Hot!On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin!

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ChiTownDiner
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/25 18:52:25 (permalink)
I've had a lot of brats also and did not think the brat we were eating was smoked.

The brat patties are terrific!  My favorite!

I beleive the tour guide was holding her hands up in a stopping motion as if to say...ChiTownDiner would have stopped at 5 and exhibited more restraint! 

Yeah...that's what she was saying...I can read her lips!
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easydoesit
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/26 04:43:37 (permalink)
Nancy Palooza -- you mentioned refectories earlier, and I know you get near La Crosse sometimes.  The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a new thing here, just a couple years old, and is in a beautiful setting in the country just outside of town. 

Can hit on the link and scroll down for the restaurant.  They are known for their generous sandwiches, and the small but excellent bakery.  We stop often to see what kind of bread they are baking that day; there is usually a good loaf of something dense and hearty.  Their cakes and cookies are excellent as well.

www.guadalupeshrine.org

By the way, brat patties are common on this side of the state too.
 
#62
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/26 06:53:47 (permalink)
easydoesit

Nancy Palooza -- you mentioned refectories earlier, and I know you get near La Crosse sometimes.  The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a new thing here, just a couple years old, and is in a beautiful setting in the country just outside of town. 

Can hit on the link and scroll down for the restaurant.  They are known for their generous sandwiches, and the small but excellent bakery.  We stop often to see what kind of bread they are baking that day; there is usually a good loaf of something dense and hearty.  Their cakes and cookies are excellent as well.

www.guadalupeshrine.org

By the way, brat patties are common on this side of the state too.
 

 
Oh MY 6 layer carrot cake. Healthest thing on the menu. All 4 food groups at once.

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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/26 09:06:22 (permalink)
  Nancy, Re: Tortes... I'm sure that there are 1002 ways to make them, But My WI. Granny used Whipped cream cheese, sour cream and fresh whipped cream with just a bit of gelatin in it (JELLO if making a fruit flavored) So it was super light and fluffy.  My WI Great Auntie used canned pie filling, gelatin, and DREAM-WHIP!  " />  she always had quite a bit left over after our Potlucks...Go figure.  
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/26 09:59:19 (permalink)
We thought there was gelatin involved.  As buffetbuster stated, that poppyseed was tremendous!
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/26 13:03:27 (permalink)
You brought back memories of my Green Bay visit 35 years ago. Seeing Lambeau Field is like seeing Pebble Beach or St Andrews in golf, Fenway or Wrigley in baseball. a vital part of sports history. The food has looked phenomenal throughout this thread.
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ces1948
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/26 15:58:09 (permalink)
We are actually thinking of relocating to Appleton, WI so I'm very interested about local specialties in the area, the whole state really as I've never lived in Wisconsin before.
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/26 17:44:40 (permalink)
We have family in Central Wisconsin and have found a number of great places to eat in that area, everything from German (expected) to other European to BBQ and Asian.  We really enjoy driving thru the Milwaukee/Chicago IL area for the wide variety of food we find there too.
Add that to the wonderful winter wonderland image and Wisconsin just can't be beat !! (From April to November!!!)
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/26 22:57:25 (permalink)
easydoesit--thank you!  The next time I'm anywhere near Lacrosse I'll have to check it out.  We ate at one in a church in London and one in a church in Wales, St. David's I think, that really had pretty wonderful food, and I just couldn't figure out what cultural divide we must have that we don't really have those.

Dawn--I have had tortes then, I think they just don't call them that here or among my folks in MN.  Basically it's all those back-of-the-jello-box creamy desserts.  The ones in this thread looked unbelievable.
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/27 04:30:57 (permalink)
ces1948 -- scattered around Appleton you will find Tom's Drive-In, a small chain that offers pretty good burgers and the usual rest.  I used to live on that side of the state, and miss Tom's.

I also miss Breadsmith, a bakery, again it is a chain, but pretty good products.  Too bad, but Panera just does not compare, for me anyway.  Try their Apple Pie Bread and garlic pullaparts.

Nearby and well worth the drive is a local treasure drive-in in Oshkosh called Ardys & Eds.  Old fashioned, blast from the past type place, carhops on roller skates, etc.  Great food! Try their ho-made barbeque, which is not barbeque at all, but the best example of a midwest sloppy joe around. 

