Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Some "Typical" Homes in Appleton and the Fox Valley
Here are some photos of homes from around the Fox Valley that I took a couple years ago just to show people what living looks like in the Valley. Most are from Appleton. This area is a peaceful, beautiful place to live, even in winter with snow and cold untempered by hopes of global warming. Maybe someday that tempering will come. For now, chill.
Labels: Appleton, Appleton homes, Fox Valley, homes, housing, neighborhoods, photos
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Milwaukee Art Museum
The Milwaukee Art Museum (www.mam.org)
greatly exceeded my expectations when I took some family including 3 small children there. The kids had already visited the excellent children's museum (the Betty Brinn Children's Museum
) across the street earlier in the day, and before going home, we hoped they would be willing to endure a quick stroll through the art museum for the sake of the adults. How surprised I was to see that the children (ages 1, 3, and 6) had more fun at the Milwaukee Art Museum than they did at the Children's Museum. In fact, they had even more fun that the adults did, though we loved the experience.
The Milwaukee Art Museum is remarkably family friendly, even for families with fairly conservative values that don't want their kids being exposed to excessive nudity or other awkward or distressing scenes. It's a place where families can experience some beautiful and inspiring art, and where children can grow in appreciation of the arts. Our 3-year-old grandson and our 6-year-old granddaughter were both highly impressed by the main exhibit featuring Rembrandt, Reynolds, and other great classics from the Kenwood House in England. They loved the paintings and picked their favorites that they wished they could bring home with us.
Then as we went into other exhibits, the 1-year-old often laughed with glee at the art she saw and enjoyed browsing the wide-open spaces the museum offers. She probably had the most fun of all, sometimes shouting in delight. Sorry, fellow visitors! Our quick stroll lasted much longer than we thought and the kids would have enjoyed staying longer. So glad we went there! Kids under 12 are free, while adults paid $15. Well worth it.
Here are some photos from our Dec. 2012 experience:
A Few Recent Photos
A few photos from downtown Appleton and one of the Fox River.
Solea in Appleton: A Good, Family-Friendly Choice
I took the family to Solea in Appleton on Casaloma, just west of the Fox River Mall. Their Mexican food is a pretty good choice for families with small children because they have a good children's menu and their food isn't too spicy in general. I was pleased with the Veracruz style tilapia that I had, though I enjoyed the tilapia at El Jaripeo more. A tamale that I ordered on the side was one of the best I've ever had, and I really liked the green salsa topping, lettuce, and sour cream that came with it, making a sometimes boring item more interesting. My wife had a burrito that was OK but lacked flavor in the filling. However, the service was excellent and willing to take things back and make adjustments to ensure that we were happy with the food, though we learned this after we were done and my wife expressed some minor disappointment. Our other guests generally enjoyed their food and we were all pleased with the family-friendly service.
Mapquest now Features Appleton Photos
is a good tool for finding your way around the Fox Valley. Mapquest now includes some information about Wisconsin communities
such as Green Bay
. The info for Appleton
is just extracted from Wikipedia at this point, but I'm happy to announce they do provide some local photos of the Appleton area. You can upload your own favorites, if you wish.
Monday, December 24, 2012
El Jaripeo in Little Chute: Great Mexican Food
Based on positive reviews from readers, I trekked out to Little Chute while in town over the Christmas holidays and took some family members to enjoy lunch at El Jaripeo
. Very good Mexican food, with rapid service and little waiting for food to arrive. The food in general seems to be a little less spicy than typical, perhaps to accommodate Wisconsin tastes, but flavor is good and costs are low. I enjoyed Los Cavos, a seafood dish with nicely grilled, tender tilapia topped with sauce and roasted shrimp, large and tender, for $10.99. Others enjoyed less expensive lunch specials or combination plates, or the excellent children's menu.
They serve horchata, a favorite rice drink of mine, and it was good. Many places don't serve this basic Mexican drink at all, s I really appreciate the ones that do offer it.
The chips and salsa are good. We had a very mild but fresh basic salsa, an excellent bean dip with melted cheese on top, and two additional salsas that were more fiery. Really nice mix.
Setting is nothing special but it's comfortable and clean.
Overall, good food, good prices and very good service. Located on Highway 96 (Main Street) on the outskirts of Little Chute.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Alltop's Rural Websites: Now Featuring Appleton
Alltop.com's Rural Portal
includes a variety of resources about rural living and Rural American, including the Appleton Blog. Alltop is an interesting experiment in aggregating material and making relevant content in numerous topic areas easier to access.
