Whooping it up in Wisconsin

Tuesday morning we packed up and left our apartment for a 3.45 am taxi pickup. Good fast run to the airport and, of course, the American Airlines desk wasn’t open – although they request travellers to be there three hours in advance. Eventually the desk opened, we were first in line, and we checked in relieved that our bags were under the baggage allowance! Then we had to wait for the security area to open. Finally we go through and I get singled out for an extra check having to unpack my bag completely as well as getting an extra pat down. Oh well…. Finally we were through into the departure lounge and drinking coffee. Waiting for the first plane of the day

The plane took off from Curacao on time – few more tears… Bye Morphie!!!    Although quite a small plane it was pretty comfy. The flight was over before we knew it and time to go through the usual Miami hassle…. We had a long immigration line but were through in less than two hours having collected our bags and rechecked them for our final destination. Phew! By now it is lunch time so we had a bite to eat and a couple of cold coronas before our next flight to Chicago. All going way too smoothly…. So of course we board the plane and get held at the gate….and then push back to the tarmac….and take off almost an hour late. Now we are worried about our connection in Chicago – but what can you do???

We ended up chatting to our neighbour – who was a cruiser anchored in Spanish Water. What a small world eh??? We texted Dan and Ruth to let them know we may have problems! Eventually we took off but the connection is decidedly dodgy – we are going to arrive around 5pm but our next flight is at 5.15 pm. So not much chance… Eventually we landed and luckily our next flight to Minneapolis has also been delayed so we legged it through Chicago airport and made it – just! Then of course this flight is delayed further but at least we are on board this tiny plane – which feels like a private jet – and we are able watch our luggage being loaded onto the conveyor belt, so that’s good news!

Arrived into Minneapolis and were met by Dan and Ruth. Great reunion and hugs all round. Then we drove to their lakeside home and had a few drinks to celebrate. What a fantastic place. Feel so happy to be here… Lots of chatting and laughter followed and eventually we had to give in and retire to bed. Was a long day….

Wednesday morning and we were up pretty early. Today we are planning a lazy day so, after breakfast, we went down to the lake and just chilled out – including a trip around the lake in Iron Wind, Dan and Ruth’s lovely motorboat. Fantastic lakeside properties are scattered along the shore and this is a really beautiful place. Eagles circling – although of course never when I have the camera to hand – and Loons fishing….. Saw a float plane too….

Beautiful house! Beautiful lakeside homes Beautiful lakeside homes 2 Beautiful lakeside homes 3 Beautiful lakeside homes 4 Fun on the lake Fun on the lake 2 Iron wind Out for a spin on the lake

Loons Float plane

Back onto the deck and Danny turns up for the night. We had fantastic BBQ chicken – Dan is definitely a grill genius! We had a lot of fun….

Danny on the deck Grill man On the deck On the deck 2

Dan also said that we were going to start celebrating Morphica – so we get presents each night. These are things that we have purchased on line and sent to Dan’s address to take advantage of cheaper US prices. Well….. mine was not exactly exciting…..I got the replacement part for the genoa furler! Richard, on the other hand, got the underwater camera housing and he and Dan had a lot of fun playing around with it…. Not fair!!!

Furler part Morphica present! Practising with the camera housing

Eventually it got a bit chilly so we ended up in the basement playing poker on their special card table. Great time had by all…. and we kept Dan up way beyond his usual 9.16 pm crashing time!

Anyone for poker Fixing drinks

Thursday and we are taking advantage of the nice weather – so more fun on the water. Danny went waterskiing and then we all had a go at regular tubing and taco tubing. Amazing fun…. Check out the photos!

Dan's turn

Danny and Richard tubing Danny showing off Getting ready to go Glassy water Hang on 3 Hang on Richard Hang on! Having fun Me and Danny tubing Phew - it's over! Richard and I getting ready.... Richard upside down! Time for a taco

Sadly Danny had to leave us in the afternoon so we said our farewells and then later on we returned to the deck to eat Dan’s famous recipe smoked ribs…. Wow – fabulous fabulous fabulous!!! Combine that with the sweetest corn you could ever imagine. Yummmm….. Another fun night out on the deck…. Getting a bit chilly so we ended up down in the basement playing poker again. Really good fun and I did win a few hands this time…. And we kept Dan up late again LOL!

