"Wisconsin-Happy Festival State", by Eve Phillips. My husband and I love to travel in the state of Wisconsin where we live and get great pictures on the way. My name is Laurie Kutil and photography has become a great passion of mine since 2010. One thing I have learned in researching each town before visiting it is that, "Every town has it's story". When I do uncover those stories by connecting with local residents, our experience becomes so much richer. In turn, sharing the stories with you brings me joy :)
Upon entering the building, the smell of coffee and fresh-baked pastries on an early fall morning sets your stomach growling even if you had breakfast already 🙂
Barista Heidi was taking a batch of Cinnamon Rolls out of the oven at the time, yum! She gave us one with a thick layer of frosting, it was as good as it looked!
We also enjoyed cheesecake for our 2nd breakfast.
After we ate we looked around, the llama decor is EVERYWHERE, so cute! On the walls is llama art by local artists as well. This beautiful painting is by Landis Heitz.
In the back by the Children’s playroom is this piece by Marion Rose.
Let’s take a look at the playroom, looks like fun!
This is especially cute! The play table on the right, the llama appears to be sitting there with the kids. You see a stack of construction paper and crayons at the table too!
I thought they had the coolest light fixtures there in the main dining area. An industrial/steampunk design. They also made use of the popular Edison Style bulbs.
They even have knit Llama hats for sale for $25. So adorable!
If you notice on the right wall of the dining room, there is a guitar hanging up, generously on loan from Rick Francois. It’s there for patrons to use. You play a tune and receive $1 off of your order! I wish I knew how to play one!
Well, we had a great first visit here and plan on coming back soon for Open Mike or Pizza night. Be sure to pick up one or several gift cards. We did!
Come to the nicest and friendliest coffee shop in America!
When this summer began, I never expected our activities would bring us closer to the world of dog training. It also brought me a new friend, Kate Bucci. She is the owner of the KC-K9 Academy. She specializes in training, nutrition and more. One of her top programs is her Board and Train. It’s immersion training for your dog to learn discipline in a matter of days. Contact her on her website or call 608-206-6396.
Let’s start at the beginning, with the Madison Mallards Baseball games. We went to the opening season game on May 28. Kate brought both of her Border Collies, Colt, and his younger one-year-old brother. Kovu. They are three litters apart. Colt is four years old. It was our first time seeing Kovu at the game. We didn’t see him last year but he actually did his first bat retrieve at only 7 months old!
We are seated in Section 101 in the front row with a perfect view of the dugout and home plate, just beyond the net. Here is Kovu waiting for the signal to retrieve the bat.
Colt was just as excited, he did a little flip when getting the bat.
We were at three games where at least one of the dogs retrieved the bat. See the video here of their work!
This is from the summer of 2018.
They made the games extra special, and the bat boy didn’t mind sharing the duty with a couple of cute pups!
Midsummer brought us to the Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona for Sunday Funday. This event was a fundraiser for the Capital K9s of Madison to get protective goggles for all of the police dogs.
Kate could not make it but Al and I could. It was a lot of fun to see so many dogs out on the patio.
The best part was the K9 demo, showcasing their skills.
There were not quite enough funds to get the Rex Specs. Kate then teamed up with Focused Dog Training and covered the remaining cost. The dogs were presented with their protective goggles on Sept 4th. Good job!
Photo by Madison Police
Pier Pups Dock Jumping
The Mallard games being over, we went to to see Kovu do his favorite sport, dock jumping into a pool. The company running this event is Pier Pups, and it was held in the parking lot of Petlicious Dog Bakery and Pet Spa. It was our first time going to one of these competitions and it was really fun!
Kovu won a 3rd place ribbon for his efforts. Such a good boy!
Photo by Kate Bucci
See the video of his 5 jumps at this event.
During the “Grab It” competition, Kovu must catch a toy in mid-air during the jump. Here is a shot I got of that.
Kovu did achieve winning his Dock Diving Title by September 15. Way to go!
Photo by Kate Bucci
We are so proud of Kovu’s achievement. I shared my video footage with her and she produced a video showcasing all of his jumps leading up to the title.
Kovu is not the only one with talent. See Colt do the Git Up Dance by Woody from Toy Story 4. So cute!
And this concludes our 2019 adventures with Colt and Kovu. We look forward to next summer!
We are always looking for a new way to celebrate our country’s birthday. This year, we went to The Mining and Rollo Jamison Museums to celebrate! This place has been on our bucket list for several years so we took this opportunity to go!
We arrived just before the museum opened. We did the mine tour first before it got more crowded. Join us on the tour, led by a young man named Garrison. It was sure fun! It was also much cooler inside the mine than outside and it felt good!
After the tour, we rode the mine train, join us!
There was just as much excitement going on inside of the museum building. The Music and Schoolroom had many working music machines of the late 19th and early 20th Century.
