Thursday, March 12, 2009

On the Road With the Ark

I wish you could all have joined us as we traveled to Wisconsin last month for a little family getaway-Ark-style!

For Christmas, the Captain and I gave the arklings a group gift--time away as a family! We planned a two-night stay at our favorite hotel/waterpark in the Wisconsin Dells (who was offering midweek room rates that we could not pass up---$124/night for 9 people including the daily water park passes!) Since we were not out to break the bank on this trip, we packed a cooler and filled our little hotel kitchen with breakfast and lunch items so that we only ate out twice for dinner--a treat in and of itself! During the day, we spent the majority of the day at the waterparks (there are several indoors) and brought a few favorite board games and DVDs for the evenings.

Heading off the first day, the children heaved a dramatic sigh as we rolled right on past the Dells and continued North.

Our destination?

The Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

But before that, because we're just that type of family, we drove past that destination and clear across the Mississippi River into Minnesota.


Because we'd never been to Minnesota before. And let me tell you, the first few miles of I-90 West are terribly exciting. Perhaps next time, we'll even let the kids out. (All kidding aside, we'd really like to make a trip up to "the cities" as our Minnesotan friends call Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Maybe next time.)

Unfortunately our wanderlust threw a little kink in our schedule, and we arrived at the shrine at 3:30 only to find it closed at 4:00.

What terribly scatterbrained person would have scheduled out a million and one details only to neglect the hours of operation? I don't know, but it sounds like the same kind of person who would schedule a trip to visit Caddie Woodlawn's homestead and realize, while driving, that the directions were oh-about 200 miles or so-off.

Note to self: do planning for next trip while awake.

Anyway, we finally made it to the shrine, and to the Dells and even squeezed in a field trip on the ride back home.

If you're ever in Southern Wisconsin, be sure to stop by the Milton House to learn a great deal about the Underground Railroad and Midwestern life during the late 19th century. If you think your kids might not be interested for the hour or so long tour, the promise of actually walking through the underground tunnel that was used to shuttle fugitive slaves along on the Underground Railroad will definitely hold their attention.

"Runaways entered through the cabin to the rear of the inn and then through a trap door in the cabin's floor to the dirt tunnel that led to the basement of the inn. "
from the website


Ericka said...

We pass through Milton every time we visit the grandparents and have never stopped - ugh.
Considering both kids have studied the Underground Railroad in school this year, next trip up we for sure! need to stop!
Beatutiful pics :)

Sarah said...

We hope to make a trip to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe this summer. It's so close, as we're in "the Cities" =) Did you all enjoy it? I think this is my first time visiting your blog. Cute name! Oh, I jumped over from By Sun and Candlelight ...

Jane (a.k.a. patjrsmom) said...

Hi Sarah, Thanks for visiting. The shrine was beautiful, but it was so cold and the path so icy that we couldn't navigate our way to the end of the trail. A good excuse to return in warmer weather!

God Bless,

Therese said...

It all looks so fun! We love the Dells-we are going in the summer.

Thanks for coming to my blog...I will be back here!