Monday, March 21, 2011

Wisconsin road trip...

OK, welcome back. I said I was going to be doing more posts here, and I aims to please.

I took a trip to Wisconsin this weekend. My youngest brother is getting married later this year in Las Vegas, but due to budget constraints I will not be attending the wedding. However, he and his fiancee were both having a get-together for family and friends, so I and brother #2 and his family (he is the one who adopted a son back in 2009) made the trip up to visit them (and brother #1) in northern Wisconsin. My parents did not make the trip due to my father's recent illness (recovering from a staph infection). So, in my father's borrowed van, we made the trip up north. My only issue with the trip came up when I realized that my laptop's battery was not going to last the whole trip. We did stop at a town just south of Rockford for food and gas, which allowed me to buy a DC to AC power converter. They had other issues, but I did not want to get involved (and I do not air their issues in public, so let's keep it at that). My main form of entertainment was watching several episodes of Samurai Sentai Shinkenger (this is the basis of Power Rangers Samurai that is being shown on NickTOONS).

We arrived at brother #1's home (actually it belongs to his girlfriend) around 11:30 PM, and we were all happy to get there. I got the computer room with the unfolding futon. It was not a bad place to sleep, and thankfully my nephew knows not to open doors that he should not open without permission. The one that was happiest to see us was their labradoodle, who became best friends with my nephew over the course of the weekend (brother #2 and family have a dog, so being around a dog was no bid deal for my nephew).

Brother #1's girlfriend had to put in some time at her job early in the morning, but she still had time to make a breakfast casserole. I got up a bit late, but due to sleep issues, I felt it was not long enough. Anyways, while #1's girlfriend, #2's wife, and #3's fiancee went for a ladies' day with some of friends of the fiancee, the brothers and myself watched a bit of TV, watched nephew play with the dog, and we also talked to our father over the phone for a half-hour (using my cell phone). Lazy day of seeing NCAA basketball and hanging out.

Then the ladies came back and we did some more light talk, and brother #2 and wife gave the new couple a shower gift (tool set).

Then came the guy's night out. We planned on going to an early show at a bar/comedy club in town, but the plans shifted to the late show (one of #3's friends was coming from out of town and could not make it for the early show). So we ventured out to a bar in the same strip of stores as the club (cheaper food), where we met a pair of #3's friends (including the late arrival). We got food and drink (mine was not alcoholic as I planned on being a designated driver). After eating and watching a bit of the Wisconsin game on TV, we walked to the comedy club.

***My only complaint about that club is that they really need to work on how they handle lines going into the club. Back to my story.***

The MC for the night was a rather young comedian. Not bad, but he is a work in progress. Averell Carter was the next act, and he was very good. His best bit was a shot at a couple of people he encountered in a line complaining about poor service with a line "This is so gay". His retort was that they really needed to find a better complaint line (offensive words were at one time really offensive, now they are really lame). He told it better; I recommend you go see his act.

The headliner was Michael Mack. Now his act was funny. And his work with the women in the audience was great. One person that he worked into his act was an older woman who had her family with her in the club, and they sat to his left at the foot of the stage.

***Another note: the seats that the six of us (four brothers and two friends of youngest) were very nice. Great view of the stage, but not right next to the stage so that the comedians would not be using us in the act).***

My favorite part of his act was his ending, including his props to simulate various famous rock acts. The Queen bit from Bohemian Rhapsody where that band did the 'figaro' bit had me laughing hysterically. Loved it!

After the end of the act, we all went back to the first bar. We found out that Wisconsin had won (boo). Brother #2 and I split off from the rest, and after borrowing #1's gf's van, we went back to the house to get some sleep.


Late night became late morning. We did find out that brothers #1 and #3 made it back to their respective homes safely (#1 was locked out of the house for a bit because I had the keys). The group met at a local restaurant for brunch, followed by a trip to a local outlet shop for a look at the selection (its almost a tradition). After that it was trip preparations and #2 and I traveled back home. This time I listened to my NPR podcasts, and watched part of a documentary on the Crusades (my nephew liked seeing the men riding on their horses...ok, he liked the horses). The odd thing about the trip back was the weather. Up in norther Wisconsin it was only in the upper 30s to lower 40s. Back in central IL it was in the 60s when we stopped for dinner. I had to ditch some layers of clothes during the trip.

Long trip, but fun nevertheless. I'll have to think about my next trip up that way in the summer for the post-wedding reception. I may just drive myself. I liked watching my shows on the computer, but I think I may prefer to listen to XM for the trip. I also liked the drive with my nephew, but...I'll stop here. Have a good day.

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