Happy Friday, gentle reader! Full disclosure, this gorgeous sunrise is actually in Iowa, but since it was the early bright of the Wisconsin segment of our epic trip, it made more sense to include it here. This was largely how we rolled, too, finish off one leg of our travels by rising in the cool quiet of the dawn. It raises the potency of the adventure via some unknown alchemy, heightening all the senses.
In New Glarus now, ultimate American soil Swiss Village, utterly bucolic and fetching.
The sweet, sonorous bells made for a more authentic stroll about town. Though, as we learned by chatting up the locals, they are quite the nightmare to live with on the daily, ringing and singing every fifteen minutes. It really is a lot, taken as a whole. Bless them.
Cool buildings, great light and shadows, and some fun eating and shopping, too. We shared most excellent smoked chicken wings and a yummy giant of a pretzel with beer cheese, of course, at Ott Haus, before a stop at the New Glarus Bakery, where we bought Anise Springerli. I have wanted to make these many times but have always been put off by the amount of time and work they require. How grateful I was for someone else’s labor but more so for their deliciousness! They were gobbled right-quick. We also purchased made in Wisconsin maple syrup at The Bramble Patch. Quite exciting, as I never knew it existed!
Usonian Home – Herbert and Katharine Jacobs – 441 Toepfer in Madison
For architecture lovers like us, no trip to Wisconsin would be complete without ogling some Frank Lloyd Wright structures in his native state. The above residence was definitely my favorite of the bunch. The colors are glorious, and I love how the wildness of the prairie garden contrasts with all the straight lines.
Speaking of gardens, Wisconsin had a profusion roadside flowers, which seem to be intentionally cultivated, or at least encouraged, often in staggering heights. I’ve never seen echinacea so tall, nor such a proliferation of blooms of every prairie variety. What a difference water makes in a landscape. It was truly magical!
Unitarian Meeting House
I needn’t wonder how churches of this variety became so popular after the construction of this beauty. Again, I love the contrast, the verdant flat of green roof and spike of sanctuary. Plus, the pattern of glass is gorgeous.
Harold C. Bradley House – 106 N Prospect in Madison
Look at that fabulously detailed cantilever, or is it called something else because it appears supported? I don’t know. I only play architect on this blog. Anyway, I digress, and EEK! How about the curve of the bump out, softness and strength and beauty.
Eugene A. Gilmore House – 120 N Ely Place in Madison
Called the Airplane house, I love the sharp angles and deep shade of the overhangs. What a respite they must be in the heat of summer.
Not a Frank Lloyd Wright but still a quite lovely State of Wisconsin building. The metalwork!
Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center
This, along with the soaring capitol building, lies on the isthmus (such a great word) between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona and the last of the Wright buildings we visited. The gardens were alive with birds, bees, and butterflies, and so cheerful, too.
Welcome to Kaukauna! In all honesty, I chose this town because Grandma Tess almost always had a plastic pot of their namesake spreadable cheese in the refridge (her word), usually port wine, sometimes plain sharp cheddar. Her love sparked my own and keeps me close to her in heaven. Besides, there are few better friends for a buttery cracker, in my opinion. No surprise, we bought a tub or three of different brands but similar ilk on our travels.
Also in the local food department, I have never seen such large frozen pizza sections. We visited three stores in Wisconsin, including two Piggly Wigglies, which was terribly exciting (truly!), as I have only encountered them in novels. Anyway, imagine the longest single aisle of a frozen food section with only pizza, and you’ve got it. An embarrassment of pizza riches, dear peeps. A kindly lady ran into us, almost literally because I was so flabbergasted, and we explained our behavior. Her laugh at us was pretty hale and hearty!
Of course we bought one, a Brew Pub Lotzza Mozza with sausage, and darn it if it wasn’t the best frozen variety we have ever had. Super cheesy, perfect crust. How do they do that?! Oh, and the lady we ran into earlier? She lent us her Pig Card at checkout, so we wouldn’t have to pay full price for our treats. Another fine example of Mid-West Nice.
Finally, the bridge, green, and flowers are at the 1000 Islands Environmental Center, a delightful oasis of birdsong and babbling water.
Get ready for Michigan…