The past few weeks have been busy travel weeks for me. My first trip was to Appleton, Wisconsin, it also happened to be my first trip ever to the state of Wisconsin (another one checked off the list!) I serve on the board of a non-profit, COAR and we are assigned churches to speak at each summer so I volunteered to do a couple of the talks. Please feel free to check out our webpage or my blog posts from earlier this year on my trip to El Salvador. End of commercial – back to Wisconsin.
I had some interesting airport experiences the morning I left. Starting with guy who kept asking where he could eat because he wanted beer and breakfast before his flight. I stopped in the newsstand to get my water (I never get on a plane without a bottle of water and a snack because you just never know these days) and I had a bag that I won at a raffle that has the picture of a knock off Monet on it. The guy ringing me up asks if that is Monet on my bag, why, yes it is, thanks for noticing. And, ending with the girl sitting next to me on the plane who could not figure out that we lost an hour going from Cleveland to Chicago and that she would lose two more hours going from Chicago to San Diego. But, I finally arrived in the tiny Appleton airport where they do not even have the spikes for you to drive your rental car over when you leave.
As luck would have it, I have a friend who lives in the area so I gave her call and we made plans to get together on Saturday which gave me Friday afternoon to explore. I read about a glass museum (and it was free and it was in the town where there was a yarn store – double bonus!) and decided to head that way. It’s the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass and you can read more about it here. It is located in an old mansion so the actual building has a lot to offer and the collection of glass was very interesting. I believe there 3-4 rooms just of paperweights and they were stunning. The museum was very close to the shores of Lake Winnebago so I headed down there next where I found a little park to get out and walk around.
Now, the important part of the day – yarn store!! I also have a friend in Madison, WI who was enjoying Knit Camp while I was there but before she left I had asked for recommendations. She suggested Yarns By Design and she did not disappoint! I was greeted by a very friendly clerk and explained I was in town visiting so she explained the layout of the store and was happy to let me wander at my own pace. We did end up chatting quite a bit. They had a great selection of sock yarns (my kryptonite…). I did have to give her a hard time as she failed to disclose they had Regia Arne & Carlos sock yarn which I found upon closer inspection of the sock yarns. I had been trying to get my hands on some of that for months! I bought the yarn and the needles so I could cast on new socks that night!!
On Saturday I headed out to meet up with my friend. She married a Wisconsin farmer so I went out to their farm and met all their cows, I mean all their cows! They raise cows for beef and farm wheat, corn, soy and alfalfa. It was really interesting and I have a whole new appreciation for my food after seeing what all goes on down on the farm. After that it was time for me to go to work.
The church I was assigned to was actually two parishes that had four separate locations. Each church was so different. These were rural churches and the one church was 150 years old and had been built by the original German immigrants in the area. I finished up Sunday around noon and my next stop (which I believe some in the area also think is a place of worship) was Lambeau Field. I feel like every football fan has to go if they are in the area. I was surprised to find it was crowded, in fact, there was even a line to eat at the restaurant. I didn’t take the tour but walked around the open spaces and snapped a few pictures and then drove around Green Bay. Not much to see there. I was trying to find a good space to check out the bay but really never found that. And then it was time to head back to the giant Appleton airport and head home. I enjoyed my short stay in Wisconsin and was happy to raise money for COAR and check off another state from the list!