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A Mostly Milwaukee Thanksgiving With A Side of the Fox Valley

This Thanksgiving we tried talking the Tuska side of the family into coming to Minneapolis. That didn't work, but my mom did get us a hotel. So, I guess that's a good compromise. Meadow was excited to see her cousins Cameron and Simone.

She talks about them a lot, mostly baby Cameron.

The first thing we did after breakfast was head over to rents house and start the turkey.

We pulled out the old toys in the basement for the kids to play with.

Hours later the food was still cooking, but my broham managed to skype (or facetime or something) with us. That guy just needs to come to a holiday out here soon.

After a few traditional Tuska squabbles dinner was served.

Scott's parents fine china has always been my favorite.

All of the fixings turned out pretty good even though my dad was worried the whole time.

Things did take a little longer than planned.

Oh, hey it's Dennis and Cameron. Dennis and Katrina's two kiddos are so cute.

We didn't waste anytime to dig into my sisters apple-cranberry and pumpkin pies.

Of course I drank some New Glarus Pie Lust.

We picked up some brewskis on our way down the day before. Its sacrelig to not have beer on Thanksgiving.

The next morning we tried out our hotel pool. Meadow was hesitant at first, but seemed to enjoy it more with her new water wings.

She also just loves sitting at the edge of water.

Dennis was tired so the rest of went to Oakland Gyros for, well, gyros.

We had thought about going to Pizza Shuttle, but this worked out.

Hopefully next time, it's been too long.

I killed some time building random thingamajigs with the Tinkertoys.

Scott was having more fun than Meadow. 

Meadow's more of a block and train gal.

Good job Scott.

Meadow called these flowers. I was pretty proud of my windmill.

I came up with the idea first.

It was nice to just watch the kids have a good time without the chaos of Thanksgiving dinner.

Meadow is always having people read her books.

Cameron must've known we were going to be celebrating his birthday soon.

My parents picked up a Danish Layer Cake from Lehmann's Bakery down in Racine. They really know how to bake down in my mom's hometown.

I finally got to have a piece after hearing Scott talk about it all these years.

Both baby Cameron and Grandpoppy have birthdays coming up.

They both blew out the candles.

Cameron's first cake.

Now that Brooke knows what this she can make me it for my birthday.

Scott asks me to make it every year. I attempted to one year, but it just wasn't the same.

Then Meadow insisted on doing the dishes.

In the morning the cousins all played in Dennis and Katrina's room.

I have no idea what's going on here.

I think you're tickling Cameron. Until next time little dudes.

They must have tired Meadow out.

Sorry Meadow, this isn't the best photo of you. She really wanted to go in her bed to "take a nap".

Our Wisconsin State Park pass is only good until the end of December. With that, we talked my dad into going to the Kettle Moraine State Forest's Lapham Peak Unit.

It's about 30 minutes west of the city. We could see MKE off in the distance from the top of the observation tower.

Meadow did not want to walk at all and only wanted to be carried.

We followed someone's advice.

Other than the purple brush it was not that interesting. Almost immediately we backtracked.

Since Meadow didn't want to walk I put her on my back. She then fell asleep almost instantly. I guess she really did want to nap.

The park was pretty typical of most of southern Wisconsin. Oaks in every direction with a few sugar maples.

Meadow missed the whole hike, she slept the whole time. 

Hey Blake do you know what these trees are? My dad and I couldn't figure it out.

My pops has been talking about Mazos for the last few months. He finally took us to this 1940s diner. Go if you want some damn good burgers.

Leon's is just across the street. You knew we couldn't go to Milwaukee and skip frozen custard.

We were full from Mazos so we picked up two pints of custard to go.

We headed back to the hotel early so we could swim before having to leave the next morning.

I will be picking up extra days at work soon. So we took advantage of my last 5 day weekend by driving up to see my family for a few days. We decided to stop at the Kristmas Kringle store outside of Fond du Lac. 

Meadow had her eyes set on a strawberry ornament, but we had other plans.

There were too many to chose from.

I always loved these tiny villages growing up. This Christmas Vacation one was perfect.

Meadow loved looking at everything.

She especially loved this peek-a-boo bear. It was kind of adorable. The bear said, "Where are you?" the same way Meadow does.

Once we arrived at my parents house I pulled out some of my childhood toys.

Meadow was a little too young for this fishing game. She tried for a long time at least.

Oh hey we have a new baby nephew! Say hello to baby Harvey.

Newborns always make nervous.

Meadow really likes her baby cousins.

We forgot Meadow's bib at Scott's parents house. My mom wouldn't let us use the bib that Marina uses when she is here. This meal seemed messy so she had to eat shirtless.

Nolan had to join in with the shirt free dinner.

I don't care what Brooke and her siblings say, I love G.G.'s old school dinners.

On the other hand I will never give in to ice cubes in wine or beer.

A few weeks ago my sister told me that the dime store in Little Chute was closing. I wanted to check it out one last time. Since it hasn't been that cold out we decided to walk over. We don't have a stroller and Meadow loves any chance she can to ride in one.

We took the scenic route to downtown.

I always ask Brooke what this building is. They've knocked down everything surrounding the plant.

I really have no idea. All I know is that it always smells like glue. The owner likes to knock down residential areas of the village for the heck of it.

With the dime store closing there really isn't a whole lot of businesses left here.

I always came here after school when I was kid. My friends and I would buy the penny candy and look at all the little toys. I even bought my first crochet hook here in middle school, determined to learn.

I was sad to see a lot of the toys already gone. Only the weird stuff was left.

This place reminded me of the Hobby Shop that moved from Cudahy when I was a kid.

Except there's more junk here than the hobby shop.

Meadow thought this place was great. Everything was at her level.

We debated on picking up some New Years attire.

They were selling all their displays as well. Some from when they first opened in the 50's and 60's. The yarn display would have been awesome to have.

I suggested we pick up some coffee cake next door at Simon's Bakery before heading home.

Then Brittany, Jeff and Marina came over to work on their looms. We all decided to go thrifting while Jeff worked in the workshop.

 I got to sit in the back between the girls.

If frozen custard is a must in Milwaukee, thrifting is the Fox Valley equivalent.

I got some wooden beads for 75 cents for Meadow to practice threading.

Later we met up with Malcolm and Donna who we hadn't seen in a long time. Usually Meadow and Penelope are really great at playing together. This time they mostly did their own thing.

We mostly drank beer and ate pizza. I have to say I love seeing the Hills when we're in town. It's a great new tradition.

The girls got a blue moon treat after dinner.

I'm still not sure what blue moon tastes like, but the kids sure liked it.

The next day we had lunch with my grandma and parents before heading home.

Until next time Wisco.


Katrina said…
It was good seeing you guys! I love the pictures of the kids playing together. Thanks for getting some good ones of Cameron's first birthday cake! Love you guys!

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