Sunday, October 3, 2010


Vermont is spectacular! We visited everything from the Rock of Ages granite quarry, the resort town of Stowe for lunch at the Von Trapp Family Lodge (delicious I might add) to a gondola ride up the mountain during peak color....Emily's covered bridge was our photo op enroute to Lake Morey and our Inn for the night. The height of our coach is 12'4" and the bridge clearance is 8'6" but our crazy group tried to convince Jim that if he got a running start we could be the FIRST and LAST coach to cross the bridge! I am so glad HE is driving and NOT them.

Another beautiful sunny day in New England. This group even asked our local guide if Jim could put the Packer game on the radio for the last 2 minutes...unreal! They won out...only Packer Fans!!

Well, I am going to turn in early (9:30p) because a group of us are meeting in the lobby at 5:00a to enjoy a 5 mile walk around the lake before breakfast and departure. It helps ease the pain of all the food we've been eating...and interesting and informative day - a successful day!



Everyone that knows me, knows that Fall is my favorite time of year - (to travel). And the New England states are my favorite place to do that! With the crisp air you can alomost "smell" autumn and you can most definitely "see" mother nature at work. Yesterday was an absolutely fabulous day. We woke to the sun shining brightly and a local guide whose knowledge of Vermont is endless. We visited the Morgan Horse Farm (UVM / University of Vermont Middlebury), Shelburne Vineyards (and yes, Bonnie Heili controlled herself with only 2 cases of wine, not nearly breaking her record of 13), a cruise aboard the Ethan Allen on Lake Champlain, (and NO Champ was not spotted), and a very expensive stop for the women at Dan Forth Pewter...even I did more damage than planned. We ended our full day with a delicious meal at the Countryman's Pleasure where the sauerbraaten was deemed the favorite.

Looking forward to heading north and into Stowe today with lots planned and our weather looks like it will cooperate.


Saturday, October 2, 2010


WOW, the last couple of days we have kept busy with getting acquainted (almost too much) and exploring the roads of New York. Corning Glass Museum was a wonderful stop and lots of purchases...but that's not hard for this group. (They started shopping at Cracker Barrel in Elkhart, IN during lunch the first day out). Jim is having to be VERY creative in packing...we have 46 passengers, luggage for a month, and enough food to eat 5 meals a day for EVER!! The sun is shining today and we have entered Vermont - a small but very beautiful state. We will welcome our local guide after breakfast this morning and spend the day exploring...

We "played" my moose game yesterday and laughed so hard that Pat DeGuire cried until she almost wet her pants! Amazing the body parts grown adults put on a moose!

Well gotta go! More later....


Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Early morning departure - 5:00AM!! A great group of travelers, 46 in all, ready for two weeks of leaf peeping...the color is really starting to turn along the Ohio turnpike since I was last through here 4 days ago returning from Washington DC. Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire should be at peak and as long as we can avoid the nasty weather heading up the coast from Florida we should be in for a great two weeks.

Everyone has enjoyed dinner, relaxed in the pool, bar, or lounge, and are now heading for a good night's sleep (me included). I love this time of the year...crisp mornings, sunny afternoons, and cool evenings - mother nature at her finest:)


