Feb 11, 2016

Day drankin’ in the Mardi Gras spirit

Since travel has become a huge part of my job lately, it’s been easy to forget that some of the greatest adventures are the least scripted.  Fortunately, there’s no better way to go off the script than a Saturday small town bar tour in Central Illinois. 

That’s what The April and I decided to do on what I like to call Mardi Gras Saturday (the weekend before Fat Tuesday), along with our friends Larry and Tammy.  The goal was to not have a goal except to enjoy the day exploring new places and meeting new friends.

Enjoying the company of the bartender at the Uptown Saloon
Our first stop was a familiar one, considering my past stops on bus trips to Fast Eddie’s in Alton and during the local Irish Days celebration – the Uptown Saloon in Farmersville.  Located, naturally, in the heart of downtown Farmersville, the Uptown Saloon serves as a quiet and friendly oasis for day drinkers, although I hear business picks up some at night and especially when a band plays there.  It also always seems to have a welcoming bartender to exchange in small talk. 

A commoner dines at Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern, Monroe, Wis.

I wasn’t sure a place existed that could be the perfect representation of Wisconsin life, but then I traveled through Monroe, Wis., one week...