Larry, Amy, and I just spent five days in Wisconsin. The idea behind the trip was to solidify Amy’s decision to be a Badger next year. That sort of backfired, though, since Amy did not enjoy the University of Wisconsin Admitted Students Day in Madison, whereas Larry and I had an excellent time wandering around campus and drinking beer.
Luckily the weather was great. We spent Friday afternoon exploring coffee shops on State Street, where Amy had an excellent cup of chai. On Saturday morning we attended the weekly Farmer’s Market around the beautiful Capitol Building, ate some excellent cheese bread, and saw a lot of adorable dogs and babies. So now UW passes muster.
We then headed out to rural Wisconsin to stay on a farm. We had never done a farm stay before, but I am now a convert.
Amy chose the Circle M Farm because the reviews all mentioned the excellent breakfasts, and she knows how much I love breakfast. She’s such a good girl. The breakfasts were indeed amazing. We had bacon from pigs raised on the farm, chicken and goose eggs collected in the morning, fresh herbs, honey from the next farm over, etc. etc.
The farmers (husband and wife, I made the mistake of referring to the wife as a “farm wife” within her hearing exactly one time) are lovely people and they work SO HARD. I thought I had a pretty easy life before I stayed on a farm, and that has been confirmed.
While they worked, we spent our days cruising around the Driftless Area in our car visiting very small historic towns and drinking more beer. We saw lots of farms and cows. And ate lots of cheese.
I borrowed a book from the farm entitled “This Is Wisconsin” by Robert Gard, published in 1969. It is a collection of oral histories collected by a UW professor as he travelled around the state. The lives of pioneer Wisconsin farming, fishing, logging, and mining folk were difficult and pretty crazy.
The can-do attitude, self-reliance, and hospitality of early Wisconsinites is still evident in Wisconsin today. It is a fascinating place, and Amy has to go to school there, because I want to visit more places and eat more cheese.