Door County

 We have been thinking for years that we would enjoy visiting the Great Lakes area in Wisconsin and Michigan and so far we have been right!!

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 We mentioned in our last update that we made it to Egg Harbor in Door County Wisconsin and we have loved our 1 week stay.

 Door County is on a Peninsula and has a population of 27,785 people that are spread out over 2,370 sq. miles. Now that’s the type of areas we like to travel in instead of places like Milwaukee Wisconsin that has 595,000 people squeezed into 59 square miles LOL!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t get me wrong, it can still get packed during an event or on a nice weekend, for example when we drove in Egg Harbor was wall to wall people and cars because of a Triathlon even that was being held. And one day there was a large event happening on Washington Island and cars were lined up for a couple miles waiting to get on the ferry. Somehow that traffic just feels different.

   

 One cool thing about being on a Peninsula is you can watch the sunrise on one shoreline and watch it set on another without even leaving the county.

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 Door County is known as “The Cape Cod of the Midwest” and with 300 miles of shoreline and if you didn’t know any better you would swear you were on an ocean coastline with the breeze coming over the water, rolling like waves, sandy beaches and rock outcroppings with pounding waters (and fresh water to boot, no salt!!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there was more than enough to keep us hopping for the week we were here but I think we did a pretty good job scouring the area, 2 weeks would have been about perfect. But there is that planning in advance getting in the way again this summer.

 I think we mentioned that we stayed at Egg Harbor Campground at the edge of Egg Harbor and the owners couldn’t be any nicer, the sites range from covered in with tree’s and gravel sites to a pretty open area with young tree’s that provide no shade with nice large concrete pads.

 We had a back in gravel site lined with trees and bushes that provided great privacy and shade yet we were able to lock in with our satellite for good TV. And it’s a great spot to base from to explore the area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The west side of the peninsula is more of the “happening side” with smaller towns like Egg Harbor, Fish Creek, Sister Bay, Ephraim, Ellison Bay and Gills Rock with  Sister Bay, Ephraim and Fish Creek being the most active and most touristy.

 The east side seems much more mellow but it still had some cool little towns with Baileys Harbor probably being the most active, and some great places to enjoy the shoreline.

 Ok, I’m not even sure if many people actually read all the crap I take the time to write or if they more or less just check out the pictures so I think I will just highlight from here LOL!!

 Let’s see, what would we consider highlights, touring the Cana Island Lighthouse. We even had to ride in a wagon behind a tractor to get to it because of the high water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And the Baileys Harbor Range Light lighthouses were pretty unique because sailors have to line up the lights on the front and rear lighthouses to be in the right path.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating breakfast at the White Gull was fantastic. In fact the cream cheese French toast with cherries was without a doubt the best French toast either of us have eaten. In fact it was featured on the TV show Good Morning America at one time.

 All the Bay’s and marinas were just so scenic and relaxing, we just loved walking and relaxing around them.

 We ate at the Wild Tomato that was rated very very high with Trip Advisor but we were not impressed at all. That’s one of the few times Trip Advisor has led us astray.

 There are Farmers Market stores scattered around and the 2 or 3 that we stopped at were fun with all the different samples and variety of goods. I remember telling people that we ate our way through Louisiana when touring that part of the country and now we are saying the same thing about this area LOL!!

 

 On our last day in the area we drove to Sister Bay and went to their farmers market and picked up some tasty Cherry Honey bread, mmmmm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And after the market headed to an Antique Tractor and Engine show (certainly high on the highlight list for me!!).

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They had some good food rolling out as well as a few crafters booths, live music and of course tractors and hit & miss engines. I just love this stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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They had an old John Deere B like I used to use back on the farm growing up and an Allis Chalmers like the one we had and was dad’s favorite.

 A guy named Dave owned the John Deere B and it just so happened he was hanging out and saw us admiring it so he came over and we had a great long chat. He loved that tractor and we loved hearing him talk about it.

 All of the attendees were able to vote for their favorite tractor and favorite display so I just had to vote for the Al

lis Chalmers because of the great memories I have of my dad and me on that thing and Diane voted for the John Deere B because it was my tractor of choice on the farm LOL!!

