Feast With The Beast 2017-Our Annual Date Night Out

Every year we attend the Feast With The Beast event here at our local zoo and it never leaves us hungry for sure. Plus, every year it seems to grow in the number of people that join us which makes it all the more fun.

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This year our son joined in the festivities for the first time, my brother joined us for the second year in a row, and my husband has co workers/friends that also make the trip into the big city (as they say, since all of them are from the Algoma/Sturgeon Bay area) to join in the fun also. Here is half our group enjoying the BBQ ribs.

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This years event offered 45 stations total, all offering samples from their menus, drinks and/or both. I tried my first ever martini apparently, according to this recipe card that was being handed out at this sampling table. For me the tropical mango was absolutely fantastic!!!! That is until I had to “sample” a few more glasses to make sure this was the one that won the taste sampling. Believe me, the next morning I was not so happy with myself for over indulging. Ahhhh, we all learn this lesson at some time in life right?

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Some places offer one menu item to sample and some offer as many as three different menu items at a time. Needless to say, we never ever try everything since we never ever have made it completely around the entire zoo without filling up before the end.

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As we have found every year that we have attended this event they add new restaurants from the area and some pull out and do not take part in the festivities.

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Even though this is mostly an adult event and the zoo is closed down to the general public, there are children that do tag along with some parents. Keep in mind that no matter what age your child is they all need a ticket which go for $35 per person before the event and $40 the night of the event. So if your child cannot eat/drink $35 worth of food….a sitter may be your best bet for probably the same amount of money.

We ultimately had a wonderful time. We all agreed to meet again next year, same time and same place. We are already looking forward to a great night out, with wonderful food/drink with a fun group of friends.

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Read about past years here  and here  if you missed it.

 

 

Some Of The Best Places Are Ones We Stumble Upon

While we were in Wallace, Michigan visiting the De Young Family Zoo(read about it here if you missed it) we were hoping to stumble upon a park nearby that we could enjoy a quiet picnic lunch together at. So we drove down a nearby highway thinking we were headed toward lake Michigan and were surprised when we realized we had turned the wrong direction. Which we then turned around and passed a sign that said public boat landing on a flowage.

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Now, if you know anything about my husband, he knows just about every boat launch in our area. However, in Michigan, he knows very little but said that the ones in WI sponsored by WPS are usually pretty nice so why not check this one out in Michigan. I had no reason to complain since I know very little about any of them and plus, I was hungry and wanted to eat lunch. So we ventured down this gravel road and came upon this.

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Wow, gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!! A big lake, with a nice gravel lot, and a porta potty. And the best part….not another vehicle in the entire lot except for us. We both used the bathroom facilities and then ate our picnic lunch of chicken salad on pitas, fresh apricots, prickly pears, and Larabar caramel seal salt bites.

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Oh, I must mention, if you have not tried this flavor if Larabar bites yet, you must….they are fabulous. Good luck eating only one serving…..the two of us finished the whole bag!

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After lunch he knew I spotted the grassy trail we passed off the gravel road that seemed to lead around the lake and suggested we go check it out.

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Now, keep in mind, we were not in any way prepared to hike today since I was suppose to be taking it easy and letting my abdominal muscle heal. However, I saw the trail, he saw that I saw the trail, and my hiking boots are always in my SUV just in case….you never know when I will come across a trail I must explore. So after lunch we both sprayed down with more sunscreen and bug spray which also never leaves my SUV and we headed out for a look where this trail led to.

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It quickly got much more wooded and the trail turned from grass to dirt. And soon we found ourselves surrounded by big tall trees as far as we could see.

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I asked my husband if he felt we could possibly see a bear here…and he said it was very possible which made me stop and look around. One of my bucket list things to do is to see a bear in the wild while hiking someday. Although, today was not the day since we soon found ourselves swatting at numerous bugs. Plus, not having any hiking supplies, backpack, bug nets, water or bear spray we decided it was probably best if we turned around and head back to the parking lot where we left our vehicle.

