Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Northwoods Get-Away Recap June 17, 2015

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 6:44 pm
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This past weekend Matt and I packed up my Escape, for our second get-away to the northwoods of Wisconsin. Our agenda was quite simple: a little work and have a lot of fun.

Work consisted of mowing the lawn, finish staining a lower portion of a new kitchen cabinet and cleaning. The fun part included exploring a new brew pub, going to our favorite breakfast place and visiting a well known Wisconsin brewery.

The new place we’re happy to add to our favorites list is Aqualand Ale House in Boulder Junction. The brew pub boasts their own four specialty beers as well as a nice mix of craft beer from the Midwest. Matt and I both ordered flights and a few appetizers. Their homebrews and food were delicious. My favorite brew was a cream ale, which we ended up getting a grumbler of to take home. We had a great time talking to the bartenders and are already planning to visit them again in a few weeks.


Flight sampler at Aqualand

If we’re only up for a few days or a week, we always make sure to enjoy a breakfast at Cafe Holiday located in Hazlehurst. My parents discovered this gem a few years ago and it has become a family staple. Matt always orders a full biscuits and gravy breakfast meal served with two eggs. And for me, it’s the stuffed cranberry-apple french toast with a side of hashbrowns extra crispy. My mouth is already watering from writing about it.

Our last favorite stop took place on the drive home. Often we’ll stop in on the way up or down in the little Swiss town of New Glarus, Wisconsin, home to New Glarus Brewery. Once we arrived at the brewery, Matt literally jumped out and headed straight for the beer depot to see if any of the recent brown sours were still available. Luck was on his side because they were! With our haul secured we ventured out to enjoy a Belgian Red straight from the tap on the patio with Porter. Best rest stop ever.

Porter hanging out on the patio at New Glarus Brewery

Porter hanging out on the patio at New Glarus Brewery

We’ll be back up north in another few weeks for much of the same. A little work and a lot of fun. I think that’s going to be my new motto for the summer.


Summer Vacation Recap: The Northwoods August 13, 2014

Sorry for missing last week readers, but I was off the grid. Yes, there are still places where people choose not to have internet access. One such place happens to be my parents’ lake house in northern Wisconsin.

We spent a glorious week eating, drinking, relaxing and working. Matt’s best friend also came along for part of the trip. I love having the chance to show off my favorite little northwoods town. I’m pretty sure he had a good time, I know I did! Here’s my top ten list from this trip.

  1. Enjoying morning coffee on my parents’ new deck. It’s amazing how adding three feet can make such a difference!
  2. Picking out a new kitchen countertop and backsplash for the cottage with my mom at Home Depot.
  3. Porter jumping out of the boat in the middle of lake, successfully freaking out Matt and I. (We’re ordering his own PFD.)
  4. Rolling out of bed early to take advantage of a morning kayak trip around our lake.
  5. Catching a snowshoe baseball game.
  6. Winning a raffle ticket prize at snowshoe baseball…a delightful banana boat from the Korner Drive.
  7. Watching Matt’s face brighten with glee when my dad’s new tractor arrived.
  8. A delicious dinner at Little Bohemia. Order the prime rib, you will not forget it!
  9. Fishing off the dock.
  10. Hitting up our one of our favorites, Minocqua Brewery, for a sampler paddle of brews and appetizers.

35 more days until we’re able to go back. Not like I’m really counting or anything…


First Northwoods Fix June 5, 2013

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 10:34 pm
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This past weekend Matt and I took a long weekend to head up to the Northwoods. We had four items to accomplish during our stay:

  1. Stop at New Glarus Brewery for a six order pick-up (they really need to start distributing in Illinois)
  2. Cut down a tree (for our wedding centerpieces)
  3. Purchase and prep replacement deck boards for installation on our pier
  4. Fish

Luckily we got #1 taken care of on the first day. It’s become a tradition to stop at New Glarus, Wisconsin on the ride up. We hit the brewery first. Grab our sample beer, take the self-guided tour to see what’s changed since last year, check out the gift store and then pick up our to-go beer. Once that’s done we head into town for lunch at Swiss restaurant for some German style food just like mom makes. It’s a fun way to break up the drive and see a little of small town America.

#2 I was a little nervous about, mostly because of the weather. The forecast all weekend called for a 50-50 chance of storms. Not exactly ideal weather for getting your lumberjack on. Fortunately on Saturday, it didn’t rain until the very end of the day! We even received lumberjack training from my neighbor who cut down the tree for us.  Then Matt and I disassembled the tree, removing branches and and splitting the tree into smaller sections. Next step was to apply anchor seal to lock in the tree’s moisture to help preserve it.

#3 Matt’s first trip to Pukhall lumber was on Sunday. He was like a kid in a candy store. Granted, I was too, but we managed to contain ourselves. We came for 40 four-foot sections of deck board and left still with plenty of room in Derek. We headed back to the house and set-up shop in the garage. In order to help my cousin with the installation, we drilled in some pilot holes. Oh, shucks, we got to use power tools. I was able to use the drill press and Matt used a hand drill, together we had the boards complete in a few hours.


Playing with power tools!

#4 The first day we arrived we went fishing right off the dock in between a few thunderstorms. Matt had a few nibbles on his line but nothing bit. Luckily for me, a small mouth bass decided to chomp on my hook. Not wanting to settle on a score of 0-1, Matt wanted to go fishing our last night up at the lake. We headed out on the paddle boat for close to 2 hours and caught no fish. But I guess that’s why we’re going back up in July so he can even the score 😉


Fishing off the dock


Favorite Place October 14, 2010

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 1:40 am
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In case you were wondering, the Leinenkugel advertisements are true. There is something magical about the Northwood’s of Wisconsin. It starts with the air, crisp and clean with a hint of earthy delight that goes straight to your toes no matter the season.

In the summer, hummingbirds zip by with their fellow sparrows and gold finches racing around treetop to treetop. During the fall, a myriad of reds, oranges and yellows leave a breathtaking reflection in the water that even Monet would kill to paint. In the winter, chipmunks scurry leaving the smallest tracks in the snow I have ever seen. Spring brings back the life once hidden under four feet of snow; green grass, fawns, and my personal favorite – fishing.

In the 70’s before my parents were even married, my father and Opa (grandfather in German) bought a piece of land in the Northwood’s of Wisconsin. The property is in the shape of a pie piece with the largest portion abutting a small, fortyish acre lake. Atop a hill sits a little yellow house with a wrap-around deck built by my parents, grandparents and the help of a few aunts, uncles and neighbors.

There is no other place I’d rather be than sitting on that deck. I can count on our neighbor’s dog to visit, usually leaning on me with his tawny eyes pleading for a scratch behind his ears. I’ve got a cup of tea or beer – pending what time it is during the day.  My feet are propped up on the railing and I’m basking in the sun thinking about all the great memories I have made up at the lake.

It’s the place my Opa taught me how to fish, where I learned how to drive a car, won a few basketball tournaments and made my first s’more.

The lake house holds traditions like snowshoe baseball every Monday night with my Dad, shopping the Boardwalk with my Mom or going to the local Lion’s Beerfest as a family.

It’s a place that I want to share with people important in my life and a spot where I am looking forward to taking my own family. Even though I’ve been to many exceptional places in the world, the lake house will always be my favorite.

What’s your favorite place?

My favorite place in Northern Wisconsin


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