Wisconsin Part #2- Off to the North Woods!

Hey there– Here’s part #2 of our trip to Wisconsin.  Once the family all rolled into Madison, we touristed about a bit and then headed up to the North Woods–  lakes, trails and blue skies…  It was tons of fun!  (Warning: this post may contain excessive photos.  I’m trying to cut it down. I just can’t help myself!)

We started out our Madison tour at the grand Farmers Market nestled in the park around the State Capitol.  Veggies, flowers galore, and beautiful bread!  And people, lots of people!

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Photos above:  Four Farmers Market shoppers, zinnias and pretty squash

After a quick pizza lunch, we strolled back to the State Capitol building for docent tour, informative fun.

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Above photos:  Charlotte and the Forward (Wisconsin state motto!) Statue in front of the Capitol building, 2 girls on the mezzanine,  our docent in a legislative salon, looking up!

Then we shopped our way down State Street to the University of Wisconsin to sit on the lake terrace for brats, beer and their famous ice cream (made by the dairy science department!)  And after dinner, ambled down along the lake as the sun set.

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Above photos: Relaxing on the lake terrace at U of W, Micah and Jodi enjoying their ice cream, sailboats put up for the night,  sun setting on Lake Mendota.

Finally, we set forth North!  First stop was Wausau, Wisconsin to meet John’s family (he’s our Laurel’s finance). John’s mom Deb (5th from the left) cooked up a great backyard meal and the next day we explored (i.e. ate & shopped) our way through downtown Wausau.  Thanks for your warm & wonderful welcome Deb!!

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Above photos: Family portrait in Deb’s backyard, Jobay having great fun in the bookstore, Larry’s version of shopping (sitting in a coffee shop),  Shop street in Wausau. (thanks John for including a could shopping trips in the schedule.)

Next we were off to scale the peak of Rib Mountain, the tallest mountain in Wisconsin (but actually kind of hill-ish by California scale). The green, gorgeous deciduous forest was enchanting.  Simply beautiful.


Above photos:  Trekking through the forest, rocking climbing girls, lichen encrusted stump.

Continuing “Up North,” we stopped at a farm to buy sweet corn for the week ahead in the cabin, and met up with some curious baby cows.

Above photos:  meeting the calves, a friendly (cow) face

At last, we made our up to the cabin on Lake Minocqua, our home for the week.  And the next morning set out for a day on the lake, cruising, swimming, picnicking along the way.

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Above Photos:  Home Sweet Home for a few days, bringing in the boat, the grand-girls all suited up for our day on the water, local boathouse.

There was a morning visit to the Northwoods Historical Museum (featuring the world’s first snowmobile!)

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Above photos: Vintage old kitchen, local wildlife (Go Cal Bears!!),  snow mobile collection.

One day we passed a grand afternoon canoeing and splashing in Johnson Lake at John’s family cabin.  And let me say, canoeing is scarier than it looks!!

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Above photos:  Hanging out on the dock,  Brian in front of the cabin, Maryann the fisher-girl, canoe paddlers across the lake.

And here’s just a few more miscellaneous very favorite pics that I can’t possibly leave out!  (are you even still watching??   thanks for sticking with me!!)

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Above photos:  Hike around Star Lake (loved it!), Jobay enjoying sweet corn, 3 girls walking with John on our way to Lazy Jane’s Bakery Cafe for breakfast,  our “tour director” John pointing out the sights from Rib Mountain, Jodi & Jobay on Jobay’s #5 birthday in the cabin, boathouse and dock on Lake Minocqua.

So thankful for the days with the family in such a beautiful place– Thanks Laurel & John for inviting, planning, organizing, and herding us across the fine state of Wisconsin.  It was grand!


30 thoughts on “Wisconsin Part #2- Off to the North Woods!

  1. What beautiful pictures and such a fun time! You must have had just a wonderful time with your family and the beautiful surroundings! PS…never too many pictures! LOL

    • Agree Debi!! Was so fun to see you travel pics after I had heard your plans!! You really did a lot– and it looked like so much fun! Are your girls back to school? What are you up to? take care… xo

  2. I feel like I’ve been on a mini-vacation just looking at your photos, Rhonda. How I miss the country. Your photos were a balm! Thanks,

    • Weren’t those cows cool!! They had several in little pens–all 2 months or younger. It was sweet to get to meet them. We are pretty removed from farms here, so we loved it. It was a fun week together.

  3. Oh my gosh, what a fun time it looks like you had! When I’m at my folks in SD I miss my Minnesota lake and ambling through the woods! Although I haven’t been over to WI in some time now that I think about it. We did have lot of fun trips there when the kids were growing up.

    • I’ve heard how beautiful Minnesota is! And we really did love Wisconsin– being from drought stricken California– we were just soaking up all that green! Do yo live near a lake?? I would love that Mollie!

      • I’ve been so worried about my friends in California, between earthquakes and fires – but that’s a gorgeous state, too. So many different climates. And I live right by a small lake in the eastern edges of the Twin Cities. We’re actually about 20 minutes from Hudson, Wisconsin. And we’ve gone to the Dells and different touristy areas, there, and my son was a boy scout so we went every year to Tomahawk on Rice Lake in Wisconsin – we’ve seen bears, there.

        • You’re so dear Mollie– California does have it’s share of disasters–your part of Minnesota sounds beautiful. We were so taken with all the Wisconsin lakes! — and spent a day on a pontoon boat on Tomahawk Lake. Wonder if that is near where you were?! Anyway, we’re back home and missing all the green green! Thanks for your concern… hugs.

    • Hi Brilyn– fun to read your post on Madison. We’ve had some great times there with our kids. (I want to go this time in winter to see what the snowy season is like– no snow here in southern California!) Nice to hear from you… xo

      • Snow is fun for the first month, but sometimes it can drag on… we’ve even had snow in May! My boyfriend lived in Hermosa Beach for a few years, but he’s been back in WI for a few years. I’ve never been to California, would like to go someday!

  4. Pingback: Ten Blogging Years | The Thankful Heart

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