Inferior Imitator

ep·i·gone n. A second-rate imitator or follower, especially of an artist or a philosopher.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

First Anniversay

Joe and I took a long weekend and drove up to Wisconsin last week. Friday was gorgeous for the drive up, the sun on the trees and all those colors. The best ones were around the Mississippi, I think. We first stopped right across the border in Dickeyville, to see their grotto. I had no idea what a grotto was - kind of a Catholic thing - but it was neat to see all the stones and shells and crap that the guy had used to make it. Then we went up to Petosi - they host the national brewery museum and have a little brewery there. Their beers were not particularly impressive, but it was a neat place to wander through.

We made the last tour of the Cave of the Mounds, with one other couple. We had both been there before, but it was a different experience to be with such a small group. We got to ask a lot more questions, and the tour guide could point out a lot more formations and fossils that wouldn't have been possible with a larger group. We continued on to Mt. Horeb, and we wish we could have spent a little more time there, but they didn't have any hotel rooms. We wandered the Duluth Trading Company flagship store and had supper at the Grumpy Troll Pub. Their beer was much better. :)

Stayed at a redneck hotel (decorated with deer heads and hunting gear) and left for Spring Green and the House on the Rock the next morning. I hadn't been there since the '80s, and it's changed a lot since then. They've added a whole wing on the guy who built the place, which answered a lot of questions I remember discussing, wondering what kind of person could put together such a spectacle. There were a couple new wings, most impressive was the three story sculpture of an octopus fighting a sperm whale. My jaw dropped at the size of the thing. I was most sad when I realized that the automated instruments weren't actually playing any more and the music was mostly piped in. I suppose that makes sense: it would take A LOT of maintenance to keep that going. Five hours wasn't long enough to fully explore, but we were done by then.

We ran up to a cheese place to buy cheese and fresh curds, and then sped back to Little Norway and got the last tour they were giving that day. The tour was given by a high school girl whose parents owned the place, and you could tell she didn't give a shit about this job, so it was not quite as informative as it could have been. Joe was impressed to learn that the church building there was originally part of the White City of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, he didn't know there was another surviving building aside from the Field Museum.

We tried to find a room in Plattville, but there was nothing in town...they were sending people to Dubuque. If we were going to go to Dubuque, we were just going to go home, so we headed down to Galena, since we had discussed finishing up there anyway. Got there and they said they had had a cancellation and could give us a room for $160. After the jaw drop, she said that was their busiest weekend of the year and there was some huge craft fair going on. Doh!

So we shelled out since it was about 8:00, and wandered Galena all day Sunday. Lots of crowds, so it was tough for Joe to enjoy himself, and we headed home to make Grandma's birthday party.

Since we both had Monday off, we just spent a quiet day at home and cooked supper. We had a bottle of wine and wedding cake. And whose bright idea was it anyway to have wedding cake a year later?  It was a well protected cake, but bits were dry and bits were soggy and it would have been a much better idea to have it on the honeymoon instead.