Road trips

Revisiting Rockford – A Beautiful Garden

Forty-two years ago I left Rockford, Illinois after a seven month stint at a local radio station. At about the same time a local resident named John Anderson was beginning to convert some marsh land near his house into a Japanese themed garden. Eventually the garden became quite the thing and it was donated to the Rockford Rotary Charitable Association to be run as a non-profit attraction. And attractive it is. In remembrance of the wonderful time we had visiting our son Brian and his family in Japan a year ago, Anne and I made a visit to the Anderson Japanese Gardens today.

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Lakes & Plains

Summer is a great time for a road trip, and a summer wedding is an even better reason. This has been kind of a regular thing most of the past few years.

Black River State Natural Areas

We began by heading north and made a stop to look at the distant highlands across Wisconsin’s Black River State Natural Areas.

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Gastronomic Time Travel

Prairie du Chien, my home town, is Wisconsin’s second oldest city and the home of Wisconsin’s first millionaire. Hercules Dousman made his fortune in the fur trade in the early 19th century. I grew up looking at a picture of the family mansion, the Villa Louis, on the Ahrens Dairy milk cartons at breakfast every morning. The Villa is a historic site that attracts visitors all year long.

The Villa Louis

The Villa Louis

Last weekend we were invited for breakfast. Actually it was a special event on the Villa’s calendar called “A Victorian Breakfast.” (more…)

University of Virginia campus

Eastern Excursion – The Way Back

As I started to head back toward Wisconsin on my Eastern Excursion (part one is here), I had one final appointment on my schedule: an interview with Robert Finley, InterVarsity’s first evangelist. Finley was hired right out of college, the University of Virginia, where he had started what was the largest student initiated Christian group of any U.S. college in the early 1940s. He worked for InterVarsity during the week and Youth for Christ on the weekends. (more…)