Mar 23, 2012

Spring Break 2012 - Wilderness Resort @ Wisconsin Dells


Pigtails and Curls tagged along on spring break this week.  A lot to regurgitate, let's go.

Drive
Our destination at the Dells was straddled between Fuchs Trucking at Sauk City to the south and Ho-Chunk Casino to the north.  I'm no marketing expert, but those names could use a little work.   

Pit stop at Galena, Illinois to drain pee-holes and fold platter-sized tenderloins into our faces.  Ulysses S. Grant set up camp here in 1860.  French trappers mined lead from the bluffs in the 1600s.  Hope the miners didn't wash their filthy lead-encrusted pickaxes in the local water supply, I guzzled 3 glasses of water over lunch.

Today, the 150-year-old brick shops lining Main St. entice visitors with handmade wares and treats.




My favorite small business on the strip was Galena Canning Co.  I sampled a dozen fresh salsas, hot sauces, BBQ rubs and jellies before settling on a mason jar of black bean & corn salsa and apple/jalapeno jam.  Spread a layer of the sweet-hot jam over cream cheese and dredge pretzels through it, yum.   

The place had like 50 samples on tap.  Pre-lunch, Pigtails was starving and went on a samples spree, shooting chips and bread chunks into tubs of goop.  I shut her down and made purchases to atone for the $5 in freebies my kid chomped down.




On the drive home, we stopped at Dubuque (or Deb-a-Que as Pigtails says) on the Mississippi for a grass picnic beside the river.  75 degrees and breezy, and my kid wasn't crabby.









Waves
Crashed at the Wilderness Resort, our first time there.  The wave pool was fat and bright, glass plates streamed in enough sunshine to tan our hides. 


The rays cooked my skin from "grossly white, you look like an albino skeleton" to "slightly less white but still ghastly, put some pants on."




We met up with my running bud' Jenny and her family, they lodged at the same joint.  Her and her husband have a twin son and daughter, the same age as my kid.  The girls insta-bond BFF'd, the boy shrugged indifferently and tossed me a water ball. 




I might have peed a little in the pool.  Hey, I drank too much chocolate milk, the waves were pounding my bladder and the bathroom was too far away.  A quick tinkle was convenient and made sense at the time.

Fashioned a GoPro out of a Ziploc and camera.  Strap that puppy on with some rubber bands and bam, you got a helmet cam.


Made sure the blue and yellow zips on the lunch baggy were pressed firmly together to make green, waded into the pool and filmed (link):



Slides
The indoor water slides slither outside the building and coil around like green snakes.  I found that if you arch your back on the way down so only your shoulder blades and butt make contact with the slide, you build up sufficient speed for a solid water wedgie at the finish.


The Hurricane ride was a beast, a 4-person raft drops down a wet chute into a multi-story funnel.  You ride up the sides of the jumbo cone, sloshing back and forth before draining out the bottom like a toilet flush.




The indoor/outdoor hot tub was nice, we parked it outside in the steam as cold rain fell.


Food
Let's go ahead and declare High Rock Cafe the tastiest, most cozy restaurant in all of Wisconsin Dells.  We ate there last year, again this year, and will do the same next year.

A simple menu with clever remixes on traditional fare.  Like a fresh-ground burger smeared with coffee mayonnaise and caramelized onions between butter buns.  Or a whole-grain wrap housing shredded chicken, corn salsa, guac' and bacon.

















Pigtailese
I try and scribble down mental notes of funny things my daughter says or does each day.  These made me laugh during the trip:

- On the drive, I asked her what river we were crossing.  She spelled it out: M-ISS-ISS-IPPI.
- She kept saying WINSconsin. 
- She brought blanky.  That filthy rag is a disaster, the kid still rubs her face in it every night at bedtime.
- She wheeled dolly around in a miniature stroller all over the hotel.  Including outside through the parking lot at night and over a sketchy section of landscaping rocks.  And she let baby rip down a hill in the stroller unattended.  