We walked probably about 1.5 miles on this trail with no end in sight. You all know what that means…..we will return and come better prepared next time for sure. I never start a trail I can’t finish. And next time maybe we will stumble upon a bear…who knows.

All in all it was a very beautiful place to share a lunch and explore. Never be afraid to stop and take that turn if you not sure what’s down that road. You never know what you may miss by passing it by.

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A Strange Week That Ended In An Awesome Way

This was a strange week for us here. My husband was missing in action all week and I feel every one of us noticed. Missing one person in the family makes a huge difference…from less laundry, to less food required at meal times, to no one to talk to in the evenings, and no one to wake up to in the morning. Like anything in life, some things are good and some are not so good…. in this situation we adapt, overcome, and move on.

So being I was on my own all week, I could do what I wanted when I wanted to do it. I returned to the gym, started Christmas shopping, enjoyed the exceptionally warm weather we are experiencing here in WI, and caught up on some reading. I made some great progress on the to do list for fall and made meals that would make my husband cringe.

Here is what my workouts consisted of this week.

Sunday: 3 mile walk

Monday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, stretching

Tuesday: 30 minutes on the recumbent bike, floor weights routine, stretching, 5 mile evening walk with a friend

Wednesday: 3 mile evening walk with a friend….this was suppose to be gym night but with temps so wonderful here yet, why would I go to the gym when I can spend it outside and not shiver in November…..so awesome!

Thursday: rest

Friday: floor weights routine

Saturday: off…..however, we did tons on walking while on our shopping trip.

Which brings me to the ending of our week. Saturday my husband and I took our annual shopping trip to a mall in Illinois. It’s our day to spend whatever we wish on just us….and this year was a blast. We found some awesome deals, ate at our favorite place, and enjoyed the day. And the best part is that we take a coach bus so we never have to worry about traffic, parking or being too tired to drive back home at the end of a long day. I can’t wait until next year.

Here are a few pics from our trip.

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Twenty Three Years Ago….

Twenty three years ago my husband presented me with a beautiful diamond ring, his vow to love and cherish me forever, and to be by my side in sickness and in health.

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I am happy to say today we still love each other as much as we did all those years ago and maybe even more. We have both tested the limits in the sickness and the health department and have stuck by each others side through it all. The one big thing that has changed are that diamonds are not the key to my heart anymore. Yes they are beautiful, yes I would accept them if they were presented to me, but he knows exactly the type of rock I prefer if he is looking to make me a very happy wife. And thanks to all his hard work,  once again this year we spent another anniversary climbing/hiking the dusty, gritty, gorgeous rocks of the southwest in Sedona, Arizona this past week.

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This was dream come true!!!! We spent everyday on the desert trails hiking to some of the best places I have ever seen in my life.

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I can’t wait to fill you all in on our adventures in this area. We hiked 6 different hikes, had some awesome meals on the hotel balcony overlooking the mountain sunsets and relaxed in a pool and it’s the end of October. Now that right there is amazing in itself being we are from the midwest and its already WAY TO COLD HERE TO SWIM!!!

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Thanks honey for a fabulous 23 years……I love you!

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More to come real soon….

 

Weekend Snapshots: Ready….Set….Shop

This weekend my husband and I went on our annual shopping trip to the village of Schaumburg, IL. I wait all year for this fabulous trip and always find great deals and have loads of fun. Take a look….

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free holiday trolley for shoppers

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two of my favorite stores among many others

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we could of used a few of these after a big day of shopping

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our deals from the day

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We arrived home a bit before 10pm Saturday night exhausted. 8 hours of shopping, some wonderful food and awesome deals were the highlights of the day. We may not be big shoppers any other day of the year but on this date we do have a good time.

DePere River Walk/Locktender’s House Cafe

Working from home is often quite the challenge for me. I wake up at home, work all day at home, switch over to mom/wife mode in the evenings at home, and then go to sleep at home. Our friends and family wonder why we are never home on the weekends and I wonder why would they ask something so self explanatory. I am ALWAYS home!

