Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday Morning Staff Meeting

How was your Mother's Day? Did you do something wonderful?

We had a little difficulty taking the Other Mother to dinner last night. We tried to tell the Farmer that Mother's Day is the busiest day of the year for the restaurant business but he didn't want to listen. We drove to three restaurants until we found one that didn't have long lines.

By the way, I'm so apostrophe challenged that I had to grab a greeting card to make sure it was correct. It's sad. Fortunately I'm a good speller. I'd hate to fret over that too!

My daughter sent a beautiful floral arrangement since she's living in central Illinois and wasn't able to make it home.

You'll notice there are no pictures of said arrangement because I left my camera in my sister's car, along with all the wonderful photos taken in Wisconsin. She lives an hour away from here but I think I'm going to have to retrieve it today anyway.

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Our trip was wonderful and I'll share more details in the near future, including reports on several awesome road trip locations. Our final destination was Minocqua, Wisconsin but we actually did a whirlwind tour of the central part of the state. I'm sure that Wisconsin doesn't seem like a vacation destination to people from other parts of the country but those in northern Illinois have been getting away to Wisconsin forever.

Those who can afford it have weekend homes just across the state in line in Lake Geneva, Delavan and up to Whitewater. In the 1950's and '60's families vacationed at resorts located further north. Now the big season is winter during the snowmobiling season.

You know you're in Wisconsin when:

- Bags of fresh cheese curds are displayed on the cashier's desk in the mini-mart.
- Fresh locallly produced maple syrup is also available at the mini-mart.
- People are real friendly and say hello, even if they don't know you. (That's true in general of the midwest)
- The only people putting on airs are some of the tourists.
- Local wildlife includes deer and bears.
- You still have snow in May

Please feel free to add to that list.

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Now, about the food situation. The entire weekend was so wonderful until, tired as we were, made a detour especially to get cream horns and nut horns at the bakery in New Glarus. It's a town in southern Wisconsin that was settled by the Swiss. In this state they choose their identities and they stick to it. New Glarus is Swiss, the Eau Claire/Rice Lake area is Norwegian and the entire state seems to bleed Packer green and gold.

Anyway, we pull into to town, fight for a parking spot only to discover that the bakery has decided to close on Mother's Day! The hell you say. No cream horns. No nut horns. We had been prevented from sliding into the tired traveler syndrome by the mere thought of these delights. Simply the anticipation of their sugary goodness was enough to propel us down the road. Instantly we were deflated and cranky. The loss of a cream horn meant we were down with Wisconsin. For now.

All you get this morning is a sad chain store chocolate covered eclair. And believe me, it's not delicious. Sorry.

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My sister has a beautiful home in Minocqua that serves as their weekend getaway and future vacation home. It's in a beautiful wooded spot and so QUIET. The previous owners had some issues with garbage and she's been assured by the neighbors that in addition to the numerous deer, occasionally a bear would come and climb her tree. That's more wildlife than I'm prepared to handle.

Do you have unusual wildlife in your area?

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A post without pictures is like a day without sunshine. I'll leave you with this before I climb back under the covers.

Stay tuned because we encountered some amazing blue highway experiences in Wisconsin. Remember, every Friday here At Home....... there will be either a field trip or a road trip.

Don't fight over that sad eclair.


Susan said...

Having lived in Wisconsin for 20 years, I need to add to your list...You're from Wisconsin if you were plaid shirts, jeans and seed caps to church, weddings, and just about everywhere else. Oh yes, you also drive pickup trucks with at least two dogs in the back with tongues hanging out. Love those cheese curds, and Leinenkugel beer from Chippewa Falls.

Anonymous said...

Wildlife? Oh ya... deer, wild turkey, possum, groundhogs and black bears. Although we have not seen any bears on our property, we live in the Blue Ridge Mountains and they occasionally show up in people's backyards.

The Blue Ridge Gal

Thirkellgirl said...

Can't wait to see your photos, and thank you for driving to retrieve them. :) You know you're in Wisconsin when the GPS shows your car in the middle of NOTHING. You know you're in Wisconsin when you can buy elk jerky and Leinenkugel at the mini mart.

I really hate Mothers Day (and all greeting-card-company emotionally-manipulative "holidays," but I digress...) but it was pretty good anyhow, lol. Bought some plants for my front garden, read a book on the front porch, went out for Indian food for lunch along with all the Indian mothers, the girls gave me talking cards, and dh gave me a Sephora gift card so I can pick out my own Philosophy body butter.

Vee said...

Now, there you go picking on the Wisconsinites. (And, no, I had no idea what they were called and had to Google. Wound up at a very funny site and have just found my way back.) What are people from Illinois called? So sorry that you weren't able to have the horns that the mere thought of which kept you traveling for miles. Bitter disappointment, but you needn't take it out on your devoted fans by serving up a stale eclair. Ugh. I want some of that Mrs. Lincoln cake that we read about earlier. In fact, I think that I am baking it later this afternoon. Just because.

Wildlife? Are you kidding me? I live with the vultures remember?! =D

Steph said...

I have a friend who lives in Wisconsin, and everytime we see each other, she brings me cheese curds! I had never heard of them until I met her, and you can't buy them down here!

Mary said...

I grew up on a farm 3 miles from Wisconsin. That area and Wisconsin are God's country. You know you are in a Wisconsin bar/restaurant when you can find any veggie fried, dill pickles, and those cheese curds. Oh and that bakery in New Glarus is to die for. There used to be the best fabric store there. Sold anything you want and the wonderful lace and embroidered fabric made at the New Glarus factory. My wedding dress fabric came from there We used to bike the sugar river trail from Brodhead to New GLarus and Fabric would fit on the bike. LOL Unfortunately it is long gone.

Thanks for the tour and memories

Cote de Texas said...

you left your camera???? what kind of blogger are you???? haha!!!!!!!!!! these days I never leave home without it, whenever before blogging I didn't even own one!!

Suzanne said...

Susan - Yes! Actually when I walked into that mini-mart everyone was wearing camouflage. I don't think it was hunting season. Which reminds me, if you want to not get shot during hunting season you MUST wear blaze orange. My sister even had a blaze orange vest for her dog!!! Leinies from Chippewa - yep. There's a new brewery high on a bluff overlooking New Glarus.

Di - We did see wild turkeys on the roadside also.

Thirkellgirl - I forget, where in Wisconsin do you travel to when you're picking up your college student? My sister found a mini-mart that had Chai tea - seriously!!! We asked the clerk about it and he said there was a chic resort nearby and they were forced to cater to that clientele. Normally you would NEVER find chai in that area.

Vee - No, not picking on them. They're terrific but it's funny to notice the differences between Illinois and Wisconsin. They're not actually Wisconsonians - they're Cheeseheads. I have no clue what people from Illinois are called - flatlanders?? Illini would be the athletic team or Indian tribe. I don't think Illinoisians would be correct. Say it out loud and it sounds like Ill-annoyians....or Ill-annoying. Since I live in Illinois it's difficult to create the list - you know you're in Illinois if...

My sister and I saw some eagles and lots of turkey vultures. I told her how in Maine turkey vultures have a bad rap. She was surprised.

Steph - Yes, cheese curds are everywhere. Beer too.

Mary - Yes, I'm very upset that the fabric store is gone. It was renowned for it's lace. People would drive from everywhere to shop there. We're going to have to go back when the bakery is open.

Joni - Oh no......I got tons of pictures, over 700. But when I left my sisters house I forgot to grab my camera. Believe me, you're probably going to get very sick of pics of the Futuretron!