Category Archives: Wisconsin

Check Out The 40 Fingers Band of Eau Claire, Wisconsin

This upcoming weekend is Father’s Day, and while I love my Dad, unfortunately I have another engagement to attend, so I cannot be with him to celebrate. As a tribute to how cool my father is, I have decided to tell the world a little more about one of his favorite pass times. My Dad has been in a band since he was a boy, he is a self-taught drummer, and his ambition never ceases to amaze me. Today, my dad still remains a kick ass drummer and singer, which if you notice, is a commodity, because many drummers do not sing due to the concentration and multi-tasking required to maintain the beat.

If you are in the Eau Claire area on a Saturday night, or possibly the surrounding area, chances are you will be able to find my father’s band, 40 Fingers, playing somewhere. The band consists of four members: Dave Ambers (drummer), Laura Reali (Keys, Alto Sax.), Hal Ahlers (Bass), and Cory Miller (Guitar). All of the members of the band are wonderful singers.

If you love to dance and you enjoy a variety of music, this band would be perfect for you. They play a wide selection of music from old to new and country to rock. Laura does a great job belting out Ex’s and Oh’s, while Cory has the perfect voice for “Love Shack.” My dad, Dave, does a great job with the song “Temptation Eyes,” and Hal is awesome with “No Matter What,” and no matter what they are playing, every member of the band has a great sense of humor and they have fun all through each gig.

While I am definitely partial to 40 Fingers, I can genuinely say that very few bands meet my expectations, because of how solid my father’s band sounds. Even though they play in some smaller towns, they have a big sound and they draw in several regulars, everywhere they go. If you haven’t heard 40 Fingers, I encourage you to check them out. I love to wander around and listen to what the audience has to say about the band; it’s always positive and people always comment on how much fun they are having.

40 Fingers does have a few regular locations that they play at, which are as follows: Jake’s Tiki Bar (Menomonie), Gilligan’s Tiki Bar (Chetek), Sammy’s Pizza (Eau Claire), Big Swedes (Holcomb), VFW on Starr (Eau Claire), VFW on Folsom (Eau Claire). To find out where 40 Fingers will be playing next, please visit: http://40fingersband.com/index.html

For more information on the 40 Fingers band, please check out their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/40-Fingers-817262014961407/

Adventures In House Hunting

Here’s another great adventure that I am currently a part of; finding a new home. We sold our house a week ago today and we have a little over a month to move out. We have looked at roughly fifteen houses and I am already tired of this search, but frequently my exhilaration is renewed, so this too shall pass.

Now this isn’t your typical adventure, but it is an adventure none the less. The feelings a person goes through when selling their home can be all over the board. We had our house sold in 48 hours; ten days later, after playing all sorts of mind games, our buyer bailed. Talk about frustrating. I didn’t want to relist our house, I was bummed. The house went again in 48 hours. The new buyer offered us a better deal and made our lives much easier. My husband and I are very happy with the outcome.

When you look for a house there are so many things to keep in mind. How big is it? Do the room sizes fit your needs? Does it have a ton of stairs, or is everything on one level? Is there enough garage space to accommodate my toys? How much can I afford to spend? Do I want to live in the city or the country? How much are the taxes? What sort of heat source does it have? I could go on for days. There are so many questions to answer before making a decision on what houses you will actually go see and on top of that the market is moving so fast the house could be sold before you get to it.

We have been looking at homes online for months now. It is exhausting, especially when you have a time crunch, which makes it even more stressful. We were very interested in one house and it was bought out from under us. Now we have two possibilities. Today we made an offer on one of those homes.

After deciding to make our offer we found out there is another offer out there, so I am going on faith that if we get this home, it’s meant to be. If our offer is not accepted then I will take that as a sign to continue looking, because something better is out there. Despite all of this, my stomach feels a little sick. I am not very patient when waiting for important news; I am working on improving that.

This time tomorrow we will know whether or not our offer has been accepted. As I say this, note I am still looking at houses online, even though I am tired of the house hunt. To all of you out there who are in the same situation, happy hunting, and may you find your dreams being answered. I know whatever happens, in a little over a month we will be moving into our new home and the thought of that is completely satisfying and makes this all worth the time and effort we have put in.

Fun At Big Swedes Resort In Holcombe, Wisconsin

This past weekend, while visiting family for Memorial Day, my father’s band, 40 Fingers, played in Holcombe, Wisconsin at Big Swedes Resort. I had never been to this particular resort before, but a lot of fun was had by everyone. The band played from 4-8pm. We danced, we had some drinks, and we enjoyed some wonderful food.

Big Swedes is a resort located on the lake. You can rent cabins, play volleyball, or sit and listen to music on weekends. This is a great place to celebrate the summer holidays.

The main bar and restaurant are decently sized and have booths, regular tables, and bar seating. You can sit down and enjoy a nice meal, or just have a cocktail or two at the bar. They also have some games available for those moments when you feel like doing something a little different.

The secondary building is a pole barn type structure that can be opened on all ends, if desired. The band played inside this area. There is a bar located in the opposite end from where the band is. Several tables and chairs are there for your listening enjoyment, but they do fill up fast, so arriving early would be to your benefit. The dance floor is decently sized and seemed to be plenty of space for those who wanted to shake their tails.