 Well I could really go a lot deeper about all the things we saw and experienced but I don’t think we will take the time needed. Hopefully the pictures will do most of the talking for us.

 Sunday (7/23) we will lift our jacks and drop south to a little town just below Green Bay where we will spend 5 days and catch some of the world famous Oshkosh Air Show as well as tour Green Bay.  

 Oh hey, did you know that one of the little pleasures a blogger gets is receiving comments. It’s like getting to the tootsie roll inside a Tootsie pop without chewing, it doesn’t happen very often but it’s sort of special when it does.

AND have you cleaned your air-conditioner filters lately? Just thought I’d toss that in LOL!!

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Headed to Egg Harbor Wisconsin

 Ahh, Sunday (7/16) and our last scheduled day in Milwaukee Wisconsin and what did we decide to do with our day you might ask,,,,, travel is the answer.

 Yup, I got up around 6am and at 7 I woke Diane up and said “get ready, we are leaving today!!”.  We saw what we came to see and even though I’m sure we could have found something else to explore I had enough of the traffic and figured driving out of Milwaukee on a Sunday would be much better than driving out on a Monday morning with the added traffic of commuters heading to work.

 And yes, we could have just sat around home but why sit around fiddling our thumbs in a concrete parking lot where a few of the fellow rvers I’m sure never heard anything about etiquette. If they did the sure didn’t reflect it. And how does the old saying go while living the RV life style?? It says if you don’t like your neighbors just pick up and move on. And after just shy of 5 years on the road fulltime we finally decided to do just that.  (For the record our neighbors on each side of us were just fine).

 To be totally up front I tossed the idea of leaving out to Diane the day before and she was totally on board so it wasn’t like I just barked that out, out of the blue and we did call our next campground and asked (“IF we decided to come in early would we be able to get a site”. To which the answer was yes but we might have to be in one site overnight and then move to our reserved site and to let them know if that’s what we decided to do, which I was totally ok with in this scenario”).

 Ya know, I am ALWAYS asking Diane if there is anyplace she wants to go but 99% of the time I pick the locations we go to, the routes that we drive and the campgrounds that we stay at which sounds pretty good for me doesn’t it? Well yes and now, first off it’s a lot of work doing that which I’m ok with but the worst part is that when I pick a place to go and a spot like I did in Milwaukee I have no one else to blame but myself!!!! And that sucks LOL!!! Hmmm, maybe that’s why Diane just goes with the flow like she does, smart girl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, we lifted our jacks and hooked up the truck at 9am and were on our way 178 miles north to our new home in Egg Harbor Wisconsin indoor County.

 Once we rolled in to the Egg Harbor Rv Park we were told that the people camping in the site we were originally booked for had to leave a day early so we could move right into it instead of spending  1 night in a site and then moving again, things were looking up!!

 By the time of this update we have been in Egg Harbor for 5 days and have driven the entire loop of Door County, eaten at a few great restaurants, had a brew or two at a couple pubs, have stopped into a number of quaint little towns, hit a couple fantastic cheese markets, walked along miles of shoreline and have seen many many harbors filled with boats and toured a couple light houses. I guess you can say we are continuing the vacation mode we have been on this summer and enjoying it a bunch, this is a GREAT area.

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 And for the most part it has been sunny and in the upper 70’s with a couple showers in the evening. No complaints here!!

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A tour of Pabst Mansion

 Saturday (7/15) we figured the traffic in town would be lighter so we thought it would be a good day for a driving tour and to get down by the water.

 We were partially right in that it was a good day but we were wrong about less traffic and getting down by the water. It turned out that there was an airshow and a water show of some sort going on in the main waterfront section of town and by the time we drove through it was wall to wall people and cars.

 Normally we might have just went with the flow and tried to find a spot regardless of how far away and participate but by this time I already had my fill of crowds and traffic so we just kept on driving and looking for a spot to get to the water.

We finally had to chuckle at how far we had to drive to get away from the crowds and to where we finally found a spot to park at Klode Park and walk to the shoreline.

 Once we finally reached the park it was pretty and quiet so we kicked back for a while and soaked it all in before continuing on to Doctors Park where we took a short hike to the water again.