All of which reminds me, Appleton really is one of American's best small towns. And according to CNN, one of America's Top 100 Best Places to Live
. Sort of like a little Shanghai of the West, miniaturized and less crowded with more a Midwestern feel and more cheese. :)
Monday, November 12, 2012
El Jaripeo: Popular Mexican Food in Little Chute
The latest addition to my page on dining and food in the Fox Valley area (especially Appleton, WI)
is El Jaripeo
Fox Valley Mexican food fans are buzzing with gusto about this inexpensive and fun new addition to the Valley. El Jaripeo
offers what seems like relatively authentic Latino cuisine in a fun setting at low prices. Check out their menu
and see for yourself. The owner is from Guanajuato, Mexico, where the cooking is delicious based on what I've tasted from my own friends from that part of Mexico, deep in the heart of the country. Reviews on Yelp.com
are very positive. Said to be fast and delicious.
It's where a Hardees used to be in Little Chute, and one reader calls it the "Mexican Hardees," but I think that's too complimentary of Hardees. On Main Ave in Little Chute in front of Hardware Hank/Piggly Wiggly. 1821 E. Main St., Little Chute, WI 54140. Phone: (920) 759-9480. Open 11:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. seven days a week. Let me know what you think!
Labels: dining, food, Fox Valley cuisine, Mexican, restaurants, reviews
Friday, November 09, 2012
Holy Hill: A Beautiful Wisconsin Site
About 90 minutes south of Appleton is a beautiful Wisconsin site that too few people have visited: Holy Hill
. It's the site of a famous Catholic basilica on the top of a hill with a beautiful view of the countryside. Below are some photos of the basilica and the view from the top. Awesome in fall, in October especially, when the colors are changing. There is a tall tower you can climb and a beautiful chapel inside to visit and worship in, if you wish, or just ponder the beauty of the place.
Labels: holy hill, photography, photos, sites, tourism, wi, wisconsin
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Beautiful and Delicious: Pullmans
I recently had a chance to take some great friends and my grandkids to dinner in the Fox Valley. Wanted someplace memorable, family friendly, and picturesque. I wisely chose Pullmans in the Oneida Flats area along the Fox River in Appleton. This is one of the prettiest settings of any restaurant in the Valley and has delicious food. I'll share some of the photos I took shortly.
Had my favorite lobster bisque and also a crab cake sandwich. Others enjoyed salads, fish, pizza (my granddaughter), and, of course, the view of the river. Thanks for a lovely evening, Pullmans!
Labels: food, restaurants
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Confucius Chinese: Outstanding
I took some relatives to dinner last night at Confucius Chinese, where the Taiwanese owners and chef really understand the joys of Chinese food, in my opinion. In addition to some great items on the menu, I asked for some extra authentic dishes they might be able to provide. One of my tips for good Chinese food in Appleton is that the best places can provide outstanding authentic specialties that are not on the menu. In some cases, it's best to give a day's notice, but tonight I just asked for their recommended specialties on the spot. We had an outstanding beef hotpot dish and salmon as non-menu specialties, which were great, but I was also delighted with the menu items we ordered such as Kung Pao chicken. Very good flavors and even the grandkids loved it.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Massive Cello Concert Sept. 30-Oct. 1
"Massive cello concert to be part of Haiti symposium
" is the story from the Fox Cities Hub, where we learn that 100 cello performers will be sharing great music for the Wisconsin Cello Society’s Cello Day on Sept. 30 at Lawrence University, with further events on Oct. 1. I'll be getting back to Appleton around then. Might catch a few notes while in town again. Can't wait to get back! Yes, I've been away too long.....
The World's Best Octoberfest: Appleton, Sept. 28-29, 2012
is one of the many famous attractions that Appleton has--an attraction so big that the population roughly doubles for a couple of days with over 100,000 people coming to join the celebration. In spite of a lot of beer, things stay orderly and safe for families which plenty for sober-minded folks to enjoy. There's music all along the long College Avenue stretch of octoberfest wonders, and hundreds of other attractions including great food (yes, Tiger Paws!).
I hope you'll be there this weekend for the greatest Octoberfest ever. If you've been to Octoberfest in Germany, let us know if my assessment is still correct. I think it is!
Friday, March 30, 2012
The Hmong People of Wisconsin
The tragedy of the Hmong people
and the dramatic events that brought thousands of them to Wisconsin is a story that deserves to be studied and told frequently. Unfortunately, few people know it, and even many of the rising generation of Hmong people aren't familiar with some of the most important details.
Here are some of my photos from friends and acquaintances in Wisconsin. The Hmong people are a brave and kind people who make Wisconsin a better community.