I've flown through Chicago one before and I've actually been to Minneapolis on a business trip but I wasn't able to go anywhere but to the offices and the hotel (and they did take me to the Great Mall of America), so I had truly never been to the midwest before. My sister and her husband will be there for three years before they retire and move to Texas, so we decided we wanted to take my dad on a trip to his birth town and home before they move away. So I was my dad's travel companion. My sister from Seattle came too. The first day we took it pretty easy. We went a cheese and sausage market, then to a nice lunch and then took a river/lake cruise. Here are few pictures from around the restaurant which was right on Lake Michigan.
I wish I had a picture of my cousin and her husband. My brother-in-law took pictures and he hasn't forwarded them to us yet. Let's just say they are the nicest people around. My parents came to visit her mom and dad many times so they got to know my mom and dad well.
We had lunch with my dad's old high school friend and his wife (who is a sister to one of my aunts) and then off we went back to Wisconsin. Lots of car time.
Here are some pictures from the cruise. They had to raise I think 6 or 7 draw bridges for us to get to the lake.
On the way home we had to try the famous Leon's Frozen Custard. (It is as good as they say.)
And of course when we got home we were able to have a cold Wisconsin brew.
This was very good.
We then went to Madison. We went to the University of Wisconsin Madison campus. They have a big dairy program and they had free tours so we did that. Then went to eat at a bratz restaurant where we took advantage of the see, hear and speak no evil monkeys.
I think my dad had too much fun with them.
We also did a drive by of the state capital.
We then took a trip to Minnesota to visit some cousins, some old friends of my dad and to see the home he spent the first 20 years of his life.
On the 5 hours drive (oops it ended up being 7 hours) we stopped to get some pie at a famous pie place in a remote little town and what did you know, 3 doors down was a quilt store. Wisconsin was having their shop hop while I was there and was able to pick up this pack of fabrics.
|Gene was the only one to catch a fish (which we released. ) We are still now sure what kind of fish it was.|
|Gene having fun with a Barbie/princess fishing pole. No he did not catch any fish with that one.|
|And then it started to rain, so we headed back to their house for dinner.|
The next day we went to the old homestead. Here are a few pictures of the farm.
|11 kids were raised in this house. My dad commented that there were no bit trees when he was younger. He does remember his dad planting a bunch behind the house before he moved away.|
|My dad remembers them making each of these bricks for this barn.|
|The church where my dad was baptized.|
The last day there was shopping for the girls and a tour of my brother-in-law's plant for my dad. We did find a quilt store. I picked up some flannels. Because, you know, it's Wisconsin.
Then my dad and I flew home - first class. Yahoo. That has never happened to me before and I liked it. After seeing this beautiful green landscape in our travels all through the midwest....
with lots of pretty barns and green, green everywhere.
Then home to this brown, ugly dirty roads.
And that was my trip.
As far as quilting goes, I put together a few table runners and quilt backs this past week since I've been back. Today I spray basted all the runners and now I'll pin baste the two bigger quilts.
Thanks for looking.