Quick Trip to Wisconsin Dells

My aunt, well, really my husband’s aunt has a place in the Wisconsin Dells. This year she invited us up for a weekend to help her get it ready for the summer months. So we packed up the kids and the dog and headed north. Unfortunately, the whole weekend was cloudy and rainy, which made a normally beautiful drive kind of dreary.

One of the many cute buildings in the artsy community of Cambridge, WI.
Crossing over the Wisconsin River, just north of Madison, WI.

We drove up Friday after work and stopped to eat dinner at Monk’s Bar and Grille – At the Wilderness in Lake Delton. We arrived around 6:30 and had a 20 minute wait. Everyone enjoyed their food, (though everything is fried and/or covered in cheese!) and the kids wanted to go back another time.

We made it up to Auntie’s and the kids just loved the bunk beds. They basically spent the entire dreary weekend playing there! Edison found his spot as well. Whenever we couldn’t find him, we just had to look under the table!

Edison sleeping under the table.

Saturday, we woke up to sunny skies, so I had to take the opportunity to spend it outside. I’m glad that I did, not only were the flowers beautiful, but when I got back, the clouds came in, the temperature dropped and was cold the rest of the day.

Beautiful flowering trees on my morning walk.
Just a gorgeous morning!
Just brilliantly pink!

After we spent the day working and doing various projects, it was time to head out for dinner. Auntie wanted to take us to the Pizza Ranch, so off we went to Lake Delton. Now, I have never been to one before and I’m not a big fan of buffet-style restaurants, but I have to admit, we did enjoy it and would go back with the kids! They had a nice salad bar, variety of pizzas, chicken and mashed potatoes too. The dessert bar with dessert pizzas and vanilla ice cream was pretty good as well.

Naturally, any good day ends with a campfire, doesn’t matter how cold or how rainy, we still sat outside and enjoyed the end of a long day!

The end of a long day!

Sunday morning, we woke up happy of all we had accomplished, so it was time to do something a bit more fun. Of course, it was cold and dreary, but my son desperately wanted to go fishing, so we found a public spot to drop a line in. This was also Edison’s first time by a lake and it was a little hard trying to stop him from jumping in!

Fishing in a little bay off of the Upper Dells.
Edison’s first time by water.

After fishing it was time to head home. There is a lot more to do in the Wisconsin Dells area, but we didn’t have time this visit, maybe next time!

Part of the Mount Olympus Water Park.
White House Fun Park
Mini-Golf at Pirate’s Cove
Ripley’s Believe or Not, downtown Wisconsin Dells.

Don’t forget, to check out my Modern Nautical Packing List on Etsy. With summer coming, that means lots of weekend getaways, so be prepared and don’t forget anything at home. My packing list will help you keep organized!

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Packing List

Miami, Key West and Palm Beach in a Week!

I can’t believe it was just last week that I was in warm and sunny Florida! I’ve been to Florida before, but this was my first time to Miami, Key West and Palm Beach… I’m in love!  We, my mom and I on a girls trip, packed a lot into just 4 days!

We flew into Miami and stayed at the DoubleTree Grand Biscayne Bay. Our room was beautiful and overlooked the bay. It was so nice to go to bed with the bridges lit and wake up to see the water with beautiful boats below.

One of many bridges in Miami.
Morning wake up at the DoubleTree Grand Biscayne Bay.

The second day we checked out and headed south towards Key West. On the way, we stopped and toured Viscaya.  It was amazing and if you are in the area, I recommend it! The architecture, décor, ocean views, tea house and gardens were just beautiful. We could have spent more time there meandering through the property, but we wanted to see the sunset at Mallory Square so we had to go.

Beautiful stained glass at Viscaya.
Replica of Ponce de Leon’s ship at Viscaya.
Just one of many orchids on the grounds.
Concrete detail found at Viscaya.

The drive to Key West, though long was lovely. Lots of traffic getting around Miami, but once we hit the first bridge, I couldn’t put my camera down. The turquoise water and the boats held my interest the rest of the way.

The beautiful ocean and islands on the way to Key West.

We finally checked into the DoubleTree Resort Key West and took the shuttle down to Mallory Square just in time to see the sunset. Naturally, there was a band of clouds low over the horizon, so not much of a sunset was seen, but that’s okay. We walked through the rest of Mallory Square and enjoyed people watching and the performers.

