Bart and I went to Wisconsin this weekend. People kept saying, “Really? Wisconsin!?” but I’ve been excited about this trip for weeks.
I was born in Milwaukee and we lived near Madison until I was almost seven. My dad grew up there and his parents lived in the same house until about ten years ago. Wisconsin isn’t just a slightly fuzzy area in the middle of the US map to me. I love that state.
I flew in late Friday night (Bart was already there for work) and we spent the night in a lovely hotel right downtown (thank you, Priceline!) and then spent the morning wandering around the riverwalk and sitting on the rocks along the lake. Plus, eating the most massive pancakes at a tiny diner.
And then, the bit I was most looking forward to. When we lived in Wisconsin and every time we returned to visit my grandparents, we went to Edward’s Apple Orchard in the fall, right around my birthday. It was one of our very favorite places, and when I realized we were going to be there in the fall, I insisted we make the trek across the border into Illinois and visit it.
It was divine. The apple pie and ice cream, with caramel sauce was even better than I’d remembered (it’d been ten years since our last visit). The weather was beautiful, there was a live band playing, and everything was just perfect.
Finally, we drove up to the town my dad grew up in. We drove by his parents’ old house which looked pretty much the same (oh, how I miss that house still).
Afterward, we met up with my dad’s best friend from high school and his wife who still live just a few blocks from my grandparent’s old house. We walked through their neighborhood to a local restaurant, had a lovely dinner with them and then spent the night at their house and had a terrific breakfast of blueberry and apple pancakes before heading out to Chicago to spend the afternoon with Bart’s aunt and uncle there.
It was the perfect weekend trip – full of friends and family and great food, but also leisurely and relaxing. I couldn’t ask for a better birthday weekend.