13 November 2018

11/13/2018 - History of a Rock

In early October this year, we took a driving trip around several Midwest states. One of our stops was Marquette, Michigan. At the Landmark Hotel, we found this green painted rock (maybe 4" x 2") leaning on the wall outside the lobby door.




So a few days later we went to https://www.facebook.com/groups/PHMRocks/ and reported where we found "our" rock and mentioned that we re-hid it in Wisconsin. It was in full view, but amongst a huge pile of other rocks. We were hoping the bright green color would catch someone's attention.

So today I was checking back and, low and behold, someone found our rock in Eagle River, Wisconsin and reported the find.



We wondered who found our rock. An employee of the Wild Eagle Lodge? A guest? So we sent this message. No answer yet.

What fun. Hope we can follow our rock further.

06 November 2018

11/6/2018 - We Love our Stylist

...our hair stylist, that is. She is Amanda of Captain Amanda's Radiance Salon. The Captain part might sound a bit odd, but I'll tell you about that later.
We started with Amanda because of a GroupOn coupon. That was about five years ago and she was so fantastic that we became loyal clients. Her salon used to be in Richland, Michigan, about 15 miles from our home. Recently she moved to Otsego, a tad bit further for us to drive, but easier because it is mostly freeway.

She owns the building now (actually a converted "antique" home) in this quaint little town. Decor is fabulous with crystal chandeliers and colors done in silver and shades of purple. Lots of good light and plenty of room to spread out.


Amanda cuts both Mike and my hair and does a fabulous job on both. Here is a photo of her at work on Mike's head. She also trims his ears and brows. Yah!!
She has worked with me through ½-inch pixie short to almost collar length. She's always flexible with good ideas because I like to mix it up. She does a great cut, but color is her favorite, although I'm not ready to delve back into that yet.

We've recommended several friends, but one of her biggest fans is 92-year old Inda (mother of our neighbor). She has very fine hair, but with a wave (not shown well in the photo). She swears no one could cut it right to get the nice wave how she likes it until she found Amanda. 
OK, so now about the "Captain" part. Amanda is an avid fisher woman. She has been a lot of places including Alaska to enjoy that fun hobby. So she got inspired to earn a merchant marine license which allows her to captain a ship up to 50,000 tons.

At this time she mostly assists other captains because she doesn't own her own boat yet. She is also a rep for a line of fishing tackle. This poster hangs on one wall in her hallway and she can tell you a lot about fishing...smiling all the while.
She also does driftwood art and rock painting. She surprises me on just about every visit with some new story about her adventures.
So an all around great hair stylist in a wonderful location and fabulous atmosphere. We always share inspiring and educational conversations, chatting about everything under the sun. And did I mention the price is right.

23 September 2018

June 2018 WISCONSIN to Home 8 - Cheese Please

We cabbed back to the hotel. Another dicey but safe trip from our cab driver.

The next morning, after a hotel buffet breakfast, we headed back to Palatine. On the way we stopped at the Mars Cheese Castle in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It was a quick off-and-on from the freeway.

We browsed the huge facility. So many varieties of domestic and international cheeses. They have many samples to taste. Wisconsin's famous cheese curds below.
They also have a large selection of beer and wine for sale.



A nice room for cheese and beverage tastings. Also, cheese head hats for sale. Not my style.

We chose Uniekaas reserve gouda, Henning's fenugreek cheddar, vampire garlic slayer, and some jerkies for Mike. The best was a maple infused white cheddar. Doesn't sound like a good combo, but it was delish.
It took an hour longer to get home than to get there. Traffic was pretty much at a standstill for much of I-80 and I-94 in Illinois and Indiana. It is always a pleasure to cross the the Indiana-Michigan state line. This "lighthouse" is at the state line Welcome Center, an icon depicting the many Michigan lighthouses. Back to home sweet home.

15 September 2018

June 2018 WISCONSIN Milwaukee 7 - James and Bonnie Concert

It was just over a mile from our hotel to the Lake Michigan Summerfest site. It was still dripping hot, so this time we took a cab. Our driver was pretty gutsy, but also pretty safe. Drop-off was a block from the entrance. What excitement--James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt on the same bill.


