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27 June 2011

Lovely weekend

The weather was fan-freakin-tabulous this weekend -- finally!! Sunny, warm, and dry -- just how I like it -- and perfect for our Sister Weekend. All I knew going in was that Annie and Karen were coming to my house, that I wanted to go to Caffe Mario for dinner, and that we'd probably head east (but not to Door County).

I prepped on Friday by gathering supplies (buying liquor, cutting rhubarb) to make a simple syrup for Rhubarb Margaritas! They were delicious. Karen didn't make it for Happy Hour, but I saved some and she was just in time for a nightcap.

Karen has become interested in wine-making (I am waiting for a bottle of her Strawberry-Rhubarb variety to come of age) and, as part of a class (so, for educational purposes), had recently visited Clover Meadow Winery. She'd found it all quite fascinating, and I'd actually had a couple of wineries fly into my radar as I was researching and contemplating what we might do together, so winery tour it was!

We checked out the map and decided that Peninsula 44 and von Stiehl wineries fit best into our time-and-place-frame!

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We had an enjoyable and educational tour of the vineyard and winery at Peninsula 44. It was a bit breezy for macro photography, but BABY GRAPES!

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We were fortunate to have Steve, the owner of Peninsula 44, as our tour guide. His wife, Maria, assisted us later with our tasting, and making our purchases. It's quite lovely to have some bottled reminders of our fun day.

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From here, we made our way to Algoma. The first stop was at The Flying Pig Gallery & Greenspace. I knew my sisters would love it there, and I was not wrong.

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It was a beautiful day to enjoy the greenspace -- the last time I was there, it was raining buckets! Annie photographed this enormous dragonfly sculpture across a pond filled with lily pads -- it was pretty cool!

Using a photo and location reference (but not specific address) in the memoir our grandmother penned a few years ago, we found the house our grandparents lived in for a couple of years in Algoma. That house was the destination of my first road trip, from Milwaukee to Algoma, for Thanksgiving in 1958! We found it looking much the same as the photo in our book (ca. 1960), except for what looked to be a fairly recent garage wing addition/remodel and some minor changes in landscaping.

From there, we made our way downtown to von Stiehl Winery -- the oldest winery in Wisconsin. We didn't tour the winery, and their vineyards are in Door County, but thoroughly enjoyed the history of the place and our tasting there.

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The merriment continued at Caffe Mario... with fortification. That was the artichoke bruschetta appetizer that we shared -- so delicious! Ann had a beautiful salad with grilled chicken, and Karen and I both enjoyed Mario's featured lasagna. There was Virginia's homemade tiramisu for dessert, of course.

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We missed Sharon, of course, but she was with us in many ways throughout the day. We've been doing Sister Weekends for about 25 years -- the majority of them hosted by Sharon in Milwaukee, at her cabin, in Ohio or in Kansas -- there's no way she'd not be a part of it. This is us! We are family.

 

Comments

Your smiling faces say it all. Love the sister "self-portrait".

The photos of your weekend are fantastic, especially the ones at the vineyard. I'm sure the memories of Sharon were bittersweet but I know she was with you in spirit.

Oh, Vicki! What a perfect, perfect weekend. It looks like you had such a wonderful time -- and it is clear that Sharon was with you . . . as she always will be. Whenever you gather. Cheers to you all!

I do so love your photographs.

Great trip. I have to confess when I saw the picture of the dragonfly, and you were talking about macro-photography, I was a little impressed that you got that shot...until I read on!

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