"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing"
- Helen Keller

Friday, July 19, 2013

Wonderful Wisconsin Week

Our campsite, very nice!
Last week we hitched up and headed to the great state of Wisconsin. It was nice to be out on the road again. I’ve been starting to get hitch itch so this was a nice little side trip with the rig to soothe that itch. My cousin Kay lives in Waukesha and her eldest daughter Emily graduated from high school earlier this summer. This weekend was her celebration party and I really wanted to be there. Looking at the map I realized this was not too far from where  RV friends of ours are camp hosting. After talking to Evelyn and Kevin, I knew this was going to be a great trip. We would stay at the park they host and go to Waukesha for the grad party and as a bonus visit with cousins of John’s that live in the Madison area.

The Tuesday we were supposed to leave we had to wait until John had his follow up appointment with the surgeon.  When we woke up it was storming, lots of rain and grey. So we started to get ready but decided to leave most of the work until after his appointment. That was a good decision because by waiting the rain stopped and we followed the storm all the way to Derge County park near Beaver Dam. This is such a nice little county park on a lake and the camp hosts (Evelyn and Kevin) are the best. It also is a an hour from Madison and and hour and a half from Waukesha. The campground is small with paved roads and sites. We parked in 14 (I did make reservations) which Evelyn told me had some shade. It is a beautiful spot but next time I think we will park next to them in site 2, no shade but closer to fill the fresh water tank since the sites are just electric.

Thursday we drove to Sun Prairie to meet John’s cousin Tim and his wife Susan. They are recently retired and I think they are enjoying it. They recently went on a long train trip to the southwest that sounded wonderful. Then Saturday it was off to Waukesha fro the grad party. Kay and I were very close when we were young but haven’t seen too much of each other in recent years. Our mothers are sisters and so we look a little alike and many of her friends thought we were sisters. Her daughter Emily is beautiful and talented; she will attend the UW at Madison in biology. Her goal is to be a pediatrician. She has another daughter Jessica that is a junior so in a couple years we will be back for that grad party. I hope we get back sooner so we can spend a little more time together. Also there were her brothers Vince (we call him Lynn) and Bruce with wives Julie and Chris, and her sister Donita and husband. Vince’s daughter Lauren was there too and helped Kay with all the prep. We had such a fun time visiting and just generally catching up on everyone’s lives. 
Julie and Vince

Bruce and Chris

Donita and Kay


Kay and Janie

Emily, Joe (the dad) and  Jessica

The last family visit was on Sunday. We joined John’s cousin Shelia and husband Eric in Madison for brunch at Lilliana’s. The restaurant was lovely and the menu was a bit cajun. I had a Jambalya Omelet that was superb. Shelia and Eric have a lovely home. The last time we visited was right after they purchased it so it was fun to see all the changes they have made since that time. My favorite are the window off the sunroom with a view of several large feeders that were busy with lots of birds.
Shelia, Eric,and John. I didn't get a photo of Susan and Tim (darn)

Kevin and John

Back at the campground we spent several nights just enjoying the company of our friends. This RV life had given us so many new and fun friends and sometimes no one understands a full timer like another full timer. Evelyn and I walked several mornings together and went to a small but nice farmers market and a wonderful yarn shop in town, Firefly Fibers. I bought more yarn... it is so addictive. Friday we went on a wonderful state trail and rode our bikes about 14 miles. They also took us to the local supper club, Bayside, for a Wisconsin Friday fish fry. It really is a tradition here and many of the restaurants and bars were advertising their fish fries Our time came too quickly to an end but I know we will be back to visit and we hope to see Evelyn and Kevin in Florida this winter in early March; we have so much fun when we are together.
John, Evelyn and Kevin. Happy campers!

One other note: the weather was amazing. The rain stopped and the temps were decent. We couldn’t have planned it better. As we left the temps were rising along with the humidity and now we are having typical hot humid July weather. We were thankful for such a wonderful week.

Happy Trails.........

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Sand in the City Sculpture
Working on another sculpture
I can’t find any better description than that. Days like today make me think of the song from good ‘ole Mr. Rodgers. The last several days actually have been pretty incredible. After weeks of rain the sun has come out, the humidity has been reasonable and there has been a nice breeze. My walks have stretched out to several miles as all I really want to do is stay outside.

John is recovering from his hernia surgery and doing very well. Surgeon said it was easy peasy and by his two week check (next Tuesday) he should be back to normal. Lifting really was his only restriction once the anesthesia wore off. He only took his pain meds the first 24 hours; what a guy!

Gardens at Brucemore


The Freedom Festival has begun here in Cedar Rapids, it’s actually almost 2 weeks long with lots of different events. We are trying to do several of them. One of the first ones was Sand in the City, a sand sculpture event. It’s amazing what people make out of sand as you can see in the photos. The weather was not great for this so there were not too many entries but we did get to watch them working on several. 
Janie & Evie

Emily and Evie

Emily, Mitch and Evie

Monday night of this week we went to the Balloon Glow. This event was suppose to be the week before on Tuesday but we had some wicked storms that day and even a tornado warning so it was postponed until July 1st. That worked for us since John’s surgery was on the original date and we would not have been able to go. Mitch, Emily and Evie joined us. This event is on the lawn of Brucemore, which is a historic mansion here in town. It has beautiful gardens and grounds, making it an ideal spot for these types of events. This event has music and food vendors but you are allowed to bring in your own food and drinks. So I put the chairs and cooler on a little cart we have and John got to watch me haul it all in and back. I definitely got a work out in since the truck was close to a mile away from the grounds. It was so worth it. The band was a local country group called Lonesome Road, and were quite good. There were 5-6 balloons  that were inflated and then when it got dark they lit them up. What a great way to spend a lovely summers night.
Lonesome Road

Tomorrow on the 4th we plan on heading downtown for more Freedom Fest music and the fireworks. I think Trudy and Mike will join us. Its been a few years since we have watched the downtown fireworks display so it should be fun.  I wish you all a wonderful 4th of July and to all those who have given of their time and talents to serve our country we give you a huge thank you. I truly believe it is the people who make this nation such a great place to live.

Happy Trails....................