Archive for the ‘Parks & Recreation’ Category

EXIT 305B: Milwaukee County Zoo in Milwaukee, WI

In Adam, Attractions, Exit Episode, Parks & Recreation, Wisconsin on Tue-20-Jan-15 at 11:18 AM

Yes, people!  We are back!  Sorry it’s been such a long time, but life was just in the way (of making and editing videos… not in the way of exploring!)

Adam and I explored the zoo this past June.  Yeah… took a half a year to edit the video and make this post, whoops.  I needed a computer update in order to edit videos properly… so now that I have that… you can expect to see more from us on a regular basis now!

I’ve been to the Milwaukee County Zoo many many times, especially as a kid.  But the zoo is always a fun place and it seems you always discover something new.  There is no way you’d be able to read every sign, see every animal eat and play, and experience all the unique experiences/events/exhibits that the zoo has to offer.  It’s also different each time depending on who you go with… everybody has different opinions and interests… and will say different things about the animals.

Adam and I went on a beautiful day during the week.  It wasn’t overly crowded, but any day you go there will always be millions of children.  We saw almost all the animals, and about half of them were sleeping.  Of course the snow leopard was sleeping… ugh.

Our tips for visiting the zoo:

  • have a zoo pass (or some way to get in for free)
  • park on the road (because it’s free)
  • bring in your own food (free)
  • bring in your own beverages (free)
  • don’t go with Harry Potter
  • watch out for small children

Some of these tips are relevant for any zoo, but check first to see if you are allowed to bring in food/drinks and if there are any discounts or free parking for your zoo visit.

Thanks for reading… have a “zoo-y” day!!


EXIT 4: Willow River State Park

In Courtney, Exit Episode, Parks & Recreation, Travel Tips, Wisconsin on Mon-17-Sep-12 at 4:23 PM

After our crazy camping adventure, we decided to see what else exit 4 had to offer. Craving more nature, we found Willow River State Park and set out to find a beautiful little waterfall.

The hike was in no way strenuous.  We were hoping for a little more adventure, but the day was so nice (and we were a bit hungover) so it worked out for the best.  It was about a mile walk from where we parked to the waterfall.  There seemed to be more interesting trails near the falls.

The waterfall was full of life and energy.  Lots of people enjoying the day.  Old people, young people, dogs, rock climbers.  Definitely a change from the campgrounds we had just visited.

Our hiking tips:

  • bring water
  • always take the stairs (unless there is a funner way to get up to the view… but always go up to see the view)
  • wear hiking sandals (just for the tan lines)
  • bug spray isn’t ever a bad idea
  • don’t be completely hungover (a little bit is fine)
  • go on a day when the weather is exactly how it was when we went…


EXIT 4: Tubing & Camping in Somerset, WI

In Courtney, Exit Episode, Parks & Recreation, Wisconsin on Sat-08-Sep-12 at 5:47 PM

River tubing has always been one of my favorite things… because it combines 2 other favorite things… day drinking, and being on the water.  I’ve actually only gone just a few times in my life, couple times when I was younger, once in Virginia, once in Vang Vieng, Laos, and once just now in Somerset, Wisconsin.  Each time has been a very fun and memorable experience.

This summer in Wisconsin has been very very dry… so the river was pretty calm and low.  We didn’t get to the campsite until later in the evening, so we only had time to do half of the section (which turned out great… since it was so cold by then).  We filled plastic bags with beer and tied our tubes together (haha).  I think usually tubing is great with a big fun group of people and an extra tube for the cooler, but it was only Courtney and me, which was just as good.  We had a quality heart-to-heart and took turns pushing the tubes away from the trees and chasing after escaped beer cans (the plastic bags weren’t totally reliable).

We camped at Apple River Hideaway… once of many campgrounds/tubing places on the St. Croix River.  It is definitely a party atmosphere… they don’t recommend bringing your kids on the weekends.  Our friend, Emily, joined us for the night and the 3 of us cuddled up in our 8-person tent.

Things we recommend bringing when you camp:

  • A tent
  • Blankets
  • Flashlights
  • Water
  • Beer
  • Extra Blankets
  • Extra Beer
  • Optional – things to start a fire (otherwise you can make friends with people who already have a fire)
  • Garbage Bags
  • (not mentioned in video) Towels… to dry off the tent before you pack it away in the morning… so you don’t have to set it up in your backyard again the next day when you get home to dry it out

Bonus Episode: Exploring La Crosse, WI

In Attractions, Courtney, Matt, Parks & Recreation, Restaurants & Bars, Special Episode, Wisconsin on Thu-23-Aug-12 at 9:34 AM

To prepare for Explore 94, Matt, Courtney, and I decided to film a test episode in La Crosse, WI.  We spent time at Riverside park, visited the World’s Largest 6-pack, and shared some appetizers at Buzzard Billy’s.

Home to Hiawatha (“Indian Man”) and Fido (a dog statue which you can apparently adopt somehow), Riverside Park is a scenic park along the Mississippi River.  The park was full of energy with people visiting, locals jogging, and boats racing.  It’s a lovely spot to hang out, have a picnic, people watch, or attend an event.

While in La Crosse, you might as well take a few minutes to pass by the World’s Largest 6-pack, because really, how cool is that?!  City Brewery also has a gift shop and offers tours.  You can also visit King Gambarinus (he’s legit), who resides across from the big beer cans.

Our final stop was Buzzard Billy’s, a great gem in the historic downtown area of La Crosse with authentic New Orleans and American Cuisine.  My ultimate recommendation is the sweet potato fries.  I would definitely go back for those!  (And to tell you a secret, we had been there before… and I wanted to go to get the fries again.)  The Buzzard Eggs (chicken tenders, jalapenos, and cheese wrapped in bacon) were obviously good because they were wrapped in bacon, however they could have used more cheese and less chicken.  It’s something different to try, but next time I’ll just double up on the sweet potato fries.

It was a fun evening with Matt and Courtney, and a lot of footage to edit.  It gave me a better idea of how Explore 94 will go, although every exit will be a different experience (especially when I’m not exploring with 2 people who live in the town).