Saturday, September 8, 2012

Wisconsin--50th Anniversary Family Vacation--Guest Post


Fifty years ago on August 18th, 1962, Judy Heis and Dick Rosene were married at the Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.


In thinking about how we would celebrate our 50th anniversary, we decided that rather than having an anniversary dinner or party, we would make this a summer of travel--first with all of our family to Wisconsin in June and later on, in August, to Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies with two of our close friends, Chiyuki and Yoko Watanabe from Japan. Below are our blog entries from our family journey in June.


Judy and Dick on the first day of our family vacation in Wisconsin...


Bonnie, Dick, Judy and Maia

Bonnie, Dugan (11), Sage (9), and Dug

On the map of Wisconsin, the numbers show the places we visited on our family vacation.
1. Eagle--Old World Wisconsin
2. Oconomowoc—Cal & Ada Mara's
3. Warrens--Three Bears Resort
4. Cashton--Amish Tour
5. Baraboo--Circus World
6. Wisconsin Dells






What is Old World Wisconsin? It’s the country’s largest outdoor museum of rural life portraying what Midwestern life was like in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. It includes nine ethnic farms plus a village with a blacksmith, cobbler, general store, church, inn, shoe shop, and several residences. Interpreters dress in period clothing and go about their daily chores of farming, cooking, laundry, shoe making, blacksmithing, etc.



Researchers traveled throughout Wisconsin to find authentic historic buildings (now over 65) built by settlers and then, painstakingly, dismantled them. They numbered bricks, boards and logs and moved them to the site of Old World Wisconsin. The area is divided into settlements representing a variety of ethnic groups that were settlers at that time including Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, German, Polish, Yankee, and African-American. Because the museum closed early the day we visited, and it was very hot that day, we were only able to visit a few of these areas.
St. Peter’s Church was the first Catholic church in Milwaukee. The cornerstone with the year 1839 is in the front lower left of the building. 






Inside the church one of the costumed volunteers played a hymn on the antique organ for us.




Peterson Wagon Shop
Here the wagon maker teaches Sage and Dugan how to work with wood.




Dugan and Sage are exploring a box of dried codfish in the Thomas General Store.



Our family is heading for the Grotelueschen Blacksmith Shop where the blacksmith demonstrates the iron-crafting techniques that were necessary to create the tools and transportation vehicles for the settlers.






Row after row of horseshoes line the rafters of the blacksmith shop.






Finnish Area--Ketula Dairy Farm—1915
In 1889 Heikki Ketula emigrated from Finland to the United States where he worked his way along the Great Lakes to reach Wisconsin. He claimed 80 acres of land in 1892 and spent the next six years clearing the land and building a 15 x 17 log cabin. Here he married and had a family, established a dairy farm, and built many additional farm buildings.














Norwegian Area--Fossebrekka Farm--1839



Costumed workers douse the fire after the day's washing is finished.


Dugan and Sage pass by the rustic fence, typical of ones the immigrant farmers erected to keep their livestock from wandering off.


Once inside the Norwegian homestead, they please the photographer with their smiling faces.




Common utensils that were found in most of the homes were explained by this plainly dressed guide. She also explained about the cornhusk mattress, which everyone was allowed to experience.



Raspberry School This one-room schoolhouse was built in 1896 by three Scandinavian families and named for Raspberry Bay in Lake Superior. These families, determined to see their children educated, pooled their resources to build and manage the school. 


Our family became students in the one-room school on this very hot day, while the teacher in her long sleeves and long skirt, asked questions written on the blackboard as she gave us a history lesson. Teachers who taught in this school could have been as young as 15 or 16. Once a teacher got married, she usually gave up teaching because being the wife of a farmer was a full time job. The total education given in a typical one-room school would have been equivalent to today’s high school plus one or two years of college!









Costumed workers at Old World Wisconsin


Danish Area--Petersen Farm


Scenic Ridge Campground, nestled in the wooded hills of Southern Kettle Moraine on Whitewater Lake where we spent our first two nights...




