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.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Looking for Spring

Spring came early this year, but that wasn’t the case last year. So last March, when our spring was cold and rainy and long, we Wisconsin Wanderers decided to go south to see if we could find warmer weather. Much to our chagrin, not only did we find more rain and cold, but it even snowed in southern Indiana the first night we were out.

I’m not sure how well the trees that were in bloom fared when the cold weather struck. Apple growers here in Wisconsin are concerned this spring. Their trees are leafing and could be flowering by mid-April – a whole month early. We’re sure to have a hard frost in April before winter decides to leave permanently and that would mean no apple crop this year.
Rick is pointing out the snow on the branches along with the blossoms.
Notice the snow on the ground, too,
One of the most fabulous places we visited last spring was the French Lick Resort consisting of two hotels – the West Baden Springs Hotel and the French Lick Springs Hotel. The West Baden Springs Hotel is a National Historic Landmark with a most spectacular dome. Because of help, in part, from Indiana Landmarks, our nation’s largest state-wide historic preservation organization, this early 20th century edifice has been restored to its original grandeur.

The lobby of the French Lick Springs Hotel has amazing murals and gold leaf on its ceiling. We learned that Conrad Schmitt Studios of Milwaukee was responsible for the beautiful artwork and decorative touches.

It seems that we find Wisconsin connections wherever and whenever we wander!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

In Celebration of St. Pat's Day

With the approach of St. Patrick's Day this Saturday, I began thinking about some of the Irish pubs we've discovered in our travels.

The Irish Lion is in Bloomington, IN. We stopped there last spring on our way to a bourbon trail tour in Kentucky. This pub is a favorite of a friend of ours who lives in Bloomington and we were pleased with the fare.

Last fall we paid a visit to the Studebaker Museum in South Bend, IN and stopped at the Fiddler’s Hearth for lunch. If memory serves, this pub was a recommendation of our friends who were with us. Again, another good meal at a fun place.
Raise your pint of Guinness (or any favorite libation) and let me end this short post with an Irish toast:

May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and a smooth road all the way to your door.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Art in the Wild

It’s probably the self-trained folk artist who has enough guts to exhibit his or her art out of doors where anyone passing by can see it. This art is probably the most fun because one never knows what might be out there just around the next bend in the road.

Rick’s son and daughter-in-law live across the street from the James Tellen Woodland Sculpture Garden in Sheboygan. The concrete sculptures are in a pleasant park setting - a lovely place for a walk. 

Chainsaw Gordy sells firewood and attracts attention to his business with a row of chainsaw totems along County Road M near Medford on the edge of the Chequamegon National Forest. He’s mounted hundreds of old chainsaws by slotting them through telephone poles. 
One of the M&M characters?
This sculpture in Wisconsin Dells probably was carved out of a tree by an artist with a chainsaw, too.
Flowers on a side street not too far from Bowman Park
Stones and glass were the materials of choice of Father Wernerus at the Dickeyville Grotto – another remarkable piece of folk art in southwest Wisconsin.

We can thank the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and the Kohler Foundation, Inc. for preserving some of these unusual works throughout our state that still stand for our visual enjoyment.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

A Cure for the Winter Blues

While we’ve had a mild winter, I’m ready for something other than sprinklings of snow or cold rain. So a trip to the Mitchell Park Conservatory – The Domes – in Milwaukee seemed like a good way to beat the winter blues.

What better way to sample the blooms of spring that are just a couple of months away than to spend an afternoon in the warmth and color of the beautiful tropical dome. And to taste the heat of summer that will follow – in the desert dome.
Tropical Dome with so many interesting flowers.

Desert Dome where it's quite hot - ah, but it's a dry heat!
Get a jump on spring with a visit to The Domes.