Thursday, September 9, 2010


Today we traveled 2 hours to Salzburg for a guided tour of this fabulous city. Christiana, our guide showed us such places as: Mirabell Gardens (seen on the Sound of Music), the quaint Getreidegasse (site of Mozart´s birthplace), and many other highlights. Marcie and I explored the many squares of the "old" city for shopping and sightseeing. Our dinner was in the centuries-old St. Peter´s Restaurant, Austria´s oldest, which may have hosted both Charlemagne and Columbus. An hour spent in the "bier garten" waiting for others in our group made for much laughter. Jim & Kathy Thiel have finally figured out how to enjoy bottles of local wine AND keep the lights from going off in the bathroom. Philip & Mary Kae took two days, but can open and close their door all by themselves. Marcie NO longer hears voices when she goes into the bathroom. WOW what a 5-star hotel with all these extra amenities...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Today we traveled the picturesque highwaýs of Switzerland to the Austrian border and the striking Olympic city of Innsbruck, the Capital of the Tyrol. We made a stop in Leichenstein before crossing the border with NO problem at all. The Austrian officials didn't even ask for our passports...guess we look honest and American. We had a great city tour with a local guide and that was followed by an indepth walking tour. We have walked, climbed stairs, and moved more in the past 4 days than I can remember doing on a tour in a long time. The group is having a great time, and finally found a bar you can imagine a group from Wisconsin trying to teach an Austrian bartender how to make old-fashioned it was crazy!
Meals have been interesting and good...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Wow what a couple of days we have had...yesterday we spent the day traveling to Lucerne, the Swiss Paradise on the Lake. Weather cooperated nicely as we walked the historic squares with our guide and enjoyed being there on a Tuesday for the farmer's market...some items we didn't know...very interesting. The afternoon was spectacular - we took the cog railway up Mt Pilatus for a fabulous view and returned by way of aerial gondola...not found of heights I even enjoyed the ride.

Dinner was great - we (Marcie Schmitz, Mark and Cheryl Schmitz and myself) ventured to the other side of Engleberg and had a delicious Swiss, beer, and great conversation...even tried to convince the waitress to smile - not so much luck there. If Mark's suitcase is a little heavier it may be due to angels...and we found the best way to kîll flies when out and about.

Checking out today and crossing the Austrian border into the town of Innsbruck for the next three nights. Depending on computer access, we'll keep you informed of our travels...

Jet lag is disappearing for most of us today...others have handled it better than some. The elevation has been an issue for a few - but today everyone, me included, feels and looks better.

Getting used to the cheese and meat breakfast is tough for some so croissants have been the favorite on the breakfast buffet.


Sunday, September 5, 2010


It's been a few years since I was in this part of the world...actually my son Ryan was 14 and next month he turns 26, so several years. Certain things you remember once you arrive like: washcloths are considered a personal item so you are expected to bring your own (like a toothbrush), and showers have a hand-held faucet - which is not desirable if you are like me and enjoy having two hands free...but especially now with a broken wrist it really limits mobility and tests your skills. The keyboards are different also due to the language...the z and y keys are reversed and all the cap locks, and control shift keys are different...something to get used to.
When I got out of the shower my roommate was all bundled up...I was surprised and asked her why - she said the paper said it was going to be 20 degrees - I laughed and converted it for her and said you might be a little's going to be 70 today! Thank goodness I paid attention during math class when learning the metric system...
Last night my travelers slept well - just wish I could say the same. Three sleepless nights in a row...starting to run on empty. My roommate slept very well and didn't hear our neighbors every cough, sneeze and visit to the bathroom...I kept thinking: "Thank goodness they aren't on their honeymoon."
Well we are off to Bern, the capital for a full day of touring....more later.


A great welcome dinner for our group this evening and we all took a short walk to clear our heads for a full day of touring tomorrow. The bed is gonna look wonderful tonight....



Well we made the long flight across the pond. Not much sleep, full flight and a little rough due to the east coast hurricane winds. Trying to keep the group from napping since their jet lag will be so much worse if they nap before our dinner tonight. Walking around like zombies...but it will be worth it tomorrow after a good night's sleep. Hotel is very nice - centrally located here in the quaint village of Engelberg. We are here for the next 3 nights so it will be nice to unpack and settle in. Weather is fantastic!


