Thursday, August 7, 2008

Toto I don’t think we’re in Chicago anymore

I’m back!!!!! Miss me? That’s a rhetorical question to some of you ;) So I’m officially back in Chicago/civilization and I won’t lie, it’s bittersweet. While I was gone, of course I missed things like: central air, television and available Internet, but there are some things about being not only on vacation, but also in the “middle of nowhere” that is very soothing. Being in northern Wisconsin changed my routine from going 80 mph to about 10 mph in no time. And I loved it, but now I feel like I was hit by a Mack truck in the process of adjusting back to my life here. 

I have over 200 photos from my several days away, but I’ll spare sharing all of them with you and pick some of my favorites. I’ve also compiled a list below of things that I encountered on my vacation, which I thought were notable for everyone. Trust me, there are more differences between northern Wisconsin and Chicago than I could have imagined.

In northern Wisconsin...

-- Bars close at 10:30 p.m.

-- People gather in groups at parks to watch the sun set every night (and clap when it does)

-- Spotted Cow is the unofficial “town drink”

-- Drinks are $4-6 each (even for “tall” Long Island Ice Teas – and no they don’t skimp on the liquor)

-- Gelato or cherry pie is the dessert of choice

-- Everyone you meet says “good morning” or “good afternoon” and it freaks you out for the first day or two

-- No one cares what you look like. I lived for several days in tank tops and jersey skirts, which were still flattering after a full meal and a “Buddha belly”

-- Wild turkeys and/or foxes are not an uncommon scene on a golf course

-- Every sunset looks like a colorful explosion in the sky and you can see real stars!

-- No one judges if you're already drunk when you show up to a restaurant for dinner (guilty!)

Sunset from the beach

As you would expect, the term “fine dining” is pretty subjective in northern Wisconsin, which I love. Why? Because by day two of my vacation, I stopped wearing makeup (the horror!) and wore “dirty clothes” too when we were out. And I didn’t care! That’s huge for me. But the “fine dining” establishment we visited Tuesday night was a bar/bowling alley/restaurant combo. And the best part? You have to walk through the bowling alley to get to the bar to get to the restaurant. Classy. Dad even gave me a quarter to play an arcade game (which playing while drunk on champagne is interesting.) We go to this restaurant every time we’re in northern Wisconsin and I still get the same thing: fried chicken and cottage cheese with Dole peach slices. Yes, it’s juvenile, but that food is finger-lickin’ good and it makes me feel like a kid again.

Finally, while Spotted Cow is the unofficial drink, the other regional drink in northern Wisconsin is the “cherry bomb,” which consists of: vodka, cherry juice and a splash of Sprite.

Cherry Bomb!

After several bad experiences, vodka isn’t my cup of tea, but this drink was amazing. I didn’t taste the vodka at all (good/bad thing) and it was sneakishly potent. After about two of them I realized that I WAS TALKING VERY LOUDLY and slid off my seat. Two drinks for $10 and I’m feeling good. Chicago can’t beat those prices.

So in closing, vacation was fun, I got to embrace my "non-makeup" look and dad made it to the championship round of his golf tournament, where he unfortunately lost. Next time, I'm staying up there longer as his "good luck" charm. Whenever he has made it to the championship round, I've never been around to watch and he has always lost. Sign?? Plus I can drive the golf cart more (yay!) and make "ahhhhh" noises as we go over the bumps. That doesn't get old either.

View from the golf cart

Oh and a local cab company told me I'm "abusive" and can't call them anymore for service. Agree to disagree. Welcome back to the city! Rage Girl made quite a mess in that situation.

Anyone else have big weekend plans?

34 comments:

Miss Em said...

I missed you!

I love the sound of the Cherry Bomb. I enjoy sneakily potent drinks - unlike you, vodka and I are best friends.

Gretchen said...

Welcome back! Way to show that cab company who's boss! :)

Maxie said...

I missed ya buddy!

Drinks here are super cheap too. My favorite drink is only 6 bucks (and that's expensive for around here) and comes in a mason jar. I could totally go for one now damnit.

Rachel said...

I shall from now on drink my booze out of a jar

thegoodnamesaretaken said...

I love Wisconsin :) Glad you had a good trip!

Heidi Renée said...

Reading this makes me so anxious to go home to Michigan. Next week, baby!

bianca said...

I ADORE Cherry Bombs! Bartenders at this dive bar near my college had never heard of them and thought I was nutso when I told them. They referred to them as "Shirley Temples with vodka", which I guess is almost right...but delish!

