Appleton Visit

Meg and Heather
We spent the next three days in Appleton WI visiting our family there:  daughter Meg and her partner, Heather Hietpas, Meg's children, Harry and Bronwen, and Heather's son, Pierce.  Our welcome was as warm as the weather.

We began with a visit to Meg and Heather's new house which is on Little Lake.  It is lovely and very comfortable.  Of course, the lake view is outstanding and, facing to the west, provides colorful sunsets.  After relaxing with Meg, Heather after she finished work in the upstairs office, and Harry, we went to a nearby Little League field where 11 year old Pierce was playing a game.  Just before we left, Heather learned that Pierce would be the starting pitcher.  This always ramps up parental anxiety.  His usual position is catcher.  he comes by that naturally since Heather was catcher on his high school softball team.  She has been working with him on flipping his mask off on foul popups behind the plate and as you can see from the photo, he got the message.

Marilyn, Harry, Meg, Heather, Zach, Brownen, Bill
We left the game after Pierce had completed the first inning allowing only one run and went to Fratello's Waterfront Restaurant on the Fox River where Heather and Meg treated us to a welcome to Appleton dinner.  Perhaps they also arranged the full moon that evening as well.

Harry trying out a gibbet in the Houdini exhibit
The next day we picked up Bronwen and joined Meg and Harry at Meg's on the Lawrence University campus.   We got to see some physics equipment; the name escapes me.  Then we were off to the Stone Arch Brewpub for lunch and more visiting especially with the kids.  Marilyn and I then took Harry and Bronwen to the History Museum at the Castle.  Owned and operated by the Outagamie County Historical Society, the Museum holds the collections representing the history of Appleton and the Fox Valley dating back to 1840s.  However, the museum is best known for its collection of artifacts and history of Harry Houdini, the magician and escape artist who claimed Appleton as his birthplace.  Actually he was born in Budapest and only lived in Appleton--to which the family immigrated in 1878--for four years from age four to eight.  Having been claimed by Houdini, the city returned the favor and claimed him.

The museum also had a major traveling exhibit on guitars:  The Instrument That Rocked the World.  It was very interesting with all sorts of guitars, both the usual and the unusual.  In one room, there were guitars and a drum set for anyone who would like to play.  Harry gave the guitar a try to indifferent results but he really shined on the drums.

Harry left the next day to return to England.  He had been in the U.S. for over a week to attend a wedding in Minnesota.  I lunched with Meg while Marilyn took Bronwen to lunch.  That evening we took Meg and Heather to dinner at Carmela's, an Italian Bistro.  We had a great visit in every way.

You can view more photos and videos in the Google Photos album by clicking here.

In the morning we began traveling south again all the way to Maize KS to visit Andy and Lois Sciolaro, Bill's cousins.  Although not particularly looking forward to the weather, we are looking forward to visiting with some of our favorite people and finding out what prairie adventures they have for us this trip.


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