Saturday, August 21, 2010


Today we boarded our motorcoach with our annual gang of mystery travelers. We added 6 "new" faces to our passenger list and made our way south along hwy 65. We laughed as we relived the previous 20 years of mystery tours. We checked into the Sheraton in Jeffersonville, IN, dined at King Fish restaurant (the shrimp & whitefish were the winners) and enjoyed a beautiful night of "Broadway on the River" with Louisville, KY as the back drop. No bugs and a warm evening was enjoyed by all. Back at the hotel we turned in after a day of getting reacquainted with friends.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Today was spent packing and preparing for our annual Brewer tailgate party that we host tomorrow:) Lots of work but thank goodness my nephew, Marco has stepped up and helped out this summer. His twin brother Mario was here for the spring and early summer helping with our lawncare and providing an extra pair of hands in the garage for the guys.

Marco enjoys the office better and doesn't like to get his hands dirty so I reaped the benefits of having him around for the past 6 weeks. He has even played "tour director" on a Sunday Brunch outing and answers our phones from time to time. I will definitely miss him when he goes back in a few weeks. But they both are headed home to Tampa to start their second year at college.

Well, hope the rain holds off tomorrow and the weather cooperates for our party and game..Go Brewers!!


Thursday, July 22, 2010


Well we arrived safe and sound after a wonderful 15-day tour to the Canadian Rockies. Highlights were the Calgary Stampede, The Bow River Raft trip in Banff, The Columbia Icefields, and Maligne Lake boat cruise near Jasper. Glacier National Park was spectacular...the only time we weren't happy was a 20-minute window during a HORRIBLE hail storm in Wyoming...everyone felt sorry for John's coach:(
Glad to be back to work (well the back part is right - the work part, not so much). Have a great weekend, it sounds like it will be a good one weather wise...

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Yesterday we spent a glorious day exploring Montana - a state that most people on the coach haven't been to before. The smoke jumpers (aerial fire fighters) was very interesting and we all enjoyed that stop. In Butte we explored the Berkeley Pit (open mine) and continued through Bozeman and along the scenic route of 93 (191). We arrived in West Yellowstone late afternoon and had a very exciting dinner last night at Bullwinkles. (The owner is from Green Bay, WI)

Eda, Jeff, and I laughed so hard we couldn't finish our dinner...must be the altitude or lack of sleep. The group is getting slap happy and we even laugh at the dropping of the candy basket...

Today we explore Yellowstone National Park and Old Faithful. Looking forward to the scenery, films, and stops along the way. Again the weather is cooperating with sunny skies and 80 degrees but almost NO humidity:)

Our final destination tonight is Cody, Wyoming. Only 3 nights to go....the group is sad to see it end.


Friday, July 16, 2010


Our overnight in St Mary Lodge was a real treat. Delicious dinner and great accommodations along the St Mary River. We had an absolutely wonderful day with weather in the 80's and full of sunshine. Our jammer tour (red restored buses) was full of scenery and even a mountain goat sighting:) Glacier National Park is celebrating their 100th year so it was special. A quick (not by choice) lunch and a perfect day to be on the Lake McDonald.

We got all settled in at the hotel in Missoula, MT - had a get together for our group and we laughed til we cried. (And the only beverage was lemonade and milk for our cookies) The jokes got better and better and a lady from another tour group joined us cause we were more fun than her group. (They were out of Salt Lake City and heading back tomorrow).

Finished day #10 with only 5 left to go! Really hate to see this tour end - small group that gets along so well and alot of fun. Oh well I guess I'll just have to sell them another tour!!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Wow we had a great two-days in Banff with rafting, shopping, dining, and a wonderful dinner theatre - Oh Canada, Eh. Jeff Palo was our "stud muffin" but I can't tell you why...cause "WHAT HAPPENS ON THE BUS STAYS ON THE BUS". Today was the most spectacular scenery ever. We departed Banff at 7:30a and traveled through Banff & Jasper National Parks along the Columbia Parkway. The sun was shining the snow capped mountains were outstanding and we saw lots of elk and even a black bear. Bill & Pat DeGuire were in the front seats and I think between them they took over 200 pictures. It doesn't get any better than this.

