Wisconsin 2011
Roger's stay at Wisconsin, August 5 to 14, 2011

08/3/11 day 45 Charlene made some good French Toast for breakfast. I spent the morning washing my laundry at Charlene's. Also spent time paying bills using the web and catching up on my email.

Charlene drove me to her son's house Justin Babcock in Mt. Vernon near Madison. We met Krystal his wife and the two kids. I took lots of photographs of the kids especially the boy who was very charming. They had extensive toys and the tree house that Justin made for them was amazing. Justin arrived from work around noon and we went to visit one of his job sites he had worked on which was very impressive. He had built an awesome garage and an entertainment audio video room for a rich executive in the Madison area. Justin then went back to work and I took Charlene, Krystal, and the kids to TGF for lunch.

After returning to Charlene's house, I discovered that I had another flat tire. I checked it closer and found that the tire had cracks and a nail in the side wall. Mike helped me remove the tire. We took it to Discount Tire but, they did not have a tire that size. Called around and found one at "Tires Plus". It cost $30 more than the same tire the day before at "Discount Tire". A bummer but having it in inventory is everything when one needs it now.

Charlene made stuffed bell peppers for dinner. They were from their garden and were very good. We then went to an outdoor concert in Rockford after dinner. The group was very talented playing in a beautiful city park setting. I enjoyed the unusual group quite a bit.


08/4/11 day 46 Got up early and we left at 8:00 am for Chicago's Navy Pier to do an Architectural Boat Tour on the Chicago River. The traffic into Chicago was lethal and Mike's tail gating type driving was very stressful to me and Charlene. If I ever go again to Chicago to a museum or other activity I will offer to pay for the bus rides to all, to avoid this drive. The tour was great with good lighting, comfortable relatively cool seating in the boat . Our guide was fantastic and performed like a professional actor. I highly recommend this very informative tour about Chicago's buildings and history. After the Chicago fire it was made illegal to build any buildings out of wood, hence many poor people who could not afford brick - stone materials to rebuild had to leave Chicago. After the tour we walked the Navy Pier which did not appeal to me as it was; congested, too commercial, and to carnival like to suit me. Found our car which was in a $10/hour parking lot and started fighting the traffic to leave the city. Mikes gps did not work well down town because it could not figure out the vertical multiple layers of streets in this area. Finally got out of town and stopped at Maggiano's one of my favorite Italian restaurants in this area to have a early dinner. The lasagna is to die for her. Finally made it back to Charlene's house and watched a bit of TV having some of Charlene's home made mound bars before retiring. It was nice visiting char and Mike again.


08/5/11 day 47 Got up late and installed the new tire on the trailer. I then prepared the trailer for travel. Charlene and I had lunch at a local family barbecue hut, having pulled pork sandwich and fresh corn again. yum yum I had no problems driving north about 2.5 hours to Duck Creek Camp ground in Pardeeville, Wisconsin. Joanne and David met me at the campground and we immediately drove off to Amish Country to get some hot glazed donuts before their bakery closed. This area is always picturesque and fun to visit. Joanne bought lots of organically grown vegetables. The horse carriages are so cool to watch. It is like being in the US 200 years prior. Came back to my camp site and finished setting up trailer. I drove to Joanne's house less than 6 miles away and had dinner prepared by Joanne. Hamburgers, fresh corn on the cob, and fresh sauteed beets from the Amish.


08/6/11 day 48 Met at Joanne and David's house at 8:00 pm. We drove to Madison to attend the Farmers Market on the State Capitol Square. This Farmers Market has the best selection of high quality fresh vegetables of any Farmer's Market I have ever attended. It is also a photographers dream. I purchased several bottles of hot salsa, beef jerky, and two good looking smoked summer sausages. We next visited the new University of Wisconsin South Student Center which was an unbelievable building having the best of every thing a student could possibly want to spend there time between classes. It had to be in the 300-500 million dollar area of cost. We were told that is was all financed by grants and a student charge added to their tuition.

I got back to trailer and rested up for my 50 year class reunion this evening. Arrived at 6:00 pm at the Owls Nest Supper Club for cocktail hour. Had a great time talking with my classmates and after an hour I actually did remember most of them. My class only graduated 37 students and we actually had 22 students attend. 8 had died so the percentage rate of attendants was amazing. My steak and shrimp dinner was not bad. All and all I enjoyed the reunion and was glad I attended.


08/7/11 day 49 Slept late and worked on my diary until 12:00 pm. I then drive about 1.5 miles to my mother's rest home in Wyocena. She was shocked to see me at first but did remember who I was. I spent about 2 hours with her. In the late afternoon I went to Joanne's house for dinner.


