Friday, June 7, 2013

Oshkosh, WI to Albert Lea, MN

Today we parted company with Laura and Scott and Jill and started toward home.  We had a leisurely drive across Wisconsin and part of Minnesota. 

One the way out of Oshkosh we spotted this old fire house.  It is quite a building.


The morning drive to La Crosse was uneventful.  The weather was cool and partly cloudy with no rain.

We made a stop at Olive Juice which is a quilt shop just west of La Crosse.  That was the only quilt shop stop we have made so far this trip.  From there we found a nice place for lunch near downtown and just off the water front.  It was called Piggy Restaurant.


It is in an old industrial building.


We ate in the bar area since that is where lunch is served.  The Bar back and bar front were both interesting pieces.  The Bar back is from an old stern wheeler and the bar front was supposedly part of the Altar in an old church. 


Here are a couple of views along the Mississippi River front.


The local bike racks were fun also.


From La Crosse we drove along a scenic route (MN 16).  It crosses low hills and beautiful valleys.  At it turned out MN 16 was partially closed due to road work so we ended up on a detour.  As a result we saw things we might not have normally seen.

The library building with book shelves painted on the outside in Houston, MN.


The overlook at Rushford VillageIMG_6106IMG_6107

The Bald Eagles in a farm field


Ostrander, MN


Or Susie’s Roadhouse


Overall it was a fun day even though it means the trip is coming to an end.

Tomorrow, we will be home.  A couple of planned stops for quilt shops, but should be home sometime tomorrow afternoon.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Minocqua and back

Today was mostly road trip for a drive to Minocqua, Wisconsin and back.  The reason for the trip was to visit a cousin that none of the Ostrander clan had seen for a few years.  In this case it was a cousin, by marriage, from the Kinchloe side of the family.  Sam Kinchloe married Evah Ostrander.  Evah was Sam’s second wife, so Cousin Jeanie is Sam’s granddaughter by his first wife.  Further explanation…..Evah is one of the 4 Ostrander siblings, Ivah, Evah, Dan, and Ruth.  Katie Ostrander Wilson is Dan’s daughter, Jill Gosma Hershberger is Ruth’s daughter, and Laura Wilber is Ivah’s daughter.  Complicated but that is the story and I’m sticking to it!!

Weather for the drive up to Minocqua (150 miles) was rainy and drizzly, but the roads were good all the way and traffic was light.  The scenery in route was green and lush with rivers and lakes along the way.


We met up with Jeanie and had a lovely lunch at the Boat House restaurant. 


   Jill, Scott, Laura, Katie, Jeanie, Monty at the Boathouse restaurant

After lunch Jeanie and the ladies went to visit with Jeanie’s Mom while Scott and I poked around the town of Minocqua.  The town is located in and area full of lakes and streams.  The primary industry is tourism.  It is a pretty area.  Had the temperatures been warmer it would have been fun to play on the water. 


We did see one brave soul that was water skiing.  With and air temperature of about 60, I’m sure it was a chilly ski!


After a fun visit we headed back to Oshkosh for our last evening together.


We did happen to pass a Piggy garage.  It was cute.


We ended the evening with a dinner at the Ground Round.

I have to end with the view from our Motel window.


Tomorrow we head west toward home.  We will drive across Wisconsin and part of Minnesota as far as Albert Lea.

Till then……

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Oshkosh, WI

Two days to report on today.  Yesterday, was a busy day and by the time we got done “doing” it was after our bed time.

We went to Taliesin, near Spring Green Wisconsin yesterday after breakfast.  We had arranged for a tour of the house designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright.  The tour was a two hour guided tour of the outside and inside of the house.  Typical of Wrights style it was not built at the top of the hill, but just below, thus preserving the view from the top.  The house wraps around three sides of the hill.  It is also typical of most of his homes being very angular, but with colors that blend in with the natural landscape.

We were only allowed to take pictures of the exterior.


This was a working farm so had lots of outbuildings such as a chicken coop, horse stables, etc. But they all were designed to match the house and often shared a roof line with the house.  Since the original construction many of the out buildings have been converted to living space.  The views from the house were very beautiful.


The landscaping around the house incorporates the natural beauty of the area and includes many areas to sit and enjoy the gardens and outdoors.





After the tour we enjoyed a nice lunch at the visitors center.


Yesterday evening we went to see the musical “Wicked” at the Madison Overture Center.  The play was fun.  It is an alternative story about the “wicked witch of the west”, Galinda the witch of the north, with Wizard, scarecrow, lion and tin man.  It was fun and an excellent production.  It even had live music.

Today, it was a short drive to Oshkosh.  No road pictures because it was rainy most of the way.  We did lunch at Fratellas Water Front.  The resutrant is located along the Fox River.  Excellent food.  It is a brew pub and has a wide selection of wines.  We were intriged by the skulls boat suspended from the ceiling.


After lunch we went to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) museum.  Lots of interesting displays of aircraft that tell the history of aviation and some military history.


         Wright Flyer (replica)


         Spirit of St Louis (replica)


             Pushy Galore, home built racer


            B-25 Mitchell


              P-38 “Marge”

IMG_6040                                   Aero car, the only one to be air worthy

This evening we had dinner at the Ground Round with is in our hotel.  Lovely meal.

Tomorrow we are going to Minocqua to visit/meet a cousin.  Minocqua is about 170 miles Northwest of Oshkosh.  Should be a fun day.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Dubuque to Madison

What a fun day.  It started with a lovely breakfast at the motel.  As I indicated yesterday we poked around Dubuque for a while before we drove to Madison. 

There is a “funicular” called the Forth Street Elevator.  It is 296 feet long with a vertical drop of 189 feet.  For the low cost of $3.00 per person you can ride it round trip. 


The cars hold 8 people in each car.  It is cable driven.  As one car goes down the other car goes up.  Since both cars share the center rail, there is a “wide spot” in the road so the two cars can pass.


The view from the top looks over downtown Dubuque and the Mississippi river.


At the bottom of the track is an area of old homes and shops.



This is the first time I have seen railing pickets with knitted warmers.  It must really get cold in Dubuque!


From Dubuque we traveled North and East toward Madison.  We saw a sign for the Belmont Mound state park.  We have always had an interest in Indian mounds so decided to stop.  Turns out to be more of a hill.  It had an old playground and a picnic bench.  A narrow road went to the summit.  There we found an observation tower that was so old that it was marked as Closed and Off Limits. 


It did get us off the beaten path on to a road seldom traveled.  It was a fun adventure.


Once we arrived in Madison Katie’s cousin Jill and Scott and Laura arrived.  It has been fun afternoon and evening.

We went to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens and walked through the gardens.  This time of the year there were lots of plants in bloom.  It was lovely.




We ended the day at a lovely resturant called Quivers Grove.  We at in the converted horse stall. 



On our menu was pretzel coated perch and tenderloin medallions.


So here is a toast to all of you with Spotted Cow lager


Tomorrow we are touring Frank Lloyd Wright studio at Taliesin and tomorrow night we are going to see Wicked.