Sunday, May 31, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend: Part 2

To complete a short but action-packed stay in Madison, we toured Eric and Jo's new condo in Madison which is just of the capital square. It is a fantastic location with views of the lakes and of the Capital.  We look forward to hearing about their renovations and ultimately staying with them in Madison once Jo retires.

In Milwaukee we took many walks, including  a walk to a city park on Lake Michigan for a kite festival.  It was nice to relax and enjoy the sunshine.  We also did a morning walk on Sunday that offered glimpses of Lake Michigan and plenty of flowers.  Milwaukee has an amazing number of parks, with a great deal of access to the waterfront  One of the best uses of the local parks is turning them into beer gardens. The beer gardens are sprinkled throughout the city and only a short drive (or bike ride) from where Jo and Eric live.   On a sunny Saturday of Memorial Day weekend we found the first garden to be teaming with thirsty cheeseheads, but the second garden was quiet and relaxing.

The best part of our visit to Milwaukee was just spending time with Eric and Jo, we miss having them in CT.  They are wonderful friends, and it was nice to have a time with them to enjoy life's simple pleasures.  They are also fantastic hosts.  Eric cooked dinner two evenings, apparently his has been honing his culinary skills since his retirement.  One night for dinner he made the best ribs we have ever had , and a fantastic pasta dish the other night.  Jo sent us home on Monday with our bellies full of Creme Brûlée French Toast.  We enjoyed relaxing walks, card games and just catching up our future travel plans, families and of course the ever-present topic of when "Bruno and Sheri are moving back to Madison".

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend: Part 1

Bruno teaches a course every May at the UW School of Pharmacy in Madison, WI.  Sheri tagged along this trip so we could spend time with friends in Wisconsin.  We started the weekend with an action-packed 24 hours in Madison. 

Eric and Jo, friends we made through Pfizer who now live in Milwaukee, joined us in Madison.  They took us to the World's Largest Brat Fest where enjoyed live music, brats (even veggie brats), and a virtual tour in the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile.   This is a classic event that everyone should experience!  We were lucky to be there early in the day, it was relatively quiet and we strolled around enjoying the sunshine with lake Monona shining in the distance.

In the afternoon we relaxed on the terrace at the Memorial Union Terrace on campus at UW.  There we met Niels, Julie, and Drew, Sheri's former housemates at "The Brown House".  Julie's family, Craig, Henry and Emma came along too.  It was was a perfect day on the terrace and a great way to catch up with dear friends.

We had a really nice dinner with Joann's sister Kathy and her partner John who live in Fitchburg, just south of Madison.  Then, we finished off the day at the New Glarus Music Festival, an annual event in the quaint town of New Glarus.  We arrived just as VO5 came on stage, with Sheri's friend Drew playing bass.  We enjoyed a full set of the best disco tunes played live by a talented group of muscians from the Madison area.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the weekend.

The Weinermobile

Jo and Sheri pretending to be bratwurst 

Julie, Sheri and Niels

Sheri and Henry

Drew just before the start of the VO5 set

VO5 under the tent at the New Glarus Music Festival

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Purple Season at Hangman Hill

It is the season of purple at Hangman Hill.  It is nice to have everything in bloom and a welcomed transition after a long white winter (not that we are complaining!).  We captured a few highlights during our afte- work-walk in the evening this week.  It has been very dry here, and we hope the rain that fell on Tuesday will bring out even more color very soon!

First iris

Look closely, one of the goats is dressed in purple

not quite purple lilac


Just outside the front door

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Spanish coffee

As a Christmas gift our friends Jen and Mark Panosky gave us an authentic set for making Asiatico Spanish coffee. After a succulent home-cooked meal tonight we sampled this coffee for dessert. It consists of sweetened milk, cognac, a liquorice liqueur, and espresso sequentially layered in a special glass. It was a wonderful way to end the meal and thankfully there is enough left over for another meal. Thanks Mark and Jen!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Middle Mountain

Last weekend we were in New Hampshire and on Sunday we enjoyed a short hike up Middle Mountain. Last time we hiked this trail was in the autumn of 2014 with snow on the ground. This time all the snow had melted and we enjoyed a dry hike with sunny views on the summit. The leaves on the trees were just emerging, so the trail was very green and the views were not yet obscured.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Tonight we came home to a bounty of fresh asparagus in the garden. We picked the first crop on Sunday and less than 48 hours later this is what had appeared! We will be enjoying a continuous feast of freshness for the foreseeable future.