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Thanks for Thanksgiving

Another year, another drive to Wisconsin for Thanksgving.

Brooke didn't want to go this year, but I insisted that it would be better than staying home. 

I was able to get out of work early so I rushed home, we ate lunch and headed out. Normally the traffic on the day before Thanksgiving is always horrible. We lucked out and sailed through to Wisconsin and then the backups started.

We were hungry along the way, but didn't want to get dinner until we made it to the Fox Valley. The Wisconsin Pavillon from the 1964 NYC Worlds Fair is along the drive in Neillsville, Wisconsin.

The pavilion functions as both a radio station and cheese shop. I picked out some honey ham sticks and curds from the nearby Nasonville Dairy. I'm sure they were good when fresh, but these were the worst curds I've ever had from a Wisconsin cheesemaker.

When we arrived my mom was at work and my dad was going hunting. We asked Chelsea what she was doing for dinner and she suggested we try a new pizza place by their house.

HomeRun Pizza. They provided us with fancy sippy cups.

I was surprised that a new pizza joint served classic midwest square slices.

Meadow was asleep when my mom got out of work. She was happy to see her grandbaby in the morning.

Meadow and I woke up pretty early. We had breakfast then I helped my mom make her salsa.

My aunt Jill said she wanted us there at 11. It was after 10:30 and I was getting antsy to go.

The rest of us realized that 11 was way too early for a 2 p.m. meal. 

Nothing says Thanskgiving like Aunt Jill's historic home.

We volunteered to bring beer. In a sacrilegious move we brought Minnesota beer to Wisconsin. I don't think anyone minded.

We were the first ones to arrive. Soon after Chelsea and kiddos showed up.

What is the deal with with toddlers stealing one another's bottles? It's like they want a cold.


We snacked and snacked and snacked.

Spoiling our appetite for the big meal is tradition.


Upon entering my aunt put a sign on the door to come on in and help ourselves to a variety of slippers she made.

Meadow's cousins were fighting over the cats.

Marina found a new friend.

With the addition of the pumpkin cheesecake bars I brought, we had an overload of dessert.

Thanksgiving traditions. Can't say we had any wild rice salad or grape salad for that matter.

My aunt didn't forget silverware for the youngsters.

Somehow Nolan snuck onto the grownup's table.

We're still relegated to the kids table even though we have a kid. I guess I'm okay with that.

Next year we will have to have a kids kids table.


After dinner it was time for our annual post dinner walk.

Mr. Mike was going to join us until he walked outside. I guess it was too cold for him.

We all brought our sleds and had a baby parade for the locals.

 Brayden straggled behind us the whole time.

Seeing as the only cop in town was probably at home enjoying a few brewskis himself we kept ourselves warm on this very chilly walk.

It felt more like Christmas with the cold and snow.

Since Meadow hadn't napped at all she thought riding in a sled in 20 degree temps was the best time to do so.

We took a different route this time.



We ended our walk quickly and enjoyed our dessert samplers.

All of Meadows cousins left, so she was left to our own devices.

We were the last ones to leave. Meadow was getting sleepy so we headed home.

I think she was just being cute.

The next morning we met up with Amanda and Alayna for breakfast.

We hadn't seen Alayna since she was a few months old. Next time we will have to let the girls play together.

We met up at Landerman Family Restaurant. My scrambler featured nacho cheese. I did not realize this when I ordered it.


The Christmas decor at Landerman's was spot on.

We had to get a photo of the four of us outside. 

Apparently Alayna wasn't into this pic.

We tried stopping at a thrift store after the restaurant but it was closed. Instead we went back home so Meadow could nap.

On Fridays Brittany and Jeff come over to work on looms for Brittany's etsy shop.

It must have been a Friday.

We thought craperole was in the garage, but it turned out to be Chelsea's chili. Yo, Chelsea you forgot the chili powder.


I found some fabric at the thrift store a few days ago. It was almost the right length I needed for the tent we are making Meadow for Christmas. I brought it along and asked Brittany to help me finish it.