-  She sulked when the ball attendant told her she needed socks and couldn't play in the pit.  The ball-pit boy took his job seriously and didn't play around.  NO BALL PIT FOR YOU!




- She picked up on Sudoku and gave me the evil eye when I tried to "help" and made a mistake on the puzzle.
- Her and I both love prunes.  She popped them like candy.
- My cold drink was sweating, so I used that as a teaching opportunity to explain how condensation works.  After I finished a quick 2-minute science lesson, she leaned back with an inquisitive look and said, "Daddy, your breath smells."

-Beard

44 comments:

  1. Daniela3/23/2012

    I hate to break it to you, but my 28 year old partner still sleeps with his baby blanket. He too is constantly wrapping his head up in it while he sleeps. It is super tattered and full of holes. But I do manage to wash it once a week. It can get pretty smelly. I don't know how he can stand it right up against his face like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm confident Pigtails' blanket will implode within a year or two. Unless I intervene with staples and Duct Tape, it'll soon blow.

      Does his blankie have a name?

      Delete
    2. Daniela3/26/2012

      Nope. Just "the blanket."

      Pieces fall off it all the time (it's knitted), and I throw them out when he isn't looking. He always keeps the pieces he finds but to god knows what end.

      Delete
  2. If you like Brie, you should pour the apple/jalapeno jam over the top (usually half a jar if you have a full round of brie) after baking the brie at 350 for about 20 to 30 minutes until the brie comes soft. Then use pita chips, crackers or bagel bites to spread it's yummy goodness. My 3 year old daughter loves brie and we eat a lot of Salad and brie dinners during lent. Mostly because we are too tired to put a lot of effort into cooking after a long week at work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never tried Brie, but you've got me curious. I'll give your idea of slapping apple/jalap' jam on brie a shot and will blog on the outcome.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  3. What a sweet daddy. Your blog is pretty cool (got here from YHL). Your kitchen is gorgeous! You did a great job.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. 80,000 have stopped over from YHL in the last two days, welcome.

      Delete
  4. I got here via YHL and was so excited to see this post! I'm from Wisconsin, went to college in Dubuque (Emmaus Bible College), and my husband and I had our first date in Galena at Vinny Vannucchi's! I'm a new follower via Google Reader!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Dubuque and Galena are gems, I look forward to stopping through each year on spring break. A small world, thanks for reading.

      Delete
  5. Wisconsin! My eyes perked up when I read that! I live in Fond du Lac, a bit Northeast of the Dells!

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    Replies
    1. Let me know if there's anything in Fond du Lac worth visiting for when we hit the Dells next year.

      Delete
  6. A friend of mine referred me over here--cool story, love your dating posts (single mom of one boy--i totally get the craziness of finding someone who values the 1950's trad. fam. ) you are hilarious, btw.
    keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I figured the dating posts would tick readers off, but overall, people seem to get it. Thanks for the support!

      Delete
  7. Anonymous3/23/2012

    Haha! Your sense of humor is so like my family's! Trip sounds fun.. You seem to be doing a great job as a single father.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People at work don't know I'm funny. For some reason, I'm mostly only funny when I write.

      Delete
  8. Nicole3/23/2012

    FUN!! I am 28 and still love going to the waterparks there. Every summer my friends and I drive the 5.5 hrs to Noahs Ark...its a blast:) Pigtails, you are adorable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Noah's Ark looks awesome, we should visit this summer to hit a couple outdoor water parks.

      Delete
    2. Nicole3/26/2012

      Yes, its a must in my book! The best ride at Noahs ark is the Stingray...holy tickle belly!!! :) Found your blog through YHL but definately keep coming back to read now, something about it. :)

      Delete
  9. Anonymous3/23/2012

    What a fun trip! Loved the video too. Pigtails just make me laugh out loud with her, "no riding the wave ok?". Looks fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I didn't get the "no riding the wave, okay" comment from my kid. No idea what she was talking about.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous3/23/2012

    Your blog is adorable and your family is perfect!!! Your such a special dad!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never been called adorable before.

