EAA museum gains astronaut’s treasures

Encased 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

Lots 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

Sleeping 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

Yogis, 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

Prohibition 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,(…)

Take Twelve: Holiday light shows

Electrifying: That’s one way to describe this time of year. With the arrival of December and dusk comes stupendous light shows to celebrate this season of wonder and generosity. Count these among the most elaborate in Wisconsin. Celebration of Lights, Oshkosh: Menominee Park, on Lake Winnebago, turns into a wonderland of winter. The anchor is(…)

Ultimate Eats: Savoring food as culture

Food is an easy, on-target introduction to a location’s cultural roots, and a new book latches onto must-try dishes when traveling the world. “Ultimate Eats: The World’s Top 500 Food Experiences … Ranked” (Lonely Planet Food, $30) explains pintxos in San Sebastian (Basque-style tapas in Spain) to stinky tofu in Taipei (follow your nose at(…)

New: retreat, fun park, plays, bike trips

Here’s to the new, as in partnerships, transitions, decisions and distinctions in the world of close-to-home travel. — Wild Rice, the fine-dining restaurant near Bayfield, closed about one year ago (after a 16-year run) and is being replaced by Wild Rice Retreat, a haven for art and wellness classes and events. The change of purpose(…)

Safe travels: what to know before you go

I register with the U.S. State Department before international travel to an area whose safety status is unknown to me. The free STEP – Smart Traveler Enrollment Program – automatically transmits pertinent advisories and alerts that mesh with my itinerary. That’s in addition to an online map of the world that shows risky areas for(…)

Reader mail: supper clubs, Itasca, custard

It’s been months since we dipped into the reader mailbag. Time to sift and winnow. — The Goldmoor Inn, near Galena, Ill., has gained loyal fans because of a reader incentive offered three years ago. I asked for your short essays on behalf of someone who deserves a peaceful getaway and got 50-some replies. The(…)