Q: Where is the wedding? And when?

St Peter's Episcopal Church

St Peter’s Episcopal Church

A: Updated a while back: St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.  On Saturday August 27, 2016, 4:00.

Q: Where is the reception?

A:  Updated a while back: At the Jones Farmhouse.  Go through the stone gates at the intersection of 5th and Jones Avenues.  Follow the driveway around toward the farmhouse.  Park in the pasture behind the White Barn.  Additional parking will be available in the lots at the intersection of 7th  and Jones Avenues.

Scilla in bloom at Jones Farmhouse

Scilla in bloom at Jones Farmhouse

Q: What if it rains?

A: Updated August 13th: We have ordered a 40x 80 tent with sides. The  forecast calls for partly cloudy skies, highs in 80s lows around 60, humidity of 56%, a light NE wind and a slight chance of precipitation.

Q: How should I dress?

A: Updated a while back: Comfortably.  Martha recommended “smart casual” for her wedding on the same ground at the same time in August.  That seemed to work well for her, so we are happy to offer the same advice (though we still aren’t entirely sure what exactly “smart casual” means).

Q: Will there be music? Dancing?


Red Hot Horn Dawgs

A: Updated August 13th: Yes.  And Oh Yes: The Red Hot Horn Dawgs, Madison’s Party Band, will be playing at the Buggy Shed from 8 onwards.

Q: Will there be cake?

A: Yes.

Q: When should we plan to arrive in Fort Atkinson?

A: Friends and family will begin to arrive on Wednesday.  Come early, stay late. Let us know what your plans are.  We want to spend as much time as possible with you.

Q: Where should we stay?

A:  Updated Monday, August 8th: We recommend The Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Fort Atkinson.  Call soon: the Holiday Inn has advised us they expect to be fully booked that weekend.  Call the hotel directly to obtain special rates ($79 for a regular room, $104 for a suite: code JDFC) for the guests of Carmen and Cole: (920) 563-3600.  

Q:  Which is the most convenient airport?

A: Madison (MSN) is the closest (about 40 miles) and the route to Fort Atkinson is clear of major road work.  Milwaukee (MKE) is about 60 miles away and offers a lot more flight options; there is major road work on the main route to Fort Atkinson.  Chicago O’Hare (ORD) is about 110 miles away.  We use all three regularly but Madison is our first choice.

Q:  Where can I find an excellent cup of coffee?

Beauty and the Bean

A:  Tammy and her crew at Beauty and the Bean brew world class coffee and offer homemade pastries and quiche for a light breakfast as well as daily soups and panini sandwiches for lunch.  Not open on Sunday.

Q:  Is there any live entertainment in town?

A: Bill Camplin and Kitty Welsh’s  Cafe Carpe has a cult following among itinerant musicians and their fans. Comfortable counter-culture vibe.  The bar is one of the oldest in the state with ferns which must date from the seventies. Cool art from local notables hangs on the walls; there are no TVs. The listening room looks pretty much the way it has for the past several decades.  In the summer, the best place to sit is on the screen porch with a view of the river. There is live music several nights each week. The Carpe’s food is homemade. They even have a Bleu Sunshine Burger.  Imagine that.  Updated August 13th, Bonnie Koloc with Don Stille will perform August 25th.  Ellis Paul will be in the house on the evening of Sunday, August 28 as he winds his way through the Midwest toward the Kerrville Folk Festival in Austin TX.

Coincidentally, on Saturday, August 27th, Fort Atkinson’s annual end-of-summer blow-out block party live music extravaganza, Rhythm on the River, is happening downtown, just a few steps from St. Peter’s.  We thought about having our reception there.  Easy.

Q: What restaurants do you recommend?

A: Updated August 13th: Paddy Coughlin’s–started by our neighbor Tony and his brother, now owned and managed by Erin Didion, offers Irish inspired pub fare; for an Italian dinner (no lunch) Eric and his team at  Mangiami do a very nice job;  one of our sentimental favorites for dinner is The Edgewater Supper Club, an old timey steak house with a dining porch which has been leaning toward the river for at least 50 years, now owned and operated by a local family of organic farmers.  If you are driving in from Milwaukee, The Red Circle Inn in Nashotah is about half way to Fort Atkinson.  It claims to be the oldest restaurant in the state and has been a family favorite for generations.

Q: Are there any dinner theater options?

A: Of course.  The Fireside Dinner Theater is Fort Atkinson’s biggest tourist attraction.  Updated Monday, August 8th: Singin’ in the Rain will be playing through September 4th. Hopin’ we will not be singing’ in the rain at the Farmhouse on Saturday the 27th.

Leopold Shack near Baraboo

Q: What can we do nearby which we can’t do anywhere else?

A: Updated August 13th: In Milwaukee, visit the Harley Davidson Museum or the Santiago Calatrava  Milwaukee Art Museum.   Visit Horicon Marsh,  a 35,000 acre remnant of the Pleistocene era.  Near Baraboo, visit the Aldo Leopold Foundation and see the shack and land which inspired A Sand County Almanac; the International Crane Foundation is not far from The Shack.  Learn more about Fort Atkinson’s renowned poet, Lorine Niedecker at the Dwight Foster Library.  Our friend, Ann Engleman, has offered to open Lorine’s Blackhawk Island Cottage to interested guests.  Please let us know if this would interest you and we will arrange a visit on Friday or Saturday morning.

Q: What are some fun things to do in Fort Atkinson?

Lorine Niedecker Mural on Sherman Avenue

Niedecker Mural on Sherman Avenue

A:  Visit the Panther Intaglio Mound, thought to be unique in the world; see more native American artifacts at the Hoard Museum.   Go to Two Rivers Bicycle to rent bikes for a ride on the Glacial River Bike Trail or rent canoes or kayaks from Two Rivers for fun on the Rock River–drift down past Lorine’s cabin on Blackhawk Island to appreciate what she saw, felt, heard and smelt.

Q:  Are there any good places to go running?

A:  The Glacial River Bike Trail has a constant stream of runners in the morning an evening.  It is wide enough to accommodate both bikes and foot traffic.  For shorter trail runs, Dorothy Carnes Park, a short drive from the Holiday Inn) has some nice loops and opportunities for birders (stay on the trails though because the woods are full of poison ivy); Bark River Park, on our side of town, also has a nice mile or so unpaved loop.

Q: Where might I find an interesting beer?

Main Street Bridge

Main Street Bridge

A:  There are ten bars within walking distance of the Main Street Bridge.  Further research is required to offer adequate guidance.  We have it on good authority, however, that several of them offer Carmen’s locally brewed favorite, Spotted Cow, on tap.

Q:  Are you planning to go anywhere fun after the wedding?

A:  Yes.  A walk in the Andes in late October and early November.

Q: Can you translate <<El que lee mucho y anda mucho, ve mucho y sabe mucho>> ?

A: Si. Updated: August 8th, from Don Quixote <<Who reads much and walks much, sees much and knows much>>.  Carmen asked why I put this on our page. “It has nothing to do with our wedding,” she observed. I liked it because “mucho” is repeated mucho: four out of twelve words. Besides that, we like reading and walking. We are still working on the seeing and knowing.