Summer in the Midwest

September 24, 2009

On August 20th we packed up the family and headed off for our annual Thanksgiving trip to the Midwest. Yes, I know we’re about three months ahead of schedule, but every year we miss out on seeing Debbie’s father, since he leaves right before Thanksgiving to go play Santa at some mall in another state. (For those of you who don’t know Ray, he’s the right jolly old elf with the beard in the photo above.)

So we decided to make our trip before Debbie had to go back to work. We made our usual stop in Minneapolis to visit our friends Dale and Jess. Here Sophie helps Smithers and Quimby keep a lookout for dangerous woodchucks.

We did have some fun taking Sophie out to watch the dogs run around at the dog park.

Dale and I did take the opportunity to get in some target practice. (The girls, surprise, surprise, headed to the mall.)

On Sunday we headed off to Wisconsin to meet up with Debbie’s father. He was participating in the Chippewa River Rendezvous in Cornell, Wisconsin. Here is a picture of Ray, Debbie and Sophie in front of Ray’s tent at the Rendezvous. (No. he’s not a Pirate, he’s a gentleman merchant.)

Debbie and Sophie check out some of the other campsites and displays.

Sophie tests out her fencing skills against her dad.

This giant crane-type-thing in the middle of the campground is apparently the only known pulpwood stacker in the world. Who knew?

After spending the afternoon at the rendezvous, we drove the rest of the way to Debbie’s parents house. Fortunately there was plenty of room for Sophie in our big bag.

The next day we headed down to the park near their house. There was a small  water park there, as well as a miniature train. (They also had a curling rink, but unfortunately it isn’t open in the summer!) Here we are on the train.

And here are some shots of Sophie playing in the fountains.

We also paid a visit to our favorite museum, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson art museum.

Here Debbie teaches Sophie how to run like an ostrich.

Sophie practices her drawing skills.

And of course we stopped for a group photo in front of our favorite sculpture.

We spent some time in downtown Wausau at the farmer’s market.

We also stopped by the local cheese factory (it is Wisconsin after all!)

It was our lucky day. We got to watch them erecting a new whey distilling tower. (Ok, I made that up. I have no idea what it was, but it was pretty big.)

Here is a picture of Sophie with the Woodchuck that lives in Debbie’s parents basement. (Wisconsin Woodchuck, that is.  He’s the head coach, Guido.  Really.  To call Guido a character doesn’t even begin to describe him.  Guido, if you’re reading this, thanks for the ice cream.  We’re still eating it;)

On our last day we headed up to Rib Mountain to explore nature a little bit. There are some nice views from the top of the mountain, and there is a tower at the top you can climb to get a view above the trees.

Finally we headed back to Minneapolis to spend a couple of more days with Dale and Jess before flying home. Here’s Sophie hanging out with her new best friends Smithers and Quimby.

And here are the girls waiting patiently for a treat.

Finally it was time to head back to San Diego. Fortunately Sophie’s a great traveler. She remembered to bring her stickers and her iPod (with Wall-E loaded up).

And when all else failed, just looking out the window with Mama was entertaining enough.

Below is a link to the full album.

2009-08-31 Wisconsin

One comment

  1. SO many GREAT pictures! Looks like you guys did a ton and have a lot of fun. What a great vacation!

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