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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, April 18, 2014

Wed
Hi: 47
Lo: 38
Thu
Hi: 52
Lo: 34
Fri
Hi: 44
Lo: 32
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I really enjoyed cabin life. Especially since it had a decent internet connection.
I really enjoyed cabin life. Especially since it had a decent internet connection.

Six things I learned at the cabin this weekend

I spent the weekend at a cabin in Tomahawk this weekend with my family. I have never rented a cabin before and I definitely learned a thing or six.

  1. Beer and syrup both taste better in the Northwoods. I don't know how this is possible, but it is.
  2. Puzzles are not boring. Somehow I have been a parent for a decade but did my first puzzle this weekend. I always passed them off as a time waster for bored people who like busy work, but I actually had a great time putting together all 250 pieces of Spiderman.
  3. Always read the fine print. I thought I already knew this one, but somehow, I missed the line on my cabin contract stating I had to bring my own bedding and found myself at the Walmart in Rhinelander at 10 p.m. on Friday. Sleeping in scratchy, new sheets was our way of "roughing it" all weekend, I guess. Hardcore survivalists indeed.
  4. You cannot go to a supper club for lunch. "Duh," you say, but I really thought I would enjoy a sandwich and a Bloody Mary or a brandy Old Fashioned midday on one of the supper club patios this weekend, but the few in our neck of the woods opened at 5 p.m. I did have one of the best fish fries of my life at the Silver Birch for supper, however.
  5. Car DVD players really are a good idea when traveling more than three hours with kids. Mad Libs and license plate games are fun for about 25 minutes, and then it's that mosquito-bite-annoying question every 12 miles, "are we there yet?"
  6. Nature is always a good idea.
One of the Victory Garden Blitz Week teams. Go, team!
One of the Victory Garden Blitz Week teams. Go, team!
Starting the building-of-the-raised-bed process.
Starting the building-of-the-raised-bed process.
Power tool time.
Power tool time.
Dirt.
Dirt.
More dirt.
More dirt.
Done with the dirt.
Done with the dirt.
And now for the fun part: planting!
And now for the fun part: planting!
Ta-da! The finished garden. So far, squirrel free ...
Ta-da! The finished garden. So far, squirrel free ...

I got blitzed

It's Victory Garden Blitz Week, which means Victory Garden Initiative is installing gardens for those who ordered them. It's a great program that allows many people in the city to get an urban garden installed for a low price – or for free, if they applied in time and qualified for one.

According to volunteer Krista Lanphier, between 250-300 gardens will get installed this week, the majority of them on Saturday.

I have shared garden space with neighbors before, but never had my own. Hence, the thought of my own vegetable garden, even only one 4-foot-by-8-foot bed, was a little intimidating.

However, because I ordered a victory garden, I was matched with a "garden mentor" who actually came to my house, provided information about planting / gardening and helped me come up with a plan for my garden. I now have a "map" of my garden drawn out, and I know when to plant what, and I feel much less intimidated by it.

I can't say enough great things about this program.

Tuesday, which also happened to be my birthday, three volunteers – Lanphier, along with Lindsey Steinhardt and Katie Nauth – came to my house via truck around noon to build my garden in my sunny front yard. I let my kids stay home from school to witness this and to plant with me after it was built.

First, they built the raised bed with pieces of wood and then filled the box with wheelbarrows of local, organic, Purple Cow soil. The process only took about an hour. During this time, we had food ordered from Hi-Hat Garage via the Flavor Cycle service so we ate and watched the ladies create the bed.

"I'm from a small town, and I am really getting a feel for the community from being a part of this program," says Steinhardt, a marketing intern for VGI. "I love that we're integrating agriculture in urban settings."

After the building team left, we proceeded to plant tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and onions. We're starting out small scale. We then built a fence to completely enclose the garden because of o…

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The 45th anniversary Summerfest tribute exhibit features 23 signed guitars.
The 45th anniversary Summerfest tribute exhibit features 23 signed guitars.
Tom Petty's John Hancock.
Tom Petty's John Hancock.
The B-52s signed a guitar as a thank you.
The B-52s signed a guitar as a thank you.
The exhibit features posters and video footage, too.
The exhibit features posters and video footage, too.

Sneak peek: Summerfest exhibit at Discovery World

I had the pleasure of checking out the new 45th anniversary Summerfest tribute exhibit this afternoon at Discovery World. It opens to the public Thursday, May 24 through Sept. 15.

The exhibit features never-been-seen memorabilia from the past 44 years including dozens of signed guitars from Devo, B.B. King, Justin Bieber, Modest Mouse, Elvis Costello, Steve Winwood, B-52s, Flaming Lips, Cypress Hill, Carrie Underwood and Big Gig darling Tom Petty.

According to John Boler, the vice president of sales and marketing for Summerfest, the guitars were given by the musicians as a "thank you" and have been stored in the Summerfest archives for years.

Drum heads, posters, promotional merchandise and video screens showing historical footage are also a part of the exhibit.

"Discovery World is a fantastic facility and a great neighbor of Summerfest," says Boler. "This exhibit triggers good memories and gets people excited about being a part of the 45th anniversary."

A kick-off party will take place on Thursday, May 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. and will feature live music. Everyone in attendance gets a free 4th of July admission ticket and a 45th anniversary T-shirt. A special $5 admission will allow guests to check out both the Summerfest tribute exhibit and Les Paul's House of Sound exhibit.

Plus, between 6 and 7:45 p.m., guests can enter to win a three-hour Pedal Tavern Tour and sign up for the 45 Day Countdown Contest to win prizes daily from Summerfest and its partners.

Welcome, Kanpai!
Welcome, Kanpai!

Kanpai to fill former Nanakusa space

Well, it's official. After a long wait and much speculation, a new Japanese restaurant called Kanpai will go into the former Nanakusa space, 408 E. Chicago St., this fall.

Kanpai, which means "cheers" in Japanese, will serve Asian small plates. Owner Brian Park also owns Wasabi in Brookfield and says he hopes to open Kanpai in early October.

"We're very excited to add this new element to the already booming Third Ward," says Ron San Felippo, immediate past president of the Historic Third Ward Association.