Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What a Difference a Day Makes

Rain in the forecast but in the meantime we'll enjoy sunrise.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

It's Demolition Saturday

After a pleasant Friday evening outing at the Village Wine and Food Club, sampling the pleasures of Italian Ripasso for the first time, we decided it was time to start final planned remodeling project on Sehome Road, the master ensuite bathroom.

Our reciprocating saw helped us to make fairly short work of the shower, and we're now planning a tile replacement. 

This was enough work for one day.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Seattle And Happily Not Sleepless

By the time we landed last night we were feeling too tired to look forward to our 2 1/2-hour drive home. The Doubletree offered us a good rate, we had our seventh day of parking left, and we toddled off to bed once we had stored the sausages in our cold car.

We'll drive back to Birch Bay a little later this morning and hope to avoid the snow showers mentioned in the weather reports.

Friday, February 7, 2014


We flew from Milwaukee to Chicago on a Canadair Regional Jet, giving us good views of Lake Michigan. Once we landed, the taxi to the gate took about half as long as the flight itself.

We've now used up a couple of passes sitting in a United Club. The bump opportunity didn't materialize but we were able to move to seats in First together.

We enjoyed a decent sandwich-type lunch at Berghoff Cafe in the C Concourse, a joint we found through Yelp. These apps on our new iPhone 5s make searching for the best places nearby a breeze.

It was only after we landed at SEA that we saw the news article featured on The Drudge Report:

Great Lakes ice cover spreading rapidly; see which lake set a new record

Recombobulation Area At MKE

Somebody at Milwaukee Airport has a sense of humor. A plastic bag holding some of our Usinger's tested 'positive' and Brian enjoyed a full body search, but it's worth it for the sausages.

Fly Day

Yes, Friday is Fly Day for us. We're packing up and in a while Tom and Ellyn will drive us to the airport, possibly with one more stop at Usinger's along the way.

We've enjoyed a great whirlwind time in Milwaukee. One of the highlights was a visit with the 90-year-old cousin of Kathy's mother. Patti and her husband John are in great shape, considering everything, and we spent most of our time poring over the family photos and letters that Patti had carefully researched in advance of our visit.

Annie, one of their daughters, was also there, and we had met her previously on an Alaska cruise upwards of 15 years ago. Time has a way of flying.

Speaking of flying, our first flight today is a short hope from Milwaukee to Chicago, followed by a flight to Seattle. Strangely, we both got upgraded to First Class, which will make up for arriving in Seattle at 8:30 p.m. and driving home.

Lunch At Mader's In Milwaukee

Mader's is one of the two most famous German restaurants in Milwaukee (the other is Karl Ratzsch's).

Mader's is across the street from Usinger's so that's where we enjoyed a heavy but satisfying lunch on a very chilly - make that cold - Milwaukee day.

Schnitzels and goulash and a free bottle of decent wine, thanks to a promotion in a tourist brochure, made for an enjoyable experience.

Usinger's Bargains

We love the products of the iconic Usinger's in Milwaukee. We were amazed on our pilgrimage there yesterday to find out that they maintain a table of 'imperfect items' and 'overruns' at greatly reduced prices.

Kathy and Brian brought the entire top collection of products for $29 and Tom and Ellyn paid just over $70 for the huge collection just beneath it.

The savings almost covered our bargain air fares. What a deal!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Milwaukee: Calderone Club

Recommended and well reviewed - a very pleasant evening...

Milwaukee: Ambassador Hotel

Our train trip was fabulous but we have to admit the Ambassador Hotel looks good after two nights during which the hot water didn't work...

Spades In St. Paul

St. Cloud, Minnesota

Williston, North Dakota

A chilly night...

Nothing Could Be Finer

Than breakfast in the diner...


We seemed to sit in Fargo for a long time early this morning and we're now three hours late, just right for picking up our rental car

Update: Make that five hours late. The employees don't know why... Freight traffic or weather or ?