We heard a Regina music box, cylinder music boxes, mini-organs and such. Even a player piano. Hear and see them below!
Farm tours are available Tues-Fridays, 11 am & 3 pm, Saturdays, 11 am 1 pm, & 3 pm. You can book your venue here as well. Call 608-477-4023.
Summer is here and so is the lavender! It wasn’t blooming yet on June 8, so we came back July 3rd when it was! The New Life Lavender and Cherry Farm in Baraboo is a peaceful refuge from the Wisconsin Dells and a chance to enjoy creating memories with your family. When the plants mature, you are invited to buy one to bring home.
Inside the store, you can buy many products made with the lavender, including bakery items and ice cream. See offerings here. You can also buy essential oils, soap, lotion, and many other items, even fudge!
Next to the farm store is an outbuilding with a beautiful lavender barn quilt on the side. It was painted by artist Vicki Baumgarten. She also manages Narrows Creek Winery as well.
You can also take a tour behind a tractor to see all of the fields and get a running commentary as well. It lasts for one hour.
There are many great opportunities to take a portrait of you and your family here. There is a selfie station to put your phone on under the canopy.
This is an example of what this photo would look like.
You can also bring a tripod to take one in other spots. We also at among the lavender and got this great shot. This one is our favorite.
Plan your visit now to the New Life Lavender and Cherry Farm in Baraboo before summer is over!
After a long hard winter, the first thing Madisonians want is a parade, and they get the first one of the year on St. Patrick’s Day. The parade promenades around the Capitol Square and usually lasts about an hour. Here is the 2019 parade, many entries this year.
Our dear friend Vi was in the parade last year, this year it was too cold. She has the best costumes!
After the parade, the fun continued on State Street. At the top of the street is Teddywedgers, where you can pick up a delicious pasty. There is an apartment above where a couple was watching from above. They hammed it up for my camera 🙂
A couple even got married that day, they were getting photos taken.
The fun continues as we head down the street, happy people are enjoying the warm weather (in 2018) and it’s even bringing out the street musicians.
We were hungry for corned beef and cabbage so we looked for a place to get some for lunch. We chose Nick’s on State. They have been there since 1959.
A delicious meal on one of Madison’s favorite holidays, St. Patrick’s Day!
The line was long, but it was a warm night and there was a fire to keep us warm while waiting.
Each year, there is a soundtrack you can listen to as you drive through the park transmitted by a LP (low power) radio station. There are actually two stations now. Tune in to 95.3 FM for the main audio, 95.1 for the Dancing Trees.
There were two wagons continuously going around after getting loaded. The atmosphere was filled with excitement for the upcoming holidays and the kids in the group were so excited!
It’s our turn! Soon, we were on our way, watch the video of the hayride.
I returned on the 25th and drove through on my own. If you want to see the displays without other people around, come early in the morning before dawn. Enjoy the Dancing trees, synchronized to Nutcracker music.
2018 will be the 30th Anniversary of Holiday Fantasy in Lights, I look forward to that! I will do the hayride again, it was so much fun!
Al and I were in Verona, gathering photos for a blog post. We took a look at the businesses and buildings in town and discovered this. The Matts House in Verona, Wisconsin was vacant at that time and deemed an eyesore. It was one of the last historic buildings in town, built in the 1840’s. The only other building that is historic that is left is the Cahoots Bar, a former Stagecoach stop.
In my photo, you could see a sign that the house was for free to anyone who could get rid of it. Thank goodness, nobody took up the offer.
We were shocked to see this and hoped somebody would save the house before possible demolition.
Two years pass. Building Rehabilitation Specialist Troy Rost persuaded the city alders to sell him the house for $1. Troy also restored the Stamm House in Middleton as well. He promised to have the house ready for occupation within two years. Read the article about this development here. Also here.
October 19, 2017
The renovation was well underway at this point, we stopped by to take an interim picture of the house.
We attended a meeting in Verona that day called “What’s Up at the Matts House?” Here is a video of the meeting you can also watch. It outlines the history of the house and showed some renovation photos. Troy Rost himself was the presenter.
The building renovation is finished on schedule. Now, the next task is to find a tenant. The Purple Goose women’s boutique store jumped at the chance to move to this beautiful historical building. This was their building in 2017.
On October 13 of 2018, they reopened in their new building to an enthusiastic crowd. I was able to see it for myself on October 22nd. Very impressive!
This beautiful door is possibly from one of the previous businesses here, they kept it and it looks beautiful!
To the right of the register, step through the doorway for some beauty time at Makeup by Francesca. I am not skilled at all with makeup application. I will come here if I need her help! Francesca Clemente will bring out your best features to look your best, whatever the occasion!
Everyone interested in seeing the Matts House is welcome during business hours at The Purple Goose. The citizens of Verona are grateful this beautiful building was saved for all to enjoy. Thank you, Troy Rost, for taking charge and turning this dream into reality!