08/8/11 day 50 I got up early and visited mother for an hour at 7:00 am. I met Joanne and David at 8:00 am and we headed for the Wisconsin State Fair in Milwaukee. I think this fair has the best food of any fair in the US. We had a cream puff immediately upon arrival. They are so good here and loaded high with Wisconsin whipped cream. We then spent about 1.5 hours touring the barker area where all the fancy gadgets, cook ware, and many innovative products are for sale. Joanne and I both purchase a light weight kart to carry our goodies that had purchased. We then toured crafts, flower, and photo competition areas. Their photo competition did not come close to the Delmar Fair, but their quilts, flowers, and culinary competitions were excellent and very high quantity. Next we went to a live entertainment outdoor theater to watch "The Kidds" a large group of song and dance kids age 12-20 years old. They were outstanding. It was about 4:00pm now and time to go home. We stopped at Pisanoes Pizza in Madison for dinner.


08/9/11 day 51 Charlene drove up from Illinois to visit mother at 10 am where I also met Charlene and mother. We transported mother around in her wheel chair for an hour to all parts of the very scenic rest home on the shores of Duck Creek. Joanne came at 11:00 pm and I took several photos of us three kids surrounded by mother on the wheel chair. Mother had a good day visiting us and quite cognitive and it good spirits this beautiful day in Wisconsin. Us three kids then went out side and took some portraits of ususing the creek, bridge, marsh land , and farm land as back drops. Got some good ones which I will print up in a Costco photo book. My two sisters and I then went to Lunch at Krista's a charming bakery and cafe in Portage. The food was excellent and we had a fun time socializing together.


08/10/11 day 52 Slept late this morning. Weather is cooling down and I was actually cold this morning the temperature was at 65 F. in the trailer. Was going out with Joanne for a hair cut, but received a call from her at the Emergency Room at the University of Wisconsin Medical Center. Her husband David had popped out his artificial hip this morning and needed it reinserted. What a bummer for haircut. I started getting the trailer ready for travel tomorrow. Drove to Portage for my haircut. The price was right as it was men's day and the price was $10 instead of $16. I then visited mother again for an hour. It was sad leaving her again as it could be the last time I see here alive at 97 years of age.

David got his hip re inserted OK, but it was a long painful process. I brought pizza to their house for dinner and then we watched the movie called "Hair Spray" which was entertaining, but not a movie I would watch a 2nd time.


08/11/11 day 53 Slept late again and got ready to travel. Drove north about an hour to the Baraboo Wisconsin Fox Hill RV Park. Got checked in and setup into a back in site adjacent to beautiful tall deciduous hard wood trees. The park was very pretty clean and well laid out. Joanne and Dave arrived shortly and started setting up their monster tent, which I measured to be 21' long. They put a queen size mattress in it which is sitting height and has a built in 120vac air pump to inflate it. The $600 tent is first class and is high enough to stand up in. Joanne and David wanted to attend an outdoor live blues concert in Baraboo, so I reluctantly joined them. The 4 piece group was from New Orleans and were actually quite talented. We brought our own chairs and purchased some great salads with blackened salmon and a bottle of wine from a local French style cafe. The mosquitoes were not to bad and I actually enjoyed the concert.


08/12/11 day 54 I cooked french style vegetable cheese omelets for breakfast. We relaxed a bit outside in the pleasant cool weather using our lounge chairs and visited with the Packer fan neighbors next door for a bit. I informed them that the packers will probably win every game except the one against the SD Chargers on Nov 8th. These fans even had an official easy up sun shade with Packer emblems on it. We then went shopping in Wisconsin Dells for Carr Valley Cheese and fudge. Bought a bunch of cheese and fudge and then Joanne insisted on visiting the Outlet Stores Center. I actually purchased some Crocs slip on shoes. Came home and relaxed some more in our lounge chairs at the camp ground. I grilled barbecued Costco fillet mignon steaks and marinated mushrooms, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper. We also had some very fresh sweet corn on the cob with lots of real Wisconsin butter. We all decided that the best restaurant in town could not produce a better meal than this one.


08/13/11 day 55 We all slept lousy last night probably because we ate dinner later than usual for us. We woke up to a steady rain this morning. I made buttermilk pancakes from a Cracker Barrel packaged mix, fresh blue berries, bacon, and cantaloupe for breakfast. We visited the Ringling Brothers, Barnum, Bailey Circus museum which was quite cool and worth seeing. Did some photography at the very scenic site on the Baraboo River. Returned to our camp site and I made a delicious shrimp, vegetable, pasta sauteed for dinner which went really with a great California Zinfadel wine. The rain had stopped and Joanne wanted a camp fire bad so we tried to get one going but the bargain hardwood Joanne had purchased would not start. My sister not willing to give up went to the office and purchased a small packet of dry kindling wood and she got a roaring white man's fire going in no time. We roasted marshmallow's and socialized until 10:00pm. It was great fun camping with my sister and her husband.


08/14/11 day 56 No rain last night and it was a beautiful sunny morning in the mid 60's. Got up at 7:30 am and cooked bacon, toast, and fried eggs for Joanne, David, and myself. Joanne washed the dishes and we all started packing up for our departure. I was on my way at 9:45 am and drove 300 miles on I80 to Jackson Minnesota. Checked into an excellent KOA camp ground with very good wifi, level sites, very clean, in a mixed forest farmland back drop. Spent the rest of day on the internet, telephone, and watching TV,

Last updated on September 23, 2011