Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fanny's Summer Vacation

While we were away, the dogs kept my dad company in Wisconsin.
Fanny kept busy making the clean laundry dirty again.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Wedding Weekend on Mad Island

We are back from a whirlwind of a summer getaway!  It was just what I needed, albeit all too brief.  The photos (and captions) will do the rest of the talking.

Destination: Madeline Island, Apostle Islands, Lake Superior, Wisconsin

Our car was the very last one on the ferry.
We thought for sure we would be left behind.
It turns out they can squeeze a surprising amount of cars on the ferry boats.

We were happy to catch that ferry because we had friends on it!
In fact, the island was full of our friends this weekend!

Dinner by the water

Magic Hour at the beach

I have long been craving the beach.
We didn't have very much time to spend there, but I soaked up every wonderful minute of it.

We were hosted by family friends Kevin and Casey and Spanky, their charming dog.

A morning hike along the shoreline at Big Bay State Park

The deer on the island are nonplussed by people.
This one didn't want us to get too close, but was perfectly fine going about her business if we kept our distance.
It was so neat to watch!  She had a snack and then took a rest in the evening sun.

The main event! Carrie and Kevin's beach wedding was what brought us and many others that are near and dear to us to the island that weekend.
In this moment, Carrie's parents are offering to share her with Kevin but they are advising him that they won't be giving her away!

After Carrie took the figurative plunge, she took the literal plunge off of a cliff into Lake Superior.
A brave and fun bride, she is!

The island is such a relaxing place to be.  

I hope that the next time I go, I get to stay for longer and that I get to spend some time out on a boat!
Congratulations to Carrie and Kevin and many thanks to Casey and Kevin for the place to stay.
If you are looking for a getaway in the Midwest that feels like Martha's Vineyard, Madeline Island is it!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Paul's Birthday - Dinner on the Farm

After stopping home for some time with the dogs and an outfit change, we got back in the car and headed over the river and through the woods for the rest of Paul's birthday celebration.

Dinner on the Farm has been on our radar for awhile and when I saw that an event was scheduled on Paul's birthday, I took it as a sign!  I am glad I planned in advance, because the event sold out!

Dinner on the Farm is held throughout the summer at a different farm each time.  Our evening was spent at Common Harvest Farm.  The Dinner on the Farm model includes a farm tour, music, dinner and drinks with a portion of the proceeds benefiting organizations whose work supports local farming.

Each event also features a local brewer.  Can you guess where our first stop was after we got there on this sticky, hot evening?

Paul thought the beer from Lucette Brewing Company was a fine choice for a summer evening outdoors.

For those that wanted a non-alcoholic option, Joia Sodas hit the spot.  

Did I mention it was hot?  Luckily Paul and I brought our sun hats.  They were a hit with the photographers/videographers there, so I think we will be making into some of the official shots from the evening.

Part of the Dinner on the Farm experience is a tour of the farm.  Our tour guide was the eldest daughter of the couple that owns the farm.

Farm Tour

This draft horse is HUGE.  I think one of its back legs alone weighs more than me.

farm implements (some for the tractor and some for the horses) with a hoop house in the background

garlic drying

The farm doesn't use pesticides or herbicides so the fields were weedy. The chard was winning!

Piglets! This one was quite charming.

Piglets!  This one was quite hot and lazy.

Gorgeous sheep.  I didn't catch the breed.

Whatever breed it is, it has a heart shaped bum!

The crowd hanging out before dinner.

Jack Klatt and the Cat Swingers played some great music while we waited for the food.

Some dinner ingredients being roasted.

Photo by Paul - catching me during a little down time.  There was a lot of waiting for the food.

Luckily, Lucette brought a few kegs to keep the masses hydrated and happy.

The wood oven was used to roast veggies and to cook the flat bread we had with dinner.  

Photo by Paul - Birthday beer delivery!

The menu!  The menu was created by Ben Pichler and Jim McIntosh from Grand Cafe and Erik Sather from Bar La Grassa.

At long last...dinner!  We waited until the end of the giant line, so they were out of one of the dishes, but it was still a tasty dinner.  And, dessert was rhubarb crisp with honey ice cream, which is always welcome in my world!

And with that, we said our goodbyes to a few people we enjoyed chatting with that evening and headed towards home.  What a long and wonderful day it was!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Paul's Birthday - Daytime

As per tradition between Paul and I, it is up to the non-birthday person to plan the birthday events.  It is so much fun to craft a day (and evening) that you hope will delight, entertain and honor the things the person you love loves.  And, to up the ante even further, the birthday person is kept in the dark so they get to experience a birthday full of surprises!  I think Paul had a memorable day yesterday.  Here are some photos so you can share in the fun!

Breakfast at Wise Acre Eatery

The restaurant is the end source for the food grown at Tangletown Gardens' farm and across the street from the garden center.  This means the grounds are lush with beautiful plants, the tables are adorned with fresh flowers and the food is from scratch, fresh and utterly delicious!

After that, we needed to get moving!  Since Paul was so good at climbing at the park, I decided to bring him to Vertical Endeavors, where the climbing is as challenging as you want it to be.

It was our first time there, so we had an orientation where we learned when to look up and how to use the auto belays.

Auto belays are awesome!  We got to climb until our arms and legs were shaky and our hands were raw. 

The colored tapes help you to climb the same wall with greater challenges.  You can climb limiting yourself to one color, which is much harder!

It is still intimidating to me, but I like it!

Birthday present time!

He liked his gifts!

Lunch at Namaste Cafe

This dish in the front was like a "Nepali Nacho"

Paul was having a good day!
There is more to come!  I am splitting it into two posts because this post is already a bit gargantuan.  Stay tuned for pictures from our border-crossing evening!
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