Everything they have is good, but especially so is their french fries and tartar sauce.  They have been featured on 'Roker on the Road' and other programs.  Been around since 1948.

Just three blocks away from Ardy & Eds is another hidden gem, Hughes Chocolates on Doty Street.  They are located in a house in a neighborhood, with the  shop and salesroom located in the basement.  You go down a few steps from the street and find yourself right in the middle of the action, with the friendly worker calling "excuse me!" as she slides past you with, for example, a full tray of caramels waiting to be covered in chocolate.

They are not open in the summer, too hot, but you should see the line at Christmas time, stretched from the sales counter, up the stairs, out and down the driveway, to the street. 

Not far away in Kaukauna is Haen Meats, a clean and well done shop that is highly thought of locally.  Everything there is good.

Yes, it's cold in the winter, like Al says, but that's OK, we keep better.

www.tomsdriveins.com

www.ardyandeds.com

www.breadsmith.com

www.haenmeats.com

Hughes Chocolates has no website, but there is plenty about them out there.
#70
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/27 21:24:42 (permalink)
The vacation wasn't just running from restaurant to restaurant.  Some of the cultural highlights were visiting the world's tallest Indian

and the world's largest corkscrew.

#71
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/27 21:31:37 (permalink)
And I thought nothing in Wisconsin could be bigger than Brad


I would like to have the bottle of wine that requires that cork screw.
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/28 13:51:52 (permalink)
Johnny and I did spend almost a full day in the Duluth, Minnesota area.  Right next to our hotel was the famous Aerial Lift Bridge. 

This bridge crosses a narrow canal and the span lifts in the air, so that passing boats can go underneath.  Unfortunately, I never did get a photo of it in the air, but it is rather cool to see.
 
This is an interesting area, with all kinds of statues.  My favorite was this one,

which I named, "Cruel dad laughs while bird poops on daughter's head".  That most likely isn't the statue's real name.
 
For dinner that night, we visited the Roadfood reviewed Northern Waters Smokehouse.

Located inside a building filled with upscale shops, I got to say, the people here weren't very friendly.  But the place sure did smell good.  There is a display case full of all kinds of great looking smoked fish, but we started with sandwiches.  Here is the menu board,

which is a little hard to read.  It has been about a month, so my memory is a little spotty.  But, I'm reasonably sure that sandwich of Johnny's is the Cajun Finn.

Truthfully, he didn't have much to say about it good or bad, so I'm thinking it was just okay.  My sandwich, the Buffalo "06 was terrific.


The reason it is called the Buffalo "06 is because they use buffalo pastrami, which I found to be very lean.  There is no doubt that they use high quality ingredients on this sandwich.
 
Johnny and I did buy several pounds of the smoked salmon to go, which we enjoyed snacking on for the next few days.  Unfortunately, I never did take any photos, but we found the salmon with black pepper and coriander to be our favorite.
 
Northern Waters Smokehouse
394 South Lake Avenue
Duluth, MN
888-663-7800
 
http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/5117/northern-waters-smokehaus
 
And if interested, here is more of the Aerial Lift Bridge:
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerial_Lift_Bridge
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/06/28 13:55:02
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/28 15:39:01 (permalink)
One of the most enjoyable sightseeing things we did on the trip was take a boat ride through the Apostle Islands, which can be found in the very northern part of Wisconsin, in Lake Superior.  The cruise left from Bayfield and lasted three hours.  We never landed at any of the islands, but got close enough to see the fish camps, lighthouses and rocky cliffs.




 
While we were driving to Bayfield that morning on beautiful SR2, Johnny remarked that he had a feeling we were going to see a bear that day.  Not even 15 minutes later, we did. 

Sorry, I didn't get a better shot, but we were rather excited. 
 
#74
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/28 15:54:48 (permalink)
BB, because Wisconsin relies heavily on tourism all bears have been trained to stop and pose for photos when asked so there's never a reason to settle for a blurry image.  Unfortunately I didn't think to give you this advice before your visit.

Brad
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/28 16:12:06 (permalink)
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/29 10:54:44 (permalink)
Now all I can hear is Maria Bamford singing 'I love Dulooooooth.'

