Round Two!

Ok gang, if you haven’t been here yet, you’d better get cracking!  Round Two has begun!  Martha & Darrel loved their first experience so much, that they decided to do it again in the Fall.  So, we’re off to explore the city, see the leaves, and enjoy one another’s company!

We began our visit with lunch at “Blackie’s” — remember when Sharon was here and told me about her dad?  Well, since it’s just at the corner of our block and we were hungry, we decided to give it a go!  And it turned out to be a find!  All three of us ordered their “BLT’s” and it was a rock solid sandwich!  I’m generally very partial to our favorite place up at Bass Lake, The Forks, and their famous BLTs … this one was right there, heavily competing with The Forks.  I guess I’ll just need to keep having them at Blackies just to make sure …

After Eddie got home from work, we headed off for a tour of the Lagunitas Brewery.  We knew that Darrel, being The Beer Aficionado, would love this place!  It’s just a great place to hang out, taste their home made brews, and eat a pretty darn good meal.  We’ve been very impressed by the quality of the food and the service both times we’ve come here.

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Lagunitas “Around The World” sampler flight!

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After we got back to the apartment, Eddie and Darrel wanted to go up to our roof top to “see the city lights.”  And so they did!

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Check out the beautiful clouds in the background … oh, and that “California Boy” all bundled up!  Come on Darrel, it’s not THAT cold!!

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The next morning, we rented a car and headed out bright and early to go “see the leaves.”  We saved an article that we had read all about the best places to see the fall foliage in Wisconsin … and we followed it to the tee!  First, we went north out of Illinois to Wisconsin.  Then we followed the map to a place called “Holy Hill.”  This is The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary run by the Carmelites, on what is probably the only hill in the entire state of Wisconsin!  Seriously!

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The grounds were absolutely stunning.  And it definitely had a “holy” feeling to it.  It was so quiet and peaceful, and yet, there were tons of people walking around, doing the same thing we were doing!

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If you look at the top of the towers, you can see people inside the right tower.  They are climbing up to the top of the tower to look out at the surrounding scenery.  You are invited to climb the stairs all the way to the very top little window for the view.  Well, we tried …

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I have no idea who these people are in my pics, but I was amazed that we weren’t the only crazies trying to climb to the top.  And you can see that the steps are not wide … nope, not wide at all.  It started to get a little claustrophobic in there to say the least … the higher you climb, the more narrow the passage-way.  When we got to the second to the last floor from the top, we all kinda pooped out … partially from plain old fear, and partially because our legs were shaking from the 178 stairs (well almost!) that we had to climb up and then … back down!!

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Looking at the other tower.

Looking at the other tower.

My pictures don’t do the scene justice so you all should come out to see it for yourself!  It was pretty spectacular though when you get to see it with your own eyes!

After our afternoon exercise, we decided to take some time for reflection.  Not sure which view is more beautiful … inside …

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or outside …

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It really was a beautiful place to pray and to be grateful for all our blessings.  Then we got back on the road to see more leaves!!

Kettle Moraine State Forest was our next stop.  We drove a winding road through villages and towns of Wisconsin, seeing more leaves than we ever thought we’d see!  Our goal was Parnell Tower which is a three-story look out tower made especially for us to see the leaves.  As we drove around looking for signs, we realized that all we needed to do was to look above the tree line and all of the sudden, there it was!

We hiked about a half a mile from the parking on the trail to the tower and then this is what we saw …

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It was so beautiful and colorful and peaceful and really just perfect.

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When you think about the beauty of nature and the changing of the colors, you can’t imagine God making it any other way!  What a sight!

As we made our way home, we stopped at the famous Wisconsin Cheese Mart and sampled about a dozen cheeses!  Since there was a little pub right next door, it worked out perfectly!  Cheese curds and beer made a great dinner!  haha!!

It turned out to be a wonderful fall day!  Talk to you tomorrow!

 

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3 thoughts on “Round Two!

  1. Jan & Ron says:

    If the Basilica is just out of La Crosse, we’ve been there 3-4 times. It is beautiful. Our daughter-in-law and grandson live in La Crosse but he’s at Madison now in college. It is a wonderful part of the world. I’ve worried about you hearing about the cold and violent weather. Stay safe and warm please. Miss you! Love, Jan M.

    Like

  2. Corinne Pantaleo says:

    Enjoying life in the Windy city and it’s surroundings! Looks like fun! Great to see everyone’s big smiles! God bless you. Corinnee 🙂

    Like

  3. Andi says:

    Oh, the fun! Food! Friends! Holy and beautiful places! Will we soon have to beg you to return to California??? Try and miss us, wudja??? XOXO

    Like

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