A Northwoods New Year 2015

I was able to get a half day on New Years so immediately after work we drove up the northwoods of Wisconsin.

We told Blake and Mr. Mike to get some beer and wine. They succeeded on the first account. We'd be drinking Rhinelander Shortys all week. We'd have to get the other booze a different day.

I found a recipe for sponge candy that used honey instead corn syrup.

So much better. Brooke where can you find that recipe?

Right here.

As soon as we arrived I got started on my Bundt luminaries. I had been collecting them all year so I could make a bunch. 

Blake and Mr. Mike were under the impression that we weren't going out this New Year's Eve. Brooke and I were all WTF. OK maybe not that extreme.

We first stopped by Twelve Pines to see that they weren't open at all. Brooke and I suggested the Mexican joint down the street, but Mike wanted to try Eagle Waters first. They were the opposite of closed. No walk up customers. 

Since the other two restaurants weren't going to work out we checked out the Mexican restaurant, Victors.

Since my mom couldn't make it this year a more causal place seemed more fun. I treated myself to a margarita. I was worried it was going to come in a crazy color and a crazy glass, but it was just how I wanted it to be.

I think at this point Mr. Mike was still doubting our decision, but the chips were perfect.

Meadow found a new toy she loves. My dad's pocket tape measure.

I ordered Tacos al Pastor and it did not disappoint.

My chile verde pork was also really good. New favorite Northwoods restaurant?

We decided to get a pitcher of margaritas to follow up our $2 Spotted Cows. The margaritas were impressively strong withe tequila in the pitcher and a splash in the cups.

This was one of the better restaurants we've had in the area.

Since it's a Northwoods NYE tradition we stopped by Triggs. We needed flour for our New Year's Day Pizza-thon. Blake and I also checked for wine and found it, but they couldn't check out booze after 9 pm. That doesn't seem right.

Unlike last year, when it was -15, my luminaries weren't freezing as fast.

Meadow took a nap on the ride home so she could make it to midnight.

After watching Iggy Azalea performances we counted down to midnight. Then Blake put on his annual firework show.

The next morning we all slept in and my dad made us pancakes for breakfast.

Mr. Mike made me some sort of strange egg/pancake hybrid.

Meadow likes to take her time eating.

Brooke delegated Blake and I to cut down the tree.

We found one in less than five minutes. Saw, Blake, saw.


After they got back we went on a quick walk to try out Meadow's new sled. Unlike the bad reviews stating that children tipped out of it, Meadow rode smoothly.

Folks a sleigh isn't going to float upon a foot of snow. Find someplace with a nice thin layer of snow.

"What do you think Meadow?" 

"I can't move."

My dad had the tree on its stand when we came back in. After learning to crochet I whipped up these new ornaments to decorate the tree. The orange garland was leftover from Meadow's birthday party.

These decorations and tree skirt are making this a little too classy.

Since Meadow was already dressed I suggested we all go snowshoeing. We even convinced my dad to come along with us.

I got to use the wood snowshoes again. These work wonders.

Once we got onto the lake the wind was so cold. I said we should stay in the woods, but my dad insisted we keep going.

"Let's go this way"

My dad brought along a rope that we all had to hang onto when crossing the lake, in case one of us fell in.

He informed me that I was the guinea pig. I think I would've rather not had a rope around me, but suffice it say, we survived.

Sun rays making a special appearance.


It suddenly felt a good deal warmer. The wind died down, the sun shined and we snowshoed on.

My dad kept getting snowballs in his grips.


One of my straps fell off after going down a hill. After some triage we were back on course to...somewhere.

Meanwhile Mr. Mike took a breather.

We decided it was best to turn back. Meadow was getting whiny. 

It turns out her hat was just covering her eyes.


Snow started to fall as we rounded the bend.

Go Pack, go!

Occasionally we'd spot a snowmobile, but it was mostly peaceful and still on the frozen chain of lakes.

Meadow lost her mitten at some point.



As we crossed the channel we took a shortcut through the woods.

