"I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere beyond the morning." - J.B. Priestly

Friday, September 27, 2013


I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I've never visited Minneapolis (short field trip while in high school but I remember absolutely nothing about it).  The JASNA Convention was here this year so I decided to drive over (stopping in Duluth along the way) and, while here, took a minute to track down this iconic statue of Mary Tyler Moore tossing her hat in the air (as she did on the TV show.  The statue is literally right in the middle of downtown on a street corner, and only blocks from where I was staying at the Hilton.

Minneapolis is a beautiful city and I really want to come back for a long weekend some time to do some exploring.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall Updates

We're only in the middle of September and the kids are all busy with sports.  Ian plays kickball in a league, Alex plays football and baseball (both on Saturdays), Jack plays soccer on Saturdays and just tried out for basketball, and Anna is still doing gymnastics.  Very busy kids and we try to make as many of the games as possible.

The weather has been fairly mild so we're doing outdoor work a bit at a time so we don't get hit with it all at once.  My gardens looked really awful for a quite a lot of the summer but look pretty good right now.  I need to remember to plant more things that bloom in the Fall.

As a result of the trip to the U.P. with Jeff and to the House on the Rock area with Mom in August, I've decided to spend some more time visiting 'mansions' in and around our area.  I spent a lot of time and money visiting big old manors and mansions in England, and it occurs to me that we have quite a lot of those here, too.  With that in mind, then, I'm going to start blogging about all of the places I visit on my travel blog:  In Search of My Next Adventure.  A link is available on the right side of this blog page.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Chihuly Exhibit

So, when you Google mansions in Wisconsin you'll get a list of historic homes and 'mansions' that are open to the public.  This, along with the book National Geographic Guide to America's Great Houses, forms the framework I'm using to explore my new hobby of visiting great homes.

From Dale Chihuly's Venetian collection -- on display at the Paine (on loan from a private collection)
Oshkosh is a short 25-minute drive from my home and, yet, I've never visited the Paine.  Home of beautiful gardens and many artsy programs, it's one of those things that I keep saying I'll do.  Just in the last two years I missed an Ansel Adams exhibit and a Normal Rockwell exhibit.  No excuses.

Earlier this summer, I noted that there would be a Chihuly exhibit there until mid-October.  Interestingly, when we were in Seattle last year, I remember there was a Chihuly gallery near the base of the Space Needle and, in fact, there were quite a number of Chihuly sculptures scattered about.  Frankly, I didn't recall the name -- really didn't mean anything to me at the time although I liked the look of the work.  So, when I saw the billboard advertising the show at the Paine, I decided that I'd go to this one.

The summer has been clicking away but last week I finally got down to Oshkosh to see both the exhibit and, more importantly from my current perspective, to see the mansion that appears on the list for Wisconsin.  That part, though, I'll recount in my other blog because it's part of a larger adventure.  (To see that blog, click on 'In Search of My Next Great Adventure' at the top right of this page.)
I really love this glass 'tree' on display in Seattle

Now, I realize that this type of artwork isn't for everyone and, in fact, there are many of his pieces that I don't like.  But most of them (especially the Venetians) are almost breathtaking.  At the Paine, there was a DVD playing that showed an exhibition put on by Dale Chihuly and some specially-invited outstanding glass artists like himself.  The event took place over a week-long period where different styles of glass creation was done at each of the sessions.  It was absolutely amazing; I'd love to attend something like that.
'Temple of the Moon' at Atlantis resort
'Temple of the Sun' at Atlantis resort
                                                When I first saw the billboard announcing the exhibit at the Paine, I immediately thought about Seattle and the missed opportunity to visit that gallery.  While I had peaked through the fence and got some pictures, I didn't go into the gallery itself.  Then, I started looking at his work and it occurred to me that I was pretty sure I had seen examples of it on display at Atlantis when we stayed at the Bahamas resort.  His style is very distinctive so I was pretty sure I was right and, upon doing some research, I discovered that I had seen his work at Atlantis.
Ceiling in the lobby of The Bellagio in Las Vegas

My big shock, though, was the revelation that I had seen and admired his work a lot longer ago than during my visit to the Bahamas.  The gorgeous ceiling at Bellagio is Chihuly.

I'm so glad that I didn't keep putting this off and I can't wait to see what the next exhibit will be.  I know they decorate the entire property for Christmas and do performances of 'The Nutcracker'.  I may have to consider going to see that!