We went to Wisconsin Dells Monday-Wednesday this week. For me, it was a bittersweet vacation. I wanted to take N. there because I knew he would have a great time--and Mark and I would have fun, too--but at the same time, Wisconsin Dells holds a lot of memories for me.
Growing up, this was a vacation we looked forward to each summer, not only for the water parks, but also because we stayed with my great-grandma. She lived practically right in the main strip and across from her house was a motel, which we thought was pretty cool. She always had cream cheese and Ritz crackers waiting for us when we arrived and usually there was a pie baking in the oven. After our snack and some visiting, we'd play carrom. Playing carrom with her is one of my favorite childhood memories; I still laugh when I think of how excited she was to play that game.
We drove by Great-Grandma's house and it looks pretty much the same. My mom also lived in this house as a young child before my grandparents moved to Illinois.
After my grandfather retired, they moved back to the Dells area. Mark and I used to visit them in the summer when we were home from college and first married.
And now for our trip. Here's a photo of a portion of the main strip, which is comprised of tourist shops. One thing the Dells is known for is fudge. We bought some at our favorite fudge shop. N. tried fudge for the first time on this trip and loved it.
Another thing you should do if you visit the Dells is ride on the Ducks. These are vehicles that can go on land and water and were used in two wars by the military.
First, you drive on trails through the forest. In one area, there are several of these cement sculptures that are from the Chicago Board of Trade building. Apparently, a wealthy woman in the area bought the architectural pieces for her lawn and they've made their way here. I would have liked to have stopped there and been able to walk around to see them up close.
Next you drive right into the Wisconsin River and look at all the beautiful landscape. The rock along the river is sandstone, which is very porous. That's why you see all the trees growing out of the rock. If I remember correctly, the tour guide said sandstone is only found in three places throughout the world.
This rock formation, called Hawk's Bill, was on the cover of TIME. If you look closely, you can see the eye, top of the beak, tongue, and bottom beak.
We spent the remainder of our time at the indoor water park of our hotel and at Noah's Ark. Sorry, no photos of me in my bathing suit.
N. spent part of the drive home pouring over a map of the Dells and dreaming of what he wants to do next time.
It was my first time to the Dells since the my grandma's funeral. It seemed odd to have to stay in a hotel instead of with my grandparents. I missed them a lot. But, it was nice to make new memories of the Dells with N.
All in all, a great trip.