Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Quest For Fun ~ 2009

Griswold Weiss Family Vacation 2009!

Our very first real vacation as a family! It was a whirlwind trip because I'm a planner people and when I go somewhere, I like to figure out stuff to do and we are busy! I spend so much time at home that when I go somewhere...I don't want to sit around. Now...I didn't get to do everything that I wanted to do....I had to cross some things off from the list due to lack of interest and crabby kids. But if I had had some time to myself...I would have done so much more.

Things that were crossed off the list:
See Bruno with Robert
Go to Boerner Botanical Gardens
Visit Stone Creek Coffee
Get Pie from Sweetie Pies
Eat a Chocolate Chambord Tower at Golden Mast Inn
Sleep with my husband
Have wine at Balzac Wine Bar
Visit Cans Bar and Canteen
Get more cheese from Wisconsin Cheese Mart

We started this trip on our 5th wedding anniversary and because the fifth year gift is WOOD, Calvin gave me the cork from a very yummy bottle of Pinot Noir...which we drank from the Super 8 motel paper cups in Rock Springs Wyoming. ROMANTIC!

click on the pics to see larger....
We met up with Calvin's family near North Platte and Edna Mary rode with us the rest of the way....she will probably never do that again since the kids kept her busy retrieving toys from the floor.

We stopped in Madison Wisconsin for dinner at The Great Dane Pub and Brewery and had an awesome burger that I had read about in Food Network's Magazine. If you get a chance try The Great Dane Brat & Bacon Pretzel Burger. It consists of a hamburger patty, brat patty, grilled caramelized onions, topped with applewood smoked bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. All of this on a Pretzel Roll! This was the highlight of my trip!

The guys got a flight of beers!

The view from our summer rental was amazing! I drank my coffee out on the patio almost everyday and never tired of looking out the window.

Day One of our trip was a busy one. We drove up to Fond Du Lac and went to the Kristmas Kringle Shoppe. We found a neat ornament to remember this trip (Santa fishing with gifts in the boat). Mallory was freaking out....and kept telling us that she couldn't like Christmas. She really hated this life-sized Nutcracker.

Next was the lighthouse on Lake Winnebago at a beautiful Lakeside Park. There were walking paths and gazebos, water bumper cars, a train and carousal. We decided to just hit the park and let the kids run out some energy before heading to Green Bay.

The last stop of our day was the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay. It was really cool! Unfortunately, we got there a few minutes too late to ride the train around the property (which was the main reason we came) but we toured the inside of many, many trains and Alex enjoyed playing with the (free) train table in the gift shop. If you go to this museum, be advised that the train only runs every two hours.
Day two....Mary, the kids and I went to Trader Joe's Market in Northern Milwaukee. I was so excited for this little excursion because I am a foodie and I had heard such great things about this store. We walked in and I was amazed to see how small it was. But once we started looking around we found that they use the space really well and we discovered all kinds of great things! My favorites...Blueberries, Oatmeal Honey Soap, Goat Cheese Brie, Pita Chips, Pretzel Bread, Challah Bread and Milk Chocolate Truffle Candy Bar! Later that day we ventured out to find the Haus of Prime Meat and bought some brats to cook. We also found Butterkase and delicious Kona coffee.

Day Three....I woke up to a huge storm and rolling thunder. As I was about to get a cup of coffee...the power went out. It came back on about an hour later but our internet did not. The menfolk came home early with a huge amount of fish and we just hung around the house and played. In the afternoon, we decided to go to Mars Cheese Castle! What a great place! We bought a nice selection of cheeses, some candy and a toy for Alex. You should know that Mars Cheese Castle will ship to the continental US (and Alaska and Hawaii). Click HERE for a cheese tour.

Day Four...We took the kids downtown to The Betty Brinn Children's Museum in downtown Milwaukee. This is such a great place! So much for the kids to do and has large windows that face Lake Michigan. If you go to this museum and then find yourself hungry for lunch...walk 4 blocks west to the US Bank building and you will find a cafeteria on the second floor. I had the best burger and fries there! It's the closest place to eat...unless you count the hot dog carts.

Alex was really drawn to the car repair station and Mallory was drawn to the bank.

I applied for a loan with her and she still hasn't gotten back to me....

We walked across the street to the Milwaukee Art Museum but it cost too much to get in so we walked over to Discovery World at Pier Milwaukee and toured the free Reiman Aquarium. They have a touch tank and the kids enjoyed touching the Stingray and Lake Sturgeon.
Check out this video of the Art Museum....

