Take eight: Hot for chocolate

TweetA little luxury during winter is hot chocolate, made all the sweeter when served in a setting that goes beyond the disappearing act of powdered cocoa in steamed milk or boiling water. Hot cocoa is an especially decadent treat at these destinations, so consider a road trip to stretch out your time with a special(…)

Touring Atlanta: fiery history, civil rights lessons

TweetOn Gena Williams’ resume is work as a Delta flight attendant, and clerk for Julian Bond when he was a state senator in Georgia. When we meet in downtown Atlanta, three months before the Super Bowl, her title is tour guide for ATL-Cruzers and her demeanor is like a chatty girlfriend. One who’s eager to(…)

Lake Winnebago sturgeon flashbacks, folk art

TweetMary Lou Schneider, thanks for the flashbacks. On a wintry Sunday morning in the 1960s. I walk two blocks from church to the little general store in Glenbeulah and wait an hour for my father, who doesn’t arrive. A neighbor eventually retrieves me and chuckles during our four-mile drive back to Hulls Crossing: “Your dad(…)

Digital detox: biz as usual at expanded Sundara Spa

Tweet“Time to relax and enjoy everything your heart desires,” the one-page pledge sheet begins. What you’ll promise, in exchange for temporary nirvana, is to unplug. To relinquish constant contact with the outside world. To silence and stow away cell phones and other mobile devices. Such digital detox is one part of the quest for serenity(…)

Hudson: Hot Air Affair for balloonists

TweetPeople in Hudson have been playing pirate for a few months now. Learning about the life of pirates was a lesson in musical storytelling at the public library during spring. Then came a pirate-themed cruise along the St. Croix River. Talk Like a Pirate Day, last September, brought costumed mates and marauders to a local(…)

EAA museum gains astronaut’s treasures

TweetEncased in glass is a two-page letter, neatly typed and labeled confidential. It was written in the 1960s to explain why it was unwise to challenge Russians to a race to the moon. “I have occasionally leveled criticism at some aspects of the space program,” Dwight Eisenhower acknowledged, but that is because he believed the(…)

Take Twelve: All in good taste for 2018

TweetLots of us have an appetite for the memorable when away from home, and sometimes we quell it with food. We remember – long after a meal ends – unique settings, unusual menus and who shares the experience. What you see and experience matter as much as what you taste. I have numerous new-to-me spots(…)

Take Ten: Alluring lodging of 2018

TweetSleeping around is part of a travel writer’s job, and the end of a year is my time to review the wide variety of places where I’ve rested my head or at least gotten a peek beyond the lobby. More and more often, much to the consternation of tourism reps, I have spread the good(…)

Sip-n-purr: Cat yoga in Milwaukee

TweetYogis, I know of a place that will deepen your downward dog with a bunch of uppity cats. Uppity, adorable cats. Sip and Purr, on the east side of Milwaukee, is the city’s first cat café. It opened in June as a spot to spy on and snuggle with a menagerie of spayed, neutered, vaccinated(…)

‘150 Bars’ book: unique places to take a swig

TweetProhibition ended nationwide 85 years ago, as of this month, so now is a particularly appropriate time to hoist that hot toddy. Comfort and familiarity matter when deciding where to drink alcohol close to home. We seek the “Cheers” effect, the tribal reassurance of being among friends or friendly faces. If everybody knows our name,(…)