When we arrived in Wisconsin back in June, we all had mixed feelings. We were excited to see all of our dear friends but anxious to see how our community would receive us back into the fold. Northeast Wisconsin, in particular, is a tough egg to crack. It’s a region with a definite rhythm. And, if you don’t beat to that drum then you don’t play in the band, so to speak. We’ve learned to walk humbly in this community, listen and learn the rhythm. All the while, gently encouraging different rhythms. I don’t know if it’s because we’ve been gone for a year and our perspective is different but this time around, we noticed much more reception to the “different” that we bring as a family and as The Hollands! We are so grateful for the open doors here in our home state. In the last two weeks we’ve performed about twenty times with double slots daily. As we get ready to head to Minnesota, we’re trying to soak in these last few moments. We are looking forward to one more pass through in September as we head to the West Coast for the winter.
Some of our highlights from our Wisconsin Tour:
The Fox River House, Appleton WI. This little gem is full of bright, creative and thoughtful folk. We really felt like we were at a family reunion. We meet kinfolk from the moment we arrived until we departed. We were inspired by artist like Washington D.C’s, Chad Brady and a darling named, Elysa who did this pen and ink on a paper plate while we were performing. The Pizza was great and Jess, Laura and Patti took great care of us. The spirit of hospitality is welcoming at the Fox River house and the twinkle lights in the beer garden make us feel right at home.
Gordon Lodge-Top Deck, Baileys Harbor, WI- The food is amazing, specially the desserts! Our favorite is the Creme Brulee. The staff offers a kind smile and helping hand and the owner/management treat us with respect. This is one of the most gracious and welcoming five star resorts we’ve ever performed at. They offer music Friday’s and Sunday’s in the summer. We arrived early and took advantage of the paddle boat and lounging in the shade. Also, Gordon Lodge offers the best sunsets in Door County!
A classy, sassy boutique in Fish Creek, WI. The Brilliant Stranger is owned by our friend, Dawn Patel. Dawn, is a creative visionary and when she invited us to come and play a set in her boutique we said, “Yes!” We enjoyed Luna Coffee and sang to folks who were happy to have a sit and listen, then shop joyfully as our music carried through the store. Grace and I were delighted, at our finish, to be able to pick out a special dress each. Craig was happy with his coffee and Banjo got a YoYo.
Terry Naturally, Green Bay, WI- Wednesday nights, one of our favorites, the Terry Naturally Farmers Market is small but relaxed with a set up like a mini-festival or back yard party. Debra, the owner has her grill rolling, offering dinner for less than you would pay at a fast food joint and it’s all natural yumminess. There are a handful of venders, including a few farms from the area, Soap and beauty makers, Tea, a lemonade/popcorn stand run by a little guy about the age of 12. Also, Joyful Henna Designs is there with her rugs and pillows and calm comfort. And, there is always good music from 4-6:30. 🙂
WE LOVE YOU WISCONSIN!!