 After Doctors Park we decided to head towards the Pabst Mansion and see if we could get in a tour so over to I-43 we went (I figured it would be better than driving through the crowds along the water) and headed back into Milwaukee (we had driven out to Bayside and River Hills for those that know the aea). But of course there was a 4 car wreck on the freeway so traffic was a crawl, oh joy.

Tell me again why we put ourselves through this when there are soooo many places in the country to see that are not in large cities!!

Tell me again why we put ourselves through this when there are soooo many places in the country to see that are not in large cities!!

 We finally made it to the mansion, paid our $23 and waited for the next tour to begin. When it started we had Barb as our Docent and wow were we glad, she turned out to be excellent!! She was well spoken, seemed to know everything about the Pabst Family and the mansion, had a sense of humor and was just an all-around great guide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captain Frederick Pabst had George Bowman Ferry and Alfred Charles Clas design the house and construction began in 1890 and was completed in July of 1892 at a cost of just over $254,000 — including the house, furnishings and artwork.

  When finished the mansion was 20,019 Square feet with 66 Rooms as originally constructed, 10 Bathrooms, 14 Fireplaces, 210 Windows, 137 Doors and there are 14 Hidden compartments in the Captain’s study to help keep the place neat and tide (just hide things behind the doors LOL!!). And the normally had 12 servants on hand. Let’s see what else might be important,,,, hmmmm, OH YES there were 3,328 Bottles of wine and champagne in Captain Pabst’s cellar in 1906 when they did the inventory after Mrs. Pabst died before putting the place up for sell.

 During the years of the Pabst family’s ownership, the house was the scene of many fine parties and receptions, a wedding and, in the end, Captain and Mrs. Pabst’s funeral. Captain Pabst died on New Year’s Day 1904 and his funeral was held in the Music Room of the mansion.

Mrs. Pabst continued to maintain the house for another two years, spending her summers in Germany.  During one of these trips, she fell from a carriage and injured her hip.  She returned home but during her recovery at the Milwaukee Hospital she developed pneumonia and died on October 3, 1906.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the Pabst descendants sold the house in 1908, it became the archbishop’s residence and the center of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee for more than sixty years.

 In 1975 the Archdiocese put the mansion up for sale, with the hope that a historic preservation group would purchase it and restore it to its former glory. In 1978, Wisconsin Heritages, Inc., purchased the mansion, opening it to the public in May of that year. Until the purchase, the mansion had been slated to be demolished to make way for a parking structure. In 1998, Wisconsin Heritages, Inc., was renamed Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion, Inc. The mansion is open to the public, with daily tours. 

 When the archdiocese bought the home and lived there they did the unspeakable that happened to so many older homes with great woodwork and features, they painted. They painted everything, moldings, doors, cabinets, walls, the ceiling coves. So bringing the place back to its original state has been a chore and is still a work I progress.

 With luck the Archdiocese were lazy and did things half assed because they painted AROUND 3 large mirrors that had hung since the Captain lived there so the colors were perfectly preserved to match to. This was downstairs however, the rest hasn’t been that easy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another stroke of luck has been the documentation kept because of the famous nature of the Pabst family like pictures taken back in the early 1900’s and writings that have helped the restoration process when it comes to colors and the placement of pictures and furniture.

 We were told that even though very grand the Pabst Mansion was far from the largest and most ornate on the street that once bore many more mansions than it does today. But still, we figure we could make due and live there.

 We enjoyed the tour and are glad we took it and once it was done we jumped in the truck and headed home for the evening.

 We had one more day to kill and we had done everything that we set out to do in Milwaukee so I guess you will have to check back to see what we did with our last scheduled day.

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Travel day to Milwaukee and a tour of the Harley Davidson Museum

  Dang, we are kicking out updates every 2 or 3 days it seems and we STILL can’t get caught up.  I guess that’s what a summer on vacation mode does LOL.

Thursday (7/13) rolled around and it was time to make another move, not a long move (only 80 miles) but a move I have been sort of dreading none the less.

