2. Our “Other” Hobby…9.2017

Day 3
We decided not to spend time shopping in Napervillethey all seemed like big chain storesthe kind they have in every upscale suburb.  We popped into the largest & coolest Starbucks Ive ever seen & bought coffee.

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With coffee in hand, we hit the road for the 2.5 hour trip to New Glarus, Wisconsin…home of the most popular brewery in the state.  The place to buy the beer though, is the local grocery store so that was our first big stop!  Jill isn’t a beer drinker, but bought a bunch for Greg & her kids.

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Then we drove up to the brewery which is really pretty.  Jill & I took a wacky trip to Wisconsin in 2011 & visited the brewery, but theyve created some really cool outdoor space since then.  We walked around & I was hoping to try some of their special beers, but they didnt have those on tap.  We shopped in their beer cave, but I only ended up buying a 6 pack of a variety of singles for a friend.  Then, we headed towards Madison.

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Our first stop was at a little French burger place (that boasted good beer) that also served breakfast; Jill ordered breakfast & I had
a burger & a beer.  Then we headed downtown to State Street to shop in their quirky fun little shops.  We spent the rest of the afternoon & evening popping in & out of shops until they all closed.  There had been a Badger game that day & it seemed like EVERYONE was wearing Badger clothing…tons & tons of people downtown…all seeming to have a good time.  Being in Lawrence, home of the Jayhawks, I’m used to seeing a lot of people on game day wearing team shirts…but this way out did what
I usually see…it was kind of funny.

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This was the only night we hadn’t pre-planned where we were staying.  Wanting to get out of downtown, & having the feeling there wouldn’t be rooms available anyway since they’d all be filled with Badger fans, we took off heading towards Dubuque about 1.5 hours away.  It was about 9:30 when arrived to find out there were NO rooms available in town, & only ONE room a few miles outside of town.  Jill kept driving south until we hit Cedar Rapids at about 11:30pm.  She pulled off the highway as soon as we spotted the first hotel.  To say the least, it was a bad choice.  Tired & just wanting to hit the sack, she got us a room.  We would both give this place a rating of:  ICK!  But we survived, joking that it might have been better to sleep in the car across the street in Walmart’s parking lot (our back seat was filled with beer, so neither one of us could stretch out there).

Day 4
To say the least (it’s just better that way), we were up early, dressed & out of there!  And, come to find out, we hadn't been in Cedar Rapids…we hit that town (probably with way better hotels) 7 miles down the road. It was pretty funny! We were taking the highway back to my place…still a lot of cornfields, but much faster than our scenic drive up.  We stopped in the next big town, Des Moines, IA & I popped in to buy some yummy Barrel Aged Pear Cider that I discovered when I took a road trip to Des Moines in June.  We walked down to check out the Riverwalk, then over to El Bait shop…home of 222 taps for a small beer.  I tried a stout & Jill had the
Kombucha…we toasted to another fun travel adventure together…our 3rd one this year! 


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Jill & I both LOVE REI & I’d found one in West Des Moines, so that was our next stop to look at all things outdoor & travel.  The first night of this trip, Jill showed me her new travel toothbrush.  Not exciting to most people, but I have been on the HUNT for a new one for 2 years…(maybe I’m too picky) but I know what I like & usually when I get something I have it for YEARS…so I want it to be exactly what I want.  She had found the ultimate travel toothbrush!! I was so excited (ridiculous I know…).  So, that was the first thing I shopped for…SCORE!  My search is OVER….wow!  I was pretty stoked…the whole thing was pretty funny, but Jill knows me better than most & was just glad I was HAPPY!!!!  This is our kind of shopping & while we didn’t buy much, we always have fun at REI.  I asked the check out girl for a recommendation for a late lunch & she told us about an Indian restaurant down the street.  There was more than one, but we eventually found one (although after lunch, we think we drove by the one she actually recommended…funny.) & it was yummy.  With curry in our tummies, we headed towards my house for the next 3+ hours listening to the new Harlan Coben book…we’re both HUGE fans!

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Another fun trip in the books! I love to travel with Jill…she’s so easy going & we share so much laughter & sometimes deep conversations.  We have different views on several subjects, we have some difference in life styles, we definitely have different bank balances, our eating & drinking habits are extremely opposite, but our long time friendship goes way, way, way beyond any of that & our love of traveling together over-rides any of those issues.  


Stephen King & his son, Owen were so much fun to hear speak…& we each brought home their new 650+ page book to read!

We managed to discover some good hiking in a flat midwest state.

We both got to see the new T@B 400.

Jill is over the top happy that Greg bought the camper for her before she even got home.

I’m over the top happy for my new travel toothbrush.

I can’t wait to travel with her again!

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