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The Heidel House Resort and Spa in Green Lake


9-20-17

The journey to escape stress and tension begins in the friendly community of Green Lake, home of the Heidel House Resort and Spa. This place has a long and rich history, first known as the Kelly Estate in 1890. I took the picture above at Horners Landing in Ripon. This is the deepest natural lake in Wisconsin,  measured at 237 feet deep, 2 miles across and 7 miles long.  We did one scuba dive from this site on 7-22-98, almost 20 years ago. It was time to go back and see more of Green Lake than the bottom.

The reputation of this resort as THE PLACE to be in Wisconsin for a great get-away has spread far and wide and we wanted to see it for ourselves.  The beauty of the resort in early fall with the leaves beginning to change color made us feel welcome immediately.

Photos by Laurie Kutil

After a busy morning exploring the Green Lake area, we were hungry for lunch! We went into the Main Lodge building and enjoyed a great view of the lake in their Sunroom restaurant. See the menus here, this restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, you can get breakfast for lunch if you want!

Photo by Laurie Kutil

There is a self-service cart outside of the restaurant for coffee on-the-go.

Photo by Laurie Kutil

The sunny dining room with a view of the beach and dock. It was a good day to be out on a boat, though a little bit windy.

Photos by Laurie Kutil

Lunch is served!  Our wait staff lady Amber was great answering our questions about the resort and was very attentive, as were all the staff there.  I ordered the Heidel Burger and Al the Fire and Ice Salad. Delicious!

Photos by Laurie Kutil

The resort has three other restaurants, the Boathouse Pub   located below the Sunroom. It is open at 2 PM M-F,  11 AM on the weekend.  There is plenty of seating to enjoy the fresh air off the lake on their large patio.

Photo by Laurie Kutil

Lastly, the Pump House Parlor, open limited hours Friday, Saturday and Sunday, cash only.

Also the Grey Rock for fine dining and live music Wednesday through Saturday.

The lodge has many comfortable seating areas.

Photo by Al Kutil

Get a souvenir of your visit at the gift shop.

Photo by Laurie Kutil

Did you know you can also have timeshare ownership also?  This is the Hilltop building where you can own a piece of the Heidel House resort for an extended stay. Check for availability.

Photo by Laurie Kutil

There are many options for accommodations for your stay of any length. Enjoy the Lac Verde Lodge with both and indoor and outdoor pool.

Photo by Al Kutil

You can also stay in the main lodge.  Also the Stable House near the lodge.

Photo by Laurie Kutil

The Heidel House is also a great place for weddings, from rehearsal dinner to reception.  The Carriage Tent to protect your party from the elements is available from May-October.

See map of the grounds to see all accommodations available. We didn’t have a chance to see all of them but we plan on returning next year.

A closer look down by the lakefront. This is the walking path outside.

There are a great many mature trees here, providing shade on a hot summer day. This Indian Bean Tree has a large canopy and looks to be at least 100 years old.

Photo by Al Kutil

Photo by Laurie Kutil

Relax on the private beach outside of the main lodge. You can also take a cruise on the yacht Escapade during the summer and fall.

Photo by Laurie Kutil

 Lakeside view from dock.

The Heidel House is a great place to visit any time of the year. Next summer we plan on a cruise on their Escapade boat. Get away from it all at the Heidel House Resort and Spa!

 

 

 

 

Oconomowoc-Life Comes Naturally Here


12-24-16

Oconomowoc water tower

Oconomowoc is in Waukesha County,a city of 15,712. The program “Around the Corner With John McGivern” paid them a visit in 2014 too.

The name is from the Potawatomi Indian language, original spelling is “Coo-no-mo-wauk” meaning “waterfall”.  The city is located on Lac la Belle. We were here to celebrate Christmas and were at a house on the shore of this lake on the other side.  The view from there, you could see an island in the lake with a house on it!

lac-la-belle-in-oconomowoc

At the edge of town is The Inn at Pine Terrace. More on it from the Oconomowoc Area Historical Society in this video produced in 2013.

The Inn at Pine Terrace in Oconomowoc

The Inn at Pine Terrace in Oconomowoc

Inn at Pine Terrace history marker

Back downtown to see what we could in a couple of hours or so.  The view of downtown across from Lac la Belle. I can imagine it in summer filled with boats and people fishing. Oconomowoc view from Lac la Belle.

From the other side.  The clock tower is part of the historic City Hall building, built in 1886. The clock is accurate too!

