AWP, Travel, Vacation Planning

Be kind to the help

MCL-ETYCB Single Suite Hotel Room
Do you ever walk into a hotel room and wonder if those are really clean sheets on the bed? | MCL-ETYCB Single Suite Hotel Room (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning, I came across this article begging attendees at the upcoming AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) Conference in Seattle not to be “assholes” to the help while they’re in town. The article specifically focuses on the hotel housekeepers who will be cleaning up after AWP guests throughout the conference. As a former hotel housekeeper myself, I have a few points that I would like to add.

I worked at a small hotel right after high school. I was paid minimum wage, and like one of the housekeepers mentioned in the article, I had only a few minutes to turn over each room. It didn’t matter how big the room was or how badly it might have been trashed. If the room wasn’t completed within the allotted number of minutes, the hotel docked my pay. Which meant there were days when I did this disgusting, back-breaking work for LESS than minimum wage. Needless to say, I only lasted one summer before rushing to a cushy job down the block at Wal-Mart. Some of these workers don’t have that option. Continue reading “Be kind to the help”

Vacation Planning, Wisconsin

Playing the tourist at Horicon Marsh

Dirt road through Horicon Marsh
Some of the trails at Horicon Marsh are dirt and gravel roads like this one, while others were narrower mowed or mulched paths.

Have you ever played the tourist in your own neighborhood? Many of us, when we think of taking a vacation, immediately think of Paris, or Disney World, or any number of exotic locales that we have to save up for years to visit. But once in a while, it’s nice to open your eyes to the tourist hot spots in your own back yard.

A few weeks ago, I took my kids to Madison, WI, which is only about an hour away. I had been there before but had not seen much more than the state capitol building (my dad has a thing for state capitols and has dragged us to see capitol buildings in more states than I care to count at the moment) and the zoo.

Anyway, we had a great time seeing attractions that I didn’t even know existed. This got me wondering what else I have missed right here in Wisconsin while I’ve been sitting around dreaming about visiting anywhere but here. Continue reading “Playing the tourist at Horicon Marsh”

Uncategorized, Vacation Planning, Wisconsin

Staycay pictures from Madison, WI

I recently went on a little “staycation” to Madison, WI to celebrate the completion of my first draft novel for the Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge. Here are some pictures from my trip. Enjoy!

Rooftop garden at the Madison Childrens Museum
On the first day of our trip, we visited the Madison Children’s Museum. The rooftop garden was, by far, my favorite part.

Continue reading “Staycay pictures from Madison, WI”

Travel, Vacation Planning

Do you want to see some pretty pictures from my vacation?

Yeah, I know. No one really wants to look at pictures from someone else’s vacation. But I’ve been spending a lot of time complaining about my recent break from writing and wanted to assure you that it wasn’t all bad. Before I drove to Indiana for my non-existent new job, I went on a very nice vacation to the Dakotas. First we visited a very good friend of mine in Minot, ND and then we drove down to Rapid City, SD to see Mt. Rushmore and various other attractions in the area. Here are a few pictures for your enjoyment.

Here I am with my boys in front of Mount Rushmore.
Here I am with my boys in front of Mount Rushmore.


Continue reading “Do you want to see some pretty pictures from my vacation?”

Travel, Vacation Planning

Just got back from a fabulous vacation!

A picture of the twilight river boat, docked at LeClaire, Iowa
The beautiful Twilight riverboat calls LeClaire, Iowa home.

I just returned from the most wonderful vacation, and I have to brag about it. I had always wanted to ride a riverboat on the Mississippi River (or better yet, a raft!) ever since I read Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn as a kid. So, when I was brainstorming ideas for our summer vacation this year, “Mississippi River Cruise” was at the top of my terms to Google. And I’m glad I did. The trip we took ended up being a magnificent deal, and each one of us came home more than satisfied with the experience.  Continue reading “Just got back from a fabulous vacation!”

Restaurants, Travel, Vacation Planning, Wisconsin

Eat outside at Mullin’s Drive In, Fox Lake, WI

Mullin's Drive In restaurant, Fox Lake, Wisconsin
The car hops at Mullin’s Drive In restaurant in Fox Lake, Wisconsin take your order at your picnic table and bring your food to you. No standing in line like most summer burger stands!

On our way home from Amish country Saturday, my SignifO and I decided we wanted to have lunch at some kind of small, family-owned restaurant rather than the usual boring chain. So, when we came across Mullin’s Drive In, located in Fox Lake, WI, we had to stop and eat.

Mullin’s sign boasts their car hops come to your car to take your order, but that’s not all. The property includes a large yard full of picnic tables where patrons can take a seat in the shade while car hops take their orders table-side. A car hop/waitress greeted us as we exited our vehicle and directed us to take any table we liked, and she would be right with us.

Just like at an indoor sit-down restaurant, the waitresses at Mullin’s Drive In will bring your food right to your table. Continue reading “Eat outside at Mullin’s Drive In, Fox Lake, WI”

Travel, Vacation Planning, Wisconsin

Mt. Olympus water park at Wisconsin Dells

The entrance to Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park...
The entrance to Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This summer, a gas station down the street is giving away free tickets to Mt. Olympus water park at Wisconsin Dells with every 10-gallon purchase of gas. I’m a part-time teacher/freelance writer, so of course I’m always broke. Deals like these are usually the only way I can take my kids on such extravagant outings, so of course I bit the hook on this one. Approximately 3 weeks and 40 gallons of gas after finding out about this special, I was ready to take my kids to Wisconsin Dells! Continue reading “Mt. Olympus water park at Wisconsin Dells”

Religion, Travel, Vacation Planning, Wisconsin

A Milwaukee Day Trip

Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill
The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill is located at 1525 Carmel Road in Hubertus, Wisconsin.

Last weekend, my parents were in town for a quick visit, and we decided to take them on a scenic day trip around the Milwaukee area. We started off at The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill, which is located just a few miles north of Milwaukee. I lived in Milwaukee for six years, but it wasn’t until moving out of the city that I discovered this gem. This was the first chance I’d ever had to take my parents to see it.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you feel about being challenged to climb an endless supply of rickety stairs to breathtaking heights,) the scenic tower was closed for our visit. But, the view from the balcony in front of the main chapel is still amazing, even if you don’t make it up to the top of tower.  Continue reading “A Milwaukee Day Trip”

Disney World, Vacation Planning

Disney World is really HOT in July

Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, Walt D...
Image via Wikipedia

So yeah, I took my kids to Disney World. In July.

So yeah, it was HOT. But fun.

But that was 2 months ago, and it’s getting cold here in Wisconsin now. I’d like to fill you in on our trip, but that was 2 months ago.

I will blog more often. I will blog more often. I will. Blog. More. Often. I WILL!

But right now, I have to go make dinner. Spaghetti anyone? Continue reading “Disney World is really HOT in July”

Grand Canyon, Vacation Planning

Rethinking the Grand Canyon

Arizona Route Marker
Image via Wikipedia

Someone asked me yesterday where I was planning to take my vacation in July… he said, and I quote, “It’s hotter than hell there that time of year.”

Hmmm. Of course, why didn’t I think of that? It is Arizona in July. Of course it would be hotter than hell that time of year. So now, I’m wondering if I should choose a different locale. I’d change the dates if I could, but my kids don’t get out of school until mid-June, and then one of them has summer school and another has swim lessons. So, my dates are pretty much set. Continue reading “Rethinking the Grand Canyon”