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