Very good name for that statue!  He does need to be a little less pleased with himself over it.
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/29 13:03:00 (permalink)
Breakfast in Duluth was at the clumsily named Chester Creek Cafe at Sara's Table.

Oddly enough, the name of the previous business that used this building, Taran's Market Place, is still over the front door.

Johnny and I were the first customers in the door when they opened at 7:00AM.
 
One thing that caught our eye when we sat down is that there are mini shopping carts on your table to hold the condiments and salt/pepper. 

To start us off, we couldn't resist ordering some really good fruit smoothies.

Johnny went with the old fashioned oatmeal,

which came out piping hot.  He loaded it up with the raisins, brown sugar and milk and he seemed very pleased with this early morning pick me up.  Not sure what possessed me, but I got the Huevos Rancheros. 

(Somewhere in Rhode Island, wanderingjew is making his disapproval face!)  Isn't this dish supposed to come with all the components piled on top of each other?  No big deal, but it did seem unusual.  This dish was just okay, with only the nicely fried and seasoned potatoes really being memorable.
 
There is always room for pie, even at 7:30AM.  Unfortunately, the options were slim.  Inspired by the excellent blueberry pie at Holy Hill Cafe, Johnny chose that. 

Blackberry peach was left for me.

We thought that with the densely packed fruit and the sugary top, these were some of the best looking pies on the whole trip.  The pies were not overly sweet and had a pleasant flaky crust.  On a normal trip, these pies would have undoubtedly been standouts.  On this trip, they will have to settle for honorable mention.
 
Chester Creek Cafe @ Sara's Table
1902 East 8th Street
Duluth, MN
218-723-8569
 
http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/5090/chester-creek-cafe-at-saras-table
 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/06/29 13:04:57
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Nancypalooza
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/29 13:13:10 (permalink)
NOM NOM NOM.  I want all of that!
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/29 13:17:41 (permalink)
Nancypalooza

Now all I can hear is Maria Bamford singing 'I love Dulooooooth.' 
Actually, I kept hearing Kurt Cobaine singing, "I know a lady who came from Duluth...."
 
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1ehdg_nirvana-lake-of-fire_music

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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/29 13:34:18 (permalink)
I see your maladjusted alternarock classic and raise you a web comedy show of delight: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=07FAAF5582CDD8A6  Episode 7 might be my favorite.
#81
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/29 14:59:42 (permalink)
Nancypalooza

I see your maladjusted alternarock classic and raise you a web comedy show of delight: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=07FAAF5582CDD8A6  Episode 7 might be my favorite.


That Woman needs professional HELP!" />" />" />
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/29 15:29:49 (permalink)
Immediately after the boat ride through the Apostle Islands, we had lunch in the quaint little town of Bayfield at Maggie's.  The restaurant is easy to find because of the bright pink exterior, 
 
while the inside is decorated with a flamingo motif.   


Yeah, we thought it was a bit much, too.  Apparently, Flamingos Up North is the name of the restaurant group that owns Maggie's.
 
The place was mostly full, with quite a few tables taken up by Coast Guard members.  Still, we didn't have to wait for a booth. Instead of filling up on entrees, we decided to sample some appetizers.  Johnny got the tortilla soup

(there is that face in Rhode Island again), which he enjoyed and said was heavy on the cilantro.  My hearty bowl of chili

could have been warmer, but otherwise was a real rib sticker.  I think this chili (and probably all chili) could be best appreciated in the Winter months.
 
One of my very favorite sides is sweet potato fries and the version here did not disppoint. 

Fresh cut, fried perfectly, covered with sea salt and accompanied by a tarragon sauce to dip, these disappeared quickly.  The only complaint and it is a minor one, is that I prefer my sweet potato fries cut thin and these were some of the fattest fries I've ever seen.
 
The last appetizer was something that we had to talk each other into trying.  Apparently, whitefish livers are popular around these parts.  Neither one of us are particularly a liver lover, but when again will we ever see this unusual dish on a menu again?