Downtown Oconomowoc

A closer view.

oconomowoc-city-hall-wm

 Veterans Memorial Park is quite a tribute to local men and women who have served in our military.

veterans-memorial-park-in-oconomowoc

We especially enjoyed seeing the train depot, now a restaurant called Maxim’s Family Restaurant and Bakery.  The track is still active and we saw a train go through earlier in the day, it doesn’t stop.

Oconowoc former train depot Maxim's Family Restaurant and Bakery

Maxim’s Family Restaurant & Bakery in Oconomowoc

There is also a restored rail car, open in the summer and outdoor patio space.

Train Car at Maxim's

Our last stop was at the City Beach, lots of festivals take place here, as well as performances in the bandshell.

City Beach bandshell in Oconomowoc

rhodee-memorial-bandshell

Concession stand.

Concessions at City Beach

Next time we hope to see more in nicer weather.  Make tracks to Oconomowoc!

Bird tracks in Oconomowoc

Village of Sturtevant-On the Move


 

sturtevant logo

12-5-16

 

Sturtevant is a village of 6,970 and is a suburb of Racine, which we visited in 2015.  This community is right on the Amtrak train route which makes it easy to get to if traveling here that way.  The traffic is frequent as well, this video shows two trains within 5 minutes of each other.

Before we arrived in Sturtevant, we went to the community of Caledonia first. The reason for that was the original depot was moved there to Linwood Park, a historical building complex. Find it at 7430 5 Mile Road, Franksville, WI 53126. They are maintained by the Caledonia Historical Society.  Hopefully we can visit sometime when they are open.

Old Sturtevant Depot in Caledonia

The new Sturtevant Station is beautiful and incorporates some elements of this design, just larger. It was dedicated on August 1, 2006.

Sturtevant Depot img_2643

Sturtevant Station img_2637

The pedestrian overpass makes it easy to cross to the other side of the track to catch a train on the opposite side.  We were in town to see the Canada Pacific Holiday Train which was a lot of fun!

holiday-train-above-img_2676

Other points of interest in Sturtevant, the historic Klinkert Hotel building, now privately owned.  A video about it was produced by Thom Peterson.

klinkert-hotel-building-in-sturtevant

Across the street from the Klinkert is the Caboose Railroad Museum. On the site is a sign explaining the railroad’s role in more detail.

railroad-in-sturtevant-sign

Caboose at museum in Sturtevant

Rail cars at Sturtevant

We enjoyed dinner at the Castlewood Restaurant next to this display, great food there! Open since July 2o, 1989, it is a mainstay here for a satisfying meal.

castlewood-restaurant-in-sturtevant-collage

Even though our visit here was short, it was quite enjoyable with the holiday train’s visit as the centerpiece.

sturtevant-water-tower

Shawano – City on The Wolf River


9-30/10-1-2016

Shawano sign

shawano-marker

Enjoy the ride to Shawano, plenty to see on the way!

Shawano  is located in Shawano County, Barn Quilt Capitol of Wisconsin.  The city has a population of 9,305 and has plenty to offer.

Stop by the Chamber of Commerce on Hwy. 22, close to the barn sign above.   Read the visitor guide here and/or have them send you one before you come to visit!  We got a lot of great info here.  The goldfish in the tank at the Chamber has a story of his own. It was originally put into the tank as food but it decided it wasn’t going to be food. Cute fish, also quite large at about 3 inches long!

Shawano Chamber of Commerce

goldfish-at-shawano-chamber-of-commerce

Since it is hard to see all the barn quilts in one trip,  we picked up the book “The Barn Quilts of Shawano County Wisconsin”. It costs $15 and a great memento of our visit.  Buy the book here. Learn more about the Barn Quilt Project.

The Barn Quilts of Shawano County, Wisconsin

Even more behind the scenes story here.

Our first meal in town was lunch at The Launching Pad Bar and Grill, a casual restaurant across from the municipal airport (see video).

The Launching Pad Bar and Grill in Shawano

Downtown Shawano

Downtown Shawano

The Shawano Post Office has a mural inside, painted by Eugene Higgins.

 shawano-post-officemural-in-shawano-post-office-eugene-higgins

A city clock too!

shawano-city-clock

 Winters can get cold in Shawano.  It’s no surprise the famous Stormy Kromer™ winter hat is sold  here.  Buy one at Town and Country Cleaners. They are made in Milwaukee.

