Archive for August, 2014

Summer Getaway – Camp Wandawega

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

From Prohibition-era brothel to 1950s lake resort to 1970s summer camp for the children of Latvian Catholics, Camp Wandawega’s been working its woodsy magic on all kinds of folk for almost ninety years now.

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In its current incarnation, Wandawega’s the semi-private playground of two Chicago-area advertising execs who open up their Moonrise-y Kingdom for wedding parties, clothing catalog shoots, and corporate retreats. Lower-key kids like me just looking for some outdoorsy fun in a Pinterest-worthy paradise can book left-over nights/cabins/beds through AirBnB.

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Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

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Hurly and I and our niece/honorary daughter Kaya booked a Wednesday through Friday stay in the three bedroom “Raccoon” cabin.

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But we were the only guests at the camp the first night, so our host Joe took us on a lengthy historical tour of every cabin, every guest room, every tree house, every pup tent and every tepee on the site and said we were welcome to sleep wherever we wanted.

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We ended up sleeping in our assigned cabin both nights, but we napped indulgently one afternoon in the American Indian tepee, and Kaya helped herself to what we goofily called a “hooker’s bath” in the women’s restroom at the old brothel, and we wandered all around Wandawega freely, wowed by the wall-to-wall antiques which were just begging to become the backdrops for photoshoot after faux-catalog-style photoshoot.

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Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

We enjoyed plenty of un-posed fun too, scout’s honor. From shuffleboard to board games, hatchet throwing to canoe rides, we did everything the spirits in Lake Wandawega could’ve wanted us to.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Everyone’s favorite activity was swooping over the lake on the two rope swings. One had a wooden plank on which you could sit and sorta relax. The other was Tarzan-style, set-up for shooting yourself out and into the sorta scarily shallow waters.

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Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

From the fonts on the front gate, to the travel-sized soaps set atop your beach towels, every aspect of Camp Wandawega resurrects the retro charm and hospitality honed during the golden age of American road-tripping and long since lost.

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Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

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There’s even an old-school souvenir vending machine from which I picked out a Wandawega motor-lodgey keychain and Hurly and Kaya selected an Indian arrowhead necklace.

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Souvenirs

By artfully assembling in one place all the Kodachrome-y, memory-building traditions that family vacations should be made of, as Camp counselor/curators David and Tereasa have, my little troop’s settled on making summer trips to Wandawega a tradition of our own.

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Next time I hopefully won’t travel three hours back toward Minneapolis before realizing I’ve left my military duffel bag full of Teva’s and T’s from Hickorees back on the bunk beds at our Wisconsin summer home-away-from-home. (D’oh!)

Gimme Som

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Being that I don’t drink alcohol and I rarely wanna waste my sugar intake on a bottle of soda pop, my life, beverage-wise, is admittedly pretty dry.

SomDrinkingVinegar

While shopping for birthday gifts earlier this summer I spotted Pok Pok’s Som drinking vinegar, which sounded like just the sort of offbeat and antiquated refreshment I’d be into.

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Mixed into water, sparkling water, or liquor-centric cocktails, drinking vinegar has been enjoyed worldwide for centuries as a refreshing, health-boosting tonic.

DrinkingVinegar

At the shop where I came upon Som they stocked the Ginger, Thai Basil, and Tamarind flavors, and wanting the most exotic experience possible, I went for Tamarind. Unscrewing the vacation-colored bottle, the scent was incredibly sour. But once I’d mixed it with sparkling mineral water the taste was much closer to a sweet soda, with just a hint of astringence.

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I especially like being able to control the amount of sweet ‘n sour I splash into my glass. It’s summer, so it’s nice keeping things on the light side.

Som is offered in six additional flavors including Pineapple, Honey, and Blackberry. I’m wondering if they’d be weird or weirdly wonderful poured over ice cream…

Topo Designs Fleece Jacket

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

About April or so, though I can’t explain exactly why, I decided I should own a sorta norm-core-ish fleece piece. I wanted it tan or teddy-bear colored and tried (and tried and tried) to find an end-of-season Patagonia zip-up that I quite liked. But that just never panned out so I set my eyes on Topo Designs.

TopoDesignsJacket

Based out of Colorado, Topo’s Made in America mountain-wear treks through the natural-high vibe of 1970s camping gear but with surfy splashes of late 80s and early 90s shades.

FleeceJacketCoyote

Their Coyote-colored fleece pullover was out of stock for most of the spring, and too thick to slip into during the peak of summer. But you can already feel fall in the air round where I live, so this weekend I was finally able to layer up in my Topo. The way it feels in the cool morning wind when the sun shines right on it is sublime – like getting snuggled by cinnamon toast or something.

TopoDesignsJacket

I don’t think I’ve wanted to wear fleece since 1997, but right now it’s feeling really, really right.

This “Making of Contra” video makes life worth it.

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

As you will soon see in this new documentary about the creation of a not-that-new-anymore album, Rostam, the band’s smirky keyboard player, blacked out the white letters “YAM” on his favorite little keyboard so that it just reads “AHA” instead.

AHA, for sure!

The lives of these musical brainiacs are one brilliant lightbulb moment after another and I’m locked in the ultra-bright glow.

Warby Parker – Waterway Collection

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

I’ve been to the eye doctor no less than seven times in the past eight months. Something’s off with one of my eyelids and so after twenty-five years of wearing contact lenses almost constantly, I’m supposed to stick to a four-eyed life for the foreseeable future and only wear eyeglasses.

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It’s never been easy finding frames I’m a fan of, for myself or for my hubby Hurly. But there’s a bunch I’ve found at Warby Parker recently, and today they’re launching a summer-stretching update of some of their popular frames called the Waterway Collection.

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Inspired by splashy getaways both near and far, there’s optical and sunwear options ranging in shades as light as sea spray to dark as the ocean floor.

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I ordered some stellar Warby Parker x Into The Gloss aviator optical glasses last week that are totally Trigonometry Tutor circa 1982. But I don’t want to squint through what’s left of summer’s shining so some prescription sunglasses are definitely in order.

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The Crystal Percey (second image from top) and the Whiskey Tortoise Griffin (above) are the new styles I’m seriously eyeing. Era-less and effortless, I could wear whatever I’d want with either of them.

WarbyParkerWaterwayCollection

Obviously I wouldn’t have opted for the eight months of eyelid irritation that’s led to my recent adventures in all-day/all-night eyewear, but the opportunity it’s now provided me to dive into a whole new segment of shopping and accessorizing is just fine and quite fun – allowing and inspiring me to refresh my entire aesthetic through the breezy ease of Warby Parker’s take on eyewear.