Old World Wisconsin

Monday, October 13, 2014

Now, anybody who knows me will know that despite my desire to travel and my aching urge to see the west (well, Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Colorado, the south west, and the "nature-y" parts of Oregon and Washington, sorry California), I will loudly and proudly declare that Wisconsin is the best state in the nation, and thus the greatest place in the entire world (and all this even though it is only family that keeps me in my city...). We have rolling farmlands; dark, dense North Woods (always gets a capitol N and W in my mind); water everywhere, from the big ole' Lake Michigan to tons of beautiful inland lakes of all sizes; cows everywhere, providing me with my life blood: milk and cheese; and beer. Our cities are pretty great too I guess, but I am in love with nature, so that is what determines to me if a place is awesome or not!

Anybody who knows me also knows that history is my great passion. Therefore it is amazing that I have not been to Old World Wisconsin since I was in grade school. We won't even get into how long that really is...

Old World Wisconsin is an open air museum and a Wisconsin historic site. It is made up of old houses, buildings, and farmsteads that were moved from their originals spots from all over Wisconsin for preservation and to re-enact the sights and sounds of the history of this great state. Wisconsin had many different ethnic groups settle it, but the Germans were by far the most numerous. Hence all the great breweries this state has (and why people from Illinois are always driving up here to by beer...we just do it better here). But there were also large Scandinavian groups too. I myself am of German and Norwegian decent, so I liked those areas the best, although all the areas were very cool. We actually didn't make it to all the parts because the site was closing early that day to prepare for a Halloween event going on that evening (which we were sadly unable to attended do to previous plans...AKA rushing home to feed and let out pets and plans to grill out), me taking too long to take pictures, and rumbling tummies. Many stops to pet animals and a quick dig for potatoes at the German village also contributed. While me, my sister and her boyfriend are all technically adults, we get grouchy like little children when not feed regularly!

YANKEE VILLAGE
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GERMAN AREA
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NORWEGIAN AREA
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FINNISH AREA
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Fall at Hawthorn Hollow

Friday, October 10, 2014

On of my favorite places is a local nature sanctuary and arboretum called Hawthorn Hollow. An old co-worker told me about it about four years ago and I was so surprised that I had driven past the place as many times as I have without even knowing it was there! I am always amazed at how much cool stuff there is locally that I don't even know about. Sometimes being a tourist in your own state, and even your own city, is just as amazing as a trip somewhere farther away.

Today I was playing taxi for my sister since her car is in the shop, and while she was in a "business meeting" (aka she is a marketing major so her school projects are basically free work for local businesses) I decided to skip just sitting in the car with a book and instead use the time to check out the fall foliage. With the exception of a school trip on my way out, I had the place to myself. While I was walking it was very peaceful, but when down to work on my current crochet project, I was amused by how loud all the the squirrels and chipmunks were after they got used to my presence.

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Hawthorn Hollow closes December 24th to March 1, but I am hoping for a few more fall walks...and a couple of good snows to try my hand at snow shoeing this year. Luckily Hawthorn Hollow is also located right across the road from Pets, aka Petrifying Springs, a great county park. They are open year round and have even more hiking trails.

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