Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Last week we helped a friend move to Iowa. I know, why would anyone want to move to Iowa? Well, in his defense, it really wasn't optional unless he wanted to be unemployed like me. The movers did all the hard work, we just had to be there when the truck arrived and play traffic cop for which boxes went to which room.
Sooooooo, since we were making a road trip anyway, and I'm willing to call about anything a vacation, we took an extra day coming home so we could drive up through the southern tip of Minnesota and through Wisconsin before heading back home. Much of my motivation for this had to do with my dream/goal to see all 50 states before I turned 50. It seemed like an attainable goal, but, alas, I failed. So I've reset the goal as a "before I die", aka "bucket list" item. Therefore, this trip allowed me to mark off two, count them two, more states. This leaves me with only 16 states to go. Yeah!
All that to say, here are 13 observations from my mini vacation:
1. Semi drivers should NEVER, NEVER, NEVER be texting unhless the are not in their truck!
2. We need to find a use for goldenrod - as a food, or a fuel - something because it grows anywhere and everywhere.
3. Windmills-wind turbines technically-are way cooler in person than in pictures. (See previous two posts for more about this.)
4. Never try to eat an Arby's Market Fresh Chicken Salad sandwich in the car.
5. Our hotel (a Hampton Inn) had really great black and white photos everywhere. For instance, there was a different one on each room number sign.
6. Dubuque is very hilly. I always thought of Iowa as being flat.
7. We visited the "Field of Dreams" and it was great fun.
8. One evening for dinner we drove across the river to Galena, Illinois. It is a quaint little town that I'd like to go back and see more of sometime. So where exactly do you keep your horse in a small town? Apparently you rent it an apartment!
9. When we left Dubuque we drove along the Mississippi River north into Minnesota. I was amazed at how close to the river they build things. In one are we drove on a road that was parallel to railroad tracks that ran about 3 feet from the edge or the road. Then there was 8 foot or less of grass to the edge of the river!
10. There were still a lot of gravel roads in Iowa and Minnesota.
11. We decided to eat lunch just after we crossed the river into Wisconsin at a place we'd read about called Huck Finn's on the Water. Easier said than done. We called for directions and received them from a girl who didn't know north from south. We called back and got directions from someone else and still coudn't find it. After giving up we started to head on out of town and then saw some of the landmarks that had been mentioned in the directions. I'm glad to say that once we found it , it was a very nice place with good food.
12. We headed to the Wisconsin Dells to see some sights and try a seafood buffet we'd read about (yes, many of our travel destinations involve food - Hubby loves to cook, I love to eat, it's all good). We arrived to find that the sidewalks are rolled up until after Memorial Day (two days later) and NOTHING was open.
13. The silver lining was that there was a Sinclair gas station. We hadn't seen one in years and my husband was excited because it was the kind of station his grandfather had owned.
Overall it was a good trip - and did I mention that I got to mark off TWO more states!
(as always you can click on the pictures to "biggify")
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Two vacation stories...
No, there wasn't a "wardrobe malfunction" nor was any gambling involved. We were just driving along in the southwestern part of Wisconsin enjoying the sunshine and the scenery when we came around a small curve in the road and then... and then... there was a ginormous gust of wind that whipped through the car windows sucked up my shirt that was laying in the back seat like the tornado in The Wizard of Oz sucked up Dorothy's house, whipped it behind my head and out the front car window and lets just say I'm pretty sure my shirt isn't in Kansas anymore. I'm not even sure it is still in Wisconsin!
See that thing in the sky to the right about a third of the way up - pretty sure that's my shirt flying across the Wisconsin farm land.
(Not really but that is a lot what it looked like and it was still in the air the last we saw it.)
Wind Turbine Fields Forever
(Sung to the tune of Strawberry Fields Forever)
Let me tell you now,
'Cos I went through
Wind Turbine Fields.
They're really real
And something to get thrilled about.
Wind Turbine Fields forever.
Seriously though - it was pretty amazing. We saw them from the I-74 as we were traveling through Illinois. We couldn't resist a side trip to go take a look at them a little closer. They were much farther away than they seemed because the were HUGE. Eventually we found our way to what appeared to be the center of the "field" of wind turbines. They seemed to go on forever in both directions. The ones we were nearest were marked as 105, 106, and 107 so we're guessing there were about 200 altogether.
It was really amazing - and exciting.
They were quiet and kind of pretty. Much, much less of an eyesore to the landscape than cell phone towers or power lines. I admit, I was intrigued by the notion of wind power and totally behind it in theory. I just wasn't sure there was enough wind to consistently make it work. However, on this day there really seemed to be only a slight breeze and all the turbines were still gracefully spinning. I can't imagine what they'd have looked like in the wind in Wisconsin!
Clean, totally renewable - why aren't we jumping on this bandwagon faster?
(Drop by tomorrow for more photos of these.)
I am posting from my daughter's house and computer because I currently have no Internet connection. Yikes! This is almost as bad as not having chocolate!
I did want to assure you that I am alive and well, albeit "disconnected".
Hopefully in the next couple of days I will again have a connection to the outside world so I can tell you of my travel adventures which included windmill & hills, new states visited, and how I lost my shirt in Wisconsin.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Okay, I don't really know what led to this little worm's demise but clearly he was trying to be very cobra-like and scare off his attacker...
This second photo came out blurry but shows a little better how he was coiling up.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Apologies for the photo quality, these are photos of photos since I don't have a scanner.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Visit other 13ers here.