We rode the Sno Coaches at the Glacier and arrived in Jasper after several stops at scenic vistas and waterfalls. Looking forward to a nice dinner with the group tonight and another beautiful day tomorrow. Maligne Canyon boat cruise starts our day and then we head down the parkway for a totally different view of the glaciers. Tomorrow night finds us back in the United States with a stay at St Mary lodge in Montana.


Sunday, July 11, 2010


I have never seen so many cowboy hats and boots in one place as last night at the Stampede.
What a great time we have in store for us today. The weather is comfortable - 68 degrees (about 15 degrees short of my favorite temperature) and we are having a local Calgary guide show us this city during the rodeo's excitement. Brunch in the Clagary Tower with a fabulous view and then it is off to the live rodeo...fairgrounds for great exhibits and delicious Canadian fare. Ya gotta love the entertainment...some said last night's show was the best they had ever seen - WOW!
Tomorrow we pack our bags and head further north to Banff for a two-night looking forward to the scenery. River rafting, gondola ride and more await us...

Friday, July 9, 2010


We entered Canada today and visited the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) museum in Regina, SK. A great day with fabulous weather and lots of laughs. Last night we saw the spectacular show in Medora, The Medora Musical with a very funny comedian and very talented cast. We have seen Elk, Mule Deer, Antelope, Buffalo and lots of Prairie Dogs.

Looking forward to heading to Calgary tomorrow for a two night stay with rodeo, stampede, and chuckwagon races....if you haven't been to the Canadian Rockies you sure are missing a great trip...and we just started...


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Canada Here We Come

We left Wisconsin in the pouring rain...glad we are heading west. A small but fun group of travelers onboard this tour - all looking forward to some spectacular scenery in the Canadian Rockies. We travel through Minnesota and into Fargo, North Dakota for our first overnight stay. The Hampton Inn welcomes us with wine, beer, and Pat DeGuire supplies the cheese and sausage...yum yum. Rae T enjoys the pool and hot tub, Eda and I are catching up on facebook and my blog, John and Jeff are washing the coach...and others are enjoying the 75 degree weather:) Now time for a walk before heading back to the room for a good night's rest...short night last night.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Branson in spring - fabulous! Today is 76 degrees and the flowers are in full bloom. Can't understand why we weren't full on this tour... people would rather come down in November (half full already) when the Christmas shows are on. The holiday time is nice but busy busy. This week there are only about 10 motorcoaches in town and the shows are fresh and new. No lines, no waiting. We saw the 12 Irish Tenors yesterday and the Liverpool Legends last night. Great performances from both the Irish and English. Today we sightsee and visit Yakov (Russian) and the Chinese. Excited about Silver Dollar City tommorrow. Heard the best entertainment from around the world is there along with all the different crafts and foods...yea! We have a great group with us having a wonderful time...we'll visit the Stone Hill Winery this afternoon so will lose control of this roudy group.


Saturday, April 24, 2010


Another dreery day in Wisconsin...looking out my office window I question why I choose to live in Wisconsin? Then I remember this wonderful job I have that allows me to escape this weather pretty often. I leave for Branson for the World Fest on Monday the 26th and I am really looking forward to spring and Silver Dollar City (filled with music, food, and crafts from all over the world).

Our Thunder Over Louisville tour last weekend was a huge success. Weather great, food, great and even a little excitement at the Three Chimney's breeding barn:)


Saturday, April 10, 2010


Well today is no mystery where we are headed...eventually. Our stay on Jekyll Island has been fantastic. The weather couldn't have been better. The only rain we had was on Thursday and it started after midnight and finished by 6am. The rain brought out all the resurrection fern on the live oak trees and it was beautiful. Georiga (from Georgia) was a gem. She was a wealth of knowledge about anything & everything. We enjoyed boat rides (lot of dolphins), historic forts, homes, and a wonderful array of seafood. Today we will start to make our way back to Jacksonville for our evening flight back home, but not before we make a few unique stops on the way!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010


