Laura Bronk loves to dance?she's been at it since age 4?and her passion fueled her to work with master dance teachers. She opened Fancy Dancer Studio in 1997, and recruited a well-studied group of teachers to pass along their experience and love for the art form, just as her teachers did. Instructors include Mary Innes, who's skilled in working with young children, Zoe Bronk, who's a member of the Dance Masters of Wisconsin and teaches jazz, tap, and hip-hop, and Jennifer Kornowske, who began the Middle Eastern dance troup Navah Mirage. Fancy Dancer's classes are diverse as its teachers?one night can see both 3-year-olds dancing and singing along to goofy songs in Junior Tap and adult women tying on jangling hip belts and undulating in fast-paced belly-dance classes.
Resting beneath natural light from the skylights mounted above it, the hulking figure of the 1.2 million-pound Union Pacific Big Boy cloaks visitors in a shadow that stretches for nearly 50 yards. As guests ascend the monstrous cab of this steam locomotive, they enter the centerpiece of the National Railroad Museum, a chamber echoing with more than 150 years of American railroading history.
After exiting Big Boy, guests can view a computer-generated porter that recounts how African-American rail workers formed the nation's first all-black labor union, and another stop invites passengers to view inside a portion of General Eisenhower's WWII command train. Elsewhere in the museum, various collections are housed with more than 15,000 photographs, archives such as maps and engineering drawings, and more than 5,000 artifacts including uniforms and tools.
The National Railroad Museum has over 60 pieces of rolling stock, including diesel, steam, and electric locomotives, and passenger and freight cars. Among these are some of the most influential and unique pieces in railroading history, including a number of items that pertain to the state of Wisconsin.
Other must-sees of the museum include General Motors’ experimental Aerotrain; the streamlined Pennsylvania Railroad No. 4890, a GG-1 electric locomotive; and the Frederick Bauer Drumhead Collection, the largest, single collection of railroad drumheads known to exist in the United States. Most facilities are accessible, except where rolling stock cannot be altered due to their historic nature. The Museum’s train ride is accessible, and a wheelchair lift is available.
A train ride is offered on a daily basis from May through September and guided tours are available from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The Museum also hosts a variety of special events for all ages.
Brothers Aric and Brad Schmiling cultivated a passion for viticulture while growing up on their parents’ Italian-style winery. After moving to Green Bay, the duo set out to remedy the area’s winery deficit by founding Captain’s Walk Winery, where trained vintner Aric produces small-batch wines in water-bent French-oak barrels. Situated in a restored pre-Civil War building, the facility entices eyes with old-fashioned design features, including plaster crown moulding, an antique tasting bar, and a television from the eighteenth century. During the summer months, an on-site herb garden mimics the flavor and aroma profile of each wine, and a year-round tasting room offers guests an unpretentious glimpse into winemaking with laid-back tastings and a cellar viewing window carved into the wooden floor.
The extensive facilities at Bisbee Golf Center, which include a driving range with 40 grass tees and a 5,000-square-foot putting green, set the stage for practice and improvement under the expert eyes of professional teachers. Since opening the center in 1988, owner Jeff Bisbee, a Class A PGA professional, and his father, Doug, a PGA Class A member since 1962, have helped students lower scores and increase their enjoyment of the game through private and group lessons. Their instruction involves thorough analysis of the swing to identify areas for improvement, calling upon computer-aided techniques to break down the swing into its most basic components of backswing, downswing, and bowing to vanquished opponents.
Operating in Sturgeon Bay in Door County, Wisconsin, the intrepid guides at Trophy Ice Fish escort fishing groups onto the icy tundra of Lake Michigan, drill a hole into the frozen floor, and get out of the way while the brood tries to haul whitefish up from the deep. Well-suited for family outings and corporate team-building trips, each excursion includes an ice house erected over the fishing hole to keep the gang warm, and industry-leading fish-locating electronics take some of the guesswork out of finding a good spot for setting up shop. With the help of the equipment and experienced guides, fish-catchers can nab walleye, whitefish, and northern pike.
Sometimes, seeing a city from the water that surrounds it gives you a deeper appreciation of its beauty. That's the approach behind Foxy Lady Cruises, a company that grants its guests sweeping views of Jacksonville from their perches on a luxurious yacht. From the various open-air decks, visitors can take in skyscrapers, bridges, and squirrels playing chess in nearby parks during dinner cruises, cocktail cruises, narrated cruises, and even weddings.