A Warm Wisconsin Welcome

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Larry on Long Lake

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…

Laura Pumpkin

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.

Hazen Inn

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.

New Friends

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.

Pie

And more pie.

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.

Larry and Liz in Phelps

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16 Responses to A Warm Wisconsin Welcome

  1. Jayne September 20, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    What a great post, I really enjoyed reading about your trip to Wisconsin! It sounds a great place to visit especially for pie lovers, those pies sure looked good! Loved your pictures too!

    • Liz September 21, 2013 at 7:56 am #

      It is a special place, Jayne. I lived in Michigan for 4 years of college and then 2 years in Chicago – nice folks but WI steps it up a notch.

  2. Laura @ Family Spice September 21, 2013 at 6:53 am #

    Reza had to go to Wisconsin several times for business. He, too, said that the folks there are so nice. Of course hearing the sirens go off in his hotel informing him of a tornado watch was a bit of a surprise! So glad to see that you had a terrific time!

    • Liz September 21, 2013 at 7:56 am #

      Yes, even in the cities folks are so pleasant and helpful to tourists.

  3. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious September 21, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    Mmmmm….pie! My kinda place.

    • Liz September 21, 2013 at 10:03 am #

      I’m not really a pie person – Larry is – but it feels kind of obligatory in Wisco –

  4. Wendy Read September 21, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Lovely post Liz! So glad you enjoyed your getaway, the B&B looks just wonderful. I could smell the fresh air. Laura looks incredibly fit! So pleased with your reunion 🙂 Looking forward to Janet’s recipe!

    • Liz September 21, 2013 at 10:04 am #

      Thanks, Wensy – I’m having a hard time settling on which recipe to try…

  5. sippitysup September 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    I’ve only been to WI once, but loved it. I went about this time of year too. Your photos are beautiful. GREG

    • Liz September 22, 2013 at 8:13 am #

      I think we will go a bit later in the fall next time – I would love to see the color on the sugar maples.

  6. Carol Sacks September 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    Charming post and fun photos, too. And, Liz, you look great in that last photo!

    • Liz September 23, 2013 at 6:57 am #

      Thanks, Carol – loved your Bethesda Farmers Market shots –

  7. Nancy Webb September 22, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    I have the rhubarb-ginger chutney bubbling. Got to use up all my rhubarb harvested with first frosts last week because it is taking up room in the frig for my cabbages and beets and potatoes harvested from the garden. Wisconsin is probably better in October for fall colors, but we are well into it now. Light snow all day today on the gold birch leaves.

    I am curious. How do you get such amazing food photos for your posts?

    • Liz September 23, 2013 at 6:57 am #

      I just use my Canon Rebel and a tripod…Only have a point-and-shoot when we are on the road…

  8. Averie @ Averie Cooks September 24, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    I grew up in MN and spent tons of time in WI. A world!!!! apart from San Diego and I miss the people and sense of community at times. Don’t miss the weather 🙂 thanks for sharing your trip pics!

    • Liz September 24, 2013 at 11:13 am #

      I completely agree about the weather – 2 Chicago winters drove me to San Diego many years ago.

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