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17 August 2009

The next thing on my list

We both finished work at the same time, so I met Katie for a quick bite to eat on Friday night before heading south.  I took the scenic route through wind turbine country to Oconomowoc, WI, and met up with DH who got a head start in order to set up for a weekend art fair there.

I knew the route I wanted to take and printed out a fairly detailed map that included all the highlights -- namely, Farmersville, Mayville, and Iron Ridge.  Turns out, I took a wrong turn and meandered my way through the Byrons, too.  I think.  I really need a Garmin for these scenic drives.  It's officially on my Want List.

Hay bales

We were guests in a wonderful '50s-era home on beautiful Lac La Belle in Oconomowoc.  Many locals host artists during the fair, also throwing a big dinner party on Saturday night, and DH has always stayed with the same couple.  I've had an open invitation since the beginning, but kids, weddings, family reunions -- something -- always conspired to keep me away.  Even this time, I was able to stay only one night.

Hay bales

We had a relaxing evening on Friday, making acquaintance over a bottle (or two) of wine and wonderful conversation.  I started Saturday morning watching a sailboat race and taking a tour of the lake by boat.

Hay bales

By Saturday afternoon I was heading west to Annie's and a babysitting date with Mack and Addison.  Turns out, Karen and her family were there to help my niece move into a new apartment, so I had my two older nephews as able babysitting assistants!

I had a photo shoot on Sunday morning (sneak peek is up) while everyone else arrived for brunch -- Uncle Jim, Sharon, Mike & Judy, Mom & Joe, another nephew and his girlfriend.  It didn't start out to be so huge, but sort of took on a life of its own.  Annie sure knows how to do brunch!  It was delicious and a good time was had by all.

Tomorrow morning, I'll be out the door at 5:00 a.m. -- that's 10 minutes before my alarm usually goes off!  I don't mind, though -- Mom & Joe will pick me up for a day-trip to Madison and it's a great time to make that drive.  Not sure yet whether I'll post ahead, take the laptop and post from the road, or wait 'til I'm back home... but I will post!

The hayfield and haybales are from the drive home yesterday.  Will I ever tire of that scene?

(Probably not.)


The sky and hay bails make a nice composition. You know how to pack so much into a weekend!

Let me pass along my experience with a Garmin GPS. The style I wanted went way down in price -- just over $150 which is still a chunk of change to me -- so I bought it. Turns out you need to budget for an immediate map upgrade ($89) as well. It was a deal killer for me and I returned it. However, it was nice to be in a strange city and not have to be constantly vigilant about my location so I don't want to discourage you from a GPS just giving you a headsup as far as Garmin. I believe other brands provide free upgrades.

Yeah, my experience with a Garmin wasn't great either. Bought it at the EXORBITANT price of $500ish, and asked for an extended service plan. This was not Garmin's fault, but the fault of the online store I bought it from in order to get the best price, I guess, but they sold me a service plan that I then had to register. Every time I called to register, the company recording said it was too busy and the wait was too long -- call back another time. IMAGINE? And of course they wore me down and I forgot to try again after the dozenth time. So you know what happened -- the Garmin just up and broke and I was out my $500 piece of crap. It helped us find some places when we were on college tours -- nice of it -- but it also took us to the most scary, remote places for miles and miles. (Ask Margene -- she was with me on one of them. Horrid.)

It never occurred to me, thank goodness, that it might break on one of those trips, because I would have had a nervous breakdown. But anyway, it was not updated and there were a lot of things wrong, and lots of lefts that should have been rights, etc. And THEN as I say, it just broke. I shudder to think if it had broken when we were in the middle of deep woods in Maine or whatever, and having zero idea where to go.

But then I was in Staples this weekend and saw some GPSes for CHEAP, like a hundred bucks. Don't know if I'm quite ready to get one after that experience, but I did love Paula's Sony one that she used on our last trip together.

Am I rambling too much? Heh. Anyway, I personally would stay 2,000 miles away from a Garmin.

Loving the hay bale scenes and hoping you never tire of them!

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