First of all, we were surprised how big they were.  They come with sauteed peppers, onions and mushrooms and the outside coat was deliciously crunchy.  But, the inside still had a distinct organ meat taste that neither one of us would really seek out.  By no means was this a bad dish, but it just wasn't for us.  Still, I'm glad we tried it.
 
Dessert time!!!!!  Here is the list of our choices.

Johnny was thrilled to see creme brulee

listed and he thoroughly enjoyed it.  By the way, that is Maggie's homamade whipped cream on the side, not ice cream, which is what we first thought.  Of course, I went for pie, selecting the cherry. 

This pie had plenty of tart cherries and a nice crumbly top.  Good pie!
 
Overall, even though we didn't love everything, Maggie's still gets a good recommendation.  One issue we had was with the service, which was painfully slow.  There were several tables who came in after us and were long gone before us.  It appeared there were only two servers working and it was just too much for them.  Normally, this wouldn't be that big of a deal, but we had to be somewhere.
 
South of Bayfield, near the town of Hayward, is the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum.  Now, I'm not a fisherman, but what attracted us about a potential visit is the giant fiberglass fish, one as large as a 757.  This was a photo opportunity I was just drooling over.  Unfortunately, they close at 3:30PM and we walked in the front door at 3:15.  The woman who greeted us, told us it was too late, they were closing up.  I asked if I could at least take a couple of photos and even tried to pour on the charm, but she was having none of it.  She completely shut us down.  At least I was able to take this photo from behind the fence.

 
Maggie's
257 Manypenny Avenue
Bayfield, WI
715-779-5641
 
[link=http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/6695/maggies]http://www.roadfood.com/R...t/Reviews/6695/maggies[/link] 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/06/29 15:41:38
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/29 15:49:24 (permalink)
Brad_Olson
BB, because Wisconsin relies heavily on tourism all bears have been trained to stop and pose for photos when asked so there's never a reason to settle for a blurry image.  Unfortunately I didn't think to give you this advice before your visit.
Brad
Brad, thanks so much for this useful information.  If only I had known.  Now, the bear was making a beeline away from us.  How do I go about asking it to pose? Do I chase it into the woods, maybe, luring it with cheese curds?  
#84
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/29 15:54:00 (permalink)
buffetbuster

Brad_Olson
BB, because Wisconsin relies heavily on tourism all bears have been trained to stop and pose for photos when asked so there's never a reason to settle for a blurry image.  Unfortunately I didn't think to give you this advice before your visit.
Brad
Brad, thanks so much for this useful information.  If only I had known.  Now, the bear was making a beeline away from us.  How do I go about asking it to pose? Do I chase it into the woods, maybe, luring it with cheese curds?  
 


Not recommended.  You know what they do in the woods


#85
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/29 15:57:13 (permalink)
Curds would work but I think you'd have better luck if you simply rolled around in a full dumpster first.  No bear would ignore you then!



Brad
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/29 16:00:23 (permalink)
joerogo

buffetbuster

Brad_Olson
BB, because Wisconsin relies heavily on tourism all bears have been trained to stop and pose for photos when asked so there's never a reason to settle for a blurry image.  Unfortunately I didn't think to give you this advice before your visit.
Brad
Brad, thanks so much for this useful information.  If only I had known.  Now, the bear was making a beeline away from us.  How do I go about asking it to pose? Do I chase it into the woods, maybe, luring it with cheese curds?  
 


Not recommended.  You know what they do in the woods


Somehow I am reminded of the Gilbert Gottfried joke whose punchline is something to the effect of "you don't come here for the hunting, do you?"
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/29 17:26:17 (permalink)
I'd like a PM of that joke, please.

Buddy
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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/29 20:00:24 (permalink)
ces1948

We are actually thinking of relocating to Appleton, WI so I'm very interested about local specialties in the area, the whole state really as I've never lived in Wisconsin before.



If you do, you'll find we're a pretty sociable bunch, and by "we", I mean The Contingent (formal name: The Wisconsin-Illinois Contingent). We often get together for planned and impromptu foodie meat...errr....meetups.
We'd love to have new members.

As far as Appleton goes - it's a charming little city. My favorite Italian place, ever, is there - Victoria's. It's like walking in to an old-school Mafiosi hangout. Which it might have been, considering WI was a popular home-away-from-home for the Chicago Mafia. 
Another great place is Van de Walle's Homemade Chocolates. It's near the sprawling Appleton Mall. 