I never knew there was a darling little cottage over here.

This has to be oldest cottage on our road.

With nothing planned, Mr. Mike whipped up some grilled cheese.

Actually he thought of it, I made it. 

Then we heard some jingle bells. Santa had come!

Meadow still doesn't quite understand opening gifts.

Yay corn holders.

Now we can eat throw away the perfectly good husks...

We bought my dad a Simpsons Trivia game way back in January.

You mean Santa did?

Uh yea... that's what I meant.

Blake was excited about something.


My goods this year. Make your own taco bowl set, Las Vegas fuzzy poster, a puzzle, a covered wagon model kit, corn holders and a variable teaspoon.

Blake and I got a pair of blow darts. Fun ensued.

While Meadow napped I started working on my first project. The fuzzy poster.

Blake turned a shorty into blow dart holder.

Somewhere in here I made a batch of pizza dough. We each stretched our dough and chose our own toppings.

Meadow woke up just in time for pizza.




Meanwhile I set up my first set of luminaries. I thought about putting them along the driveway down to the lake, but I thought they would just sink into the snow.

Maybe next year she'll be braver.

After Meadow went to bed we tried out my dads new game. 

It's mostly a trivia game where you try to collect cards and trade them in for donuts.

None of us were all that good. The trivia was extremely obscure.

Before Blake left we all had breakfast courtesy of the Nordic Ware stovetop waffle iron.

After Blake left we all took Meadow for a longer walk. 


I trailed behind the cool kids.




She was getting really bored near the end and it was kind of cold so I ran her home.

Mr. Mike and I jogged after.

My dad didn't want to sit around all afternoon so we went to town.

Eagle River, specifically.

Our favorite thrift store was closed so we checked out The Vintage Thrift down the street.

They still have a bunch of junk.

When we got home Meadow wanted to play outside. I think she was just excited to be outside without snowpants.

We picked up groceries after thrifting and got some wine. I started warming up the ingredients for mulled wine.

We'd planned on having this NYE, but this worked.

Taco dip, painting and mulled wine. What could be better then this?

An awesome Deal or No Deal video game?

My dad requested chocolate chip cookies.

I honored that request with giant cookies.

I pretty much spent the whole day cooking dinner. Green Gumbo with andouille sausage.

When I refilled my bundts in the morning my dad said to add food coloring. All we had was red so we interchanged the red and white ones and put them all along the railings.

I think this was the classiest color choice.

I can't wait for next year when I collect more pans and make even more.

The next morning we cleaned and packed up. Meadow was sad that we had to leave. She wanted to stay longer.

Instead of having to clean up our breakfast mess we opted to go out instead.

We'd always wanted to go to Sunset Grill. I only have one question. How can you name your restaurant Sunset Grill if you're only open for breakfast and lunch?

That trusty tape measure came in handy for little impatient bears.

I had some sort of poached egg, pork and chile verdes mashup.

Meadow took some photos after she was done with her oatmeal.

I already can't wait for New Years next year.

Ditto.

Comments

Amanda said…
I just love your blog. It makes me want to see you guys again. I love the comment about going out for New Years - it made me laugh "Okay, maybe it wasn't that extreme". Brooke why were you afraid you would get a crazy glass? I love the margarita glasses. Sounds like a great New Years. Why do you get a tree afterward? Doesn't that come beforehand? Do you keep it up or take it down before you guys leave? I love seeing all these pictures of Meadow...she seems to be content with whatever is going on. Where does Santa get all the cool gifts? Las Vegas poster?! Covered wagon model!?
Brooke said…
Amanda--I prefer my margaritas on the rocks, not frozen.
We always do a second Christmas over New Years. Since we all arrived on New Years Eve we had to wait to get a tree the next day. We leave the tree up and my dad takes it down when they open the cottage for the summer in April. Meadow rarely complains on the adventures we take her own. She usually doesn't get upset until when are on our way back from somewhere. Not sure if it's because she's cold or bored. I'm not sure where Santa gets his gifts, but they're always fun to open.

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