Adorably Bitter said...

Haha, I am very much intrigued about what you did to the poor cab driver...

Alexa said...

i'm going to clap every time i see a sunset now - it's brilliant!

Salt City Mistress said...

Welcome back to the City! It missed you!
It's North Halsted Days this weekend! That's pretty much the biggest party in town this weekend.

laura marie said...

nothing like getting excited over the sunset that happens EVERY DAY. It must be hard to have a bad day when something will inevitably cheer you up every evening, right?

and if that doesn't work, there's the booze in a jar. always a good time.

Jenn said...

I must try this cherry bomb you speak of.

carrie lea said...

Wait a second... they clap when the sun goes down? Like maybe they are fascinated with this once in a lifetime experience. That is hilarious. I grew up in small town Wisconsin: Chippewa Falls. I love that place, it is my most favorite on Earth! Glad you are back!!

Stephanie said...

Lets get back to the most important part of this post-- a QUARTER for an arcade game. What year is it in Wisconsin? 1997?

Angela said...

I LOVE that on family vacations to the middle of nowhere I can relax without makeup. It's pure freedom, lol!

megkathleen said...

That cherry bomb sounds delish! It might be my new drink of choice.

Katelin said...

welcome back! sounds like one fabulous trip. you can't beat cheap drinks and gorgeous sunsets, you just can't :)

lifeintheleftlane said...

Mmmm, that cherry bomb sounds super good right now. Might have to look into making one at home.

Tonight is bachelorette party round 2 with dinner and and free drinks at a club from 9-12.

Tomorrow it's ring shopping and a stock the bar party thrown by some friends.

Have a great weekend!

Tipp said...

You were SO missed!!!

I had no idea you didn't know about the cherry bomb or I would have shared the wealth! Glad you enjoyed!!

LJ said...

It's cool that they clap when the sun goes down, nice that they appreciate natural beauty :) AWESOME PIC!

Mandy said...

I dont know that I could bring myself to pay more for $5 a drink ever...gotta love small towns. I can get drunk on $20. Wisconsin sounds like a lot of fun minus the whole no central air thing. Clapping when the sun sets--way cool.

K said...

This comment better post because my last two comments didnt. (i hate you blogger..)

Anyways.. bars closing at 1030 would not work for me. I cant leave my house before then or I turn into a pumpkin!

That drink sure does look tasty though. Yum and Yum.

Missed Ya! Bummed we couldnt meet at Jen's wine thingy.

Vanessa said...

Glad you're back! I love those mary jane crocs you're sporting for the golf cart pic. They really clap for the sunset? It's a gorgeous sunset, but...they clap? Is it because it gets hot and humid and the sunset cools things off?

Rebekah said...

Mmmm, cherry bomb! Want!

And I laughed my ass off when you twittered about the cab company the other day. You MUST elaborate!

Blaez said...

ah, mahvelous dahlin!

Ashley said...

Oh, yay!! :)

Going away to somewhere remote like that is *absolutely* amazing, isn't it? Not wearing makeup or caring how you look is super liberating.

But...I couldn't live in the middle of nowhere for tooo long, or I think I'd go crazy!! :)

ToughGirl101 said...

Oooh! You sound like you had a great time, especially with that fantastic sunset! Phew!

Princess Pointful said...

I kind of want to hear the Rage Girl vs. Cab story...
And it is always kind of refreshing to experience that slower town living once in a while. I'm headed back home in less than two weeks for my own version of it.

Foxie said...

Gotta love Wisconsin... :) I'm a native myself, but not from the northern parts. Have family up there, though. (I come from Milwaukee, always loved Chicago...)

Anonymous Amy said...

Love this post. the cherry bomb drink sold me on Wisconsin...& people who clap at sunsets? honestly, i think i like it.

laurwilk said...

Sounds like a GREAT vacation! I love getting away from it all. And cheap drinks!

G+D said...

LOL! I'm from Madison, WI and this cracked me up. I'd like to add to your: No one judges if you're already drunk when you show up to a restaurant for dinner--not only do we not judge, it's expected! And while I'm not a fan of Spotted Cow, I do enjoy a nice cold Leinie's! Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip!

Jamie said...

Haha that's really funny about the sunsets, kind of sweet though. I love cherry bombs too! But, I usually take mine in the shot form...

afrodisiacos said...

Well, I do not actually imagine it is likely to have success.