We arrived home safely after a whirlwind tour of Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin....along with a very brief visit to Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. The purpose of our trip was a family immersion into the celebration of Bar Mitzvah, which was joyous and even raucous at times. Family came from all over the country; New York, Florida, North Carolina, Indiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia, Illinois and other great states. There was much rushing to connect and bond again within the flurry of scheduled activities. When it was all over I wanted nothing more than to sit still in a quiet room, nothing moving about me. However, we'd promised to drive to Wisconsin immediately afterward to visit my husband's best friend from high school and his lovely wife. We were weary but looking forward to driving into Wisconsin, a state neither my husband nor I had ever seen. Because this northern experience has stayed with me on a visceral level I shall begin my travelogue at the end - Wisconsin.
The first thing I noticed were the trees. Huge, massive, stately, stout oak trees a type of which I'm not familiar. Their leaves were long gone and they welcomed us with huge arms outspread into wide, happy greetings. Rolling hillsides with old but well-maintained barns and homes and farms and beautiful fences. The architecture was stunning. It didn't take long to arrive at Lake Geneva. We drove along the lake enjoying the charm of that village and its citizens, who were braving the chilled air by jogging and biking and walking along pathways. Before long we reached Williams Bay, where our friends reside. Folks, I am totally charmed by this point. I'm ready to move to Williams Bay and/or Lake Geneva.
Their house is a block or two from Lake Geneva. We are greeted by a massive tree of their own, variety unknown. They've only been here a couple of months and are still getting to know the area. I asked Sky to stand in front of this wonderful tree that's in the corner of their lot to give perspective.
After some serious tree hugging I found these lovely, exquisite leaves on the ground. Oak leaves? What tree do these belong to? Anyone? There was no choice but to bring some home with me, tucked gently into a book so they'll remain flat. These are the most beautiful leaves I've ever seen.
Leaving the leaves behind, we strolled a block to the iconic Daddy Maxwell's for breakfast. It was as Christmasy on the inside as it was Thanksgivingy on the outside. Very unusual place - great breakfast. I highly recommend it.
We were in Wisconsin less than 24 hours but are already planning a return visit and longer stay. A born and bred Southerner I've always been enchanted by the North and Midwest. (And Southwest for that matter) Never been to the Northwest but aim to. Our country is glorious in its diversity, but I'm thinking right now that Wisconsin is just a little slice of heaven. Hubby and I both loved the feel of the place, loved everything about it. Wisconsin - you rock.
Feeling adventurous we decided to drive home through Chicago. It couldn't be that bad, could it? As our daughter used to say when she was a toddler - NOT NO MORE NOT NEVER AGAIN!
So, we're HOME! I've about 2,000 photos to process. We had great fun!