The staff at Big Swedes was nice, but not always very prompt. It felt at times as if certain staff behind the bar were too busy day-dreaming to notice someone wanted something. In one instance it appeared that my wanting to order food was an inconvenience, which is a little frustrating. I had better luck getting beverages out in the pole barn. The woman working outside was very helpful and prompt, she definitely earned her tips.

The group I was with ordered several different food items. We tried the cheese curds, the nachos, and a thin crust supreme pizza. All of the food was wonderful. I especially loved the pizza.

The music was great and the atmosphere of the pole barn was nice. I will definitely visit Big Swedes again sometime. Hopefully the slow service inside was an isolated incident.

For more information or to book your weekend at Big Swedes Resort, please visit: http://www.bigswedes.com/

 

A Unique Bed & Breakfast Experience

As long as I can remember, I have had a strong fondness for trains. My first year of college was spent at the very top of a dormitory tower; the train track was located across the street and multiple times each day, some rather long trains, would go rushing by. The slight shake of the building and the sound of the train whizzing by would lull me to sleep almost every night. Whenever I hear a train it feels a little like home and I find it to be very comforting.

Some time ago, I wanted to surprise my husband for his birthday. I didn’t want the experience to be of the norm, so I did some looking around to see what options were out there. While perusing Groupon I came across a voucher for the Bed & Breakfast Train in Spooner, Wisconsin. This was a double-win. I would finally get to ride on a train, and it would definitely be a surprise to him.

This particular adventure was everything I could have dreamed of. We got to take a beautiful drive from Minnesota to Spooner, Wisconsin. We enjoyed some wonderful food and beautiful scenery while eating dinner on the train. We had an amazing breakfast the next morning. Everything tasted great and the service was exceptional.

Though we did not partake, there was a dance car where music and dancing went on until late into the evening. We decided to relax in the dining car for a while and then retire to our room. The rooms are definitely cramped on the train, if you get claustrophobic, I would recommend that you look into upgrading to a larger space to save yourself from panic. We actually shared a twin bed and were perfectly happy.

This was an experience that I would love to try out again. If you love trains as much as I do, I think you will greatly enjoy the Bed & Breakfast Train. We haven’t been back since this birthday excursion, but I think about it often, so a return could be in the near future.

For more information on the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad’s Bed & Breakfast Train, please visit: https://spoonertrainride.com/

A Fun Evening At Infinity

This year for my mom’s birthday we took a trip over to Infinity Beverages Winery and Distillery. This is one of the gems of Eau Claire if you are looking for something fun to do on a weekend. Infinity offers a very relaxing atmosphere where you can sit back and try out some wonderful wines as well as spirits.

During our visit to the winery we spent about three hours there and in that time we taste tested 8 different wines, and 8 spirits. This is one of the most in-depth tastings I have ever been a part of at any winery. I very much enjoyed getting to try out their experimental wines and spirits, because they are a little bit different than what you are offered at most other wineries. I have done this tasting on a couple of occasions and some of the items do change depending on the time of year, which makes it nice for repeat tastings.

I tend to have more of a love for the dryer wine. The sweeter the wine, the less I want to drink it, but if you love sweet wines, Infinity has some wonderful wines for you. Delight, Desire, and Panache are their sweeter wines. I have drunk a glass of them every now and then and they are great to me in moderation. My parents, however, love those three wines and buy them on a regular basis. Also on the sweeter side are the Adalina’s Pride (made with Zinfandel and Brandy) and Adalina’s Joy (made with Moscato and Brandy). These particular wines I could definitely handle a glass of, they warm you up and the Brandy cuts the sweetness a bit. I think they both have a very nice flavor.

If you like dryer wines like I do, Solace (Syrah and Pinot Noir) and Vivid (Chardonnay and Frontenac Gris) are wonderful wines. Solace is my favorite wine at Infinity, followed by Adalina’s Pride and then Adalina’s Joy. The Marionberry, which is one of their experimental wines, was also a wonderful treat to try. This particular wine reminded me of blackberry jam with a bite of Brandy mixed in. It was tasty and light and I feel that it would be nice to enjoy a glass of this particular wine on a warm summer evening.

In regard to the spirit tastings, I am definitely a much better judge of wine. I will, however, say that I enjoyed the Chili Vodka, the Doppelbock Beerskey, and the Doppelbock Whiskey. The other spirits I struggled to separate out in my mind as far as what I tasted. I would still recommend, if you like spirits, to try them out.

This winery offers more than just great beverages; they have friendly and attentive staff as well as an atmosphere that is very conducive to chatting it up with your friends after the crazy work week. You can sit at the bar, pull up a chair at a table, relax on the patio, or you can hang out on the couch in front of the fireplace. On most Friday nights you can see live music; while we were visiting the winery there was an album release party going on upstairs.

Infinity gets a 10 in my book. I will continue to come back frequently with my family and friends. I look forward to trying each of their new experimental wines and spirits. I always have a great time when I visit this winery.

For more information on Infinity Beverages Winery and Distillery, please visit: http://www.infinitybeverages.com/