 Our move took us into Milwaukee Wisconsin. Milwaukee has a population of right at 600,000 but the Metro population is over 1,572,000!!! Good grief!! And then add to that the huge amount of freeway construction that has numerous off and on ramps closed and it’s just not a fun place to drive period. Then add a couple of small town bumpkins that don’t know their way around at all driving 65’ of machine through all the crap and, well you can finish the sentence LOL!!

 Actually we made it just fine. Yes the construction and traffic was a PITA but so was check-in. We made reservations months ago at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds RV Park and secured a spot in the nicer part of a not so great park, but upon check in they tried to move us to an area that was *** Ok let me stop here and say that we really try not to judge anyone but let’s face it, we all have our limits. And yes I’m sure that means you to, don’t lie. **** undesirables. Plus the hookups were opposite of where they should be, I mean we would have had to run our sewer under the coach and into the rear of the next site. Well we carry extra sewer hose but not near what we would have needed to make this work.

 Between the two challenges I wasn’t too happy. Then after being told we were being moved because of a water issue to only find out it was a lie and the real reason was because the manager’s boss had him move us so they could make room for one of their regulars that just decided to show up I really had an issue.

 At that point I started cutting days off of our stay and firmly, but professionally, expressed how poor of an example of customer service this was. After some time had gone by all of a sudden we were moved back over to the “better” part of the park and we were on our way.

 

 After getting all set up our normal driving tour was just a trip to Walmart about ½ mile away. I had no desire to do a driving tour in all the traffic. From there we just kicked back with the plan to get up the next morning and head to the Harley Davidson Museum.

We are in the 3rd row back behind the fence behind the 2nd tree from the right.

We are in the 3rd row back behind the fence behind the 2nd tree from the right.

 Friday morning (7/14) after breakfast and showers we jumped in the truck and headed to the museum which was only 5 miles away (part of the reason we chose this campground).

 The Harley-Davidson Museum is near downtown Milwaukee in a 130,000-square-foot three building complex on 20 acres along the Menomonee River bank and contains more than 450 Harley-Davidson motorcycles and hundreds of thousands of artifacts from the Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s 110-year history and attracts an estimated 300,000 visitors annually.

 Once we paid our $34 admission fee for the two of us we headed to the second floor to begin our tour.

As you begin your tour you are staring down a line of bikes 180 feet long that tell the story of the first 50 years of Harley Davidson.

 In a room of its own off to the side is the oldest known Harley in the world with the serial number of #1. The holy brail.

 We I guess actually the first Harley Davidson motorcycle would be one of the prototypes. But this one is the truly the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle to be considered ready for production but I guess that’s splitting hairs.

 In another room Competition is the theme with a thirteen foot tall replica section of a board track and five vintage Harley-Davidson® motorcycle racers. This exhibit shows the forty-five-degree board track curve that allowed racers, without brakes, to achieve top speeds of over 100 mph. Ummm, no thanks LOL!!

 In another area there are examples of hill climb bikes and bikes used in endurance events.


 From there we headed to a gas tank display.

 And then we went down stairs where in one area they had examples of personal expression, yes I mean customized bikes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were displays ranging from stripped-down bikes to attire with attitude that started the outlaw image.

 And check out “King Kong,” a custom creation with two engines that measures nearly 13 feet long!

 Then like upstairs there was a long line of bikes lined up three wide and nose-to-tail featuring bikes from the late 1940s to the present.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whew, we saw lots of eye candy, but it wasn’t over yet.

 It turned out they there was a display set up in the “Garage” building of the “Race of Gentleman” so of course we went over to check that out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we headed to the on-site restaurant for a late lunch followed by a stroll along the river walk before heading home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a good day and now I can mark the Haley Davidson Museum off my bucket list. It was on the list for many many years. Life is good.

 

Our next update will be on our tour of the Pabst Mansion.   

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A day trip to Mt Horeb

7/12) was our last full day in De Forest just outside of Madison and I had one more thing I wanted to do before leaving the area, take a 32 mile drive and see the town of Mt Horeb. OK OK, I’ll fess up!!! I wanted to visit a Duluth Trading store.

