Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Brats For Days

Hello again everybody,

We are reporting to you live from the Porter/Davidson/Van Fossen Lake House in Nisswa, MN. But first, we should regale you our adventures in the beautiful state of Wisconsin. After leaving Chicago, we drove a few hours north to see Carol and Ken Jaeck (Paul's aunt and uncle). They live on a gorgeous nine acres with a bountiful garden with more fruits and vegetables than you can imagine. We also spent a few hours playing in the barn with Squeaks the cat and her four six-week old kittens.

We had a few delicious Wisconsin microbrews before a feast of Wisconsin Brats and sauerkraut, greek salad, coleslaw, and more. Tommy was nice enough to give Ben a ride to Madison after dinner to meet up with a (lady) friend, Keavy McFadden. We woke up late the next day to an awesome breakfast with homemade jams and sausage links, and hung out in the garden before heading to a traditional Wisconsin Friday Fish Fry.

After lunch, we hit the road again, luckily we were only headed about a half an hour down the road to the humble abode of another CC friend, Lily McKoy. Being the lovely host that she is, Lily took us straight down to Oconomowoc (Oh-kahn-a-ma-walk) Lake for an afternoon of waterskiing. Sadly Sarah wasn't feeling up for the adventure, but the rest of us had a grand old time -- with plenty of hysterical wipe outs to go around.

After a quick dinner stop at the Kiltie drive-in diner for burgers and custard, we headed to Miller Park for our first professional sports event of the trip. The Milwaukee Brewers faced the Cincinnati Reds and we root root rooted for the home team. An in-the-park home run, stolen first base, come-from-behind win in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the famous sausage race kept us more than entertained. The Brewers won it 8-7.

We left Oconomowoc early next morning and stopped in Green Lake, WI to see Brian Borah, Tommy's buddy from Williams who was kind enough to pull away from his MCAT studies to chat with us. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast, visited with the whole Borah clan (the place is crawling with them), and hit the road again for the North Woods.

We arrived to Nisswa in time to see Ben's mom and brother (Sam) before they took off the following morning. Immediately upon our arrival, we were instructed to hop directly into the lake for a glorious welcome dip. Our dinner that evening was a traditional North Woods fried Walleye with wild rice, aspagus, and scalloped tomoatoes. The best meal we had had in quite some time. The next day we all spent working on our water skiing and trying not to embarass ourselves in front of (all while trying to assimilate into) the family. Fortunately, we passed the West Twin Lake Ski School exam with flying colors thanks to the help from our fabulous instructors.

During our stay here, we have been helping out as much as possible by clearing the jungle of a picnic area, cleaning dishes, and tidying up whenever possible in exchange for the best food you could ever imagine (Tommy says "180 lbs here I come!"). Unfortunately, Sarah was the next victim of our ongoing illness and had to be taken to the urgent care facility only to find that she has a sinus infection. Despite this setback, we believe that laughter is the best medicine, so morale is still sky high. In fact, today, the rest of the gang went to bean hole day, during which the town of Pequot Lakes cooks enormous amounts of baked beans in the town square and gives them out for free. Yum.

After bean hole day, the three boys used their bean-fueled energy to swim across the West Twin Lake (a half mile). In the next few days, we're also planning on trying to make our very own Gut Bucket so we can form a true North Woods country bumpkin band. We'll keep you posted on how it goes. Personally, I smell a Billboard hit.

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