As we were leaving and walking back to the parking garage...three Air Force Thunderbirds were flying over Lake Michigan and Downtown. We stood (in a small rainstorm) watching these jets fly over...so low that we could see all of the details of the planes. We found out later that they were practicing for an airshow on Saturday.

Day Five...I got up really early and went for a walk in the woods. It was so peaceful and beautiful and I was upset really upset with myself for not making time to do this more often.

Friday was a lazy day spent eating pancakes, going for a ride on the boat and teaching the kids to cast.

This woman is on the dock of a multimillion dollar house....


Friday night as I was on my way to my father in law's 50th High school Reunion...the paparazzi found me.
i was updating facebook & twitter

On the way home to Utah, we stopped in Des Moines at Joe's Crab Shack so that we could have lunch with my friend Angie and her family. I met Angie a long time ago on a message board for Mom's having babies in April 2006. She became one of my favorite people and I was so thrilled to finally meet her and her family after all of these years.

Our kids all got along great and my kids talked about Belle and Parker all the way home. Alex can't figure out why we can't just go over and see them again. Sorry buddy.

Early Sunday morning, we had a little run in with the Nebraska State Patrol when we were pulled over for having a dog tied to our bumper speeding. My husband who drives like a senior citizen ....developed a lead foot and broke the law! I hope Nebraska spends our Christmas money wisely.

It was a fun and action packed vacation! The kids did great in the truck and slept fairly well in real beds (Mallory's first time) and did great without naps. I can't wait to see what our next adventure will be!


  1. Sounds wonderful! I can't believe you were able to fit all of that into one week :) It was such a beautiful place, I love all of your pictures. My dad's favorite movie is National Lampoons Wally World Vacation. He always joked that he would take us there, and one of my favorite movies is the Great Outdoors ;) Too funny!

  2. How fun (except for the ticket)! Poor M looks so frightened of the Nutcracker. Glad you made it there and back and kept your sanity :)

  3. What a great trip! I love that you planned so many activities. I am not a schedule person when it comes to vacations, so I am so impressed with people who can do that. I love your pix, but my favoirite is the anniversary Pinot and the paper cup!
    Please tell me that when you were in TJ's you picked up a bottle of thier Pear Champagne Viniagrette salad dressing. Please tell me that you did this...

  4. Holy Moly!! What a busy trip!! I so enjoyed following it all on facebook last week!!!

    Glad you are back- bloggy world was quiet without you!


  5. Sounds like you had a fantastic time. I'm glad you did...I was on a little vacation last week too! I guess we're both just cool like that. ;)

  6. Those pictures are great!

    Not one of those kids looks very happy on that bench! Especially Alex!

  7. Sounds that you had a fun vacation with your family. We're going at the end of August - just a mini one. We're meeting my son, his wife and our grandkids in Mesquite. I like to get around and see stuff, but I like spending time with family even better.

  8. I am sooo wanting to plan a lake vaca for my family.
    How did you find the house you rented?

  9. Sounds like you managed to do quite a bit on your vaca!!! And it all sounds like so much fun! I was only gone for three day but I feel so behind on everything!

  10. Holy Vacation!!!!! Reading about your vaca makes me want to take a vaca....August isn't going to get here fast enough!

  11. Yay Connie - I have been waiting to see pictures from your trip. What a fun time! You were very busy. Wow - you got a lot of sight seeing in. Great pictures! I loved reading your updates on FB and imagining what you were doing.

    So glad you had a great trip and made it home safely. How fun that you were able to meet your online friend too!


  12. It looks like you had a great trip!! :) I am jealous! hehe thanks for visiting me today!

  13. you guys look like you had a blast! i was cracking up at the WOOD comment...lol...and that picture of the woman on the dock...classy!

  14. That was a busy vacation! Lot's of fun it seems and a wee bit stressful at times I bet ;)-
    Thanks again for stopping by on your long drive to have lunch with us! It was so great to meet you! I guess it's our turn now to head out your way! I'd love to see those mountains! and meet some mormans ;)-

  15. A burger loaded down with the fixins and served on a pretzel roll? YUM! Don't tell Craig- he would make the trip just for that.

    Thanks for the post card!! That was so sweet of you.

    You can expect one from Alaska in about a month...pinkie promise!

    I'm so glad you were able to get away and enjoy yourself.


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