The weather cooperated with all of our activities – it was warm and sunny when we were outside; rainy and cool on the days we were inside.

We stayed in a small cottage in Seminole west of Tampa and just a few miles from the Gulf Beaches on the Pinellas Peninsula. It’s billed as “Old Florida at her finest” and the description is perfect. We were secluded away from the hustle and bustle across from the Seminole City Park. Amazing flora and fauna graced this 2-acre compound built during the 1950s by a man from the Chicago area.

We were greeted by peacocks living on the grounds. And when these birds tired of the ground, they perched on the roof.
This male peacock had about six females in his harem but it
wasn't mating season so we never saw his beautiful display of
tail feathers.
The white stuff we saw was the sand on the beautiful Gulf beaches and not the stuff that fell to the ground in Wisconsin while we were away!
Lots of shells on the beach at Honeymoon Island State Park.

And birds, too.

These pelicans at Safety Harbor eagerly awaited the fish entrails
the fishermen threw from the pier after cleaning the mullet they caught
by throwing a cast net. It was fascinating to watch the process.
This egret was at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary
in Indian Shores. 

The "bird" chapters have now come to a close. Check in later for more about our visit to the Sunshine State.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

More than Snowbirds

Even though we’ve had an unusually warm and relatively snow-free winter, Rick and I are practicing to be “snowbirds” this month. So we're wandering to Florida for the next couple of weeks.
"Snowbird" on my deck - from last winter.
Yet there are other “birds” that don’t migrate south and many unusual species can be seen at Dr. Evermor’s Park. Dr. Evermor is artist Tom Every. His park is full of fabricated whimsical scrap metal structures, many of them birdlike. The park is located across from the old Badger Ordnance (home of the world’s largest ammunition plant, now closed) on Highway 12 south of Baraboo. 

Peacocks like to show off their pretty tail feathers!
Or you might see these birds, such as the ones here in Madison on South Paterson Street, in your community. Big Bird, eat your heart out!

Spread your tiny wings and fly away,
And take the snow back with you
Where it came from on that day.
~ from Snowbird written by Gene MacLellan and sung by Anne Murray

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Happy New Year!

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in.  A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.  ~Bill Vaughan

So we covered our bases this year and managed to see the ball drop at midnight (our time).

Even though we haven’t wandered very far to celebrate the new year, many of these years we’ve been with friends. And what better way to ring in the new than with people who are near and dear to us.

Here’s my wish for you for 2012 (in the form of a toast by Anonymous). So raise your glasses with me:

Here's a toast to the future,
A toast to the past,
And a toast to our friends, far and near.
May the future be pleasant,
The past a bright dream.
May our friends remain faithful and dear.