Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

Six years ago…

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

… this happened.




RIP Grandma Litton

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

I will always remember you as the artist of the family. Love you.

Happy Birthday Apryl!

Saturday, March 19th, 2011


4th Anniversary!

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Check out photos from our trip this past weekend in Galena, Illinois and Dubuque, Iowa.

Third Anniversary Highlights

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

For our third anniversary, we returned to Minnesota. We’re betting we’ll have a lot more of these trips, so we decided to slow down our pace of moving south along the Mississippi River. This time we wandered back and forth between southeastern Minnesota and midwestern Wisconsin. Our cabin was one of the lovely Hawks View Cottages in Fountain City, Wisconsin. We could even see the Mississippi through the trees outside our windows.

Goshawk - In the Trees

A Hawks View Cottage Nestled in the Trees

Goshawk - Mississippi River View

Zoomed-In View of the Mississippi River from a Window of Our Hawks View Cottage


One of our favorite parts of the trip was visiting the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota. The center has educational exhibits about eagles and local history. The staff also care for 4 bald eagles and 1 golden eagle who have been too injured to remain in the wild. Each of the eagles had a different personality, like the calm and friendly Donald, the stately Harriet, and the sassy Columbia. We also saw two wild eagles in trees across the river from Slippery’s, the restaurant that inspired one of the hangouts in the Grumpy Old Men movies.

Hayden and Apryl as Eagles

Hayden and Apryl Posing as Eagles at the National Eagle Center


The most beautiful site we visited was King’s Bluff in Great River Bluffs State Park, outside Winona, Minnesota. Fortunately, we had no run-ins with rattlesnakes, despite the signs warning us of possible encounters.

Hayden at King's Bluff in Great Rivers Bluff State Park

Hayden, Happy to Be at the Top of King’s Bluff


In Winona, we encountered the mystery of Sugar Loaf. Before we went on our trip, we read over and over about the limestone pinnacle called Sugar Loaf. (I wonder just how many places throughout the world share that name.) We stopped at the Sugar Loaf Antiques and Crafts to ask how to get closer to the top. Hayden was given only vague directions and ominously warned not to go there because people who climbed it had fallen off and DIED. Naturally, we tried to follow the directions anyway because we wanted to only take photos, not climb.

After driving around in circles for a while, we went to the Winona County Historical Society for better directions. Some lovely women explained that Sugar Loaf was never much of a tourist destination and that the police now won’t allow it to be listed in official city guides because of all the DEATHS that have occurred there. Instead, the women gave us extremely clear directions to the overlook Garvin Heights. While at the overlook, we heard a screaming child down one of the paths, but he turned out to be only cranky and whining.

Garvin Heights Lookout - Lake Winona and the town behind it

Garvin Heights Looking Toward Lake Winona and the City of Winona, with the Mississippi River and Fountain City in the Distance


Despite all the dire warnings about Sugar Loaf, I think that I would have felt safer there than at the creepy attraction Rock in the House in Fountain City. In 1995, a 55-ton boulder fell over 400 feet from the bluff above into one of the house’s bedrooms. The owners moved out, and the house is open for tourists. The giant boulder, which was clearly not going anywhere, was not what disturbed me. The house itself was a bit too reminiscent of an abandoned house in a horror movie—albeit, a much-cleaner-than-normal abandoned house. On top of that, music was playing, no one else could be seen, and parts of the house were shut off. Hayden was busy snapping photos. I was looking around nervously with car keys in hand, expecting someone to jump out with a deranged look on his face and a giant knife in his hand. Perhaps Hayden has asked me to sit through one too many horror movies.

Rock in the House - Big Rock

The Rock in the House

Rock in the House - Kitchen

Kitchen at the Rock in the House (What lurks behind the tidy facade?)


Fortunately, we survived the trip. It’s taken months to post about it because Hayden has been busy trying to survive a long, exhausting work project and because even though I’ve had free time, I’m not much of a blogger. When Hayden’s current job is over and Halloween draws nearer, I’m sure there will be more frequent posts. In the meantime, you can entertain yourself with more photos from our trip.

Anniversary Update – Coming Soon

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Probably today or tomorrow.

3 years and countin’

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009


Photo by Phillip Parker.

A Sort of Muppet Show Tonight

Monday, November 10th, 2008

On Saturday night, Hayden and I laughed nearly non-stop for two hours, so much so that my cheeks literally hurt. The cause of our merriment was “Muppets 101,” which featured clips from early (1950s–1970s) Muppet appearances that were introduced by David Rudman, a Muppets puppeteer. The event kicked off the Gene Siskel Film Center’s month-long retrospective “Muppets, Music, & Magic: Jim Henson’s Legacy.”

Here are some of the things we saw:

  • Sam and Friends, a 5-minute show that aired daily in Washington D.C. after the news and featured a primitive non-frog Kermit and other Muppets
  • Commercials for products like sausage and coffee, all of which involved a Muppet being hit over the head or blown up
  • Muppets hamming it up with people on television shows including The Jimmy Dean Show and Saturday Night Live
  • Pitches made by Muppets for Sesame Street and The Muppet Show

Although many of these segments are available on YouTube, there were definitely benefits of watching these clips in a theater instead of at home. We got to laugh along with a hundred other people reliving their childhoods. We got to see some things that you can’t find online (like Fozzie Bear wearing a finger puppet made of a tiny Gonzo head). And most importantly, we got to see live performances by and meet two of David Rudman’s characters: Baby Bear from Sesame Street and the amazing monster below.


Jealous much, Jennifer F, Caroline, and Steph? Seriously, I so wish that you could have been there!

Our 2nd Anniversary

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

Hayden and Apryl at Pikes Peak

Last week, Apryl and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary by visiting the Upper Mississippi River in the small town (pop. 871) of McGregor, Iowa. McGregor and the even smaller town of Marquette are located right across the Mississippi River from Wisconsin’s second oldest city, Prairie du Chien. Throughout the weekend, we split our time among these border towns.

Unlike the drive for our last anniversary trip, which took over ten hours, this one took just over four hours. On the way, we stopped over in the Troll Capital of the World, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, because we saw a billboard with a name of a restaurant—the Grumpy Troll—that mimicked the name of our cabin in Iowa—Grumpsters Log Cabins. We took the similarity in name as a sign and took the exit. While our lunch was merely okay (afterwards, we heard the locals talking about the real place to go), it was still worth the trip to visit the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum. Sure, there were a few troll statues around town, but it was the real oddity of a mustard homage that sparked our interest. Below are a few photos from the museum:

Mustard Museum Sign

Mustard Museum Display

Mustard Museum Vending Machine

(The world’s only mustard vending machine!)

After leaving Mount Horeb, we got back on the road and made our way to the Wisconsin/Iowa border.

(to be continued…)

Our Anniversary Slideshow

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Itasca State Park Sign

Check out our photo slideshow from our trip to Itasca State Park in Northern Minnesota!

– For those of you who are new to Flickr slideshows, if you click in the middle of a photo, an icon with the letter “i” will appear. If you click on the “i,” you will get information about the photo. The information window will remain throughout the slideshow unless you close the window. Enjoy!