Friday and we thought about going to the river but didn’t in the end as the weather wasn’t so settled. Dan and Richard headed off to town for some bits and bobs followed by a visit to the golf club to hit some balls….. Ruth and I took to the dock and bobbed in the tubes. Eventually the boys came home and joined us – so we all ended up bobbing for a while… This was definitely bobbing with style and no holiday would be complete without it!

Bobbing Wisconsin style Bobbing Wisconsin style 2

Later on we were picked up by Rod and Karen on their pontoon boat – and also met Bill and Lorraine – and had a lovely leisurely drive around the lake along with a few cold ones! We met a large duck family too…. Oh yes, and Wisconsin has loads of local breweries so we have had fun trying out lots of new beers! I particularly like Leinenkugel’s Original….

Pontoon boat afternoon Pontoon boat afternoon 3 Pontoon boat afternoon 4

Duck family

In the evening with joined Ruth and Dan with their usual crowd for Fish Friday. A Wisconsin tradition. We had fish and chips!!! We enjoyed the company of Gary and Judy, Bob and Sarah and Gary and Betty… Was a lot of fun – the people here are very friendly and welcoming – and I was very jealous that Bob and Sarah had seen a bear on the way to the bar and grill. But never mind, I got to stroke a picture of one!!!

Fish Friday Fish Friday 2

Saturday morning and Dan and Richard headed off to the golf course again – this time taking the little sports car…. They looked pretty pleased with themselves – check out the photo….

Looking happy in the car

Ruth and I headed downtown – it is so small and cute – and went grocery shopping followed by a visit to the most amazing delicatessen / butchers store. There was an absolutely incredible variety of meat, fish, cold meats, cheese and sausages on display for sale. The walls were adorned with awards and I could see why people travel miles to visit this place!

Downtown At the butchers Amazing selection Anyone for a sausage

Back to the house and Ruth and I start preparing dinner – English food tonight – and eventually the boys come home again. They have decided that they want to go sailing as they are getting withdrawal symptoms! So off they go on the hobie cat – while Ruth and I settle onto the dock – accompanied by a little frog – as it is beer o’clock.

Frog on the dock

Beer o'clock

We see them disappear around the corner and we are watching the weather carefully. We decide that the weather is looking decidedly dodgy so we launch the motorboat to go and check if they are OK. Yes – they are very happy but need more beer! So we hand over a couple of bottles – and decide to stay close as the clouds are building. And it got really dark… Then it started raining…. and it is now time for international rescue. The heavens opened – we all got soaked – but Dan and Richard didn’t seem that bothered as they had beer as they got towed back to the house!!!!

Weather changing

Boys having fun International rescue International rescue 2 Happy in the rain getting a tow

After we were all cleaned and warmed up we had our appetizers followed by a break – and we started playing Guitar Hero. Richard and I have never done this before – it is sooooo much fun and actually a lot harder than it looked. After a while we had our main course and then it was Morphica again. This time Richard got the gas solenoid but still looked pretty happy. I opened mine – and oh no – it was another gas solenoid!!!! Hysterical…. Dan now took pity on me so I got another gift – and this was our new cockpit light – hurrah!!!!

Morphica present Lovely jubbly

Back downstairs to the basement and we continued with Guitar Hero – boys –v- girls now. Well – Ruth is amazing ! She is really very very good….. so I had a bit of an advantage. So we beat them every time. A great evening had by all full of hysterical laughter! And we all ended up having a pretty early night – before 10 pm – as the days out in the fresh air caught up with us.

Guitar hero 1 Guitar hero 2 Guitar hero 3 Guitar hero 4 Guitar hero 5

This morning it’s pretty gloomy – and Dan and Richard have headed back to the golf course. Dan is in a competition this morning and Richard is going to drive his golf cart and plans to drink bloody marys!!! Ruth and I have been watching TV drinking coffee…. Now I’m blogging while Ruth tidies…… and later we are going to have another BBQ evening. I think Guitar Hero might feature again too….

Tomorrow Ruth and I are planning to go to the casino in the morning and then we are heading into Minneapolis to have dinner with Kirstin and Andy – and then Richard and I are staying in a hotel with a shuttle service to the airport as we have a 6am flight to Chicago on Tuesday morning…. Can’t believe our time here has almost come to a close – but looking forward to seeing our friends and family again….

Bye for now