Last August, I wound up in Portland, OR, for work. This August, I spent a weekend at the Dells of Wisconsin. With absolutely no Internet access (the computer at the place we were staying was slower than my computer at home), and barely any phone reception (unless we were either downtown or at the nearest Wal-Mart), my family and I remained disconnected from the rest of the world while on vacation.
And let me say that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Did I miss any important news in the Hobby world???
Now, Wisconsin Dells is definitely a tourist trap. With mini golf courses, waterparks galore, roller coasters, museums (Ripley's is there, and some place called the Torture Museum??!), and fudge shops as far as the eye can see, the reason why this place even exists kind of gets lost in the shuffle. I was here for the Dells, the rock formations carved by the glaciers. If you've never been up there, you have to go on one of the boat tours (or the Ducks) that take you on the Wisconsin River to see these. Pictures below.
|Black Hawk Rock|
|Stand Rock. A dog jumps back and forth on this formation.|
|Going through Witch's Gulch.|
|Chimney Rock...or as the tour guide called it "Stack of Pancakes Rock"|
|All this carved by a glacier millions of years ago...or that's what the guy said.|
|From where we were sitting, this looked like a piano.|
|Preacher's Rock...or Pulpit Rock. Can't remember which.|
While trying to figure out where to eat for lunch on Saturday, I found myself looking at a shopping guide. The first shop listed was All-Time Sports and Gifts
. That's right...
A SPORTS CARD SHOP!!!
Just one block south away from all the commotion that is Broadway (the main street of downtown Wisconsin Dells), sits a card shop that has been open for eighteen years. The shop even has their own tourist flier (the same ones used to advertise the boat rides, museums, and other attractions). I had to stop in and check the place out.
The slogan of the store is "Not Just Another Card Shop." And it truly isn't. Yes, they have their share of Packers and U of Wisconsin stuff. But they display items of teams and colleges from nearby states (fair share of Cubs, Sox, Bears, Tigers, Twins, Vikings, Lions, etc) to make tourists feel a bit at home. The displays had your usual array of rookie cards, relics, autos, and a bit of vintage to boot. On the other side were complete sets from the last three decades (if I had a bit more money, I'd have bought those).
The store owner, Dan, had just cracked open a 2011 Topps Factory set (WHAT??!). He sells plaques, and needed the cards for them. I thought he had opened the All-Star set, so I asked him if he had the bonus cards. Alas, I was wrong, as he showed me five Red Parallel cards (two Cardinals, two Indians, and one Russell Martin). On an extremely limited budget, I bought a Beckett and two packs of Topps 2. The prices were reasonable, and as much as I would have liked to buy a pack of Lineage, I couldn't afford to spend any more than I had (the Dells is a tourist trap if I hadn't mentioned it enough already).
The packs didn't have much to write about, short of a Kris Medlen diamond parallel and a Diamond Giveaway card (still need number 12...anybody??? ANYBODY???). Let's see what I won.
- 2XB4GBBWp = 1973 Topps Steve Arlin #294 = Cincinnati Reds Diamond Ring
I'm never going to get up to 45 rings at this point. I'm just happy to get anything.
But now that I am back to civilization, and the kids are just about a week away from going back to school, I'm just glad that things will be going back to normal soon (depending on the definition of normal).
I'm going to make an effort to post a bit more often now. There are things that need to be done before the end of the baseball season...like:
- The Topps 300 (and then some...). You remember this little project that I started last November as a response to Topps' own 100-card selection show to determine their Topps 60? Well, I need to start adding all the choices made by commenters and start the voting process to determine the greatest Topps cards as chosen by the Hobby Blogging Community.
- Adding more to the 2011 Topps Archives Project (the year is almost over!!!)
- Getting ready for the end-of-the-year run of posts that include the annual All-Star Rookie Team prediction contest and the 2011 End of the Year All-Star Teams.
- My National summary. Everybody else did theirs. Now it's my turn.
That should be a start. Let's hope for a great finish.