Saturday, November 25, 2017

Castlewood State Park

Today was perfect weather. 
Our friends invited us on an outing.

We met at Castlewood State Park.

There are several trails, so we went for one of the "blue" trail that starts near the park office.

Steve had a good sweat while hiking.

After hiking, we drove further into the park to a picnic area.

Tea and snacks after our little hike.  

Part of the Meramec River passes through the park.  The water is low now, but damage along the shore is still visible from flooding earlier in the year.

Skipping stones in the river.

We had a fun time!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving


Happy Birthday to 相公 !
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone !

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Girl cousins weekend

I went with Steve's cousins for a "girl cousins weekend" at Lake of the Ozarks. We rented 3 condos at Robin's Resort, 3 bedrooms in each condo.

We had dinner in Wobbly Boots Roadhouse.

Saturday morning, Gina invited us to her condo at the Lake.

Not all my shopping, I have a small bag only.

Mexican food.

"Lake Stock Fall Crawl" bus ride to the bars for $10. This is Chevy's.

This is Wicked Willie's Sports Grill and Bar.

 Checked out before 10 am., then we had breakfast.

Drove through Lake of the Ozarks State Park before heading back home.

We had a wonderful weekend.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Happy Halloween

We attended our first Halloween party this weekend.

I almost couldn't recognize Steve's cousin, George, with wig and mustache.  He was dressed as Gomez Addams, from the Addams Family.

George and his wife, Kristin, really take organising their Halloween party seriously.

The decorations are throughout the entire house. 

The basement.

 The backyard.

The front entrance.

Front yard.

It was fun to see everyone dressed up in costumes. 

Nathan is dressed up as Michael Jackson this year.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

US - Wisconsin

A wide waterfall - Willow Falls in Willow River State Park, the day use fee for the park is $11 per car.

St. Croix National Scenic Riverway in St Croix Falls.  Originally, there was a series of rapids in the river through here, but a dam was constructed.  They recently had a lot of rain up-river, so water was overflowing the dam, making it look like a beautiful horseshoe waterfall.

We stopped at Meyers Beach and Little Sand Bay, sub-centers of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore area but they only open during peak season.
So beautiful with all the red leaves on the tree.


The staff of the visitor center in Bayfield disappointed those who came in to get the National Parks Passport stamp.  She said the stamp was out for some event and hadn't been returned yet.
There was a 3 1/4 hours cruise tour ($39.95 per adult) at 2pm that day, but Steve didn't want to wait 2 hours for the cruise.
Hmm.. now that I look at their brochure, I think the cruise to see the islands views must be beautiful.
The islands are in Lake Superior, one of the five Great Lakes.

We stopped at a store, where the owner told us about the Northern Great Lakes visitor center, so I finally got another stamp.
The top of the building has a 360 degree observation deck, with telescopes to view the surrounding landscape.

Oh... a lighthouse which we couldn't see with just our eyes.

Ashland has been named Historic Mural Capital of Wisconsin. We didn't really go to look for all the Mural walls. 

Anclam Park and Beach has many benches as memorials. Beautiful place to sit and enjoy Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes.

A tractor taking us across a path, just below the water surface, to Cana Island.

 Can you see me waving from the top of the lighthouse?

To visit the Cana Island and go up in the Lighthouse is $12.


We drove until the end of Northport (there is a ferry to Washington Island). What did Steve buy in the gifts shop?

Sister Bay has some tourist attractions, those goats on the roof are real! 

I opened my birthday gift.. ah... heart shaped little clay and glass dish and wood trivet. 
那由一小♡一小♡木做的大♡真的很特别。The ♡ trivet is made of small wood hearts, it is unique. 
Birthday gifts with a trip. Thank you 相公

We stopped at Minominee Park in Oshkosh.

These two huge pumpkins attracted me when we drove past.  I requested Steve make a U-turn and go back.
The pumpkins are 870 and 1156.5 lbs.  The shop keeper said these were not even the biggest in the competition.

Decorative pumpkins and Indian corn, traditional fall decorations.
I tried their raspberry fry pie, which was good.

When we arrived at Wisconsin Dells, we found that there were two different boat tours; the Upper Dells and the Lower Dells.

We took the Upper Dells Boat tour.  A 2 hours tour for $30 per adult.

The canyons and cliffs are awesome.

Steve forgot to pack long pants for the trip, he is cool.

A 19th century photographer, H. H. Bennett took a picture of his son leaping across Stand Rock.  This was at a time when shutter photography was still fairly new.
Now they trained a German Shepherd to jump across the 5 foot gap to entertain the tourists.

Wisconsin Dells on the Wisconsin River (not the Wisconsin Dells amusement park).  The tour guide said the strange green water color is due to algae in the river, which thrives because of fertilizer run-off from farms in the area.

Mostly we went in Culver's during this trip. Steve likes their food.  We didn't find any nice restaurants around, so we went to this Denny's Classic Diner for my birthday meal.

We needed gas to continue our journey from Wisconsin Dells, and Steve saw this dinosaur at a gas station!  He had to get a picture of it and they got our business.

We drove on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail along the way.  This is part of it.
Northern Wisconsin had prettier scenic trails with the leaves already changing colors. 

Wisconsin State Capitol has a free guided tour.

Tourists can go up to the the observation deck around the dome to look at the views of Madison.

One of the statue groups on the outside of the capitol's dome.

 After that we walked down the west street.

This is the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, IL. We were on time to join a free guided tour to see inside the home.

We saw the sunset when driving back home.