Nicole and Adam August 6 2011

Whistling Straits Golf Course located on the shores of Lake Michigan near Kohler, Wisconsin is an absolutely stunning and unforgettable location for a summer wedding and reception.  The breezeway between the luxurious clubhouse and the rustic Irish Barn is covered with a pergola and looks out over the golf course and Lake Michigan.  And this is the exact spot where Nicole Strittmater and Adam Wise were joined in marriage on a picture perfect day in August.

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Nicole is my Niece’s daughter.  I’ve always referred to her as my “grand niece”, and I’m not sure if that is the correct relational term but I think it works well.  When I found out that the wedding would be on August 6 (also my birthday) I immediately reserved the date on my calendar.  This, of course, would mean that on one of my few Saturdays of not having to emcee a wedding reception I would be attending one instead.  And I really savor those opportunities!

Nicole and Adam’s wedding and reception were awesome, memorable and enjoyable in so many ways.     I have been a part of over a thousand wedding receptions during my career as a DJ and I always remember the good ones.  And this was a really good one.

For the trip I cleaned up the “Black Tie Van”, which usually serves as our DJ equipment truck, and made it suitable for people hauling.  Then Robin and I left the Quad Cities and headed up the river to Fulton Illinois, where we joined up with my sister Kathy and her husband Denny (from Fulton) and my brother Irvin and his wife Donna who had flown in from Texas.  Irv and Donna were very happy to get a break from the Texas heat for a few days!  And then we were off to the land of cheese and bratwurst!

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Here I am at the driver’s seat, and that’s my brother Irv riding shotgun and navigating.   No, I’m not about to crash into the white van.

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We had great family fun on the road, shared some trail mix, and arrived in Sheboygan around 1pm, just in time to check in to the hotel and have lunch.  The Holiday Inn Express on I-43 in Sheboygan is very nice incidentally!

After lunch we joined up at the hotel with my other brother Allen and his wife Becky, proud Grandparents of the Bride!   There were many other wedding guests at the hotel, and we formed a caravan of sorts as we winded our way to the beautiful Whistling Straits.  There were plenty of scenic places there to take some family snapshots .  Here’s one of the happy Grandparents!

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Barb and Dave, Aunt and Uncle of the Bride.

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At 4:00 it was time to begin the ceremony.

Here’s Groomsman Ryan, Brother of the Bride:

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And Bridesmaid Jessica, Sister of the Bride:

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And of course, the beautiful Bride Nicole escorted by her Father Terry:

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Adam and Nicole enjoyed a moment during Ryan’s reading of I Corinthians 13 during the ceremony:

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My brother Allen did a reading entitled “The Promise”:

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Adam and Nicole Wise are introduced for the first time!

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Here’s the Maid of Honor, Angela, (my wife really liked Angela’s shoes) and one of the Best Men, Matt.

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The bridal party heads off for some photos –20110806 Nicole and Adam 155

While we enjoy cocktail hour in the rustic Irish Barn –

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The tables were each named after one of the couple’s favorite movies.  Our family was seated at “Christmas Vacation”.

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The Bridal Party was seated at “Beauty and the Beast”.

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The Irish Barn is very rustic and strictly a seasonal building.  With no air conditioning or heat, weddings can only be scheduled during the Summer and early Fall seasons.  Fortunately there was a very cool breeze coming directly off Lake Michigan.  The East wall is entirely open, providing great views.  What a lovely setting!

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The flowers were all beautiful, consisting of Grapevines and Hydrangeas.

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These two were looking especially cute for Nicole’s wedding!

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My sister Kathy and brother Allen (Grandfather of the Bride).

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Formal photos complete, the wedding party is ready to enjoy the cocktail hour!

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Soon it was time for dinner.  The menu was absolutely 5 Star!  We all enjoyed Corn and Sausage Chowder (a local favorite), a Gazpacho Salad,  a Japanese Summer Salad, Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Baby Green Beans and Cognac Sauce, Herb Crusted Chicken with Cheesy Potatoes Gratin, Baby Carrots and Tomato Cream Sauce, and Pecan Encrusted Tilapia with Wild Rice.

Afterwards we enjoyed some of the best wedding cake ever, consisting of layers of Almond Raspberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Sponge, Strawberry Mousseline, Natural Buttercream and Fondant Icing.  Wow!  The wedding cake was accented in fresh fruit rolled in sugar.  Note the groom on the recliner with the remote.

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You can understand why we all look so very happy!

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After dinner, and before the dancing got started at dusk, we had some more time to enjoy the surroundings.  I feel bad for this guy trying to hit out of the sand on number 18:

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The wedding guests formed a sort of a mini “gallery” and clapped for the golfers as they completed their rounds.

Nicole and Adam had a friend of theirs D.J. for them, and the guests enjoyed dancing in the rustic Irish Barn until midnight.  It’s always great for us to enjoy the evening while another D.J. does all the work!

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The bride and groom are in here somewhere!

