Sunday, August 22, 2010

More Shakespeare in the Park

When Bill heard that there was going to be a Shakespeare in the Parks at Maryhill Museum, he really wanted to go. So we trekked out to the Columbia Gorge last night to get some culture. Chris decided to go with us too. It was fun having him along. We stopped to check into our hotel at The Dalles first and then an early dinner at a Mexican restaurant before we headed out to the museum. On the way to the museum, we had a little extra time so we decided to do a little bit of wine tasting and decided to try Cascade Cliffs in Wishram. We had never been there before and enjoyed the wine pourer and some of the other patrons' conversation. It was a fun diversion before we headed to watch the play.

The play was held in the Sculpture Garden at the museum. We needed to be there an hour early to try to get fairly decent seats so I enjoyed walking around the grounds and taking a few pictures of the sculptures. I hadn't realized that they change out the exhibit every year. There are a few that have been there awhile but some were brand new.

And of course the view from the museum is spectacular.

"The Comedy of Errors" is the play that was presented. I think it is my favorite Shakespeare play of those that I have seen. It had a fun plot with two sets of twins that had never seen each other confusing everyone around them. As Bill put it--very slapstick humor--but I really liked it. Chris really enjoyed it too. The costuming was Victorian beach wear so that was kind of fun too. As with each of these plays that we have been to, being in the open air for a play presents some challenges. It was very windy in the gorge last night so it was hard to hear and got to be chilly. Of course the wind died down about the time the play ended. All in all it was a nice diversion to get away for a few hours.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Day the Fair Stood Still

As soon as Bill and I got back from vacation, it was time to get Ranger and Chris to the fair. This year's theme was an alien theme so we did space decorations for our barn. The small animal barn ended up getting a special award for our decorations. I was in charge of the banner and I thought that the kids did a great job with that.

It was really warm this year so it was a challenge keeping the rabbits cool. Chris spent a lot of extra time in the barn making sure the rabbits had enough water and spraying them with water bottles to make sure they stayed cool enough. Chris went every day this year since he could drive himself out there for the first time. And he stayed longer go enjoy some of the activities as well as take care of the rabbits.

I spent all day Wednesday and Sunday there. I like going for fitting and showing. Chris did well and got a blue ribbon so he is eligible to go to the state fair next month. I have always had to work so I have never seen the judging contest but Chris got a red ribbon in that. On Sunday, I was in charge of the rabbit races. I didn't do parent fitting and showing this year--I don't study any of the rabbit information with Chris so I failed miserably at it last year. They had more than enough parents participate this year anyway.

As always, it was a fun time but a long week--especially with it being so hot. And Ranger certainly seems to be glad to be home in his own cage.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wisconsin Rails to Trails

Bill loves to go on long hikes when we go to Wisconsin. On various trips he has hiked on 88 miles of the trails that are around the Tomah area. In the past he has done 32 miles on the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail, 13 miles on the Omaha Trail, and 22 miles on the 400 Trail. This trip he decided to do the LaCrosse River Trail which was 21 miles. He also wanted to revisit Tunnel #3 near Norwalk on the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail.

He always teases me that I lived so close to such a wonderful trail and I had never seen that tunnel. The only other time I had been on the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail was on an elementary school field trip. We hiked the Wilton to Norwalk portion of the trail and went through a shorter tunnel.

On Monday, I decided to go with Bill to see this tunnel that fascinated him so much. We hiked 2.5 miles from Norwalk to get to the tunnel and hiked about 7 miles round trip. It definitely was impressive. It is 3/4 mile long. You have to have a flashlight to go through it as you can't see any light at the other end of the tunnel as you are going through it.

Bill has already decided on his next hike when we go back to Wisconsin--the Great River Trail--the last 24 miles of these five linked trails.

Devil's Lake State Park

As soon as he heard we were coming to visit, Dane was anxious to take Bill hiking at Devil's Lake. He has seen the pictures that I send from the Pacific Northwest and thinks that Devil's Lake is on par with the beauty of the Northwest. And it certainly is beautiful there. I had taken Dad there a few years ago to go on a short hike in Parfrey's Glen but had never been on the main hiking trails around the lake. And Bill had never been there.

