A Spontaneous Visit (and Delivery) to Green Bay
Early Saturday morning, I got a text from Bob asking if I wanted to head up to Green Bay with him. This all started a long while ago, when Bob was trying to sell an old (and absolutely fantastic) drafting table to make some more room in his garage. It was nearly a year ago that we tried to first put this thing on Craigslist:
We didn’t find any takers, despite a few attempts. But then a few weeks ago, Bob decided to re-post the thing… and when I asked around on Twitter and Facebook, Alex was quick to snatch the thing up.
The one catch? He’s in Wisconsin. But Bob offered to deliver the desk, if Alex would agree to split the cost of gas with him. And so it was a done deal.
The text I got from Bob let me know that Julie was sick, and couldn’t make the trip. The two of them were going to use the table delivery as a means to take a quick weekend vacation, and spend a little time in Kohler. But with Julie at home sick, Bob was facing the prospect of a long road trip solo – so I opted to be his copilot for the day. And as a bonus, I’d also get to see Alex and Linda, and the kids!
A shot of the city, early morning. Although this was taken some weeks before, when Bob and I made a similar trek to Milwaukee to pick up a Pittsburgh Machine.
Unloading the desk.
We had some work to get the thing into the house, and ultimately had to go through the house and kitchen, to get to the back stairs.
Bob, showing Alex how the table top is set up (and how it raises/lowers).
After the table was set up, we had a delicious lunch courtesy of Linda: grilled beets and veggies, with goat cheese and some kind of delicious custom mayo, along with some grilled chicken. We spent a long while hanging out at their kitchen table, just relaxing and talking.
After lunch, Alex was kind enough to give us a brief tour of the downtown area. We stopped briefly at Lambeau Field (which looked drastically different after the renovations, from what Bob remembered).
We also stopped in at Kavarna, and got a cup of coffee (of course).
I hadn’t been to the newer location yet, and got the chance to look around.
The space is very nice, with tables lining the wall, wrapping around towards the back. As we were talking, Alex noted that Tom Waits was playing over the music system – and he made a funny joke that the whole coffee shop venture was really just an expensive way for him to inflict Tom Waits onto other people.
Around back, there’s even more seating – lots of space for a wide range of groups to meet and hang out. A really impressive space.
After coffee, we hopped across the street and visited Titletown Brewing Company and sank a beer. We hung out a good while here, talking a lot about Chicago (and how to tell if someone is and isn’t from the area).
Bob told us a story about how the nuns used to hit kids who didn’t pronounce Chicago correctly. If you’re not from here, you say Chi-CAH-go. But apparently, the correct way is to say Chi-CAW-go.
Our last stop on the tour was to check out Alex and Linda’s latest venture: Hot Broth & Coffee. It caters more to the downtown crowds, and as such isn’t open on the weekend – but we swung by to take a look.
Alex didn’t happen to have a key on him, so we just looked in from the outside. In addition to Kavarna, Alex and Linda also have the Hot Broth location as well as the Locktender’s House (which is closed for the season). The two of them sure do like to keep busy.
It was a really nice trip up, and I feel lucky to have been able to tag along. It was nice to hang out with Alex and Linda for a relaxing (and delicious) meal, and Alex was kind to spend a good part of his day showing us around his town.
On leaving, the two of them made a recommendation that we stop off at Il Ritrovo for dinner in Sheboygan. When we arrived, we found ourselves looking at a 40 minute wait… but we lucked out at got some bar seating. In short order, we got some really delicious pizzas and were back on the road again, in no time.
Despite the predictions of rain, Bob and I missed most of that on our drive up. The day was, for the most part, really clear and sunny – with just a few periods of clouds. We did hit a pretty bad patch of rain just south of Milwaukee (a really bad downpour, where the rain was quite literally blinding). But for the most part, it was a really relaxed, easy drive – both there and back.
Fun, impromtu road trip.