I meant to post this all on my last morning in Wisconsin, but last-minute packing and errands got the best of me and I’m really only finding time to review and post this now – my third day in Boston. Sigh – oh well.
I worked my last day at my Chicago job on Thursday. Mostly packed up and ready, I went out for a low-key last-night-in-Chicago dinner. Friday morning came early; my brain wouldn’t let me sleep with all the little odds and ends I still needed to wrap up.
It was all done in time for the movers though and by 11 a.m., we were on the road with the smallest U-Haul truck to put my whittled down collection of belongings in storage in Wisconsin. The ride was smooth; overall, the day was pleasant. I didn’t love saying goodbye to my last Chicago friend, but with that the layover in Wisconsin truly began.
Per tradition, Friday night = fish fry, bowling, and beer. And it was lovely. But I was exhausted, and done before 10 p.m. Sleep is better in Wisconsin – the nights are darker, the world is quieter. When Saturday morning came around, I was ready for a full day.
I am taking full advantage of my last few responsibility-free days. Saturday started with an indulgent coffee treat. We threw in a bike ride on a gorgeous gravel trail. Our first time really biking the area, my brother and I did a quiet, easy 8.5 miles. We then hit the driving range for my first golf lesson which was a blast. Of course, the night wrapped up with a game of Scrabble. (I did appallingly bad. I think my final score was like 80-something. Shameful.)
Sunday was the big day though – family fun day. I started the morning off on a solo bike ride. Saturday’s easy ride was nice but I wanted more of a challenge, and got about 15 miles in. In the afternoon, we had a nice overlap of time where everyone could be here: my parents, all of my siblings, and my nieces and nephew. We went on a mini-hike in the “woods” behind our house, though the kids did not exactly appreciate the nature in the way I had hoped for. We played catch during the requisite cookout though, and I taught my niece how to properly throw a football. (Proud aunt here!) Sunday night, of course, was for cribbage – we’ve already hit bowling and Scrabble, after all.
Monday started with crossing my fingers while my baby brother took (and passed!) his driver’s test. My mom and I hit the gym – my first time back at true strength-training in a long time. We shopped a little, of course. And then we headed up to Oshkosh to check out my old stomping grounds – the history department at UW-Oshkosh. The new building is beautiful, very student-friendly; I sure wish they had that when I was there! Then we drove a bit north and watch the aforementioned brother slip into his alter ego super sweeper superhero role. (They tied.)
There was nowhere better to be on Monday night than in Wisconsin – Monday Night Football, Packers vs. Seahawks! We all indulged in my favorite pizza. I sipped on my serendipitously discovered Tyranena Lake Mills beer. (I had it once in Chicago a few years ago and have not been able to remember what it was called or find it again until this weekend.) And then the game took a turn for the worse… we will not rehash it here, but it was acutely felt.
My last full day in Wisconsin, Tuesday, my sister and I took to the gravel portion of the bike path. As you can see in all of these photos, it’s a gorgeous path, lined with trees and providing real Wisconsin nature basically in the middle of town. All of those pictures above are from my longer solo bike ride. What a beautiful ride… what a beautiful home. The hometown layover was wonderful, a perfect way to set up bouts of homesickness now in Boston.
My sporadic blogging is about to become even less reliable. I need to settle into a basic routine and then add all these extra back in. I trust you will find a way to carry on.