Larry and I have just returned from a week’s vacation in wonderful Wisconsin, where we visited with friends and family and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
After an overnight in the friendly capital city of Madison, we headed north to the town of Phelps where Larry spent much of his boyhood and all of his teen-aged years. Phelps is just about as close to the “top” of the state as you can get, a small town nestled in the North Woods, next to a huge lake where Larry spent endless hours fishing.
The occasion was a high school reunion held about every ten years, coinciding with the town’s Scarecrow Fall Festival. We were lucky enough to have Larry’s daughter, Laura, her husband Matt and their sweet pooch, Ladybug, drive up from Chicago to join in on all the festivities. Laura definitely walked away with the family prize for her efforts in the Pumpkin Chuckin’ Contest…
We all stayed at the lovely Hazan Inn Bed & Breakfast on the shore of yet another breathtakingly beautiful lake. Our wonderful hosts, Joel and Janet, served us fabulous breakfasts each morning . (I will be posting one of Janet’s recipes in next week’s post.) Our weather was cool, crisp and sunny. Unfortunately, the reunion was scheduled a couple of weeks before we could see fall colors, but the surrounding lakes and forests were quite spectacular.
Although we didn’t run into any of the local bears, we glimpsed deer, wild turkeys and a fox or two. One early morning I heard a loon calling across the lake and we made our customary visit to the osprey nest outside of the village “downtown”. And we made a few new friends, thanks to a basket of local apples at hand.
Everywhere we turned, there were old friends of Larry’s, folks who remembered his parents and some who had been delivered by his father, “Dr. Bob”, when he had been the only physician in town. People in Wisconsin have to be among the friendliest bunch I have ever encountered in the country. This seems especially true in the small towns sprinkled around the state. I loved the relaxed pace in Phelps – no speeding, no pay-before-you-pump at the local (only) gas station in town, and how folks wave at one another while driving the local roads.
Wisconsin eating means beer, brats, burgers, wall-eyed pike – and pie.
And more pie.
Wishing I had a glass of our favorite Wisconsin beer, “Spotted Cow”, I raise a toast of heartfelt thanks to the citizens of Wisconsin, especially to the folks in Phelps, who made our family feel so welcomed during such a special visit.