Weekend Snapshots: A Bear Sighting…..Come On, Seriously????

This weekend started out very strangely to put it mildly. Friday I received a call from a friend that I should keep a look out because there was a reported bear sighting on the corner our house is located on. Now, even though I am an avid hiker and have always assumed I would come across a bear on a trail somewhere, I never thought living in an urban community I would have to deal with such a possibility. Not 30 minutes after hanging up from this phone call, local news stations started showing up and knocking on doors asking for interviews.

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I did not grant them any interview because first of all, I was busy with three kids, and second, I did not see any bear so I had nothing to say in regards to this sighting. However, this did not stop them from hanging around for hours searching and taping for upcoming news broadcasts throughout the day. It was quite an amusing Friday on our block;)

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Saturday then arrived and we were on the road bright and early headed for Milwaukee, WI for a visit to my two favorite stores. I had received an email about REI having a garage sale event for members only. And then also knew that nearby they had recently opened a Trader’s Joe’s which I will never pass up an opportunity to make a visit. First was REI, and upon arriving we were shocked to see how long the line was.

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This was our first time to a garage sale event so we were not sure what exactly to expect. Despite this announcement upon opening the doors, “that there will be NO RUNNING and NO FIGHTING because if two people fight neither person will be allowed to purchase said item,” neither of these two rules were followed. People ran and fought and honestly it reminded me of black Friday shoppers. These outdoor enthusiasts were fearless and on a mission for a deal. (I would not put it past any of them to have bear spray in their pockets to ward off others in their pursuit of a great item at a great price…HAHA) My husband and I were also hoping for a lucky find, but clearly not quite as desperate as some of these individuals. Don’t get me wrong, we did end up with our fair share of good buys since our hands were full while standing in the LONGGGGG checkout line.

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Although not all our items were garage sale deals we did fairly well. He found some boots, a pair of hiking pants, water bottle, and two new freeze dried meals for us to test. I needed rubber ends to put on my trekking poles for hiking rocks/mountains, a water bottle cleaning kit, and finally I found a replacement for my backpack that I needed to return after our Michigan hiking trip. I struggle with backpacks since many have wide bulky shoulder straps that I don’t care for. This time I am trying a Gregory pack which I bought a bit larger than my old pack since I seem to be carrying most of our supplies at the moment until my husband’s back is fully recovered. It very comfortable and hopefully will meet our needs well. I should find out in a week or so how it carries on the trail.

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Our next stop was a new Trader’s Joe’s. Milwaukee has two locations now, and let me tell you, this one is so much nicer in regards to the parking situation. Both stores a great but this is by far the location I will be back to. IMG_2740

We stocked up on all our favorites and are fully prepared for a winter of fabulous meals thanks to some of our favorite Trader Joe’s additions.

After this we headed home. We had spent enough money and were satisfied that the trip was worth the long drive. Idealy, it would have been in our best interest to keep driving until we passed by a new store right off the highway that we have never been to before. Grafton,WI has a Meijer now….which is pretty cool since Green Bay is also due to get one of these retailers soon. So of course we exited and had to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised although, it does remind me very much of a Walmart in some ways. I am not a fan of Walmart, or maybe I should say not any Green Bay Walmarts at least. However, this Meijer was not bad, prices seems good and it was nicely arranged and not overly packed with items. I think Green Bay will benefit when it makes it’s arrival here in the near future.

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With a bit more money spent here, it was really time to head home. No more stops and no more money to spend. We arrived home with a full trunk and tired from a full day of shopping.

Sunday was our “get it done day.” My husband and son worked outside storing the boat for winter, doing leaves(again), and other winter prep chores. I spent time indoors baking pumpkin muffins/bread, laundry and cleaning.

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Later in the afternoon my husband got away for some hunting, I made a trip to the gym for a workout, and our son did something with a friend. It was a great way for all of us to end our weekend.

What brand of backpack do you prefer?

Have you ever seen a bear hiking or in an urban environment?

 

 

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Another Weekend of Frigid Temps

My husband thinks I freeze much faster than he does thanks to my very low blood pressure. I thinks I freeze simply because it’s freezing. Now normally I  would research his statement and see if he is correct, but you know what? It really does not matter to me, either way I still freeze and I do not like it!!! OK, enough complaining, let’s move on.

Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to make our way to Milwaukee for a day of shopping. I could hear the wicked winds blowing outside before even raising my head from the pillow and knew it would be a “soup for lunch” kind of day. Since we already had plans to enjoy lunch at Whole Foods I was pretty happy. Although, before lunch could happen we had to get some shopping done.

Usually I get to this area twice, maybe three times a year. So when I do, I stock up on all our favorites, especially from Trader Joe’s. After TJ’s we traveled to REI, which is bound to cost a few bucks and take a lot of time. Since we are outdoor enthusiasts this is by far our favorite sporting goods store. On Saturday it just happened to be their “garage sale day” which means tons and tons of great deals:) We must have spent almost two hours in this one store but left with so many goodies. I was very happy with the results.

Saturday night we celebrated Valentine’s Day with my hubby making bread bowl smoked salmon salads for us. (My absolute favorite) Again, with the frigid temps lingering on we found ourselves just hanging out the rest of the day. It was really quite nice to say the least.

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Onto other things….how are you all doing with the February health challenge of forgoing fast food for February? It’s it a struggle? You are half way done, are you hanging in there? I have to say, being that I work from home and we very rarely do fast food, I am not really struggling with this one. I have not done fast food, such as McDonald’s for at least 8 years, probably more. This is one thing I am pretty thankful for. It was a hard habit back then to break, but I don’t miss it what so ever.

You know what started creeping into my mind last week? Our Spring chore list…..is it too early for that? Well….maybe a bit.

How was your weekend?

 

 

Weekend Highlights: Paddling Season Arrives

We had such a gorgeous Memorial Day weekend that we took advantage of every single second. Every single day was packed with fun. Which is probably why I find myself sitting here now typing and letting my body rest before the kids arrive in a few hours. It’s one of those Mondays (which will actually be Tuesday) I am happy to see come because my job is often easier than my weekend adventures in the summer months 🙂

We started off Saturday hiking a trail and picking wild asparagus. (No pics to share, I forgot the camera) Saturday afternoon was spent packing the truck with kayak gear for the first big paddle of the year.

Sunday we left home at 10am for our favorite river, truck and trailer were fully loaded and ready.

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We had two of our son’s friends join us, one seasoned paddler and one newbie. (Sister’s actually)

The water was still quite chilly but honestly, I expected worse.The young one’s were able to tolerate the water temperature fairly well and even got in a little body surfing.

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My boys wasted no time getting back into the groove with their play boats.

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Although, our son did drink some river water twice Sunday by forgetting how to keep his kayak upright.

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To our surprise even the newbie wanted in on the surfing action. So, our son gave her a few pointers before sending her into the current.

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After surfing she even surprised us with her request to try the biggest rapid on the river. For her safety we sent my husband down first and had him stand mid rapid on a rock with the throw rope.

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She made it like a pro, the rope never left the bag, or at least for her anyway…

It was so great to be back on the river, paddles in hand and eagles flying over our head. We’ve waited so long this year to get back out there.

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Monday brought a day of fishing for my husband and son and I spent it doing a little retail therapy.(shopping) Someones has to do it!

It was a great weekend. I hope you all enjoyed yours as much as we did.