Jul 052011

We arrived in Wisconsin from the Upper Peninsula last Friday, happy to see the sun for the first time in nearly 3 days. Green Bay is on the way to my brother’s place in Portage, WI so we had to stop to see Lambeau field. Expecting to be able to partake in a free tour of the stadium we were surprised to see the $11 per person price tag. Trying to stay frugal we opted to take the poor man’s tour which means we wandered though the atrium and then meandered into the gift shop. We didn’t leave before getting a brat, a beer, and the obligatory cheese head photo.

We spent a total of 6 days in Wisconsin intermixed with work and play. On the play side we got to steal Nicole’s parent’s pontoon boat for the day and take it out on the flooded Wisconsin River. Normally the river would be too shallow to do this but because of the high waters there was enough depth to clear the sand bars. No trip down the river would be complete without stopping at Ben’s favorite restaurant, Hookers, a place where the Bloody Marys come with a pickle, an olive, a piece of cheese, and a beef stick. You gotta love Wisconsin. A couple of days later, Nicole took the boys, Jill and I to America’s largest water park. We took turns watching the boys at the kiddie pool while the adults paired off to go on the height restrictive rides. The rides were awesome, as to be expected from a water park in the Dells, and included the first “somewhat” inverted (45°) waterslide. The new slide incorporated a trap door to the initial plunge which definitely upped the fear factor.

On the work side we crossed almost everything off the project list for the van, which was surprising to say the least. It was a very long list. My brother used his carpentry skills to build cabinets on both sides of the van. Not only do the cabinets remove the industrial look of bare metal the van had driving into Portage, but also provide the organizational capability Jill and I will need if we are to survive a year living out of a van. We finished wiring up the auxiliary battery and mounted all of its components. Jill and I now have a functioning entertainment system and 120 volts of alternating current running from easily accessible outlets throughout the cabin.

With 6 days of constant activity the time flew by. Before we knew it Jill and I were back on the road becoming reacquainted with its solitude. By the time we had left we had grown accustomed to the pace life operates at when you have two young boys. Nicole and Ben might scoff as they read this but we will miss that controlled chaos.

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