Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tis the Season

Tis the season for busyness and travel! It's been to long since I've posted and I've got a couple trips to catch up on in the new year!

Door County 9/12
Las Vegas 10/12

In January we're going to Door County again for a couples weekend which is said to include a sleigh ride and wineries! That's about all that I know about that one.

We won't be making any big trips in 2013 due to the wedding and saving for that. There is a road trip to Arkansas to visit a friend in late April or May though.

Happy Travels and we'll see you in the new year!

Merry Christmas from Lora, Brett, Baxter the dog, and Fred the Fish!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Off to the races...

This last weekend was my first trip to Madison International Speedway. As you may or may not know Brett and his family are BIG into racing. Complete with pools and fantasy leagues. This is not something that I'm overly accustomed to, the racing of cars in circles.

I went prepared with my ear plugs as I don't like loud noises and we made it just in time to catch the end of the time trials. There are two short 8 lap races, then a 50 lap, 40 lap and another 50 lap. I've gotten used to observing the races on TV but in person there is so much more to absorb. There's the noise and the smells and the crews working around the track.

We had fun with it and the night ended with fireworks and a trip to the pits. Let me tell you some of these crews have quite the trailers. I'm told that when they travel as much as they do they have to have a home away from home. Next time we go I'll get the real ear protectors (similar to those used in gun ranges) and perhaps a headset so you can hear what's going on over all the noise. The ear plugs block out the announcers voice.

We've got a trip to Door County coming up in two weeks with a group of friends, more blogging to come at that time!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Galena, IL

Ah finally a three day weekend! We've been on the go go go so while we had initially planned a three day trip (2 nights camping) we decided a day trip and then two days at home would be grand!

Friday Morning:
We slept in! After a couple cups of coffee we hit the road in the orange mobile, using the Garmin to take us on the shortest (and more scenic) route to Galena, IL. I often use this when not in a hurry and wanting to check out the road less travel. From Stoughton it took us about 1 hour and 50 minutes. While, I've been to Galena several times Brett has never been and so before we left we decided that we were going to take a tour of Galena. We arrived at about 12:30 to get tickets for Galena Trolley tour at 2:00 pm. We gave ourselves a little time to wander. We also considered a carriage ride tour.

Lunch: Benjamin's right on the main drag. Brett went with the Echo Burger (1/3 lb burger with sliced ham, Dijon/ranch sauce and raw onions) while I went with the Pita-Q (BBQ shredded pork and American cheese between pita bread) both served with thin homemade French fries. Delicious.

Tour: After lunch we took the tour with our Guide Joe. Joe was great, he gives you a overview of the history while taking you around the East Side, West Side and then downtown area. (we then went back to the car to move it, there are 3 hr parking limits from 9a-5p) and proceeded with a little shopping and wine tasting. The most enjoyable for me was just learning the history of the town and why it is what it is today. The most enjoyable for Brett was the older homes and churches that over looked the downtown, especially the high school and the stairs that the kids had to go up everyday to get to school (over 175 stairs).

Wine tastings! We sampled Massbach Ridge Winery (Elizabeth, IL)  and Galena Cellars Winery (Galena, IL) both have store fronts in downtown Galena. Each of us sampled 6 wines for $5 (total $20 between the two wineries) and found our favorites. At Massbach we tried: St Pepin, Seyval, Sunrise Red, Cool Breeze, Daffodil White, Berry Sweet, Windsong White, Vignoles, Massbach Reserve, and Ridge Red. At Galena we tried: Bubblin Blanc, Proprietor's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, General's Reserve Red, Country Red, 2011 Seyval Blanc, Illinois Traminette, Senorita Sangria, Marechal Foch/Eric the Red, Vineyard Red/St. Croix, Daffodil/LaCrosse, Oktoberfest, Vineyard Rose, and Senor Sangria. Our winery of choice? Galena Cellars. We took home the Bubblin' Blanc (dry with tiny bubbles), Proprietor's Reserve Cabernet (yum), Vineyard Rose (tasty), and the Senorita Sangria (white sangria).

After all that wine we decided to take a walking tour of our own (and walk up the crazy flights of stairs in town). After wandering and walking, and saying "Hello" to the town folk sitting on their porches we settled on Vinny Vanucchi's. Not being overly starving we split a lasagna (which was big enough for the two of us), added on an extra salad (it was already family style), add in garlic bread and Tiramisu (of course) and we were stuffed. A little walk across the river to the park and back and we hit the road. A good day all in all. The best part? The walk together around town and a slow lazy dinner.

Next time: Hoping to camp at Palace Campground, ride the bikes into town, Kayak the River and visit The Belvedere Mansion and maybe a river cruise on the Mighty Mississippi.

Friday, May 18, 2012


I don't get to travel as much as I would love to BUT I'm always moving and going places. This weekend is Syttende Mai in my new town, Stoughton (WI). The house is a disaster as I just moved three weeks ago on the tail end of a kitchen renovation that also involved part of the living room wall. A new ceiling in the kitchen caused us to also paint the living room ceiling as well. Lots of painting and let me tell you, I'm not a fan of ceiling painting, give me a wall any day. I am however new to living in a house that you actually have to do upkeep in. Sigh. As soon as the house is a bit more put together I'll paint one of the walls in the spare bedroom/office. Trainwreck Teal. Not going to lie, a little excited. The painting itself has been an experience along with realizing what goes into a home remodel and starting from the studs up.

