En route to our bed and breakfast in Wisconsin we ran into some traffic. And by some, of course I am referring the the ever so spectacular Friday-get-the-hell-out-of-Chicago traffic. Our exit on I-90 was waaaaaaaaay backed up, so I decide/delcared, "Forget this". We were relatively close to the Wisconsin boarder, it's literally a question of direction. My wonderful, amazing, patient, and gorgeous wife put her fears aside to my bold decision. We don't need no stinkin' gps system! We had a map. And Carleen, by all appearances, was cool with it. In my mind it was simple, north and west. No problem, right? Exactly. Made it there, no worries.
It actually reminded me of driving from Chicago to Dubuque way back in high school. A bunch of friends would load in to a car and leave directly from Wahlert to head to Chicago to catch a band on a Friday night. Now on the way back we'd be all jazzed (and for the record, anyone who knows who I ran with in high school knows we were jazzed in the most honest sense, would all our folks let go to Chicago if we weren't upstanding citizens? That's right.) or sleeping so we'd miss the highway 20 exit in Rockford. All of a sudden we'd be passing into Wisconsin. What to do?!?! Take a left, head west, eventually you'd run into the Mississippi River and Iowa. No getting upset or worried. Cardinal directions will get you home. Kind of like our journey to Stoughton, Wis.
|The Stoughton Courthouse. Full of small-town Wisconsin charm. (Not pictured, the nice art galleries, fine dining, and total dive-bars. It's Wisconsin and what's a small-town Wisconsin without a half-dozen or so dive-bars?!?)|
Ok, back on the task at hand. As I mentioned in the previous post, my lovely wife inquired after a B&B. Well, I found one, in Stoughton, Wisconsin. We've never been there before, but, from my observations, it's in that Scandinavian/Swiss corridor that include Mt. Horeb, Monroe, and New Glarus, friendly, interesting, and fun. We had reservations at the Naeset-Roe Inn. Carl and his charming dogs we're exceptional hosts. He had long list of places of interest, shops, and fine cuisine around town. We settled for the Main Street Pour House (get it, "pour" house?!?!? They pour beer! Get it?!?!) for some good eats, a brew, and some local kareoke. Including a singer giving a shout out to unions! Which received a hearty and positive respond from the bar-goers. It was great, but we were tired so
|Oh.My.God. It's a single rainbow over the Main Street Pour House. Good food, great beer selections, and refreshingly entertaining local kareoke. Really!|
|Naeset-Roe Inn. Highly recommended on the Healy-Grutz scale. We give it a 3 1/2 cranberry-orange scones out of 4. (C'mon, it's a B&B, scones is a staple, har har har!)|
Birthday and Baraboo!
After the coma-inducing breakfast, Carleen and I hopped in the Forester and head to our next destination. And where was that? Well, nowhere in particular, eventually Baraboo, of course, but it was early and it was time to explore. We visited Oregon (Wisconsin!) and then headed toward Madison. We ventured into the city center, abandoning the safety and security of the beltway. We circle the capitol building couple of times, giving our support to the protesters.
We then made it out of Madison, stopping in Black Earth, enjoying Sauk City, and eventually ending up in Baraboo. We strolled through the quaint main street square (where people were taking signatures for recall of the governor/state senators. Wisconsin is taking this union sh!t seriously!), stopping at The Village Booksmith (which has a ridiculously pathetic website that I won't dare link here, but it's still a neat store), grabbing some joe at Coffee Bean Connection, and getting some great flowers for Jane at Amber Moon.
We drove through the countryside surrounding Baraboo and finally made it to Jim and Jane's. If you're new to the blog, I'v known Jim and Jane for roughly 30 years. They were our landlords/friends way back on Lincoln in Dubuque and we've been friends since. Add they've appeared in this blog in the past here, here, and here (this particular link include Jane's sister, Marcia and her husband Steve, who made it to Jane's party in Baraboo). We were in town to celebrate Jane's 60th birthday. Food, drinks, and good times ensued. Sure I can go into the details, and I'm sure I will, (in my memoirs!), but it was a grand gathering of friends and family. We got to finally meet Mike and Jean, exceptional folks that I've heard so much about over the years, but hadn't met. I will elaborate on this fantastic couple in the future as their story is an excellent one and it has a resounding Iowa connection(!). Enough of your ramblings....photos!
|Jane and her brother-in-law Steve from S. Dakota. Baraboo! Catch the fever! Steve was stoked to be back in Wisconsin, especially to grab some Leinie's and New Glarus brews|
|Not only is she smart and beautiful, Carleen is a mean candle-lighter.|
|Jane and Jim. Awwwwwwwwwww.|
As per the question of being middle-aged from above.....so as the festivities progressed through the night and into the wee morning, Carleen and I called it a night at 2 am while many others were still up and about, having a joyous time. It was such a wonderful party and everyone had a grand time, including us. But it begs the question, if 50+, 60+ year old are partying it up and we, Carleen and I in our early 30s, are crashing, are we middle aged? Yes, young people annoy me at times. I talk about the weather. I am slowly finding it harder to tolerate ineptness in services. I insulate things. I'm still down with new music, as long as it's tolerated by NPR. I complain about mundane and in-the-grand-scheme-of-things unimportant.
Good god, I'm middle aged. And that's ok. But it doesn't mean I'm giving up the ghost. I reckon I'll get a mo-hawk tomorrow, yeah, that's the youthful action I can take to secure my 'hipness' at 33. I'll still rock out with the Firebird, fuzz pedal, and amp at 6 (ok, really at 1.25 and only before 8 pm. D'oh, see! I'm too damn considerate. I am middle-aged!). Needless to say, the weekend was a blast. I'm not terribly worried at my own mortality or lack of acting like I did when I was younger, but it was insightful the witness it happening firsthand. And speaking of mellowing down, I watched a great Harry Nilsson documentary entitled, Who is Harry Nilsson (and why is everybody talking about him). Check it out if you get a chance. Ok, that paragraph was really random.
Get smart. Not Shaka Smart (who's leading VCU into the Final Four, oh and he went to Kenyon (shout out to all my Kenyon peeps, take that Denison!)), just get smart.
Stanisław Leśniewski (March 30, 1886, Serpukhov – May 13, 1939, Warsaw) was a Polish Mathematician,philosopher, and logician.
Leśniewski went to a high school in Irkutsk. Later he attended lectures by Hans Cornelius at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and lectures by Waclaw Sierpinski at the Lviv University. Leśniewski belonged to the first generation of the Lwow-Warsaw School of Logic founded by Kazimierz Twardowski. Together with Alfred Tarski and Jan Lukasiewicz, he formed the troika which made the University of Warsaw, during the Interbellum, perhaps the most important research center in the world for formal logic.
Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE (born 30 March 1945) is an English guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of The Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked 4th in Rolling Stones magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and fourth in Gibson's Top 50 Guitarists of All Time.