We had a great day today -84 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. Sherry from the hotel greeted us this morning and gave us a wonderful tour of the property. With names like JP Morgan and Vanderbilt you can just imagine the history and luxury Jekyll Island Beachclub Hotel has. Then our local guide (Georgia) met our group and we boarded our coach for an island tour and beach walk. With our feet in the Atlantic ocean we apprecited Georgia's knowledge as a naturalist. The sea turtle center with hospital we visited before time for shopping and relaxing poolside. Dee is thrilled and gave me another 10 for this tour...she loves water and enjoyed the gorgeous outdoor pool. (The first 10 was last year's mystery to Key West). Just finished the tram tour with homes and now the "Burlington" girls are at the poolside bar having liquid refreshments along with the Candlishes who are enjoying a "mudslide" and a "drunken monkey". Life is good!


After a slow start at O'Hare airport with bad lightning and rain we finally departed 45 minutes late. As dad and Jim always say: Avoid the fuss go by bus! A wonderful arrival in Jacksonville, FL. The group was totally surprised since we headed north about 30 miles and entered Georgia. Toured St Marys historic town with a fabulous lunch...the fresh shrimp were the best I've had in a long time. Checked into the Jekyll Island Hotel - the group was thrilled....gotta go!

Monday, April 5, 2010


Just finishing up some packing before we board our coach in a few hours for the airport...first pickup is 3:00AM!! And you guys complain our coach departures are early. Keep checking to see where our group ends up at the end of each day. It's our annual April Fool's Fly Mystery Tour. Lots of sights and was 83 degrees there today. Looking forward to warm, warm, weather.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Busy Busy

Just returned back from our 5 day Irish mystery tour. Went to Dublin...great time with a great group of people. Lots of Irish food, Guinness beer, fiddle music, and step dancing. We learned about the Irish customs: "Wake Me When It's Over" the 3 day wake, "All Saints Preserve Us" the immigrants travels, and we tied in a scavenger hunt, murder mystery, Skelley the leprachaun, candy store, cooking demonstation, and lots of other cool things. Oh by the way it was Dublin, Ohio!!

Monday, March 1, 2010


Well I am finally back in the office...I don't know what is worse; living out of a suitcase for 5 weeks or coming back to the office and logging on to my email accounts and seeing it list 1055 new emails...We had a great trip to the southwest but even better, a wonderful group of people. Laughed over 5,000 miles and really saw so much. This week will be spent getting caught up and hopefully next week getting ahead of the game.

We have a "tour night" next week on Alaska with presentation, discounts and lots of goodies so mark your calendar for March 10th at 6:30p.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Well we are on our downhill swing departing from Oklahoma City today and making our way to Fenton, Missouri for our last night. But first we welcome a ranger at the Oklahoma City National Memorial for a tour of the park and museum dedicated to those who lost their lives in the bombing of '95. What a group of travelers we had... laughed the whole way. Looking forward to having them along again.


Friday, January 29, 2010


Well, I am trying to get ready to pack my bags and head to the southwest. Hopefully the nasty, cold weather will be through there by the time we reach the Texas state line. That's one of the great advantages of taking your time getting someplace. We will enjoy 5 days of sights and adventure before arriving. If our group was flying down on Sunday we would be arriving to 40 degree temperatures brrrrr! Even though that's warmer than here today at 4 degrees, it's still very cold for Texas and New Mexico. The other advantages are way too many to list. Departures always on time, no bumped passsengers, luggage always arrives delivered to your room, and you don't have to be stripped and body searched before boarding....just to mention a few. I'll be in touch...


Saturday, January 23, 2010


I have been MIA (missing in action). Things have been extremely busy in our office this past two month. Autumn is always crazy but December and January were just as hectic. Gloria, I and Mario (new addition to our coach company cleaning department) have just returned from Washington DC from our annual ABA (American Bus Association) convention. It was great! We finalized all the little details on our "DC in Detail" tour for this September. Plan on joining is filled with new attractions and all the "must see" sights. Getting ready for our travel shows in Fond du Lac and Waldo - hope to see you there!