Take Ten: World of Guinness

The coming and going of St. Patrick’s Day is reason enough to hoist a Guinness, the Irish-made stout that has been around at least 260 years. A proper serving of the creamy, chocolate-hued brew requires two pours because it is so frothy thick. Veteran bartenders will fill a glass halfway, then wait two minutes for(…)

Wisconsin’s at-risk tourism gems

When asked to recommend a pretty and close-to-home lakeside vacation spot, Heidel House almost always made my short list. It’s been a personal favorite for decades, regardless of time of year. The 20-acre resort on the northeastern shore of Green Lake, the deepest natural inland lake in Wisconsin, was built as a private estate in(…)

Bitters in, bottoms up at boot camp

A class with cocktails: That’s how Taylore Ransom and Erik Rozolis of Janesville spent a recent Saturday afternoon in Madison. For them and about 30 others, at least one hour of lessons in history, science, folklore and mixology ended with hands-on lab work and a kit to continue it at home. Ransom added cherry bark(…)

Three for tea: urban to rural

On the dreariest of winter days, fog obscures otherwise gorgeous views from the 23rd floor of The Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee. Three of us linger nearly two hours anyway. High tea at the Victorian-era hotel is a matter of refined, silver-service elegance. We begin with a flute of champagne. Then tea butler Juan Rodriguez(…)

Travel snafus? Be proactive, perceptive, pleasant

Delays and detours pop up during the navigation of any life, regardless of where you roam. It doesn’t matter whether you travel far or even leave home. Don’t underestimate the value of common sense, empathy and an even temperament. All go a long way toward making progress – or at least building resilience – when(…)

Take eight: Hot for chocolate

A 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

On 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

Mary 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

“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

People 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(…)