I've been neglecting the blog as I've been busy and so has Brett. If I'm not gone, he is doing something with his Hometown Talent baseball team. Just last weekend we were in Milwaukee for a 13 inning Brewers game (They beat the Cubs). This weekend we're staying around home to experience actual "home life" - we'll check out the Paddle and Portage tonight, while tomorrow I'll check out the Art Fair and he'll playing baseball. If you're going to be around on Sunday bring your lawn chair for the parade that starts at 1:30!

Next weekend I head north to Tomah for a high school graduation and then on to Minocqua for a girls cabin retreat. I'm looking forward to the fresh air and lake of internet. My brain could use a little less stimulation for a while. Until then...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Alaska - Part 4

My friend is doing a triathlon today! Up at 7:45 am to head to Chugiak High School in Eagle to cheer him on. Afterwards we went to his in laws house to hang with the family and enjoy food from the grill. Later that evening it's off to Girdwood to have dinner at the Double Musky!! No wait for dinner on a Sunday, a nice surprise indeed. I had the Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya with a jalapeno roll and salad with a sweet vinaigrette dressing. The Marilyn Monroe martini was OK, but not the best that I have had.

Alaska - Part 3

Day 3 - June 4, 2011
Woke up and went to the "weekly market". This market is mostly local food and a flea market type scene. I got a "pinotchky" or something spelled like that. It's basically a sweet dough filled with ground beef and cheese. Also picked up an Alaska dish towel, and raspberry rhubarb syrup. Afterwards we headed back to the house for a bit before Chris and headed out to Symphony Lake. One four hour hike and about 9 miles later we got back to the truck! It was awesome! Take bear spray if you go, always a good thing to have. We didn't see any bears (thankfully) but we did see a silver fox on the way home, he was a bit fast for my camera though. Back home we went to order a pizza and watch Gran Torino.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Door County 2011

Back in October I went to Door County for the second time in my life and for the first time with Brett. We rented a cabin and stayed for 2 days. It was awesome and we came away with new favorites and things for next time. I've compiled a list below.

We biked, hiked, browsed, took a tour, sampled wine, brought home coffee, ate and wandered. We probably had the most fun getting out the bikes and parking on the side of the road and just going! (with helmets of course)

To Do:
Apples (early October), Cherries (early August), Golfing, Washington Island Ferry, Biking, Local Tours, Wineries, Shopping, Animal Farms, Fun Parks, Hands on Art Studios, Fireboat Cruise, Relaxing at the Cabin, Fishing, Swimming, State Parks, County Parks, Scenic Drives, Rustic Fish Gallery, Orchards/Farmers Markets, Cana Island Light House (bring cash), cook in!

Breakfast - Rustys Tractor Cafe, Julies Park Cafe
Lunch - Wilsons (known for their burger, also have huge root beer floats), Blue Ox, Coopers Corners, Fred & Fuzzys
Dinner - Coyote Roadhouse (steaks), Alexanders, The Shoreline, Mink River Basin Supper Club

I also have a suggested list of items to pack (food and other) for if you plan to rent a cabin. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in this.

Below is a sampling of pictures from our trip, there was a storm 4 days before we went up. The power finally came on the night before we were to arrive.

Alaska - Part 2

It's tourist in Alaska time for me! Time for my trip to downtown Anchorage. There is allot to do in d-town for the locals and tourist. Also, it's summer so the weather is warmer. Also amazing is how many Packer and Badger shirts we see. If you are in Anchorage check out the Salmon Bridge. We didn't get to see any Salmon, but we did see a few fishermen and lots of grey water. While we were in the area we stopped at The Ulu Factory. Very cool, make sure you pack them in your luggage and not your carry on if you do buy one. For lunch today I had a spicy reindeer dog with ketchup and cheese. It's sliced in half and put on a bun wrapped in foil. They are served by several vendors on pretty much each street corner.

Happy hour/dinner was had at Simon and Sieferts. All appetizers! Teriyaki tenderloin with ginger and white rice! I highly suggest it. Afterwards we experienced "First Friday". I loved it! The galleries in Anchorage downtown stay open later and put out snacks and everyone wanders around looking at art! It was the first time I got to see a bit more of the younger alterna crowd come out.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Alaska - Part 1

(Excerpts taken from my travel notes)

June 2, 2011

My house is going to be empty for the next 10 days, it's never been alone that long. My trip begins with a cab ride (Green Cab-Madison) to the Union to catch a bus to O'hare Airport. Get on the bus in Madison, switch buses in Janesville and then get to O'Hare about 5:30 am. Yes am! After a smooth check in and body scan at security I settle in and wait for my plane. It's always interesting to watch people come, go, and occasionally sit and chat with you. I tend to sit in one spot and occasionally wander, but mostly I prefer to sit and make sure everything will go smoothly. As always good to go! Six hours and one plane ride later (with a little turbulence, though I've had far worse!) I arrived in Anchorage, Alaska! Greeted by the fabulous Becky T I was swooped up and and taken back to the condo. So glad I got my own room/the future baby room (Hank arrived about 1 month after I flew home) for the entire stay.

Becky and I got me slightly settled and then met Chris for dinner downtown at Humpy's Bar and Restaurant. I ordered the Halibut Fish n Chips and was reminded that things in Alaska tend to cost more than they would in Wisconsin. A beer at McGinley's (lovely Irish Bar) followed! It was about 80 degrees that day in the sun. Unseasonably warm for June in Alaska.

Below are the mountains as I'm flying into Alaska... there is nothing like it.

2012 Blogging

So coming soon you'll be seeing some of what I call back blogging!!! Travels I should have blogged on last year and didn't so I'll be working on that this year. First stop?!


And no I cannot post all 432 pictures.