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Northwoods NYE 2023 (Or Northwoods New Year 2024 if you're Brooke)

We followed my parents up to the cottage. We were getting hungry for lunch and Scott found a place about halfway.

The Old Town Hall Restaurant and Bar in Townsend along WI-32.

It was a bit early for dinner, but all the adults went with the fish fry.

Theo was in much better spirits after being sick so long. 

Once the cottage was heated up we decorated the gingerbread cookies.

I went upstairs to pull out all the Christmas bins and found that a sneaky child was hiding and eating candy sometime over the summer. 

Tree skirt or skirt?

No snow, but plenty of ice. 

Strangest winter ever.

An extreme El Nino if there ever was one.


The ice along the shore was thin, but the kids could get out to the frozen ice 10 feet out. 

The shore was the most exposed we'd ever seen. Typically snow covers the shore when the dam upriver is closed during the winter. The Three Lakes chain (which is a part of the Eagle River) is a reservoir for a dam down the Wisconsin River and lowers during the winter.

We found all kinds of garbage on the shoreline. 

But oddly no fishing lures.

I saw some peanuts in the cupboard and decided to snack on them. Later I'd be reprimanded by G.G. I guess these are for ice cream.

With all the land bought nearby, we've been sticking with trees on our acreage for the Second Christmas tree.

We couldn't settle on the right tree.

All the good ones were too good. 

The mosses are not supposed to be this green in December.

Or they're covered by snow. 

Quite possibly true.


Our trees keep getting bigger, we really need a bigger tree stand. 

Blake was braver than us and tested the ice further from shore.

It would break apart easier on the shoreline but once you got out it was fine. 


With the warm weather and no snow, I saw that the ice arena in Rhinelander had an open skate night. 

We weren't sure if we'd be able to skate Dog Lake, so why not spend a night at the Rhinelander Ice Arena?

We've got to go to the game to see the Hodag in action.

Theo's getting pretty good. Hopefully soon we can open our backyard ice rink. 


Even mom made it around a few laps. 

OK, so I was poopooing Brooke's king cake days after having cinnamon rolls. But honestly it's delicious.

Second Christmas wouldn't be complete without more presents.


Blake's presents were on a theme of red truck items. 

Every few years I have to make my dad new slippers. He always wears through the soles so last time I added leather soles and he still managed to make them fall apart. 


I think we get Blake some sort of Pineapple decoration every year.

This was Meadow's choice. 


We found these captain and first mate hats at the downtown Minneapolis Salvation Army (aka the basement store or secret Target). We had to get them for Blake and Daniel.

I'm not sure what Santa is doing with this real wrapping paper. What happened to the newspaper?


This year I got a fairy garden kit, car detailing brushes, first aid kit for hiking and a skillet cookie. 

Theo got Connect 4, a Bluey puzzle, connectors and usb light bars. 

Meadow got a spiral art, a sun-catcher llama, cat grass grow kit and cat coloring book. 

A cold couple of nights and the lake was perfect for skating.

I guess we didn't need to go the arena after all. 

I also got cajoled into photographing Daniel for an upcoming art project.

The lake has never been this perfect for skating. Perfectly smooth, no snowmobile tracks. 

The lake was even better than last February.



Brooke is such a show off.

I wish I could do more tricks. 


Theo and I discovered that one of the campfire chairs was perfect as a walker.

This was the best day ever. 

Ice skating was fun, but I was looking forward to going out.


We drove up to the Twilight Supper Club only for it to be closed. I had misread their Facebook post...they did an early NYE dinner a night early. 

Asana Suka just down the block was open, but had a long wait. After clarifying with the bartender that we could get a table after 8 pm, we got a reservation in and drove over to the Alley Lanes & Tavern in downtown Land O' Lakes.

Meadow looked so cute tonight. 

You know we had to check out the game room. 


I've got to say my screwup actually made our New Year's Eve night even better.


The kids had been wanting to go bowling so this was perfect. 

Daniel has good form. 

Me not so much. 


Good bowling alley, but the bar is a great Wisconsin tavern too.

Even has a game room.

This is what a bar is supposed to look like.

Back at Asana Suka we finally got our table. The Packers were playing the Vikings. The guys may have watched the game on Daniel's phone.

How did the Packer's have games on every holiday this year?

Yeah, kind of annoying even for us diehards.

This might have been even better than last year at Blink Bonnie's.

Gail always has to sneak a taste of Mr. Mike's dinner.


This supper club used to be Native themed with a teepee room. I was kind of hoping it hadn't been redone yet. 

I thought I was underdressed until I realized there was a wedding happening. 

The night was still young. 

We ended up watching the rest of the Packers game at Eagle River's new Riverstone Brewing Company. Kind of a meh space and the beers aren't much better, but they have lots of TVs.

Then fireworks to cap off the night of course.


We had to head home soon after a week and a half away, but first we needed to get some more skating in.

With the sun and no wind today was the perfect day. 


Too bad we had to leave. 

If it happens to be dark while driving through Ladysmith we always drive through the light display in Veterans Park.

Back home the kids had their 4th Christmas with Santa presents. 

A 3D pen for Meadow and Mario Wonder for Theo. 

Until next Northwoods New Year's.

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