 I have been a fan of Duluth Trading clothing for a number of years and have always bought cloths online because we have never been anyplace even remotely close to an actual store. And to be totally honest I’ve been looking forward to actually stepping foot into a store for a long time.

 But to go along with going to the Duluth Trading Store we got to take another nice drive through the Wisconsin farmland and see Mt Horeb which turned out to be a very cool town.

 First things first we stopped into the Duluth store and I took my time checking everything out and walked out with a couple new shirts, a pair of new cargo shorts, a new wallet and some unmentionables LOL!!

 After my shopping spree we took a walking tour around town and Diane tried her luck at finding something new but came up empty handed so we decided we better find a place for an adult beverage and a bite to eat, something we seem to always have success at.

 We checked the trusted Trip Advisor App on the phone and it showed The Grumpy Troll as the #1 eating and watering hole spot in town. To top it off it caught our eye as we were walking around so we headed back that way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was about 12:30 when we walked in the door and the place was packed, a good sign. We both enjoyed our sandwiches and adult beverages and would recommend the place if you find yourself in the area.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seems the town is known for and has a thing for Trolls. Mount Horeb was first settled by people of English, German, Irish, Norwegian, Scottish and Swiss descent, yet in the late 1800’s more than 75% of the community was Norwegian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In approximately 1976, the owners of a Scandinavian gift shop called Open House Imports started placing trolls they had imported from Norway out on their lawn to entice visitors into their shop.

 Here is a link to some information about the Troll history, it’s an interesting read we thought. http://trollway.com/troll-history/

 Even though the town was mainly made up of Norwegians the Village of Mount Horeb was given its name by an Englishman and not by the Norwegians. George Wright was born in England in 1824. A few months after his marriage in 1848, he was licensed as a lay minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In that same year the Wrights immigrated to America. In 1858, they moved to Blue Mounds Township to a farm home, way out on the prairie, about a mile and a half northeast on Military Road.

Mr. Wright became active in Blue Mounds Township as it grew, serving as town treasurer and filling a term in the legislature. He was assistant provost Marshall during the Civil War. This activity led to his appointment as postmaster of the new post office, which was to serve settlers in the eastern part of the township. In 1861, the office was located in his farm home and it was his privilege to give it a name. After searching scriptures, he selected the name “Mount Horeb.” He chose it from the many references to the “mounts” because of the high elevation of his land and the beauty of the surrounding area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1867, when the Wrights moved to Norwalk, IA, the post office was brought to the little settlement called the “Corners” which became “Horeb’s Corners” and later “Mount Horeb” was recorded as the official name.

 I sort of wish we would have taken the time while there to track down all of the trolls just for the heck of it but we didn’t, if we are in the area again we will do just that.

 And there is your history lesson for the day LOL!!

 Once we finished up in town we took our leisurely drive through the back roads home. Before we got there however we made a stop at the Pink Elephant.

And then a stop at the Ehlenbach’s Cheese Chalet, our first stop at a cheese shop since entering Wisconsin and we were very disappointed. Sure they had lots of different types of cheese in flavors I couldn’t even imagine ever seeing in a cheese but I guess we imagined the experience to be more like we have had at wineries and heck, even at the Mustard Museum with samples everywhere showing off their product but not a sample was to be found.

 Oh sure, I guess we could have asked the two young girls working the counter if they offered samples but after letting them know it was our first time in Wisconsin and the first visit to a cheese establishment period only to receive back “I don’t give a shit” looks we figured it wouldn’t be happy go lucky experience we had hoped for and just let it be. Maybe the next shop will be more inviting.

 We did however buy some string cheese and a meat stick before leaving and heading home where we just chilled the remainder of the evening.

 Oh we should give Norske Nook an honorable mention, a Norwegian restaurant we ate at while in the area that was pretty good and had amazing pies.

 That pretty much sums up or stay in DeForest. Even though we really enjoyed what we did do in the area I doubt we will need to come back, it’s just too darn big and has too much traffic with Madison having a population of just over 252,000 people. I guess if we could get to where we wanted to be by just driving in the outlying farmlands it would be ok LOL!!

