New tours, exhibit additions, lodging ideas

One of the more frustrating parts of my job is routinely ignoring dozens of honorable story ideas and press releases because there is not enough time or space in the newspaper to accommodate everything.

Here are a few examples.
The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, in one year has acquired three major paintings by masters of twentieth-century realism: N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth and Jamie Wyeth.
The works are N.C.’s “Port Clyde” (1928, oil on canvas), Andrew’s “Swifts” (1991, watercolor on paper) and Jamie’s “Feeding Gulls” (1999, mixed media on paper), and this trio is at the core of “The Wyeths: An Artistic Trilogy,” on view until Nov. 26. Artwork borrowed from the Adelson Gallery, New York City, rounds out the exhibition.
For more:, 715-845-7010.
–, an online B&B directory and reservation network, recently sent a nifty list of innkeepers who have turned schoolhouses into overnight guest lodging. In the round-up is Wilson Schoolhouse Inn, on 10 acres near La Crosse, which was built as a one-room rural school in 1917.
The school was closed in 1965, then restored and elegantly furnished to retain the open atmosphere of the original schoolhouse. It’s easy to identify the inn’s former role, because of the original slate blackboard and school desks. 
There are two bedrooms, plus a sofa sleeper for two, futon and crib. The entire inn typically is rented by one family or group, as it contains an equipped kitchen and living room. The rate is $120-150 for two people, plus $30 for each additional person.
For more:, 608-787-1982.
A Reader¹s Retreat with celebrity authors is being sponsored by Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops at The American Club in Kohler, Nov. 10-12.
The authors include: ABC’s Lynn Sherr, who wrote “Outside the Box;” Elizabeth George, “With No One As Witness;” Ann Patchett, “Truth & Beauty” and “Bel Canto;” Patrick Ryan, “Send Me;” and Myla Goldberg, “Wickett¹s Remedy.”
The event acknowledges the rising popularity of book clubs, and desire for readers to make personal connections with authors.
The Reader’s Retreat begins at $338 per person, which includes one night at The American Club (based on double occupancy). Two-night packages, and hotel accommodations at the nearby Inn on Woodlake, are also available.
Costs include meals and a book by each of the guest authors (the exception is an optional Saturday lunch with Elizabeth George, an extra $68).
Besides the marquee speakers, there will be 20-plus breakout sessions.
Topics include finding the perfect book for someone else, how to start a book club and how to energize a book club.
There also will be a panel of Wisconsin authors, to include Lan Samantha Chang, “Inheritance;” Liam Callanan, “The Cloud Atlas;” and Kris Radish, “Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral.”
For more information:,, 800-344-2838.
One of Wisconsin’s premier spas, Sundara Inn & Spa in Wisconsin Dells, keeps attracting widespread attention.
Readers of Luxury SpaFinder magazine named the destination as one of the 10 most romantic spas in the world. Travel + Leisure magazine, in conjunction with “Good Morning America” on ABC, named it the country¹s No. 3 favorite “spa escape.”
Closer to home, Wisconsin Bride magazine calls Sundara the state’s Best Honeymoon Location and Best Place for a Bridal Party.
For more:, 888-735-8181.
London on New Year¹s Eve? Peru before spring? Those are the destinations for two international study tours being sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 
The six-day London tour starts Dec. 27 and features visual and performing arts. Cost is $2,199 (without airfare).
Performances include the ballet “Alice in Wonderland” by the English National Ballet, opera “Carmen” at the Royal Opera House; some type of matinee concert at the Royal Festival Hall; the play “Coram Boy” at the National Theater and the “Viennese New Year’s Eve Gala” with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
A tour of the Tate Modern Gallery is optional. The group will stay near the British Museum, British Library and public transportation.
“The Andes to The Amazon” is a 17-day tour that begins March 1. Cost is
$4,799 (includes airfare).
Participants will explore ancient and colonial cultures in several cities, Lima to the Ballestas Islands in the Pacific Ocean. They also will spend three days at an Amazon jungle lodge.
For more: or call Doug Whittle at 263-7787.