Our first cabin and our Chevy Suburban van that we enjoyed for our travel all week in Wisconsin...


Breakfast at the "Fuzzy Pig" farmhouse restaurant began our day with lots of smiles.


At Old World Wisconsin, a Scandinavian Midsommar Celebration, with a Swedish maypole and folk music and dancing, reminded us of being in Sweden two years ago to celebrate Midsommar.




We had an unplanned adventure that took us to Dug's dad's lakefront home on Lac La Belle. It was our first time to visit there, and it gave us a chance to get to know Dug's dad, Cal, and stepmother, Ada,  better. We all were given an enjoyable boat trip around the lake, which is a favorite haven for many Wisconsin and Illinois residents. Of course, some make the lake "cottages" a year-round abode. Cal and Ada choose to winter in Arizona.

                                                                  

Dug and his Dad, Cal
We can see why Cal and Ada love this location so much.



Dick, about to abandon ship, while Ada and the kids are all smiles. The grandkids have been coming up here to visit every summer for many years.


A glance from the boat of Cal and Ada's lovely home.


It was a lovely day, even though it was a bit on the warm side. Being on a lake helps a lot. Cal knows this lake like the back of his hand. We could all sit back and enjoy the scenery and the gentle breeze. 

Do you think they're enjoying the boat ride?

A day to remember as the sun sets, and we get ready to head north in the morning to what will be our home away from home for the next four days.

We're leaving behind an adequate, but small, cottage, with a noisy fridge, to upgrade to a much roomier log cabin with modern amenities.

You would think from looking, that we were setting out on a months-long journey to the hinterlands, rather than a week's adventure to Wisconsin.


(Below) Driving in our seven passenger van from Whitewater to Warrens, Wisconsin...
Our excellent driver, Dug, along with co-pilot, Dick in the front seat of the van...

Dugan, Sage and Bonnie in the third seat of the van found that movies and games and computers could keep them occupied for a long time.
Judy and Maia reserved the center seat of the van. Maia listened to music while Judy enjoyed the scenery and checked out the route on the map. Somehow we didn't take a photo of Maia while we were driving!

Three Bears Resort was a welcome site.
We decided to try out their restaurant with its panoramic windows.



There was hardly a moment when you didn't see the modern age of computers and electronic games showing that it was very much in the picture. Bonnie has a very popular blog about Chicago doings that she has to update many times a day. The kids play a lot of games that the rest of us can't keep up with.



A large fire ring or pit beckoned the seven of us to try making s'mores, a favorite snack for kids and grown-ups alike. But we had a problem...the store was out of large marshmallows. Not to be deterred, Dug bought a package of mini-mallows, the kind you float in hot chocolate. It's very hard to toast a mini. so Dug tried using a long handled cast iron utensil where you could combine all the ingredients together. Well, it was a noble experiment, but it won't go on the market anytime soon!



There's nothing like a campfire to give everyone a feeling of nostalgia. There's something magical about seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, and yes, tasting, the presence of a roaring fire. The fire itself was fine, but it's the s'mores that will just have be mostly in our imagination. Actually, there were some pieces of the s'mores that really could be passed around and tasted.


Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center in Warrens
Do you know what Wisconsin’s No. 1 fruit crop is? The cranberry, of course.
Cranberries have been grown commercially in Wisconsin for more than 150 years. That’s a lot of history for one tiny berry.Wisconsin produces more of this power-packed berry than any other state in the U.S. The cranberry was once called “crane berry” by settlers because of its blossom’s resemblance to the sandhill crane.
Fresh cranberries … Chocolate covered cranberries … Fried cranberries on a stick … Cranberry pies … Cranberry scones … Cranberry salsas… and the list goes on and on of all the Cranberry treats to taste at the annual Warrens Cranberry Festival.







Wazee Lake Recreation Area--a great place to hike and to enjoy the forest, the overlooks and the beach...












