Wisconsin 2018: Water parks, cheese curds and the Cheese Castle

My daughter and I recently visited my best friend in Chicago.  While we were making plans for our stay, my best friend sent an email with a list of things we could do.  One of the things listed was going to one of the indoor water parks in the Wisconsin Dells.

My daughter lobbied hard for that option and my best friend agreed to it.

I was happy to go to Wisconsin.

I visited once before in 2004 for a wedding of a friend who I attended school with in England.

My cousin came up from Florida to be my guest.

We were babies.

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Madison, WI, 2004

Not many pictures exist from that trip.  And the ones that do seem to feature alcohol.

Double fisting Spaaten at the Essen Huas.

Well not really.  More like holding my beer and my cousins beer.

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Madison, WI, 2004

Drinking a beer with a lemon…what was I thinking?  My taste in beers sure has evolved since 2004.

This was at the Great Dane Pub.   I remember my cousin and I talked some guys about hunting deer.

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Madison, WI 2004

This last picture I look hideous.  According to my cousin’s caption, I drank a few Blue Moons at Stillwaters.

What was I doing drinking Blue Moon?

This clearly was the age before I discovered that stout, porter, cider and pumpkin beer are really the only beers worth drinking.

I remember that there was a huge fish tank and I was talking to a nice hippie guy about fish poops.  We also had a conversation about government parks affect the local tax structure and we did not see eye to eye.  We agreed more about fish poop.

I was actually trying to remember the name of this place when talking to “Uncle Greg”.  I googled it and found out it had closed in 2005.

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Madison, WI, 2004

I actually just got rid of that sweater in my closest.  Right before I went on this trip.  It was time.  I probably hadn’t worn it since the Bush Administration.

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Madison, WI, 2004

Anyway, I really like Wisconsin and was excited to get to go again and bring my daughter with me.

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Wisconsin Road Trip, 2018

While we were driving through the Illinois countryside and we passed the town of Belvidere Oasis and while it isn’t spelled the same, it got us thinking about Mr. Belvedere.

And how come more middle class American families don’t have butlers.

I could use a butler.

And then we got thinking about how much we miss TV theme songs.

Like Just the Ten of Us

And Out of this World.

Though I still don’t understand why the alien father didn’t just stay instead of just talking through that weird cube thing.

and Small Wonder.

I remember my brother and I (and I guess my Dad too) watched it every Saturday night after we went to Mass.

We talked about other theme songs but maybe I will save all of those for another post.

Eventually we made it to Wisconsin.

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We were traveling along I-90 which also runs through NY.  I was trying hard to find an I-90 sign that was near a Cheese bilboard because I wanted to get a picture and say that it was just home…with cheese.

I was unsuccessful.

We were travelling to the Wisconsin Dells and I had no idea what a Dell was except that there once was a Farmer in one who took a wife.

This is what google told me.

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We stayed at Mt. Olympus Water Park.  I wish I got more pictures but it was hard between the two girls and having to discipline all the unruly children around us.

Yes, I have become that parent.

And I am not sorry.

Seriously, there were kids that were clearly taller than the maximum height for the kiddie area and some of them were pushing the little kids out of the way.  It becomes a real safety issue.

At dinnertime, we went downtown and had dinner at a Mac and Cheese restaurant called Macs.  It was amazing.

My daughter had the L’il Mamma’s- Cheddar, Mozzarella and Fried Hot Dogs

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Wisconsin Dells, 2018

My friend got the Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac– Cheddar, Mozzarella, Chicken, Bacon and Ranch

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Wisconsin Dells, 2018

I got the Taco Mac- Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Mozzarella, Seasoned Ground Beef, Pico De Gallo, Sour Cream and Avocado.

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Poor Squeakers looks longingly at the Mac and Cheese but he can’t have any.

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We still made room for ice cream.  I hadn’t been to Cold Stone in years.  I love that place.

I got coffee ice cream with oreos. I even got a fancy cone that I was too full to eat.

My daughter and my friends daughter were more, um, creative.  My daughter got cotton candy ice cream with M & M’s and my friends daughter got Mint Ice Cream with marshmallows.

Whatever.

It was their vacation too.

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The next day we went to the water park for a couple hours before heading back to Chicago.

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As I mentioned in last weeks Good Vibrations Gratitude Post, we stopped to see “Uncle Greg” and his girlfriend and Uncle Greg gave the girls their own cheesehead hat.

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“Uncle Greg” and the mini-cheeseheads

We were having lunch by the Capital so I felt that we had to take our picture in front of the Wisconsin Capital with the cheesehead hat.

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Madison, WI, 2018

We found this cool cow but couldn’t get the girls to look at the camera.

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Madison, WI, 2018

We had lunch at The Old Fashioned because I told the Wisconsonites that I wanted fried cheese curds and this is the best.  And they did not disappoint.

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The Old Fashioned, Madison, WI. 2018.

I took a picture of my Wisconsin Burger on SnapChat but sent it before I remembered to save it.  So no pic of that but it was delicious.

Here is a pic of my daughters chicken fingers.

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The Old Fashioned, Madison, WI. 2018.

We said our good-byes because we had one more Wisconsin stop.

We drove to Kenosha (by way of Milwaukee) to stop at the CHEESE CASTLE.

My best friend said she always wanted to stop there but her husband never wanted to.

I told her this was the trip where dreams come true.

Because that whole YOLO thing.

It was awesome.

So much cheese.

I bought a lot of cheese curds to bring home.

They are in my fridge.

And before we knew it, we were back in Illinois.

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Wisconsin-Illinois Border, 2018

The end.

 

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