Thankfully we had our tickets in hand as there was a line at the will-call window. We waltzed right in. Summerfest is advertised as the world's largest music festival and is set up in a fair-style atmosphere. On the 75-acre site are carnival rides, typical fair food stands (hot dogs, corn-on-the-cob dipped in vats of butter, funnel cake, etc.), and several stages for simultaneous music events.




We had about an hour before the concert started, so we slowly sauntered over to our music venue. On the way we grabbed a bite and a beverage and perused the t-shirt stand. Mike and Nancy made a purchase there.
The major venue was huge with seating for 23,000 peeps. Most of it was stadium chairs, but some lawn seating rimmed the top. That is the biggest outdoor venue we've ever seen. Not many there when we arrived, but it was cool and comfortable with the large canopy and light breeze.

We sat about in the middle of the red "3" on the right side. Darn good seats!
We people watched and chatted while we waited.

It didn't take too long for the place to fill up.
Bonnie Raitt's sock monkey sat on an amp. I tried to find out the meaning behind that little monkey, but it has alluded me. I guess it is an inside joke.

Bonnie and James came out together to start the show. She in her flaming red hair. He is his newsboy hat. They played maybe two songs and then Bonnie took over.

She had been out of the loop for a while with medical issues, but she was back tonight with a vengeance. A gorgeous, strong voice. Among other faves she sang "I Can't Make You Love Me," "Thing Called Love," "Since I Fell for You." and, of course, "Something to Talk About."
 Backgrounds changed across a big screen. This first was Bonnie's.

These showed behind James. He talked about this house as though it was his own and maybe it was at some point. He talked about his family and his dog. So personal and personable.
 This was my fave though. Gritty New York.
James Taylor played so many faves--"Fire and Rain," Carolina on my Mind," "How Sweet It Is," "Sweet Baby James," "You've Got a Friend," and more. With most songs he told a little story on the background of it. Made them even more special.


At one point he pointed out that the moon was rising behind us over Lake Michigan (to the left). It was beautiful with silhouettes in front of it.
It was a long and wonderful concert. The back-up players were fabulous, too. Luis Conte on percussion and what a set-up. He was born in Cuba, so you know he's got the beat. Steve Gadd on drums, of Modern Drummer Hall of Fame fame. Michito Sanchez on percussion who previously played with Elton John and Cosby, Stills, and Nash. Walter Fowler on keyboard and horns. Vocals  were Arnold McCullar (back-up for many famous singers) and Kate Markowitz. And on fiddle was Andrea Zonn. There were a few more, but these stood out.

Here's the fair as we departed.




03 September 2018

June 2018 ILLINOIS to WISCONSIN 6 - Side Trip to Summerfest

The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel buffet--cheese omelettes, waffles, good coffee. T&N picked us up for a side trip to Milwaukee. The drive from Palatine north to downtown Milwaukee was 77 miles and about 1-½ hour drive.
Along the way we saw this cool car. Wonder where it was headed.

I have to say the room we got at the Hampton Inn-Downtown was not my fave. Harsh lighting and bare decor with one small high window that looked up an air shaft. It felt damp and dungeon-y. But our focus was the James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt concert that evening, so shan't dwell on the room.

We needed a bite, so we walked a few blocks to the Miller Time Pub and Grill. We enjoyed lunch here a few years back when we attended the Milwaukee Bead and Button Show and it did not disappoint. Burgers were the top pick and really good per comments of my pals. I had something veggie.


After lunch Mike took a nap and we other three meandered our way to the waterfront Summerfest ticket office where our tickets were on hold. We enjoyed the sights along the way.

This was a huge mural on the side of a multi-story building. One day I'll try to decipher the rebus or maybe a blog reader can figure it out and let me know what it says.
We enjoyed pieces of outdoor art placed throughout downtown. Nearby plaques explain each. This piece is by Tom Friedman called "Hazmat Love." It is made of tinfoil, baking tins, and roasting pans. The description says it is a commentary on effects and struggles of the environment.
Artist Hank Willis Thomas titled this one "Liberty." This is an arm with finger "spinning" a basketball, inspired by a 1986 photo of the Harlem Globetrotters.
Even "You are here" maps were nicely decorated.
We criss-crossed the Milwaukee River a few times.

A vertical drawbridge over the river. This one rises straight up to allow tall boats to pass through.

Buildings were historic and interesting. This is a beaut!

Just love these giant ladybugs, almost a story tall each.

We picked up our tickets and headed back to the hotel to refresh.