Tuesday, November 23, 2010

After Himey settled me down with the journal purchase, my next crisis occurred about four hours later. Several people had given us JCPenneys’ gift cards for the wedding and we thought we could get something with them on our way through Madison. About the time we were eating lunch at the Perkins in Marshfield, I realized I didn’t have the gift cards with me. The last time I remembered seeing them, they were with the stack of thank you cards. The stack I had dropped in the mail slot much earlier that day.

A frantic call to the post office turned out to be fruitless. All we could do was wait until we could call the kids after they got home from school and see if the gift cards had gotten left behind on the kitchen counter.

Several stops and many hours later we checked into the Lamb’ Inn in Richland Center. What a charming farmhouse and what an absolute sweetheart of a hostess. I had never stayed in a Bed and Breakfast before and it was a such treat, a wonderful experience. If you have never been to one either, it is something you need to try.

Bright and early the next morning we arrived at the House of the Rock. I have been there so many times before, but it just never gets boring. It is always a new adventure and was made even more so by being able to show it to Himey for the first time.

The southeast area of the state really has a lot of fascinating things to see. Dodgeville, Mineral Point, Mt Horeb, New Glaurus are all charming little towns with just enough tourist-ism to keep them interesting without being garish. (My barometer is that Wisconsin Dells and Las Vegas are garish.)

Grandview, on a hill just outside of Hollandale, was an unexpected surprise. In the 1930’s immigrant Nick Engelbert began creating concrete sculptures, not stopping until he had over 40 of the figures on his small farm. He even covered every square inch of his house with concrete embedded with pieces of glass, beads, buttons, and anything else he found lying around. What we call American Folk Art at its best.

(Oh, yes, and the $120 worth of Penney's gift cards were on the kitchen table when we got home, and we didn't spend them until a trek to Madison on February 6, 1998, but that is another trip.)

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