Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Short Holiday in Wisconsin (August 14 to 21)

After Lady Mae and I attended the Midwest Conference of Grand Lodges in Minneapolis, my family and I proceeded to the Fox Hills Resort in Mishicot, Wisconsin from August 14 to 21 for our annual holiday. Due to a GPS problem, it took us almost three (3) more hours longer to get to Mishicot. We had to pass through country roads. Great ride through small town U.S.A.
Fox Hills Resort is a beautiful resort (http://www.foxhillsresort.) with a total of 45 holes for golf. Behind our unit was Hole #2.
The resort is about 40 minutes south of Green Bay and a little over an hour north of Milwaukee. All told, the total distance we traveled over the 10 days was 3,700 kms.

Day 1, Aug 15, Monday: Green Bay
We went to the Ray Nitschke Field to watch the practice of the Green Bay Packers. Our son commented that he has never seen so many millionaires in one place at the same time until he saw the Packers practicing. Green Bay is the smallest city in the U.S. which has a professional sports team. The Packers are the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team in the United States. Thus far, they have won their first two (2) pre-season games. We could not get any tickets for their August 19 game against the Arizona Colts. The Packers won 28-20.
Here is a picture of my family taken from across Lambeau Field.

Here are pictures taken at the Bay Beach Amusement Park, which is along Lake Wisconsin.

Right beside the Amusement Park is the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, an urban wildlife refuge. I think it is also a nice refuge for people.

We also visited the Green Bay Botanical Garden.


Day 2, Aug 16, Tuesday: Oshkosh
Spent the afternoon (slept in, cooked breakfast and  then left the resort almost at noon) shopping at the Outlet Malls in Oshkosh. It should have been just less than 1-1/2 hours drive to Oshkosh. However, the GPS sent us through the main highway and there was a bad accident involving a motorcycle right in a construction zone. That added another 30 minutes to the travel time. But the shopping was great. And our dinner at a Japanese Hibachi restaurant in Appleton was excellent.

Day 3, Aug 17, Wednesday: Keewaunee & Manitowoc
Went to Parallel 44 Vineyard and Winery on Sleepy Hollow Road, Keewaunee. They are wine pioneers. The grape varietals they grow are relatively new in the world of wine. Their varietals are known as Cool Climate Grapes - some of their vines can withstand temperatures of about -35C in the winter time, but still come back in the Summer time and produce grapes.
We then proceeded to Manitowoc for an early dinner where we ound Luigi’s, an excellent Italian restaurant. We then drove to the harbor for a view of the lake.

Day 4, Aug 18, Thursday: Milwaukee
Went to Milwaukee for the day.
Our first stop was the Miller Brewery, where we arrived just in time for the 1 PM tour. It was an wonderful one-hour guided tour of the brewery, which ended with opportunities to try three (3) samples of any of the Miller beer products, including a non-alcoholic one (which I tried - it was great).


The last picture at the Brewery was at the Miller Bar, where we had our 1st beer sample.

We then proceeded to the Harley Davidson Museum. The exhibit included their earlier versions and other interesting products.

Of course, we all had to ride on some of the displays. This was my favorite.
Toward the end of the tour, our son asked our daughter if going on the tour made her felt like she wanted to buy a motorbike. Of course, the answer was yes (from all of us!).

We also had a chance to view the special exhibit (across the Museum) of items not normally displayed. They had some of the products which never got to or did not stay long in the market for some reason.

We lucked out as Thursday was Bike Night at the Museum. There were several hundreds of Harley Davidson motorcycles (and a trike?) and others (our daughter noticed a Kawasaki motorcycle right at the corner).

Day 5, Aug 19, Friday: Green Bay
Spent the afternoon at the Bay Park Square in Green Bay for some more shopping. We had another Japanese Hibachi dinner at Tim San, a local restaurant. The food was great but the place needed more exhaust. It was very warm and smoky but everyone there had an excellent time.

Day 6,  Aug 20, Saturday: Travel back to Winnipeg
The travel back to Winnipeg on Saturday was uneventful, except for the unavailability of hotel rooms in Alexandria, MN, where we planned to stay for the night. All the hotels were booked due to a county fair there. We ended up driving another 40 minutes to Fergus Falls, MN.

Aug 21, Sunday: End of Annual Summer Holiday
We got back to Winnipeg in the late afternoon. No hassle at the border except for a wait of about 30 minutes.

Well, the trip started with sad news about one of my best friends passing away on the day we left Winnipeg. Arthur (Sammy) Samaniego  and I met 43 years ago on our freshman year at the Philippine Science High School. He was one of my closest friends. We slept over and ate at each other's house. We attended the same university, where he took up Geology, same as both of his parents and his younger brother. He was the godfather or our daughter. He married into a family of medical doctors. His father-in-law, wife, two (2) sisters-in-law and their husbands were all physicians. He had medical issues even when we were in high school. I always told him that he was lucky to be married into a family of doctors. He is now free of the physical challenges which he has dealt with for a long time. May he rest in peace.

While we were in Mishicot, our daughter got the results of her Level 2 U.S. Medical Licensing Examination. She passed! And with a very good mark! When she relayed the news, our son mentioned that he had an A+ for his summer course because he "destroyed" the final exam. Mae & I are surely blessed with two (2) wonderful children who continue to make us proud.

All in all, it was an excellent vacation with the family and an opportunity to relax and recharge.

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