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.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Melissa September 22, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    You were in my area of the country. We went to a Apple Festival in Indiana this weekend, plus crossed the border over to Chicago for a day trip. The mid-west in great!

  • Reply Lisa September 22, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    It looks like a fun trip. We haven't made it to Wisconsin, but our friends loved living there.

  • Reply Beth F September 22, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    I grew up on the Lakes in northern Ohio and now live in land-locked central PA. Your photo of the sailboats made me homesick! My parents sail….

  • Reply David and Sammy September 22, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I didn't know you were born there! David served his mission in Wisconsin among the hmong people. Can't wait to show him those pictures. I promised one day we would go back and visit (just not in the winter). Looks gorgeous!

  • Reply Kelly J. September 22, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    I live 10 minutes from Edwards Apple Orchard….and now definitely need to go. My coworker raved and now you did… 🙂

  • Reply Lexilooo September 22, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    looks so lovely!

  • Reply Carly Jane September 22, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Hooray for nostalgic getaways!

  • Reply Tara September 22, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    You guys are always going fun places. The dessert looked yummy. I don't know if I would feel confortable enough to stay with my dad's best friend. I take that back, I just realized who that is. I probably would.

  • Reply RA September 22, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Pretty! But did you have any cheese?

  • Reply Merrick September 22, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    YUM. I want to go there.

  • Reply heidikins September 22, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    I'm with RA–did you consume copious quantities of cheese? (Also, do you like alliteration?)

    This looks like such a fantastic trip–the apple orchard excursion sounds divine!!


  • Reply Lindsay September 22, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    I really want some of that delicious looking apple pie and ice cream with caramel sauce! What a nice trip to such a lovely place! Happy late birthday!

  • Reply Shelly September 22, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Wow, that apple pie with ice cream and caramel sauce looks terrific! Sounds like a great trip!

  • Reply Miriam September 22, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I never thought of putting carmel sauce on apple pie – man, I've gotta try that!! And your grandparents old house looks just like I've always imagined it in my mind, how funny is that! Why am I always hungry after I read your posts? 🙂

  • Reply Becca September 22, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    What an awesome trip! So fall-ish 🙂 I love it. It's so awesome to visit old houses. I loved our drive through/stop in Wisconsin!

  • Reply Lonica September 22, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Sounds and looks like a great trip!

  • Reply Bryan and Christy Clark September 23, 2009 at 12:32 am

    That apple pie looks AMAZING! I am definitely going to pick apples and try making pie now. And homemade caramel sauce. Oh man.

  • Reply Erin September 23, 2009 at 1:48 am


  • Reply Jenn September 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    My husband grew up in Northern Illinois and would visit Edwards Apple Orchard every fall as well. We have spent the past three falls trying to find an apple orchard that can somewhat compete with Edwards. From the looks of your pictures I'm not sure that is possible.

    Glad you had a great trip, I love Wisconsin as well.

  • Reply Kim September 24, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Oh my word that apple pie and ice cream with caramel is KILLING ME! With it being close to fallish around here, I must copy-cat that in the next month – yummy!

  • Reply Brad September 25, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Monica wants to travel the world. I just want to go to Wisconsin.

  • Reply Peaceful Reader September 26, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    I love Wisconsin also. Madison has a fantastic Farmer's Market!! Your photos make me want to go again! For cheese curds!!

  • Leave a Reply