So on Sunday morning, Darren, Tess, Dane, Dad, Bill and I headed down to Baraboo to go hiking. There are trails that go to the tops of both the east and west bluffs next to the lake and a trail that goes along the west shore. We got there at just the right time as a thunderstorm cleared out of the area. So it was still cool enough to enjoy hiking. I had a hard time making it up to the top of the west bluff so I decided to take the easy route back to the car along the lake. But Darren, Tess, Dane and Bill continued their hike over the east bluff too. The quartzite boulders that were everywhere around the lake and bluffs were absolutely beautiful lavender and green colored. We got some great pictures and then enjoyed a picnic lunch next to the lake.

Tomah High School Class of 1980

Who would have ever thought the years would have gone by so quickly. It certainly doesn't seem possible that I graduated from high school 30 years ago. At 17 years old, I know that a 30 year reunion would have sounded like a really long time into the future. I certainly am starting to feel the aches and pains of old age though.

It was fun to see everyone at the reunion. It is funny how some people look exactly the same as they did in high school--or only slightly different anyway--and some people looks so completely different that you don't recognize them.

It was fun that the organizers invited our teachers too. It was especially fun seeing Nona Smith and Sharon Powell having grown up with them being in the same church as well as being my teacher.

Sherrill came as my date. Bill didn't want to go and I can't say as I blame him since he doesn't know anyone. But since Sherrill graduated in 1981, she knew pretty much everyone too. She has never been to one of her own reunions so she has been to mine before her own. She was going to figure out how much she was going to want to go to hers next year based on mine. Who knows--maybe I'll be her date next year.

Falkner Family Reunion

Growing up, Uncle John Falkner hosted the annual Falkner reunion at his cottage in Hatfield every 4th of July weekend. There was always a lot of activity going on with all of Great Grandma Schultz's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren running around playing, swimming, waterskiing and just visiting. The last reunion took place in 1996 but it has been much longer since I attended one. It has been 26 years since I went to a Falkner reunion. I remember being so excited about graduating from college, getting ready to go into the army and telling everyone all about it. I was thrilled when I heard that Uncle John's grandchildren--Tammy, Kim and Craig--had decided to host a reunion this year.

Unfortunately, none of Uncle Howard and Aunt Dorothy's family could attend because of other commitments and Aunt Dorothy's failing health. And Grace Falkner Wolf and her family weren't able to come either. But all of Bob Falkner's children and grandchildren were there and almost all of the Snowberry family was there. Michael was the only cousin that wasn't there as well as a few of the teenagers and young adults.

I took advantage of getting our family's picture taken this trip. It has been three years since we were all together last. It seems as we all get older, these times that we have together are so precious and I cherish them.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Trip to the Dells

Sherrill wanted to take the boys to Wisconsin Dells as something fun to do over the weekend. We have such fond memories of going to Wisconsin Dells every summer to go to places like Fort Dells, Storybook Gardens, Wonder Spot, the Tommy Bartlett show, on the boat and Duck trips on the river, as well as many other things. As a child, I think my favorite was Fort Dells which isn't there anymore. I always remember the shootout with Black Bart as being a highlight. As an adult, I like going on the boat or Duck tours to see the beauty of the sandstone creations on the Wisconsin River there. The Dells is so different now with all the huge waterparks and amusement parks. We only had about a four hour window to deal with so after much pondering and discussion, we decided to go to Circus World in Baraboo and Sherrill wanted to let the boys ride the go-karts too.

Circus World is located on the grounds of what used to be the headquarters for the Ringling Brothers Circus. They have over 200 circus wagons and a lot of circus memorabilia. They also have live circus acts going all day long. We enjoyed seeing the performances of the tigers, dogs, elephants, jugglers, acrobats, and clown.

Cousins at the Pool

Just got back from vacation in Wisconsin so thought I would start sharing some of my vacation pictures. We had a Falkner reunion and I had my 30 year high school reunion so Sherrill and the boys came to Tomah to spend time with us as well. I hadn't seen Sherrill and the boys for three years so I was thrilled that they could come too. The first day we were there, we thought we would let the cousins play together. In the afternoon, we thought it would be nice to cool off at the pool. Unfortunately, the kids weren't able to spend very much time in the pool because of the discovery of "biological contamination" while we were there. They got to spend about 20 minutes in the pool before the discovery. We waited out the 30 minute delay for the extra chlorine treatment to work. They no more got into the pool and 10 minutes later they had to evacuate the pool again for more discoveries. We weren't about to wait another 30 minutes so we decided to call it a day. That made for a lot of "Caddy Shack" jokes among the adults when we told the story at dinner that night. The kids were disappointed that they couldn't swim more but they had a great time spending time together over the weekend.