6/21/14: Summer Solstice! And summer begins…

It is a pleasure to walk outside at night and feel the warm summer air!  Aside from all of the rain we had this week and last, we have had good June weather so far!  It’s also a pleasure to have some weekends off to enjoy the summertime!  But, as I’ve said before, I don’t usually let a little thing like work slow me down…

Here’s what has been bringing me smiles from the past few weeks:

Movies

  • Saw “A Million Ways to Die in the West” with Chris – I’m not a Family Guy watcher or a Seth McFarland groupie, but this was fun.  It’s a Western with modern language, with shocking humor and interesting characters.
  • I saw “The Fault In Our Stars” by myself on opening night.  Well, not by myself, but with a theatre filled with Tweens and Teens, swooning and sobbing.  I wish I hadn’t gone that night, because I felt more like an observer of the theatre than a movie-watcher.  I thought the book was so much better (no surprise) because I liked the parents so much better in the book, I liked their relationships so much better in the book, and the movie felt watered down and immature.  \
  • Tonight I saw “Chef,” which I think is my favorite movie of the year!  I’ll have to think back for sure (“Grand Budapest Hotel” was this year, too… hmm) but it was so fun!  A fun story about having passion for your work and doing what you love, about fathers and sons, and about Cuban sandwiches!  I almost danced throughout the movie, because the soundtrack was incredible (and is now purchased!), and I had tears spring to my eyes twice, just because of happy emotions!  Loved it!

Books!

  • There have been a few rainy days, so I’ve been reading on my Kindle and catching up on Oprah Magazine.  I finished a smutty book while on the dock, “Bettie Page presents: The Librarian,” and then returned to the world of Pride & Prejudice with “Georgiana Darcy’s Diary.”  Ah, there is something about that book and those characters.  Good stuff.  Now I”m working on “Wild” and almost finished with listening to “Whistling Past the Graveyard.”

Road Trips and Adventures!

  • For Jenny’s birthday, we had lunch at Trempeleau Hotel and went for a tasting at Elmaro Winery.  It was a beautiful Sunday and the winery was in a beautiful setting, so we sat outside and enjoyed live music, a fruit and nut plate, and some delicious wine.
  • Chris and I went to the cabin for his June vacation.  We had two great weather days, one washout day, and one very windy day.  There was reading, DVDs (Breakfast Club, War Games, The Upside of Anger, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), and good cabin food.  There were a creche (I think) of White Pelicans who must have stopped there for the summer, and they were amazing to watch and learn about!  Who needs TV when you can watch pelicans?  And as always, the sunsets were spectacular.
  • One of the days we drove to Northfield to have dinner with Deadra for her birthday!  It was fun to explore Northfield and we had a delicious dinner in a Tavern there along the river.  The day started out breezy, cloudy and cool, but it ended up clear and calmer.
  • When I got home from the lake, I joined some peeps at the rooftop of the Tap House for Sunday Night Trivia!  We rocked (mainly one guy rocked) and got one free round of drinks and 3rd place overall.  I love trivia.  And the weather was perfect for a night on the rooftop!

Looking forward to celebrating the first day of summer at an International festival in Rochester and then I’ll travel to Rushford to see Mom and Dad and hopefully some Rushford friends!  I’m counting on a campfire to celebrate the shortest night of the year!

Chris has a Summer Solstice birthday, but he gets t work.  I’ll bake him a cake for when he’s done with this 7 day stretch!

Yay summer!

Autumn Adventures Abound

You may remember that last November Kristine and I (along with two strangers who became friends) won grand prize at Irish Table Trivia!  We won a bunch of cheese that we shared between the 4 of us and then we divvied up the rest of the prizes, with Kristine and I graciously accepting the two night stay at the haunted Kewaunee Inn!

Well, sadly Kristine was not able to go on our reserved weekend because of a death in her family and luckily someone else was able to step in and help make the trip happen.  I worked overnights Tuesday through Friday morning so I knew I was in no shape to drive to Door County area alone, so thankfully Jennifer was up for the adventure.

Jennifer swooped me up Friday morning and I attempted some car-sleep.  Maybe I got a few hours between the pitstops for potty breaks and lunch and navigating the final miles into Kewaunee.  We were very thankful for Navigator Nanette in my phone, although who knows what routes she directed us!  It was different than the Mapquest directions and different than the route we took home.

Wisconsin is so weird, isn’t it?

Wisconsin roads, slow traveling, Door County, Wisconsin

We only went 65 mph when we were lost

Friday night was a cold and dreary night.  Perfect for a quick walk followed by a drink or two at the Cork, an Irish pub down the street.  We chatted with the bartender (who makes a mean Irish coffee!) and he informed us that there was going to be comedy at Diggins Cafe & Fine Rocks that night – starting at 9PM.  We couldn’t pass that up, so that was our Friday night plan!