 With that said we braced ourselves for our next travel day into the largest city in Wisconsin, WHAT ARE WE THINKING!!! WHO PLANNED THIS PORTION OF OUR JOURNEY!!  

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A tour of The House on the Rock.

 Tuesday (7/11) we had plans to get around a little early and be in the truck heading to The House on the Rock by 8AM, and we were. It is located 47 miles from our campsite but that’s ok because all 47 miles are on county roads that just weave their way through lush green farmland filled with corn and bean fields and pastureland mainly. And of course lead us by numerous farmhouses and barns ranging from old to just sort of old. We just love the scenery and sense of calm we get driving the backroads like this, void of all the pressures of big cities.

 The drive did of course take us through a few little towns but we are talking towns with populations of 200 to maybe a couple thousand and most of them didn’t even have a stoplight. It took me back to my childhood growing up on a farm back in Iowa.

 We rolled into the Parking lot of the House on the Rock at 9am, right when they open the doors hoping to beat any crowds and it worked perfectly, I think there were only 3 other cars in the lot at that time and no line at the ticket booth and we strolled freely with no one around for the longest time even though it certainly got busier as the day went on, but not horribly. But by the time we walked out to the truck after our tour the lobby was packed and the parking lot was full.

 

 

 

The House on the Rock began in 1945 when a man named Alex Jordan had vision to build an aw-inspiring retreat. A retreat that turned out to be on steroids! We would almost call it more of a museum than anything else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It went FAR beyond the House and he started collecting and built on a massive scale. In the end he had created the world-renowned attraction known as The House on the Rock that actually opened to the public in 1959.

 Ok, first things first, there are 3 sections to the House on the Rock and you can pick just how much you want to see of it. For $14.95 each (adult) you can tour section 1 which includes the Asian Garden, the Alex Jordan Center and Sculpture Pavilion, the Gate House and the Original House and the Infinity Room.

 OR for $24.95 (adult) you can tour section 1 &2 which includes of course all of section 1 AND includes the Mill House, Streets of Yesterday, Heritage of the Sea, and Tribute to Nostalgia, Music of Yesterday, Spirit of Aviation and the Carousel.

 Or you can do the Ultimate Experience for $29.95 (per adult) which includes section 1 & 2 plus section 3 that includes the Carousel, the Organ Room, the Doll House Room, the Circus Room, the Galleries, the Doll Carousel Room and the Japanese Garden. We opted for the Ultimate Experience.

 Let us say at this point that on the House on the Rock web site AND on Trip Advisor you will read to allow 3 hours to tour all 3 sections but it took us 6, yes 6 hours and we still feel we could have gone slower to take in even more but my visual and mental sensories were on complete overload by the time we reached section 3 and section 3 just blew our minds completely.

 OK, that’s about as far as I can go and not say that I have given some thought to just how I could write this update and be true to what this place is and I don’t think I can do it!!!

 It’s called The House on the Rock but it’s not a house that you walk up to the front door, turn the knob and walk into. In fact I wasn’t completely sure just where the house actually started, we just all of a sudden realized, OH here is a kitchen “sort of” and OH here is a living room and another sitting area and OH I’m not sure just what the hell this is and OH here is a stairway and here is another and her is another and OH I guess we are out of the house now. Oh and it never really was a house because Alex (the creator) never lived there

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The ceilings were low which is strange because the Alex was 6’2” tall and the lighting was very low so between it being rather tight quarters and the low lighting picture taking is a nightmare for amateurs so we apologize for that.

 Then there is the collection’s room. We would call it a museum except even though there are some museum pieces they are mixed in with tons of other things. It seems he wasn’t content with just a couple pieces in a category like “spittoons”, he needed 50. 

Or he wasn’t happy with just 2 or 3 “Doll Houses”, he needed over 200!!

I don’t care if you are into Doll Houses or not but as a guy I couldn’t help appreciate the detail in all of the displays.

The same thing held true with collections of cameras, lighters, dolls, dueling pistols, scrimshaw items, model boats, coin banks, puppets, carrousel horses, old glass ware, suits of armor,  and on and on and on. There is no way in the world to take it all in and or even talk about it all. It’s mind boggling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s pretty common knowledge that not everything sitting around are originals and it’s well known that many things were in fact fabricated right on the grounds but still it’s just crazy to imagine what went into creating this place.