I'm so glad Brittany could help me. It would not have looked as good if I had done it myself.

Marina also "helped" us out.

I noticed the other day that the new Culver's by the in-laws place was selling 2-for-2 pints. When I picked them up the whole family got in on an impromptu frozen custard social.

When Meadow woke up, she got to play with her cousin.

Momma Gail made chicken alfredo for dinner from scratch. I think we were all impressed.

The babes were just happy to eat noodles.

Meadow found my parents winter box. She started putting mittens on and my dad thought he'd help her out.

The next morning after breakfast we went over to Malcom and Donna's house. 

Penelope was napping, but Meadow quickly made herself at home.

Beer and cake. Don't mind if I do.

Once she woke up they had puzzle competitions.



It's always fun hanging out at their house.

It's just such a pleasant space.

We needed to get Meadow down for a nap before going out to eat with my parents.

Penelope gave Meadow a hug on the way out. How sweet.

We all wanted Mexican, but I insisted that we try something different. Since we were going down to Oshkosh for a light display I suggested Zacatecas in Neenah.

On our way in I said, "Isn't this the fancy Mexican place?" Scott insisted it wasn't.

I hadn't realized that this Mexican joint was gourmet. A bit pricy for middle-of-the-road Mexican.

My tacos were very meh and our waiter kept taking away our food before we finished. Probably won't be going back again.


We then went down to Oshkosh for the "Celebration of Lights" at Menominee Park.

We got to see reindeer, but missed Santa by 15 minutes.


Hey it's us in a sleigh.

They made me do it.

It was fun to see, but definitely no Bentleyville.

The next morning my dad bought us cinnamon rolls. They were sooo sweet.

 I wanted to go sledding, but with the recent warmup there wasn't enough snow. We decided to go for a walk with my dad at Heasakkers Park instead. This was Scott's first time.

I didn't know such a cool spot existed in Little Chute.

A new pedestrian bridge and path was put in across the canal. 

Every town needs a place where graffiti artists feel at home. In Little Chute apparently it's the damn.

We were going to go all the way down to Doyle Park and then we saw Meadow was looking sleepy.

We each took our turn dragging Meadow along the icy path.

Nothing like a cold sled ride to knock you out. 

At the end we took a wrong tun and had to find a way to cross the creek. Mr. Mike tested out a frozen section and we made it out safely.

After passing a couple of guys setting up their deer stand. 

Brittany and Marina were at my parents when we got back. Instead of taking off Meadow's snow gear we let the littles play outside.

Meadow tries, but still hasn't gotten the hang of walking in her snowpants yet. 

Marina's a pro.

She was happy playing on the ground.


After 10 minutes Marina was ready to go back in.

I don't blame her.

Then I took some pictures for Brittany's Etsy page. Go buy something from her this Christmas or just for fun.

Brittany gave me one of her looms and another one for testing out for making placemats. 

Meadow was impressed by her aunt and uncle's craftsmanship.

After I was finished we all watched the Packers game.

We couldn't decide what to eat for dinner. My dad suggested Darboy Chicken. Actually these days it's called Kim's Place. We found a Groupon online and took up that deal.

It turns out they make some pretty good chicken Combined Locks. Wait...why did you guys used to call it Darboy Chicken?

After dinner my dad stained the looms. His workshop has turned into a loom factory.

My dad has been slowly getting rid of things in our basement. He asked me to go through all my artwork. I couldn't throw out this beautiful self-portrait I did in college.

It kind of looks like you!

I also grabbed some of my old Powderpuff Girl toys for Meadow.

The next day my mom showed us how you stop a baby from choking.

Afterwards she brought us to her work to show off Meadow. 

On the way out I asked Gail if she's ever had Grape Salad since it's been a controversy in Minnesota recently. She whipped this out of her recipe card holder. I think Minnesotans are full of it again.

Comments

Amanda said…
Wow, long post. Loved the pictures. What great memories. :)

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