Appleton is about an hour away from Madison, Green Bay and Milwaukee (in different directions), so great sightseeing and restaurants are always near, once you've tried all of Appleton's great places. 

Keep us posted if you move here, and we'll do a proper Contingent greeting.


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Re:On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin! 2010/06/30 13:39:57 (permalink)
One of the things I most wanted to do on this trip was to spend the night at Stout's Island Lodge.  Since it is located on an island in the middle of Red Cedar Lake, the thinking was, it would be a cool and unusual thing to do.  Little did I know just how unusual it would turn out to be.
 
I made the reservation online.  All the previous dates to May 26 were blocked off, but the website did accept a reservation for the 26th.  When I had already been to Wisconsin for a few days, the Lodge contacted me to say, that they made a mistake.  The Lodge actually didn't open until the next day, the 27th.  But, if I wished to, they would honor the reservation, just that they won't have everything up yet, including the dining room.  Knowing that changing the day of our visit would throw our itinerary off, we decided to stay there anyway. 
 
When we got to the address listed for the Lodge, we found a cabin and a dock, with this sign.

Knowing the ferry wouldn't be running on a regular schedule, I called and they said a boat would be right over to pick us up.  In just a few minutes, we could see a boat heading towards us. 


In the photo of the island, you can barely make out an American flag.  Here is the boat house where we landed.

The young man led us up to our room

(this is the outside of where our room was) and said he would bring up our luggage in a few minutes. 
 
Once the luggage was dropped off and he left, I asked Johnny if he was given a key.  He said no, so we looked at the door.  There is no outside lock on the door.  When I asked one of the employees later, he told me, they have never had a problem, so they have haven't installed locks on the doors.  Needless to say, I found this strange, but not a big deal.  That is because we were the only guests on the entire island!  This gave our visit here a bit of a The Shining quality to it!
 
We really enjoyed exploring the beautiful island, which I believe is 12 acres.  Most of the island is covered with woods or thick brush

and there is a nature trail on the far end.  Johnny and I took to a canoe and went out in the lake, which was lots of fun.  The main attraction, though, is the lodge itself.

Here is the inside,

which looks every bit like the 100 year old hunting lodge that it originally was. My personal favorite place to hangout was the white chairs,

overlooking the large lawn, with a great view of the water.
 
Since we were in the middle of a vacation where we were constantly running from one place to another, we found it very relaxing to be here.  Over the boathouse, they had a game room,

where Johnny and I played pool and ping-pong.  Unfortunately, the satellite tv wasn't set up yet and there was no net on the clay tennis court, but we found these minor annoyances.  They also have a firepit,

where they end each night with a bonfire, but it wasn't lit on this night.  Our dinner was the food which we brought to the island.  We snacked on meat sticks, smoked salmon and cookies, all which we had collected from the start of the trip. 
 
Johnny was tired and fell asleep before sunset, around 8:30.  That left just me to enjoy the gorgeous sunset,

from the balcony over top the boathouse.  For some reason, I just did not want to go to sleep.  I ended up walking around the island for hours until I settled in the dining room and read and played on my laptop.  Besides us, the only other two people on the island for the night were two chefs, working in the kitchen to get the dining room set up for the next day's guests.  One of them came out and gave me a bottle of wine.  I finally went back to the room and fell asleep around 12:30AM.
 
The next morning, the first light coming through the window woke me up, so I was back out to the same spot, to watch the sunrise. 

I just sat there and thoroughly enjoyed the tranquility and the beginning of a new day.
 
I ended up going back to bed, Johnny slept late and we didn't get out of the room until after 8:30, which is really late for us.  They did put out a breakfast of bagels, toast, granola w/yogurt, coffee and juice.  Afterwards, we took the boat back to shore and continued with the rest of our vacation.  Stout Island Lodge is one of the loveliest and most romantic places I have ever seen.  I hope to be back again, only this time when the dining room is open!
 
Stout Island Lodge
2799 27th Street
Birchwood, WI
715-354-3646
 
http://www.stoutsislandlodge.net/
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/06/30 13:46:55
#90
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