The Great Escape: from CT to MN to WI


My dad and I drove up to Bradley International Airport near Hartford and stumbled on a replica of the Mark Twain House.

We had the conundrum of do we eat before or after the security checkpoint. We opted for before and learned it can take 20 minutes to make a sandwich. Bad call on our part.

Dad found a really short security line down a separate hallway in the airport. Only 3 people in front of us. Should have known better. Turned out to be the new body scan checkpoint. Fast, but incredibly creepy.

Our Delta flight was delayed a few times. Not fun.

When it arrive, it was barely 17 rows of seats.

I felt like Chris Farley in Tommy Boy. No matter what I did I smacked some part of me into some part of the plane.

The plane looked like they pulled it our of a junk yard for one last flight.

We arrived in Minneapolis and ย took the tram to our rental car. We got a nice Jeep Grand Cherokee. Dad was pleased.


I navigated us to the hotel with my iPhone.



The Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis was a traveler’s oasis.



A solid 4 star hotel. I used Hotwire and check in was a breeze.


We dined at Firelake. ย This is my beer battered rock shrimp appetizer. It was AMAZING.


We have never had popovers like these with honey butter. Almost a dessert in themselves.


My entree was hunter crusted elk loin filet. That’s sweet potato spaetzle and chard with a lingonberry compote. It was a delight for my taste buds.

The meal ended with a tartly tantalizing peach rhubarb cobbler.

Then we walked around the hotel area and took in all the shops and went to bed.




We rose early and breakfasted at the Firelake again.

Then we checked out and started our road trip through Minnesota on 35 to 70 into WI.



This was a lake near Siren, WI.


We stopped at a unique gift store in Stone Lake.


Hours later, we arrived in Park Fall, WI. One town south of Butternut. At the charming B&B Munro Manor. I loved all the accents and touches throughout the house!



This was my beautiful room. I picked it because the vineyards on the wall reminded me of Italy and Napa. And I prefer blue to yellow (Dad’s room).



And I fell in love with the sink. I have a weakness for bowl sinks and marbled coloring.




After we got all settled into our luxurious accommodations, we headed out to the Northern Pines Resort for dinner. I had the breaded scallops.



The restaurant’s interior was ย newly renovated and the wood still gleamed.


Northern Pines is right on Butternut Lake. I had to walk gingerly on a shaky jetty to get this shot. I almost tumbled into the water. It was worth it.


On the ride back to town, we saw not 1 but 3 deer hanging out in someone’s front yard.



We popped into Super One Foods for water and yogurt. No sign of Mickey or Oliver.

Then we called it a night.


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30 Responses to The Great Escape: from CT to MN to WI

  1. Thanks for sharing your photos, Kourtney! It looks like you had a great time and ate very well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Gwen says:

    I love this post and all the wonderful photos! I’ve been to northern Wisconsin a couple times and you captured its essence. I especially enjoyed the Super One pic – I have my own image in my mind of what it looked like. Great to see it for real. Can’t wait to hear about your tour of Butternut.

    • Thanks Gwen! I plan to make the trip into a few posts. So much happened. ๐Ÿ˜‰ LOL. I thought it would be cool to show the grocery store. It was a phenomenal trip. Made some great new friends. I was so happy there, I kinda didn’t want to come home. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Cool pics. I’ve had lunch at the Firelake a few times. Very tasty. Looking forward to the rest of the trip posts.

    • Thanks Dennis. We really loved the Firelake. Terrific food & great ambience all conveniently attached to our hotel! My dad laughs at how I photograph everything I eat but it helps me write my reviews later.

  4. Kelly says:

    Glad you had a nice trip. I detest Bradley airport. I now fly through Providence, much cleaner and still nice and small. Looking forward to another book:)

    • The food choices were pretty slim. And the airport itself is smaller than I’m used to. Hmm, I’ll keep that in mind for future trips. ๐Ÿ™‚ Aw thanks. I got so inspired in Butternut. I could see scenes in my head at places I went to. Made me want to get started on it. But I have to finish writing up two workshops and then doing revisions on the YA. I might just have to sneak a few notes here and there.

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    Funny to read this now as I’m sitting in the airport, waiting to fly to Minneapolis! But my hotel will not be as nice. And it will be full of two teenage boys. Fun… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • LOL. Minneapolis has an awesome airport. Pretty easy to navigate. ๐Ÿ™‚ Aw, my hotel on the way home was not so nice. We hotwired into this one for a nice price. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh goodness that is quite a handful in one room. Hope your trip goes well! You can always drop them at the Mall of Americas for several hours.

  6. EllaDee says:

    I keep looking at the photos and wishing myself there, ok, not in the body security scan line, or on the dodgy Delta flight but the rest looks just fantastic… the rooms, the food and Butternut… you deserved to do it in style ๐Ÿ™‚ And, the pic of Super One Foods – very cool.

  7. Lori D says:

    Is this a vacation, or are you traveling for your book? Lovely photos. Looks peaceful. I could use a bit of peace right now. BTW, I finally got a chance to start Six Train (in my kindle since you published it). Your writing is spectacular. I like reading good writers. They teach me a thing or two for when I do my own writing.

    • This is a business trip. We headed out to Butternut, Wisconsin to sign and sell books. Also do some research for the sequel. ๐Ÿ™‚ We did have fun along the way too. But this was work related. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks. It was a nice place to get away to. Beautiful nature out there. On yay! Thank you so much. I had a fabulous editor. She pushed me and pulled me back where I went too far. Aw, thanks–that is the highest compliment a writer can give another writer. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. jmmcdowell says:

    Minneapolis is a great city in itself, although I haven’t been there since I worked a couple of summers as a camp counselor in northern Wisconsin. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was further west than Butternut, but your book and these photos remind me a lot of that area!

    Those small regional jets can be an adventure, can’t they? I always cross my fingers for no turbulence when I’m on one.

    Can’t wait to read the followup posts!

    • It is, we really were there for such a short time. Weirdly it was our pit stop between WI and CT. I really love the Northwoods. It’s beautiful country up there. My dad and I were saying, when book sales really take off, I’d love to have a little cabin up there for spring and summer. *Daydreaming*

      All my recent travel was 6-13 hours so I was not prepared for the smaller plane. It was like culture shock. They get better and better. I think I’ll need 2-3 more posts to capture the whole trip. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Mae Clair says:

    Love the photos. I feel like I went on the trip with you. The plane would freak me out but everything else sounded awesome. Welcome back!

    • Thanks Mae! Yeah, the plane was tough. Took a good hour to get accustomed to it’s close quarters. Luckily it was only 2.5 hours of flight time. ๐Ÿ™‚ And the rest was really wonderful. Worth the tough flight. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Gemma Hawdon says:

    The Radisson hotel looks very inviting! And I love your jetty photo – very mood inspiring. Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. The picture of the lake is gorgeous!

  12. Pete Denton says:

    Great photos. Thanks for sharing, particularly the food. I’m hungry now ๐Ÿ™‚

Any thoughts or reactions or favorite foods you want to share?