Karas’ 2019 Recap: Happy New Year!

There is no doubt in my mind, I will definitely remember 2019.  There were thrills, moments of fulfillment and unavoidable heartbreak this past year.  Although some of the emotions I’d rather skip, feeling those assures me that I’m alive and simply not numb to world that surrounds.  I prefer it that way.

As for my part time travel blog:  I’ve hit some rather fun spots, seen key categories rise above last years stats and I also fulfilled life long ambitions.   So yeah, It’s doing alright, not stellar or outstanding, but it’s climbing and not falling so I feel reassured by that.

Like always, as this is my third New Year’s recap, I’ll feature the highlights of the past year in this week’s entry.  After all, today is New Year’s Eve.  How could I not?

So on with my recap of the Year 2019…

Chicago during New Year’simg_0152

I’ll start with the very first moments of the year and last moments of 2018, which of course would be New Year’s Eve into the early morning of New Year’s Day.  We had booked a hotel in Chicago, made dinner reservations at a high class restaurant and decided to watch the fireworks exploding over Lake Michigan from Navy Pier.  It didn’t live up to expectations…it exceeded them by quite a margin.  The streets were alive with an infectious buzz and I was blown away.

You can read my Exploits by clicking on the link below:

Ringing in the New Year Among the Windy City

Mackinac Island


Fudge, history, natural wonder, reasonable shops and great restaurants, It’s all on Mackinac Island.  One can tour a revolutionary war fort, take a scenic bike ride, sample fudge or traverse the Victorian town with a horse drawn carriage. This was probably the most I’ve enjoyed a vacation in the past decade.  I remember perusing Fort Mackinac on day one, learning of its history in little snippets.  It took awhile before all those snippets made sense and I had a clear understanding of the history and lore which makes this small island, which does not allow motorized vehicles on its roads, such a unique and interesting place to visit.

I wrote five blog entries on our week’s worth of exploits in and around Mackinac Island

My Take on Mackinac Island

Our Dining and Drinking Escapades on Mackinac Island

Spending a Rainy Day in Mackinaw City

A Run-in With the Redcoats and a Lighthouse in Mackinaw City

A ‘Bucket List’ Moment at the Start of My Vacation

The House on the Rockimg_1099-1

If your looking for an attraction that is simply fantastic and weird, the House on the Rock could definitely be at the end of your searches.  I really don’t know how to describe it.  First off, there is a house built from limestone perched on a rock as the first part of the tour.  You’d think that’d be enough to thrill someone, but this place also has the largest collection of coin operated amusements I have ever seen.  A lot are wacky, some creepy.  Add other collections into the mix, including the worlds largest indoor carousel, and you can easily blow a day marveling at all the zany exhibits.

To read more about this place click on the link below

‘The House on the Rock’: It’s a Bit Different

The Wisconsin State Fair


Years ago, local and state fairs provided an opportunity for farmers to get together.  There, they would compare methods and techniques to increase production and reduce man hours.  Today, the Wisconsin State Fair is a festival that features eclectic food, great contemporary music and thrilling carnival rides. Yes, It’s evolved quite a bit, although you can still check out the animal barns. I was actually pretty surprised to find how much fun I had without spending a wad of dough.

The following link tells of my experience at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Fun at the Fair!

Chicago in late Summer


I’ve blogged about Chicago during Christmas time and New Year’s.  I figured Heidi and I would make a go of it during late summer.  The buzzing vibrant streets paired with attractions like the River Walk, Navy Pier and Millennium Park made the trip fun.  We skipped the museums but stood high above the Chicago streets inside the ‘Ledge’, which sits atop the second tallest building in the US: the Willis(Sears)Tower.

Read about a typical day in Chicago, if you just happen to be visiting.

A Summer Tour of Chicago


The Packers Vs The Bears in Lambeau Field.img_0187

The Green Bay Packers are probably the NFL’s most storied franchise. The Bears would come in at a close second.  I’m sure Chicago fans would see it differently.  However, Green Bay is a town that loves their team.  So much so, that in the early part of the franchise’s history, the city bought the team from founder, player and coach Earl (Curly) Lambeau.  The stadium that is named after him is a throwback to the 1950’s and 60’s, but with all the modern amenities of any NFL venue.  Earlier this month, I bundled up, braved the cold and watched the Packers take it to the Bears.

This Blog features the season home finale of 2019.

The 200th Meeting of the Bears and Packers in Lambeau Field

A couple mentions

I’ve listed six destinations or events from this past year.  There were more highlights like

the Tall Ships Festival that I figured I’d at least mention.img_1237

Onboard the ‘Tall Ships’

There was also this fun little museum that I’d like to include.  It’s quite small, but its quirkiness seared my memory banks.img_0548-1

The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts.

Finally I’ll mention the place that says Wisconsin sports fan.img_0338

My Take on the Original Cheesehead Factory

And that’s my 2019 recap.  I’d like to thank Heidi for tagging along with me this year.  We’ve made some memories and hopefully 2020 holds more future fond recollections. I’ll thank those who bother to read my blog, I’m glad you share interest in my subjects.   I’d also like to thank all of those who I call family and friends, not everything was roses about this year, but all of you make the journey worth the while.

Safe Travels!

On to 2020….









6 responses to “Karas’ 2019 Recap: Happy New Year!”

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