      Delete
  11. New follower here. Loving your blog and loving Pigtails. She is my kinda gal. If she is anything like me she will take her filthy rag of a blankie all over the world. Including her honeymoon to Maui, trips like Bulgaria, Las Vegas (helps with hang overs) Paris, Switzerland and when properly (and carefully) washed wrapped around her new babies. She may even want to take it to the hospital when going into labor until her husband refuses in fear of the nurses will want to burn it. Then her husband may accuse her of wanting to grab blankie before him in a house fire.
    Hey, some people have vices like cigarettes or gambling. Gals like pigtails and I have blankies.

    Keep up the amazing job you're doing dad!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. funny guy.
      congrats on all the hits. YHL followers are cool peeps. they are BFF's with Bower Power if you haven't seen their blog. I think you would like Katie's writing style. lotta love and diy mixed in there.

      Just 'liked' on FB and will follow here. Your honesty is refreshing. Nice to know there are real, kind people in this world of fake reality.
      Cheers!

      Delete
  12. Hi, I just found your blog and I love it! You seem like such a great father who truly cares about being involved. Plus I saw that you live in Iowa. So hello fellow Iowan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shhhhhh, I'm trying to fly in stealth mode.

      Delete
  13. I don't like ball-pit guy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was ball-pit boy a former mall cop?

      Delete
  14. how do you pronouce "fuchs"? ch like in cha-cha?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm going to go with a "k" sound on that one. But I don't know for sure.

      Delete
  15. Stopped by yesterday, YHL sent me, came back today cause I loved your writing style. You made me laugh out loud multiple times today. So funny, kind, and I love how vivid it is that you are a fabulous dad! Kudos all around.

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    Replies
    1. Nice, thanks TaraLeigh! I kinda just write things the way I see them, which usually makes people laugh, uncomfortable, angry or all of the above.

      Delete
  16. We laughed out loud at the video and pictures! Very fun to be there with you guys! Lolo is missing her new BFF...and wishing we could be back at the wave pool(but is concerned about the chocolate milk pee) and regretting that she didn't try the Hurricane. Hmmm, wasn't she crying in line??? Very well written as usual! Thanks for documenting for me :).

    ReplyDelete
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    1. This trip to the Dells was our favorite, since we had friends to share in the fun. Thanks for letting us tag along, and for going easy on me on those back-to-back 10 milers run at the buttcrack of dawn.

      Delete
  17. hahahaha! Your posts are awesome. My sarcasm and random funniness doesn't show up in my writing.... wish I had that gift! And Pigtails is just gorgeous and a crack up. I have to say my favorite was the crack about your breath. Sounds like the science lesson went over well. ;)

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    Replies
    1. Kids are honest, daddy's got halitosis, and she often tells me "not funny".

      Delete
  18. BTW, while pinning on pinterest, a friend had posted a picture of your kitchen. Apparently your kitchen remodeling pics are floating around pinterest as well! It does look pretty awesome... :)

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    Replies
    1. The founder of Pinterest came from these here parts. He's got a hit and will be a set for life.

      Delete
  19. Love your blog, you are a special family. And, honey, it is WINsconsin when the Packers/Badgers/Marquette or Brewers win! :)

    Your kitchen also rocks!

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    Replies
    1. I told Pigtails you said it's WINsconsin. She smirked and said "told ya so."

      Delete
    2. Atta girl! LOL :)

      Delete
  20. Anonymous3/30/2012

    If I saw a guy with a phone hooked to his head in a pool filming I'd kinda be skeezed out! Ha!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, and there's also that choco' milk pool pee. Now you know why I'm a single dad.

      Delete

Thanks for the note, check back for my response!