Wisconsin now ranks fourth in Amish population (15,745) after Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana. Many of the more traditional Amish families are migrating to Wisconsin. They want to be more secluded and be able to preserve farming as a way of life.

The Amish are exempt from local compulsory school attendance laws. Generally, they halt their education after eighth grade. 
The Amish do hold church in their homes. They are generally organized into congregations of 10 to 35 families that rotate services from home to home. Although they usually do not use any electricity or own motor vehicles, each group decides on its own rules, and some are more liberal than others.
















After watching a magic show and a circus show, the family headed for the Wisconsin Dells where Dug remembered going with his grandmother when he was a child. He wanted to take the kids on the go carts and to Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum as well as to an exhibit called the Wizard. Because it was a beastly hot day, we were all happy to return to our air-conditioned villa for the evening.



After the trip back to Chicagoland and a good night's sleep, we all spent our last day together, along with Peggy, Dug's mother, taking in the movie, "Brave," and having two meals together ending with the most amazing pieces of chocolate cake for Dugan and Sage that any of us had ever seen. What an ending for our fun family vacation!




Danish Area--Petersen Farm





Scenic Ridge Campground on Whitewater Lake where we spent our first two nights...








Our first cabin and our Chevy Suburban van that we enjoyed for our travel all week in Wisconsin...





Breakfast at the "Fuzzy Pig" farmhouse restaurant began our day with lots of smiles.





At Old World Wisconsin, a Scandinavian Midsommar Celebration, with a Swedish maypole and folk music and dancing, reminded us of being in Sweden two years ago to celebrate Midsommar.

















































(Below) Driving in our seven passenger van from Whitewater to Warrens, Wisconsin...

Our excellent driver, Dug, along with co-pilot, Dick in the front seat of the van...





Dugan, Sage and Bonnie in the third seat of the van found that movies and games and computers could keep them occupied for a long time.





Judy and Maia reserved the center seat of the van. Maia listened to music while Judy enjoyed the scenery and checked out the route on the map. Somehow we didn't take a photo of Maia while we were driving!































Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center in Warrens
Do you know what Wisconsin’s No. 1 fruit crop is? The cranberry, of course.
Cranberries have been grown commercially in Wisconsin for more than 150 years. That’s a lot of history for one tiny berry.Wisconsin produces more of this power-packed berry than any other state in the U.S. The cranberry was once called “crane berry” by settlers because of its blossom’s resemblance to the sandhill crane.

Fresh cranberries … Chocolate covered cranberries … Fried cranberries on a stick … Cranberry pies … Cranberry scones … Cranberry salsas… and the list goes on and on of all the Cranberry treats to taste at the annual Warrens Cranberry Festival.


















Wazee Lake Recreation Area--a great place to hike and to enjoy the forest, the overlooks and the beach...








































Wisconsin now ranks fourth in Amish population (15,745) after Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana. Many of the more traditional Amish families are migrating to Wisconsin. They want to be more secluded and be able to preserve farming as a way of life


The Amish are exempt from local compulsory school attendance laws. Generally, they halt their education after eighth grade. 

The Amish do hold church in their homes. They are generally organized into congregations of 10 to 35 families that rotate services from home to home. Although they usually do not use any electricity or own motor vehicles, each group decides on its own rules, and some are more liberal than others.













































































After watching a magic show and a circus show, the family headed for the Wisconsin Dells where Dug remembered going with his grandmother when he was a child. He wanted to take the kids on the go carts and to Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum as well as to an exhibit called the Wizard. Because it was a beastly hot day, we were all happy to return to our air-conditioned villa for the evening.












After the trip back to Chicagoland and a good night's sleep, we all spent our last day together, along with Peggy, Dug's mother, taking in the movie, "Brave," and having two meals together ending with the most amazing pieces of chocolate cake for Dugan and Sage that any of us had ever seen. What an ending for our fun family vacation!