Stormy Kromer Mercantile in Shawano

stormy-kromer-outlet-in-shawano

 We also noticed that fudge is popular here, just like on Mackinac island.  We got some at Old Glory Candy just off Main St. Lots of old-fashioned favorites here, friendly staff too!

old-glory-candy-in-shawano-collage

Visit the Veteran’s Memorial on the Courthouse grounds.

shawano-county-courthouse

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 Shawano has some beautiful parks to visit as well.  Launch your boat or fish at Huckleberry Harbor, on the banks of the Wolf River.  See this and other parks on this map you can print.  There is a windmill there too. It was repainted in 2015, great job!

Huckleberry Harbor in Shawano

 Windmill in ShawanoSpirit of Shawano Park at the intersection of Main and Green Bay Street greet people with metal sculptures representing various industry in the area.

spirit-of-shawano-park-collage

Another great place is Sturgeon Park. This is the epicenter of Sturgeon spawing in Shawano.  They usually spawn in May.

Record-size Sturgeon have been caught here.  This Stella, caught in 2012.

sturgeon-park-in-shawano

stella-the-sturgeon-in-shawano

 The water pouring over the dam, intensified by frequent rains.

On Sundays there is also a great Farmers Market here, we stopped by and found a great variety of items for sale. It’s at Franklin Park.

Shawano Farmers Market sign

shawano-farmers-market

The market’s first year was 2007 and has been a great success in the community. Learn more about it below.

We took a stroll through the market too, take a look!

Pay a visit to Heritage Park and Sunset Island too. It was not open since the season had ended, but you could still walk the grounds.  The Shawano County Historical Society produced a video of the historical village.  Hopefully we can make it back in 2017 and be here when it’s open!

Heritage Park sign in Shawano

heritage-park-sign

Bridge at Heritage Park in Shawano

We may have been too late to explore this place in further detail, but we were right on time for the Shawano Octoberfest.  Lots of music and fall crafts to be had here!

octoberfest-banner

Shawano is also home to Sundrop™ soft drink, we also enjoyed a self-guided tour at Sundrop University™, the factory in town.  This vending  machine is downtown if you need your Sundrop fix!

Sundrop vending machine

welcome-to-sundrop-university-selfie

We enjoyed dinner about 15 miles north on the Menominee Indian Reservation at the War Bonnet Bar and Grill, they serve Indian Tacos on authentic fry bread, delicious!

war-bonnet-bar-and-grill-in-keshena

indian-taco-and-hamburger-on-fry-bread-at-war-bonnet

A great place to stay if you plan on spending the night here is the Super 8.  Comfortable room and great free breakfast!

super-8-at-night-lit-sign-laurie-kutil

We had a lot of fun here and plan on returning in 2017.

shawano-barm-quilt-selfie

Crivitz – Gateway to the North


6-24 to 26-2016

Village of Crivitz landscaping

Triangle Park – Waterfall over sign by Loyal Landscaping, 2009

Crivitz Gateway to the North sign

After being Yoopers for a Day, we arrived in Crivitz, WI at about 7:30 PM on the 24th. We are here since this is the place where Al has memories. His family used to have a cabin on Lake Noquebay when he was young and he wanted to see what the town looked like over 40 years later.  Crivitz recreation and a visitor guide can be found here.  See here also.

Crivitz is also well known for their large July 4th celebration. Enjoy their fireworks display!

Crivitz July 4th celebration

  We turned in and were greeted with a beautiful sunrise the next morning just before 6:30.

Crivitz sunrise 6:23 AM on June 25

After taking pictures at the waterfall sign, we had breakfast at the restaurant behind the sign, Charlie’s Island Café. Great food and they open early! We had breakfast there the next morning too, they have a yummy buffet.

Charlie's Island Cafe in Crivitz

Charlie's Island Cafe inside in Crivitz

It was time to explore the town. Right after breakfast we went to take a look at an abandoned farmhouse called “The Gingerbread House” just outside of town.  Apparently it is a photo subject the locals visit often.  We had a beautiful clear sky that morning and it made a beautiful backdrop.

Gingerbread House WM

An abandoned car on the property nearly overgrown.

Abandoned Car at Gingerbread House in Crivitz

Let’s see some of the businesses in downtown Crivitz. See a list of other businesses here.  Here is Soup to Nuts.

Downtown Crivitz

Sharkey’s Floral and Greenhouse

Sharkey's Floral and Greenhouse in Crivitz

Oak Hill Treasures

Oak Hill Treasures

The railroad track crossed here also. There were some cars here partially load with wood, waiting for the engine car to pick them up after loading.

