Monday, April 20, 2009

Mini-Trip to St. Croix Falls

We haven't had a real vacation in about a year and a half and with the baby coming it is looking like it will be a bit longer. In the meantime we have been taking a lot of mini-trips. Minnesota and Wisconsin are really quite beautiful places, and it's always nice to get out and explore.

Last week we took advantage of a particularly nice April day to travel to St Croix Falls Wisconsin. This is where my mom and my grandparents grew up, so there is a lot of history for me here. I spent a lot of time in this area as a kid driving around to decrepit old cemeteries (one of my favourite things to do as a kid), having picnics in Interstate Park or just hanging out at my grandparents cabin.

We stopped at Eichten's Cheese and Bison farm on the way up to get provisions for our picnic. No self-respecting Wisconsin picnic is complete without cheese. In addition to fresh cheese curds, Eichten's makes a spreadable Garlic Blue Cheese that rocks my world. They specialize in Dutch cheeses, making every kind of gouda you could imagine. Usually the bison are close enough to watch from the fence, but this time they were far afield.

We ended up at Interstate Park with some fruit, cheese and fried chicken. Fried chicken at a picnic is a family tradition that started with my grandma. It is her absolute favourite. I have never, in 30 years been to a picnic with her that didn't include fried chicken. Seeing as how we were in her hometown, it seemed like a proper time to pass the tradition on to my kids.

I am unfortunately too pregnant and clumsy for hiking, but we took a really nice walk by the river before heading downtown and to the cemetery to visit my grandpa. We wrapped the day up with an ice cream at Taylor's Falls, on the Minnesota side of the river.
These sorts of random Tuesday outings are the thing I love most about Zach working only half the year.

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