Thursday, September 16, 2010
Today, after years of saying "we've got to go there,” we toured Taliesin--Frank Lloyd Wright's home, architecture school, farm and estate in Spring Green, WI. Cindy, our tour guide, did an outstanding job. The 4-hour tour was fascinating, informative, and relaxing at the same time. Walking the grounds, as well as touring the buildings, helped give us a good sense of the "bigger picture” of Wright’s life and work. Plus we had an opportunity to meet Sherpa, Taliesin's cat-in-residence and tour guide extraordinaire.
Afterward, we had a delicious and scenic lunch at the Riverview Terrace Café in the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center. It was the perfect conclusion to our tour--a delicious lunch in a glorious setting overlooking the Wisconsin River--plus fortification for browsing the center's superb bookstore.
With our heads full of art and architecture, we wandered the country roads through Spring Green, Sauk City, Prairie du Sac, Devil's Lake State Park and Baraboo. Devil's Lake was beautiful and surrounded by forest bluffs filled with rock outcroppings.
Baraboo was the winter quarters of the Ringling Bros. Circus. It is home to both the Circus World Museum and the gorgeous Al. Ringling Theatre, which is being restored to its full glory. It was a gift from Ringling to the community for its support.
We continued north to Wisconsin Dells for a look-see. Wow! This was a retro tourist mecca, complete with all the “requirements”—amusement parks, neon motel signs, two-story cowboy statues…you get the idea. We discovered that Sinclair gas stations still exist when we spotted a giant Sinclair dinosaur. Of course, we took advantage of the photo op with “Dino”.
Other interesting drive-bys included the Ho-Chunk Casino and Wally's House of Embers--a classic 1959 supper club and cocktail lounge.
As night settled in, we marveled at the amazing wooden rollercoasters at Mount Olympus theme park. They certainly seemed worthy of a return trip! Lastly, we grabbed a Mushroom-Swiss ButterBurger and a Sliced Prime Rib Sandwich at Culver's, a local fast-food chain that cooks up some tasty but naughty fare.
Ready for our cozy bed in Verona, we headed back for a good night’s rest.
--Ted and Laura