Sometimes during the week when I have just had enough of my home and need a little escape I will make my way to the DePere Riverwalk. It’s close to our home, is attached to the Fox River Trail, and offers a little hiatus from my life at home.

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Recently we did this one night after work and I was happily refreshed after only a short walk and a little treat.

We made our way across the bridge.

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We noticed that the locks were closed which meant they had a boat or two inside. I always find the lock tenders fascinating. I would love a job where you are working out, standing outside, and enjoying the summer sunshine every hour of your day.

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Surprisingly, when the lock gates opened up we were shocked to see two kayakers exit. Apparently, I am way to frugal to pay per vessel to take kayaks through the lock system. There is a portage just feet from the locks entrance and a put in just down the path a short distance. No way would I ever pay money to not have to carry my kayak such a short distance.

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After this we headed down to the the path toward the pier near the dam. I have never seen pelicans do the fish dance before this day and I found this quite amusing. They swim around in a circle dipping their heads at the same time herding fish together.

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Until finally one get’s lucky and captures a fish for it’s dinner. That one then swims away and the others just continue on with this dance. Odd but so amusing to watch.

We eventually made our way to the end of the pier which is decorated with locks of families and couples all over the cables of the railings. Again, odd but unique.

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I knew with a little persuasion I could talk my husband into stopping at the Locktender’s House for an ice cream treat. It’s hard to resist when they have the best salted caramel shakes we have ever had. It also helps that is his favorite flavor:)

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This little cafe is open from 9am-9pm and is super cute. If your in the DePere, WI area I highly suggest taking the short walk and stopping for an ice cream treat. You won’t be sorry you did.(NOTE: that is not my husband in that picture…just some older guy trying to figure out his phone….haha!)

After our ice cream we headed back and I was ready to return home. As short as it was, it was all I needed to recharge and return back home for another few days. Sometimes my weeks just drag on and this is a perfect spot to escape for just a little while.

Monday Motivation

Sunday 11/9: GYM: 35 minute elliptical and stretching

Monday 11/10: HOME: 200 crunches, arm free weights, 30 minute bike

GYM: 30 minutes on elliptical, upper and lower weight machines

Tuesday 11/11: HOME: 200 crunches and arm free weights, 30 minutes bike

MALL: walk 4 miles

Wednesday 11/12: HOME:200 crunches, arm weights

GYM: 30 minutes elliptical, 10 minutes ARC, upper and lower body weight machines

Thursday 11/13: HOME: 200 crunches, arm free weights, 30 minute bike, 60 minutes yoga

Friday 11/14: OFF

Saturday 11/15: Aqua Zumba 60 minutes

Sunday after our big shopping trip and a very long, uncomfortable bus ride to and from Chicago, my butt was dragging. I knew if I could just get myself in the front doors of the gym I would feel better. I was crabby, had a headache, did not feel like doing anything since I did not get to bed until way after my bedtime the night before(11pm), and had everything we purchased sitting on our table staring at me to put it all away when I woke up Sunday. Thankfully, my husband picked up on my bad mood pretty quickly and pitched in to help get everything done. Then it was all up to me whether I would attempt the gym or not. Which I am happy to say I DID!!!! And I was soooo happy, it really did brighten my mood and make me feel better:-)

                    Monday and Tuesday brought us a two day snow/rain/sleet storm in our area. Surprisingly enough this would normally just put me in a baaaad mooood but I was not really feeling too rough. I would not go as far as to say I was “happy” to see it snow, but either way I was not as moody as normal for the first snow fall. Maybe, just maybe, the Vitamin D is working.

Wednesday brought our first “mall walk” of the winter. Temps here have finally dipped to where I believe I could freeze to death if out for too long. I know, call me whimpy if you wish, everyone else does:-)

The rest of the week was pretty typical. We tried to follow our training plan as much as possible but I feel like we may have to change up the plan slightly. I may swap my off day for Friday and workout on Sunday since the weekends are when I have the most time and the gym is practically empty. We’ll see in the future, who really knows.