I love exploring. Last weekend, I was driving my older son to his girlfriend’s house in another town and happened to notice a sign for the Richfield Nature Park along the way. On the way home, I asked my younger son if he felt like exploring, and next thing you know, we are discovering a cool new local attraction that I hadn’t even known existed!
At first glance, Richfield Nature Park, in Richfield, Wisconsin, seems as though it’s not much to look at. We walked a small trail around part of the park and thought there wasn’t much to see. It was nice to get out in Nature for an afternoon, but it only took us about ten minutes to walk the trail. Then we noticed that that road we drove in on continued beyond the nature park and went past an old red barn. At first, it wasn’t obvious if the barn was part of the park, or if it belonged to a neighboring property. We decided to follow the road and see what lay beyond. (more…)
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. (more…)
Saturday, my writer friend and I trekked out to Hubertus, WI, located at 5241 State HWY 167 (Holy Hill Rd) to spend the day writing at the TreeGhost Café. TreeGhost is conveniently located within minutes of the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians, at Holy Hill, and is an excellent locale for those of you who would like to do some sightseeing before or after you write.
Locally owned and operated, TreeGhost offers service you just won’t find at any chain café. When we arrived, we were personally greeted by Kevin, the owner. Kevin made sure we had everything we needed for a productive day of writing and wasn’t satisfied until he made sure I was able to get my laptop online. (more…)
In my quest to rid my house of stuff I don’t need, I’ve make several interesting discoveries and recovered many items I forgot I had. One of these items is a squadron t-shirt from my Air Force basic training days. When I found it, I laughed, threw it in the laundry, and then started wearing it non-stop. That’s not weird, is it?
When I separated from the Air Force, my ex destroyed most of my uniforms, my combat boots, and anything else I owned that might remind me I was ever my own person. Somehow, I managed to stash a couple of these shirts in a place where he wouldn’t find them. (more…)
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! (more…)
This afternoon, I took my kids to see Oliver! at the Schauer Arts and Activities Center in Hartford, Wisconsin. We’ve been to a number of plays in Milwaukee, but I thought it would be a great experience to visit a new theater. Plus, the Schauer Center has a reputation for offering city-quality shows without the hassle of big city parking.
Located in downtown Hartford, the Schauer Center is attached to the Wisconsin Automotive Museum in a rustic building that reeks of “Up North” ambience. The theater is just as nice as, if not nicer than, some of the venues I had previously attended in Milwaukee.
Side note: speaking of Milwaukee theaters, I would advise that you avoid The Milwaukee Theater unless you can afford front row seats. (Unless, of course, you enjoy watching plays on a stage that appears, from the nosebleed section, to be the size of a postage stamp.) (more…)
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. (more…)
I’ve been working on this week’s homework for two straight days, and I just can’t seem to get it done. I think it’s a combination of the subject matter (Narratology) and the weather. I’m not knocking Narratology, but this may very well be the most painful English course I have ever taken. We are studying Seymour Chatman‘s Story and Discourse, and I swear I have to read each sentence at least 3 times to make any sense of it.
This week, I have to take one of the theories of character Chatman discusses in Story and Discourse and summarize it in layman’s terms. I spent at least 4 hours on this yesterday and so far have only written 4 paragraphs of gibberish that I am quite certain don’t make a bit of sense. (more…)
Last night began the Fall 2011 Writers Series sponsored by the English department at Mount Mary College. I had the pleasure of joining many of my classmates for this event in Mount Mary’s beautiful Stiemke Hall. Milwaukee Magazine editor, Bruce Murphy, spoke at length about his own freelancing experiences in the Milwaukee area. Murphy, who was instrumental in breaking the Milwaukee County pension scandal a few years ago, shared some interesting insider stories, along with tips for working as a freelance writer in the area.
In his discussion (and in his online bio,) Murphy refers to himself as a “fiscally conservative liberal contrarian.” I took this to mean that he likes to play the devil’s advocate, a favorite role of my own, so I enjoyed the talk. And, who can complain about the free food (more…)