Railroad Cars with wood in Crivitz

Piggly Wiggly and Subway

Piggly Wiggly and Subway in Crivitz

We left Crivitz for a little while and went to nearby Peshtigo to see the Peshtigo Fire Museum since that was also open that day.  We grabbed lunch at the Crivitz BP, they even had some tables to sit at inside.

We stayed at the Capri Motel. The room was nice and clean and large. A word of warning though, bring plenty of cash if you stay here, their Paypal® connection was down and we had to pay $100 in cash for two nights.

Capri Motel in Crivitz

In the afternoon we explored the Crivitz-Stephenson Historical Society Museum.  It was HUGE and contained some other out-buildings aside from the large main museum building.

Crivitz Historical Society Museum description

Crivitz-Stephenson Historical Society Museum

We sure had fun exploring the museum, good work Crivitz-Stephenson Historical Society!  It was time to head to Lake Noquebay Park on the south end of the lake.  It costs $3.00 for the day here. Went down to the shore and saw a lot of activity on the water on this warm summer afternoon.  Summer is fun here!  It has changed a lot in 40 years though, the now Timberline Resort has grown in size and Al did not recognize it from his memories.

Lake Noquebay views in Crivitz

After we enjoyed taking in the view on the lake we enjoyed dinner lakeside at the Timberline Bar and Grill. They had delicious seafood and I had  shrimp, Al had Taco Salad.  Timberline Resort restaurant in Crivitz

This concludes our one day exploring Crivitz.  We learned a lot about the area and it was interesting to Al all the changes that have happened over the years.

Crivitz Watertower

Welcome to Crivitz selfie

 

 

 

 

Mackinaw City- Gateway to the Upper Peninsula and Mackinac Island


6-22, 23 and 24 – 2016

Mackinaw City sign-Mark Beaudry text

Mackinaw City Historical marker

On Day 2 of our trip, we headed to Mackinaw City to catch the Arnold ferry to Mackinac Island.  Our first view of the Mackinac Bridge really built up our excitement!  Residents and visitors alike LOVE their bridge and are not shy about showing it.  The Mackinac Bridge Authority, located in both Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, takes care of the bridge and the many people crossing it every day.  There is a $4.00 toll payable on the St. Ignace side, which helps pay for maintenance and professional drivers. They drive people across the bridge in bad conditions or if you have a fear of bridges.  Tune your radio to 530 or 1610 AM to hear a broadcast on bridge conditions.  If there are good conditions, you hear a welcoming message to the Upper Peninsula (U.P.).

First view of Mackinac Bridge text hearts

Enjoy this view of the bridge from  Michilimackinac State Park and hear the broadcast, a 4 min-33 sec. looped message.  A bonus, the freighter Joseph L. Block  goes under the bridge!

Michilimackinac State Park map

Michilimackinac State Park

Old Mackinac Point Light House is also at this park, admission charged if you go in, except if you just want to visit the gift shop.

Old Mackinac Point Light House marker

Old Mackinac Point Light House sign

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

Dinner at Hunt’s Mackinaw Pasty and Cookie Co., right across the street from our hotel on the 23rd. Delicious!

Hunt's Mackinaw Pastie and Cookie Co.

The next day dawned with a beautiful sunrise outside of our hotel, the Super 8 Beachfront.  After breakfast there we began our day of fun!

Super 8 Beachfront hotel in Mackinac City

Mackinaw City sunrise 6-24-16

Our first attraction was the Mackinaw Bridge Museum downtown, they opened at 8 AM.  This museum is quite large, you need at least an hour to explore it. Two videos are playing, showing the building of the bridge.  You can buy them both together for $30 for a great souvenir. Having a meal at Mama Mia’s Pizza sounds like a good pairing with a visit here too!

Mackinac Bridge Museum

Mackinaw Bridge Museum display

This museum is located in Mackinaw City’s main shopping district. To us it resembled Broadway Street in the Wisconsin Dells.  In the center of it all is Mackinaw Crossings. There you will also find their historic train depot, now a restaurant.

Mackinaw Crossings Shopping Center

Mackinaw City has a great many historical markers, more than we had time to see.  Some of them are interactive, there are audio clips to go with each marker.  It is part of the Mackinaw City Historical Pathway.  This is what the signs look like.

Mackinaw City Historical Pathway sign

From here we headed to McGulpin Point Lighthouse.   We even got to go up into the light part. It is open until Nov. 1.

McGulpin Point sign

McGulpin Point Light House in Mackinaw City

McGulpin Light House light

From the shore you could see the distant St. Helena Island lighthouse.

St. Helena Island Lighthouse in Michigan

If you like stargazing, the Headlands International Dark Sky Park is in nearby Emmett County.  We went in the daytime, it is open 24/7.