 And then there are the music machines, all types of them, big & small but the most interesting are the ones that are huge, I’m talking 25 or 30’ wide and bend your head back to see the top big.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It appears that most of them are ran by an intricate pneumatic system but unfortunately there are a few that are not working at 100%. By that I mean some of the instruments just are not working in the display or maybe one drumstick is working and it was apparent that the other used to by the markings on the drum head but isn’t any longer. And there are some displays that just don’t work period.

 Unfortunately from what we have read this is becoming more and more of a problem so it is possible that some day in the future this place could fall into a heap of unrepaired relics. That would be a shame.

 And then of course there is (what was the largest indoor carousel in the world in 1981) 269 carousel animals, 182 chandeliers, over 20,000 lights, and hundreds of mannequin angels hanging from the ceiling. It’s just crazy to sit in the carousel room and watch it and take in all the other sites in that room. Cirque du Soleil must have drooled over this thing if he ever saw it!!

 

 

Ok look, we could go on and on about this place but at this point we are 3 or 4 updates behind and it’s mainly because I was trying to wrap my head around this one stupid update so I’m just going to stop here, let it go and finish up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Obviously we were pretty enamored with the place and after spending 6 hours touring we still feel if we were to go back again there is no doubt we would see much more that we just missed.

 We even started researching more online about Alex and the House on the Rock after the tour and learned even more, but that’s not all that uncommon for us to do after touring a place. But if you are at all interested it’s obviously pretty easy to Google the place or check out the numerous videos on YouTube. And if you find yourself in the area by all means check it out.

 And again, sorry for the very poor pictures, I think we need to take a class.

For the record we had another day of touring from here to report on and we have moved in to Milwaukee and have toured the Harley Davidson Museum and the Pabst Mansion plus some driving tours that we need to do updates on so stay tuned.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_on_the_Rock

Posted in A little about us | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Travel day and a visit to the National Mustard Museum

 Monday morning (7/10) after a somewhat stormy night we woke to another travel day after just one night in Oakdale. But the rain was gone and the sun was shining so things were looking up.

 Check in at our next stop was 12 and it was only 80 miles down the road so we were dragging our feet so we didn’t get there too early. We were only down a little over ¼ tank of fuel but I even took advantage of a fuel station right next door in the name of killing time before jumping in the freeway and heading out.

 We rolled into our new home in DeForest Wisconsin at 11:45 and after getting set up headed out to Camping World to pick up a new adjustable water pressure regulator for our hose but wouldn’t you know it, they were out. Another example of why we like to shop online at Amazon whenever possible.

 Then we decided to head towards the National Mustard Museum in Middleton. YES, a Mustard Museum!!!

 Why visit a Mustard Museum? Well why not, is a better question.

 The museum is downstairs and hosts 5,676 mustards from all 50 states and more than 70 countries as well as the Gibbons Collection of mustard pots, antique tins & jars and vintage advertisements.

Every state is represented with mustard

Every state is represented with mustard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And believe it or not the guy that started the whole thing (Barry) left his job as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Wisconsin to open the museum. Now that’s a huge risk but it seems to be working for him because it has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the game show Jeopardy and To Tell the Truth, as well as countless features on other national television and radio shows, and in major newspapers everywhere.

Mustard pots

Mustard pots

A wall of mustard from around the world

A wall of mustard from around the world

 We probably spent 45 minutes in the museum before going upstairs to check out the store. And don’t ask me why I didn’t get any pictures other than the tasting booth but I guess we were just too busy tasting and shopping LOL!!!

Time for a fast game but she took FOREVER to make a move so I left.

Time for a fast game but she took FOREVER to make a move so I left.

Mustard jars from around the world

Mustard jars from around the world

 We bought a couple jars of mustard and then headed home for some dinner and chilled the rest of the evening.

Step right up and sample anything you want!!

Step right up and sample anything you want!!

 I’m still trying to get my head around how we will do our next update on our visit to the House on the Rock so stay tuned.  

Posted in A little about us | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments