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Northwoods NYE 2023

When we last left you we had just arrived at the cottage for my favorite weekend of the year: Northwoods NYE

Soon after we arrived my parents showed up. 

None of us had any food for dinner so we finally got to try Sunset Grill at night.

How, I ask you, was a breakfast joint named Sunset Grill. Finally it can claim it's true alter as a late night bar and grill.

My Philly was pretty dang good. Take that haters who thought Sunset Grill couldn't be an all day restaurant.

Everyone else is against the idea of coming here at night but I liked it.

I always thought this bar would be great with the lights dimmed.


The next day Theo insisted that the first thing we do is push him on the big swing.

The snowman got some plastic surgery and upgraded it's face.




Meadow tried her best swinging on the rope by the tree house.



I gave it a go too.

Then it was time to get our Christmas Tree. This time we shopped our own land. 

That's what happens when all the surrounding land gets sold.


Scott said this tree was too perfect.

You can't cut down a nice tree. That could be a hundred year old tree someday.




We even changed up where to put it. 

Beautiful.

We could still snowmobile if we stayed close to shore.

Brooke must have been really surprised or maybe she wanted to show us her retainer.
 
"Make sure auto focus is on" 

The kids started collecting chunks of snow ice. That's the only way I can describe it.



And then we karate chopped them.

Oh hey, Blake and Daniel and Ruthie.

Grandma...I mean G.G. made us leftover turkey, noodle soup. We all questioned whether that turkey meat had sat in their garage back home too long.

Since we missed the Romenesko Christmas, we exchanged gifts for the kids 4th Christmas.

Meadow got a new ring.

I got some new hiking socks.

Daniel got dad a Joe Biden calendar. While he was opening it Daniel said, I heard you like American presidents. We all figured it was something Trump, nope, hahaha.

If Mike hadn't retired it would've been perfect at his flooring showroom right behind the Republican Party of Outgamie County offices.

My mom got me a new sweater and Theo couldn't get over how soft it was.

I got a Milwaukee Tools palm nailer, but once I tried, I decided it probably wasn't good for my needs.

The next morning more presents showed up under the tree.

I love how Santa comes all the way back to Wisconsin for Northwoods NYE second Christmas. Or is this 5th Christmas?




A new Bundt pan for Blake.

Meadow and I had fun wrapping presents again this year.

This gift had Blake's name scratched off and my name written. I got a cool dragonfly kite. Na Na Blake.

Chelsea continued the prank gifts, getting me a Trump toilet bowl cleaner. Trump will finally end up where he belongs.


Meadow had fun picking out gifts for everyone last year that she wanted to do it again. A Darth Vader mug for Daniel.

I found these used snowshoes and thought of Daniel immediately. He broke his pair during Brooke's birthday weekend two years back.

Then it was time for King Cake. This year I made the dough the night before and baked it in the morning. A perfect post present opening treat.

It was even better risen over night.


Then it was back to the lake for snowmobile fun.

Ruthie got to play with her new toy.

We didn't have room in our car to bring our ice skates and of course there are open areas of ice this year. Luckily I found some really old skates upstairs.







Theo wouldn't ride the kitty cat, so Uncle Blakey tried convincing him that it was awesome.


I finally convinced Theo to try it out himself. He still needs help with steering.

For Christmas this year Blake got me a book on ice luminaries. I guess Meadow and him were inspired and they built this little sculpture.

Blake had mentioned recently that him and Daniel stopped at McGregor's Blink Bonnie once on their way home and it was so good. We decided to try this place out for our NYE dinner this year. They don't take reservations so we hoped to get there early enough.

A fine sign like that just screams a perfect Northwoods NYE dinner.

We had about an hour wait.

Perfect time to get some old fashioneds and Spotted Cows. Or if you're G.G.: a bloody mary.

Meadow was so festive this year. Even wearing some new earrings she got from Brittany.

Blake, Daniel and the kiddos spent most of our wait playing in their small arcade room.

 
I do exist.
 
Pretty soon this place was hopping.




Of course on New Year's Eve you have to get the champagne of beers.


The dinning room was nice, but I preferred the dimly lit bar.

Silly kids telling silly secrets.

You know G.G. got the surf and turf.


I got the pork chops and I can't say I've ever had a better one in my life. Everyone was raving about their steak.

Meadow also got her own video camera for Christmas.

The night was still young. We thought we would continue at Tiny Tap, but it was closed. Everywhere else in Eagle River was shuttered so we made our way back to Three Lakes.

We were actually gonna go to the new beer bar next door, The Brew Station, but they'd just put up their closed sign for the night.

 And that's how we found ourselves back at the American Legion.

This has been my dream ever since we last ended our night at the best bar in Three Lakes. Ten long years earlier and we were finally back.  

No polka this night but a woman was there singing cover songs.

You got to imagine polka nights are becoming rarer these days.

I love this bar.

Back at the cottage for the night, Blake and Meadow's luminary looked pretty good. 

I stuck to my classic.

Then we made our way back down to lake for some midnight fireworks and sparklers.



Not a bad tradition.


Damn, do I love Northwoods New Year's Eve!



The next day after we returned home the kids had their 6th and final Christmas. Presents from Santa. Theo got his Zelda bow and arrow.

Meadow got all her books she wanted. 
 
The kids were excited to finally open all their Christmas gifts that had received in the last week. Theo got his own drill.

When I was his age I got my own too.

Happy New Year, y'all.

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