Headlands sign

We walked on the trail to the shore, from here you could see the new telescope building going up. It should be done by next summer!  This is where you look at the blackest sky possible.  If you wish to do some stargazing in your area, use this light pollution map as a guide.

Headlands Telescope building in Mackinaw City

It was lunch time, we headed to one of the city’s favorite places, Darrow’s Family Restaurant.  The Darrow family also were the Mackinac Bridge builders as well. It was pretty busy!

Darrow's Family Restaurant in Mackinaw City

We also paid a visit to Wawatam Park, named after a brave Indian Chief who lived in this area.  You can see Mackinac Island in the background behind the wood carving of the Chief. There is also a historical pathways sign here.

Wawatam Park in Mackinaw City

Wawatam Park Historical Pathways sign

We also went to the Gary R. Williams Memorial Park, where we got day and night pictures of the Mackinac Bridge.  A freighter passed under the bridge at night while we were there.

Mackinac Bridge from Gary Williams Memorial Park in Mackinaw City

Night freighter

We also enjoyed visiting the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum, a retired Coast Guard Ship.  What a great tour and view from the deck!  This was the last attraction we visited that day.

Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum in Mackinaw City

Two freighters passing in front of Mackinac Island!

Freighters passing each other

We finished our day with dinner at the Dixie Saloon, located at the endpoint of the famous Dixie Highway.  It follows most of the outline of Michigan. I have been near the beginning of this highway when I lived in Illinois. It passes through Chicago Heights.   The restaurant does not have free wi-fi, but you can pick up a signal from the nearby Shepler’s Ferry.

Dixie Saloon in Mackinaw City

Shepler's Ferry in Mackinac City

This rounds out our only full day in Mackinaw City. We had views of other attractions  we may get to on a future visit.

Mackinaw Parasailing

We saw great views of this from the shore, looks like fun!

Mackinaw Parasailing

Parasailing and Mac island

Colonial Michilimackinac

See what life was like in the fort in the 1700-1800’s, complete with cannons and muskets.  It is still an active archeological site too.

Colonial Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City

Heritage Village

Heritage Village in Mackinaw City

It was an enjoyable stay in Mackinaw City, we hope to go back again soon!

Manistee – The Victorian Port City


6-20-16

Manistee The Victorian Port City sign

Manistee is a city of 6,226 and is the county seat of Manistee County.  We only a saw a little since we were just staying overnight here before going to Mackinaw City the next morning.  It’s 25 minutes from Ludington and is of course, another port city.  The sun was getting low since it was after 7:30 PM by this point. We did want to see the light house so we went to First Street Beach. Unfortunately, it was under wraps for some restoration work.

Manistee light house

There was still plenty to see here, this is a beautiful park and even has a walking path that we saw many people using this evening.

Manistee Riverwalk sign

There is also a beautiful marina here called Harbor Village and a Coast Guard station is located here as well.

First Street Beach marina marker

Manistee First Street Beach marina

Manistee Coast Guard Station

On display to the right of the buildings.

Coast Guard boat in Manistee

Also a Lions Club concession stand and pavilion, complete with lion.

Manistee Lions Pavillion

On the other side of the pavilion is a ship propeller and plaque.  It was from the S.S. Glen.  When I was walking around I saw Al looking at them, he appeared to be saluting. He actually was trying to block the setting sun while reading the plaque.

Al in silouhette in Manistee

Manistee Ship Propeller display

S.S. Glen plaque on rock in Manistee

We were getting hungry and asked some passing walkers what would be a good place for dinner.  Without hesitation they said T.J.’s Pub in the historic Ramsdell Inn downtown.  Now I see how it got it’s slogan, “Victorian Port City”.

Downtown Manistee

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And here we are!  What a beautiful building at the heart of downtown!

Ramsdell Inn and T.J.'s Pub in Manistee

Ramsdell Inn corner view

T.J.'s Pub outside in Manistee

A few steps down and you are in!  We had a great dinner in a relaxing setting at the end of the day. This crystal decanter reflected the light in the room beautifully.  The french dip and chips hit the spot too.

T.J.'s Pub crystal decanter in Manistee

French Dip at T.J.'s

What a great dinner, it was time to go to our hotel, Microtel not not far from here.

Microtel in Manistee

On the way we saw the S.S. City of Milwaukee ship and Coast Guard Cutter.  Both retired ships  are museums now.

City of Milwaukee ship in Manistee

Our stay here was short but we are glad we came!