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.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Spring Has Arrived - Finally!

We didn't venture too far from home over the Memorial Day weekend this year. Astico Park (another lovely Dodge County park) is about 30 minutes from Madison near Columbus and about an hour away for Rick. This time we brought "Frolie," the '65 Frolic vintage camping trailer. 
Here we are among the big white boxes. But several people stopped by
because they wanted to see our little rig.
Our site was on the Crawfish River so we saw a number of canoers and kayakers paddle up and down the water over the weekend. And the weather couldn't have been more beautiful. Good thing the rain held off until AFTER we were gone. 
The view from our camp site across the Crawfish River.
Another view of the river. Very peaceful since the campers
near us didn't have children nor were they rowdy drunks.
This year Rick has added a new piece of equipment to our camping gear - a propane fireplace. It's really neat. No muss, no fuss! None of that smoke to make your eyes water or smell up your clothes. Did I mention - a breeze to light? Rick figures that a canister of propane is probably about the same cost as several bundles of firewood that we would have to buy at the park to burn for the same amount of fire. 
We were listening to a podcast of jazz while we enjoyed the fire on
Friday evening.
While the sunsets weren't as spectacular as we experience when we're at Ledge Park, another Dodge County favorite, the evening sky was still quite beautiful.

The river was smooth as glass.
The only disappointment of the weekend was that most of the antique and vintage shops in Columbus were not open for the weekend. But that really didn't matter since we spent most of our time at our site watching the world go by or reading a book from the Little Free Library.
Kudos to Dodge County for installing a Little Free Library.
There's one at Ledge Park, too. I'll be dropping off a few books
the next time we camp there.
This was our second time out so far this season. The weekend before we were in Marengo IL for a "Spring Fling" vintage rally. Even though there were only a few of us at that rally, the quality of the company made up for it. I even learned a new game - Mancala.
We camped in the Argosy when we were in Illinois. Rick is pulling it with
a conversion van he bought last fall. He says with the van he can hardly
tell he's towing the trailer 
Rick and I are looking forward to next weekend when we will be hosting our second "Birds & Bovines" vintage trailer rally at Ledge Park. If you are in that neck of the woods on Saturday, June 7, stop by between 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. for our Open House. In the meantime, happy camping!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sip, Sup, and Stroll

We didn't venture too far the weekend following Easter. Milwaukee was our destination. First stop - the  Westside Art Walk on Vliet Street on Friday night.
Even though Rick grew up in Milwaukee, he said he had never walked down this street. Actually our stroll was only about four or five blocks, so we only saw a small portion of Vliet Street.

The Art Walk is sponsored annually by the Vliet Street Business Association which has worked over the years to reinvent the street, attract destination businesses, and promote art and arts events. Vliet Street, on Milwaukee's west side between 43rd and 62nd Streets, is now the location of commercial clusters, meeting places, and unique shops, restaurants, and services. 

Some of the places we stopped included the 
Nomad Art Gallery where I took part in the creation of a "communal canvas." I'm not much of an artist, but it was a great deal of fun to try my hand at painting. And here's the result. . .
I call this "Cherry Tree." Anticipation of a future adventure this summer was my inspiration.
At Salvaged Studio & Gallery I learned that the owner, Rachel Winkley,  used to live in Madison. Her studio is also a member of Local First Milwaukee. The cake she served to celebrate her first anniversary was delicious - from Simma's Bakery, one of the places we stopped at during a holiday Milwaukee Food Tour the year before last.
I like to look for the "Local First" logo in Milwaukee-area shops.
It's as good as seeing the Dane Buy Local decal in establishments in Dane County and the seven counties that surround it.
Along with the art came live music at the West End Conservatory
We were treated to performances by guitar students of Neil Davis.
We also stopped in at Four Corners of the World, where handmade home decor items from global artisans are available. Four Corners guarantees that all of the merchandise sold there is created by people who are paid a fair wage and have safe working conditions.
Fortunately for us, the weather cooperated and it was a sunny evening - a
perfect time for strolling down the street.
On Saturday is was on to State Fair Park where the Shepherd Express sponsored its annual "Stein & Dine" event - a beer, cheese, and sausage festival.
It took a while to get into the Expo Hall, but once we
were in, there was no waiting to get samples of beer,
cheese, sausage, and other goodies.
3 Sheeps Brewing Company is from Sheboygan. The name is a play on
"three sheets to the wind" (an expression to say that one has indulged just a
bit too much) with a Wisconsin agricultural edge thrown in.
One of my favorites at the festival was a Bloody Mary made with Jimmy Luv's mix from Milwaukee. We appreciate bars that use the mix to make their Bloody Marys. It's flavorful and the Bloody Mary is so much better than one made with just tomato juice and the various seasonings.

Lots of breweries were represented at "Stein & Dine" and we sampled from just about every one of them.
Titletown from Green Bay is a favorite. We like to stop
at the brew pub for burgers and a beer when we're in the Green Bay area.
I liked the fudge cheese that is made by Scott's of Wisconsin right here outside of Madison in Sun Prairie. What's not to like about a combination of chocolate and cheese?

Another favorite is the cheese made by the Weyauwega Cheese Company. We have been known to drive nearly 100 miles to buy their cheese. Rick especially likes the packs with assorted cheese and sausage bites. We learned that the packs are only sold at the store in Weyauwega.

Even close to home Wisconsin wanderers can usually find something fun to do on the weekend and we are glad that Milwaukee has much to offer.