This year our vacations have been 2 to 3 days camping at local parks. Pat wanted to make a trip to see her mom in Wisconsin and brother’s new place in Minnesota. So, reservations were made and Midwest vacations became a reality!
First stop – Minnesota!
After landing at Minneapolis and renting our car (ouch for airport taxes on that!), we drove to Keith and Judy’s new house. Recently moving to Minnesota, they found a lovely home on a lake (Land of 10,000 Lakes!). The Minnesota State Fair was underway, so we HAD to go! OMG – a smorgasbord of food and drink!
It was a fat fest to be sure, as we shared everything from Big Fat Bacon to Minnesota Brews to THE BEST cheese curds to Deep Friend Candy Bars. Good thing it only happens once a year! Beautiful blue skies and low (ish) humidity for the midwest.
On to – Wisconsin!
We continued our journey to Pat’s hometown of Fort Atkinson – a 5 hour drive down I-94/90. Easy travel for the day with blue skies following us all the way there. We decided to travel to New Glarus the next day. We heard about their famous beer. New Glarus Brewing Company does not distribute across state lines. You must journey to the mother land of good New Glarus beer. And, it did not disappoint. Pat’s mom even tried the beer (and that doesn’t happen very often!). We stocked up on Spotted Cow, Two Women Lager, Belgian Red, and Staghorn Octoberfest for our journey back to Minnesota. New Glarus is also famous for cheese, so cheese fondue was a treat for lunch. And what else happens in Wisconsin on Friday night? Fish fry with Mom and sister, Lori and spouse!
The next day led us to the local farmer’s market and trying another local brewery. Some additional samples were collected for the return to Minnesota (of course!).
Midwest Vacations – ending too soon!
Sunday meant driving back to Minnesota to beat the Labor Day rush. We bid a fond farewell to Pat’s mom, stopped at Lori’s to pick up Virgil, the orchid (that’s another story) and headed back up the highway. As an aside, our journey took us past one of Wisconsin’s favorite vacation spots – Wisconsin Dells. We decided to swing in to Starbucks for a quick latte. We’ll never complain about the tourist season in Sunriver again… Made it back for a thunderstorm that night in Elk River. The weather was heating up with 100% humidity. It didn’t disappoint.
We had showers threatening on Labor Day, but we ventured out for a fun filled day anyway. First, we had to visit a Duluth Trading Company store, home of Buck Naked Underwear! From there, we met up with Pat and Keith’s cousin, Rondine. Lunch at Psycho Suzie’s on the Mississippi River was a real happening place – kind of a Tiki style theme.
Last but not least was a trip to a famous brewery in Minneapolis – Surly Brewing Company. An amazing 15,000 square foot tasting room was topped only by the sheer number of people tasting, drinking, and eating. We tasted a great Scotch Ale.
The trip home
Another thunderstorm the next morning meant a slight delay before taking off for our return trip. Once on board, our seat mate noticed a slight issue with the wing. Calling this to the attention of the flight attendant resulted in one of the pilot’s coming back to assure us it was “okay” to fly.
We landed safely and are back in the office catching up. It was great to get away. Fortunately, Mike’s mom and aunts took care of the animals and place while we were gone. Thanks to Barb, Joanne, and Ellen for having their own mini-vacation in Sunriver. However, we kept (sort of) working while gone. We responded to contacts via the website and posted a bit on Facebook and Instagram. Now refreshed, it’s back to work and getting ready for our only show this year – Traditions at Sunriver Lodge the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving. We’re considering offering a discount for Christmas orders received before Thanksgiving. Stay tuned.