Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hello Wisconsin

Anywhere you have to spend an evening buying a winter parka, gloves and a knit cap to go to from California has got to be interesting, right?  So I start writing this in Chicago, got on a flight in Sacramento at 6:21 in the morning to Chicago to change planes to Appleton, Wisconsin.  Sounds easy enough, but then the weather kicked in.  Get to Chicago, no problems, nice movie and a nap, ready to roll, got on the next plane, buckled in and we were weather cancelled.  Came off and got set up for going to Green Bay, booted out for weather here too.  So, ok..., Roger and I are versatile... we drive!  Hey it's only three and something hours after flying for 4 1/2....United wouldn't give us our luggage.  There only answer was that we could go on up to Appleton and put in a claim.  Which we did after driving all the way up.  So no luggage, an important meeting the next day to look forward to, we hit the local WallMart to buy the essentials.  The remainder of the trip is a blur of great work coordination, frozen faces, Rock Star Slushies, really nice people and nice, but cheap dining.  

The most memorable thing about Appleton was the nice people.  Everywhere we went the people were great.  It would have been easy to make two or three best friends here!  The people are also what made the work out in the cold a breeze.  No pun intended since it was like 5 degrees, 20 mph winds with 45-50 mph gusts!  All that cold, wind and frozen faces were pretty well mitigated by the kindness of the people.  Even starting without our full complement of warm clothes thanks to United, the kind attitudes in Appleton made it bearable.

One thing I found amazing here was how hard it was to find coffee.  We pretty much survived on Rock Star Slushies.  Buy a Rock Star and leave it in the car.  Voila!  You have a Rock Star Slushie.  Not really  that bad.

The next best thing was the killer food!  Being there near to St. Patrick's Day, we scored corned beef and cabbage (1/2 a head) with Irish lamb stew over the potatoes at Spats on College! Here they are on the web: http://www.spatsappleton.com/ .  For Irish food, this place was to die for!  For unbelievable German food, try Old Bavarian at 3025 College Ave.  Great Schwein Steak smothered in Brown Gravy with mushrooms and Brats!  This was all topped off by having access at The Machine Shed Restaurant to Liver and Onions!  I know, I'm sick, but that's only my favorite food on the planet and The Machine Shed did it right: http://www.machineshed.com/restaurants/appleton.asp .

All in all, what a great side trip in life!