Sunset Pier next to Mallory Square.
One of the many performers at Mallory Square.
One of the many ships out on the ocean trying to catch the sunset.

The third day, we went back to the historical area of Key West to walk Duvall Street, tour Hemingway’s house, go to the Southernmost Point, eat Key Lime Pie, check out the marina and just enjoy the Key for the day.

Key West Lighthouse
Hemingway’s Home
At the marina in Key West.
Smather’s Beach

In the afternoon, we headed back to Miami and stayed at the Marriott Biscayne Bay. This time, our room view had the best of both worlds… the bay and the city. Both were just gorgeous lit up at night.

City at night from the hotel room.
Bridges at night back in Miami.

The fourth and final day, we hopped in the car and toured South Beach. I loved all the Art Deco buildings, it is such a neat place.

Bright and sunny Leslie!
The Breakwater at South Beach.

Then we headed north to Palm Beach to tour Whitehall… again, I highly recommend it. A gilded mansion right on Lake Worth! We toured the whole house, saw the private train car and had afternoon tea overlooking the lake while drooling over the yachts!

Walking up to Whitehall.
Private rail car at Whitehall.
Enjoyed afternoon tea here.

Afterwards, we drove through Palm Beach, checked out the Breakers and the ocean front then headed back to the airport. I have no idea how many miles we put on our rental car, but it was a great week and I look forward to going back.

Of course, when planning and packing for the trip, I used my Packing List, saved so much time and I was confident I had everything I needed. Check it out at my store on Etsy.

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Packing List

Fun in Fish Creek

Last weekend was the 14th year that I have been going up to Door County, Wisconsin to attend the Fish Creek Winter Festival. 14 years!!! I started going with a group of friends whose family had been attending even longer. Well, out of that group I met my husband and that family tradition has now extended to our family and our children.

Door County is beautiful in the summer (as many already know), but it’s just as beautiful in the winter too. This year we made a long weekend of it and arrived on Thursday; we basically had all the towns to ourselves! It was so quiet and relaxing, just what we needed.

On Friday, we decided to take the kids sledding. We were the first and only ones there! The sledding hill is pretty great and can be found at the north entrance of Peninsula State Park, between Fish Creek and Sister Bay off HWY 42. It’s called Hill 17 (in summer it’s a golf course) and across the road is parking.

Sledding on Hill 17 with no one around!
Creating a sledding plan.
First one up the hill.

Afterwards, we were ready to warm up and grab lunch. So up to Sister Bay we went to try out Wild Tomato.  I don’t know what else to say other than we all loved it! The kids enjoyed the homemade cherry soda and had a great view of the pizza chef twirling and tossing the dough about. We had the Sausage & Pesto pie and it was amazing, I highly recommend it!

Wild Tomato Sausage & Pesto Pizza
Enjoying a cherry soda.
Making critters out of pizza dough.

Next, the kids wanted to go ice skating, so we went to the Teresa K Hilander Community Ice Rink in Sister Bay. Unfortunately, they were busy getting it ready for the weekend and laying new ice so we weren’t able to skate. However, I did notice they have a warming area with concessions and looks like an outdoor fire pit too. We will definitely try it out next year.

Saturday, the day of the Winter Festival we had a great time. We got to do a bit of shopping and found some great deals. Then off to the games! The kids enjoyed the minnow racing, my husband and father-in-law both tried their hands at the football toss. It was amazingly crowded in the tent, so it was great to spend some time outside by the firepits and play the games out there too.

Minnow Races at the Fish Creek Winter Festival
Football Toss

Saturday night definitely became the highlight of our weekend though and we can’t wait to do it again next year. The Candlelight Ski/Hike in Peninsula State Park was fantastic. They lined a mile walk around the park with burning candles. A bonfire was setup with benches half-way around to rest and warm up. The kids made snow angels as the snow began to fall. It was just perfect… a great way to finish up a fun day and just enjoy the winter season.

Candlelit path.
And then it started snowing.
Warming up by the firepit mid-walk.

 

We look forward to the Fish Creek Winter Festival and all that Door County has to offer next February as well!

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Sister Bay, WI
Northport, WI

If you want to find out more about the area and what we enjoyed, here are some links:

Fish Creek: www.visitfishcreek.com

Wild Tomato: wildtomatopizza.com

Hilander Community Ice Rink: www.facebook.com/sisterbayicerink/

(None of these links or businesses have paid for this. These are my own comments and experiences that I chose to share.)

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