Sometimes little luxuries make one great memory

TweetOne of my favorite names for a specialty shop is Little Luxuries, on State Street in Madison. In the offbeat inventory are fancy hair clips, crazy socks, clever games, artsy reading glasses, unusual toys for kids. It’s a place to pamper yourself or someone you love without selling the farm. When price means everything, the(…)

Kentucky destinations, for horse lovers, extend beyond the Derby

TweetHorse lovers know the arrival of May brings the grace and thrill of high-stakes thoroughbred racing. It all begins with the Kentucky Derby in Louisville but need not end there. This winning trifecta of equine adventures in the Bluegrass State are within 100 miles of Churchill Downs and open all year. — What happens to(…)

Showtime nears: High hopes for new Milwaukee Bucks home

TweetEast of the river: That’s where most of downtown Milwaukee’s modern-day growth and revitalization have occurred, but one massive exception is emerging. The $524 million bet ($250 million of it with taxpayer money) is that the burgeoning Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center project will generate excellent and enough new reasons to visit and linger. Construction(…)

Reader mailbag: Quilt retreats, snowball vs. snow cone, awards

TweetTime to take a dip into the mailbag. A belated, public “thank you” to those who sent notes about quilt retreats. Two were sent a copy of my book “Sidetracked in the Midwest: A Green Guide for Travelers” (Itchy Cat Press, 2012). The last time I corresponded with Karen Brunsell of Janesville, she was leaving(…)

Cheese, please: Regional traditions turn into others’ trends

TweetCount our squeaky and deep-fried curds, plus the South’s pimento spreads, among the beloved cheese traditions that are gaining attention far away from home. Classic pimento cheese spread – known as the “caviar of the South” – is a chunky blend of shredded cheddar, mayo, cream cheese, chopped pimentos, salt, pepper and maybe a kick(…)

Plot your next getaway while waiting for spring to truly arrive

Tweet“In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.” The quote belongs to writer Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain. Change is business as usual during this time of year, so while waiting for weather to settle and blossoms to sprout, plot both the garden and your next(…)

Take Ten: Running with accessibility, beyond the basics

TweetState tourism embraces accessibility in a new marketing campaign, and the star is a four-time Paralympic athlete. Matt Scott, a 2016 gold medalist in wheelchair basketball, talks up why and where he returns to the Badger State for annual summer vacations. “A million ways to have fun and no reason not to” is the slogan.(…)

Milwaukee Art Museum’s “Road Trip” photos remove the filters

TweetSmart phones and digital cameras make it possible for almost anybody to take a good picture, on purpose or by accident. Gone are the days when shutters fly sparingly and each frame is composed painstakingly: The cost of developing film no longer is a worry. Also vanishing is the photo album that you can hold:(…)

Wisconsin film fests: Entertainment is one part of their value

TweetThe worth of a well-crafted film goes way beyond entertainment, in little and large ways. A good movie helps us walk in somebody else’s shoes. Or helps us temporarily escape the tribulations of life. Or lets us know we are not alone. Or inspires us to make a change. Or widens our world through global(…)

Where to find Danish hygge – contentment – in Wisconsin

TweetWhat sets the stage for a happy life: Joy through toys? Lack of stress? Unconditional love? Popularity? Achievement? Money? Denmark boils the correct answer into one word: “hygge” (pronounced “hoo-ga”), a sense of contentment and coziness that Meik Wiking says is hard to explain precisely – but you know it when you find it. Now(…)