I don’t speak french, but I know all about joie de vivre. We found it in Paris last summer, in the midst of a general strike, only hours after historic flooding, and just months after a devastating terrorist attack. We heard it in the animated chatter of proud Parisians, smelled it wafting from their sweet […]
Category Archives: Adventure
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I was joking when I started belting out “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” as we made our way through Bluebird Trail Sunday afternoon at Copper Culture State Park. Then, darned if the little buggers didn’t start swooping overhead. “Hey look,” I said. “Mr. Bluebird’s on your shoulder!” We looked up and saw those pretty little birds flying everywhere. My […]
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My favorite photos often happen randomly, a quick shot and the amateur hope that my camera will translate accurately all that my eye thinks it sees. A perfect example happened on a late summer afternoon in Machu Picchu. I glanced over and saw two of my kids sitting on a grassy edge of the Andes, […]
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I treated myself to a little winter yesterday, and it felt cool and sweet, like a fat snowflake on a stuck-out tongue. The whole thing happened spontaneously, as I walked home from work and realized our blustery winter had turned beautiful. I’d heard that Appleton had added an ice rink, to make up for the […]
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood several times this weekend, and, each time, we took the one less traveled by.
And that made all the difference.
The first accidental divergence happened during the beautiful Navarino Nature Center 5K Fall Color Run/Walk Saturday morning, when Vince unintentionally ran an extra 2 1/2 kilometers and still managed to score a second place medal.
The second accidental divergence happened during our post-game stop at Yoder’s, the Amish Bakery outside Cecil, when we stumbled into a farm auction and some of the best donuts we’ve ever tasted.
Knowing how way leads onto way, we made the less traveled path our theme for the weekend. With our friends Scott and Tami , we wandered happily around Shawano Lake, popping into the Sand Bar for lunch, and watching a few pivotal scenes from a vintage movie at the Berry Lake Club.
In leaves no step had trodden black, we took less travelled paths through woods just beginning to deck themselves out, strolled past quiet ponds and counted stars above an open corn field.
With Robert Frost on the mind, and Jack Frost on the toes, we enjoyed the first days of Wisconsin’s prettiest season.
I shall be telling this with a sigh, Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two road diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, And that had made all the difference.
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The best thing about the Warrior Princess Mud Run is that organizers direct all proceeds, 100%, to Harbor House domestic abuse programs. The second best thing is the mud. I’d vowed a more dignified approach this year as I suited up in my Rosie the Riveter costume for our Drama Mamas team. Last year, I […]
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We hopped on a Pedal Tavern this weekend for a leisurely ride through Milwaukee. So many things about our jaunt through the city turned out to be exactly as I’d pictured them — the laughter, the view, the downtime with friends — that we all highly recommend booking a ride. But, a few things I […]
Evidence of Ernest Hemingway’s demons remains scratched into his bathroom walls and, for a moment, I had to look away.
A journalist, then novelist, whose honest exploration of the human psyche (most often his own) earned him both a Pulitzer and a Nobel Prize, Hemingway courted specific details for his characters.
I like details too, so I turned back and observed.
Finca Vigia, Hemingway’s Cuban home, still looks as though its celebrated resident might lumber through its perfectly preserved rooms. His typewriter rests, waist high on a book shelf, with easy access to a pacing author.
Trophies from his big game hunts decorate the living room walls. American magazines from 1959 still fill the rack. Though empty now, his swimming pool looks as inviting as it did back in 1957 when Ava Gardner reportedly swam naked in it. Up and down the walls on either side of his bathroom scale, Hemingway’s meticulously recorded weight, scribbled there with various pens, still hints at a troubled mind.
Hemingway wrote both For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea while living at the house, before a crippling bout of writer’s block stole his words.
“Can you imagine a writer with his talent unable to write a single word?” asked the docent who gave us a tour.
Back-to-back plane crashes left both Hemingway and his fourth wife Mary Walsh Hemingway seriously injured though not, as had been widely reported in 1954, deceased. He spent some time at Finca Vigia locked in his bedroom, recovering from injuries, drinking Mojitos and reading his own obituaries.
Reconstructed with care, Finca Vigia offers a telling look into one of America’s most talented and troubled authors.
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A good Cuban cigar (is that redundant?) takes time. It begins in an oxen-plowed field, grows carefully in the Caribbean sun, and reaches harvest stage nine months after careful soil preparation. A good Cuban cigar requires curing, sorting, stripping, and fermentation. Hand-rolled, hand-cut and hand-packaged, a good Cuban cigar waits, fat and sassy, for a […]
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Like its famous cigars, Cuba remains elusive, richly layered and tightly rolled. Its economic, social and political dichotomies fascinated us on our recent trip. Against a lush, green backdrop, yoked oxen plow fertile fields of tobacco, sugar cane and corn, but, according to our local guide, the country imports an astounding 80% of its food. […]