Diggins Cafe and Fine Rocks Kewaunee

We went (fashionably) early in order to have some pizza and check out the scene.  It was a weird scene.  We were the only ones there aside from a few at the bar and those who work there.  We ordered a Gyro Pizza and waited a long time – and then they asked if we wanted to order a pizza.  We informed them that we had but the kid who took our order left without telling anyone our order.  So.  We waited some more.  They gave us a delicious but monstrous pizza and charged us little.  But anything is better with tzatziki sauce, right?

They informed us comedy was going to start later than planned – because no one was there to listen, except us!  I was fading fast, so we checked out the Fine Rocks and took them up on their offer for next-to-nothing prices.  So now I have a Fine Rock from Diggins.  Photo to be posted later.  Ha!

Saturday morning was beautiful and so we began leisurely cruising up the lakeside coast, stopping to gawk, shop, walk along the water, eat, taste wine, or whatever we felt like!  We didn’t use Navigator Nanette and so we missed a turn and got a little lost going home, but the day was so beautiful we didn’t mind.

Saturday night we went back to the Cork for some live music, more chatting with the bartender, and talks about the 11 things in 4 seasons plans.  I’ll update that later, as I have some ideas for Winter Spring and Summer, as well as an 11 thing for Fall.  Good stuff.

We also hung out in our Haunted Kewaunee Inn lobby with some fun women from Sheboygan – and watched the Paranormal Investigators set up for their evening of wandering the hallways looking for activity!  I don’t know if they saw anything, but I know that I heard them walking around all night!

I took a lot of pictures and some of them turned out pretty good.  I won’t bore you with many here, but check out  my Facebook photo albums!  October 2012 is filled with wonderful photos from all of my autumn adventures!

Door County, WI – Bailey’s Harbor

Bailey’s Harbor store – and a great motto!

chocolate wine tasting wi von stiehl

Is it ever too early for a little wine and chocolate? Von Stiehl Winery in Algoma, WI. Yummy!

It was a great weekend and now I’m back at work!  I’m sure I’ll add some more photos to the wonderfulness of October as I have a few days off this week, another football game to go to and kiddos to see on Halloween!

I like the idea of a “What Next?” motto – I think I’ll adopt it!

What’s Next for you??

Sense of Adventure & Sense of Direction

Sense of Direction: Change of Pace

Once again, I lapsed on posting daily.  It’s been a fun three weeks posting with these five Senses, but I think I am going to pause and only post when I have grand things to say. 🙂  I will keep the Senses as topics but won’t be as rigid about the days I post or the topic I post on.  But one last time…

Sense of Adventure: Online Dating Sites

Those who know me well, know that I dabble in online dating sites every now and then.  I go in spurts and typically don’t tell people about the whole process, but I’ll inform a few close friends before I ever meet anyone in person (for safety’s sake).  I’m pretty private about it all on the whole, but willing to talk about it if asked. I can’t believe I am posting about it here (for the ten people who read my blog!)!  I think that people who have never had to rely on personal ads of any sort have little understanding of it, and it feels sort of awkward telling them about it.  It is a weird little world, online.  🙂

It's a wild, wild world...

It’s an interesting process, perusing the personals.  I follow gut instincts in whether or not to reach out to someone.  I don’t post pictures (I see too many people I either know or recognize, and as I said, I’m kinda private about it!) and I usually don’t tweak my ad once its written.  As I said above, I go in spurts.  I will not look at all for months at a time and then I’ll hit it hard for a while.  I’m not sure what the pattern is but having more time seems to lead to more perusing, that’s for sure.

The latest Rochester Magazine features Single in the City folks – seven or so young singles talking about themselves and the Rochester dating scene.  I can’t imagine being that public with my singledom,  I never have.  But I also know that I have people who are always thinking about me and looking for that guy who will make my eyes light up. Being single is something that I look upon as an adventure.  My life is filled with great people and adventures, but having a partner to go forward in life with is still something I’m looking for!

Have you ever been on this adventure?

Off to read!

 

40 Things (6)

Open book

Image via Wikipedia

Following along with Boof’s 40 Day Challengeleading up to her 40th birthday, her next question is:

6) A book that changed my life

Hmmm.  Not an easy question!  I’m not sure I can point to a book and claim that it changed my life in any big way.  I know that the very presence of books has changed my life.  Books have brought me comfort in times when I needed it and have brought me joy in times when I needed that.  I have lots of vivid memories of the books that I read as a child and have always been known as a reader or a “book worm.”  So does the first book that hooked me in and made me a reader become the book that changed my life?

Being in book club has changed my life.  Connecting with great people over great books (or even not-so-great books) has been a great experience in the past ten or so years.

#6 on my list of Things to do before turning 40 was to “Say YES more – be ready!”  Yesterday I wrote about how “saying no” to an overbooked life was on my list.  This one is about being ready for adventures and the life I want.  It isn’t always easy for me to be spontaneous, as I do like to plan things.  I know that when my daughter went away to college that I adopted the philosophy that “I can do whatever I want,” which was pretty freeing (after the initial despair over bringing her to college).  It was nice to be open to adventures without feeling tied down to responsibilities.

Off to read!