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Sue and Terry, the happy and proud parents of the bride!

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Nicole and Adam had a great time!

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Mom and Daughters!

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Members of Nicole and Adam’s wedding party included:

Parents – Terry and Susan Strittmater, Russ and Nancy Wise

Maid of Honor – Angela Dekanich

Best Men – Matt Inda and Severin Guzzonato

Bridesmaid – Jessica Strittmater, Kristin Zittlow, Amy Winter, Jennifer Olness, Carrie Beggan and Tracy Komasa

Groomsmen – Dan Zittlow, Ryan Strittmater, Josh Wood, Ryan Alexander and Mark Massoglia

Ushers – Daren Willems and Tom Moniz

Officiant – Elizabeth Jaeger, St. Luke Lutheran Church, Sheboygan Falls

Ceremony Music – Jubilate String Quartet

Harpist – Mary Molepske

Some things about Nicole and Adam’s wedding that make it stand out as truly memorable and unique:

Southern Pralines, made by Nicole’s sister Jessica-

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Of course, the setting was truly beautiful!  And the food was fantastic!

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The hosted beers: Guinness and New Glarus’ Spotted Cow.  My two favorites!  Thanks Terry!

Find out more about Spotted Cow.beer_photo_fes_glass[1]

To adhere to the old adage “Something Borrowed, Something Blue” Nicole wore blue shoes that she trimmed and accented herself.  I thought this was really original and creative.

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And most importantly, being together with family on a very special occasion makes August 6, 2011 a day that will always stand out as one of the very best!

The next morning we enjoyed a great breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express, said our goodbyes to Wisconsin, piled into the van and hit the road!

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Thanks to Nicole and Adam and we wish you all the very best as you begin your lives together!

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Great Day Trips – The Milwaukee Art Museum

Once the weather warms up here’s a great idea for a day trip that is only a few hours from the Quad Cities.  We visited the Milwaukee Art Museum a couple years ago and really enjoyed it.

The museum is located on Lincoln Memorial Drive at Michigan Street on the shores of Lake Michigan in Downtown Milwaukee.  The museum has a very striking appearance, both inside and out.

Milwaukee Art Museum-Exterior View-Photo By Tim Schaver

Milwaukee Art Museum-Exterior View-Photo By Tim Schaver

The exterior features a sail or wing-like sunscreen that can open and close.  Unprecedented in American architecture, the Burke Brise Soleil, is a moveable, wing-like sunscreen that rests on top of the Museum’s vaulted, glass-enclosed Windhover Hall. The “wings” open Tuesday-Sunday at 10 a.m. with the Museum, close/reopen at noon, and close again with the Museum at 5 p.m.; except on Thursdays when the Museum closes at 8 p.m. This schedule is, however, subject to change without advance notice due to weather, special events, or maintenance.

Photo By Tim Schaver

Photo By Tim Schaver

While the Burke Brise Soleil has a wingspan comparable to that of a Boeing 747-400, its two ultrasonic wind sensors automatically close the wings if the wind speed reaches 23 mph or greater.

The reception hall of the museum is just as interesting as the exterior. Awash in white with exquisite marble flooring, this magnificent light-filled grand reception hall boasts a 90-foot-high glass ceiling located directly below the Burke Brise Soleil and serves as the gateway to the Museum. The site of exhibition openings, brunches, weddings, and art fairs, among other special events, Windhover Hall-whose lake side is often compared to the prow of a ship-is open to the public without charge during regular Museum hours.

Windhover Hall Interior - Photo By Tim Schaver

Windhover Hall Interior - Photo By Tim Schaver

If the building itself wasn’t enough, of course, there’s the art!  For information on exhibits and a calendar of events please visit the museum’s web site.  And if you wish to make your adventure more than a day trip we are always happy to help you with the travel and lodging arrangements.   Book online or call me and I can do all the work for you.

Enjoy life!  Travel more!

Thinking About Summer

After another morning of shoveling snow I decided to warm up by looking at some old photographs of warmer times.  I ran across some photos of our bicycle trip to the Sugar River Trail in Wisconsin back in the summer of 2003.  It was one of the hottest days of the year.  Plenty of humidity and no refreshing breeze.  Quite different from today’s cold north winds and blowing snow.

A Scene On The Sugar River Trail

A Scene On The Sugar River Trail

Covered Bridge On The Trail

Covered Bridge On The Trail

The Sugar River Trail features a covered bridge near Brodhead Wisconsin.  The trail is carved out of an out railroad bed and is composed of crushed limestone.  It is one of the most scenic and enjoyable trails within a couple hours drive of the Quad Cities.  It runs from New Glarus to Brodhead for a total of about 23 miles one way.

Inside the Sugar River Trail Covered Bridge

Inside the Sugar River Trail Covered Bridge

There, now I feel warmer.  Time to go shovel some more snow.  I’ll write more about some of our favorite Wisconsin destinations in the coming weeks.