This was the year of no camping trip. The rest of the family would be in Italy over the Fourth of July when we would usually go, Jeremiah's foot surgery wouldn't make a trip in August feasible. So sadly, it was something we had to accept. And then, there's Elisabeth…
She calls me one day at the end of July and says, lets go camping over Labor Day weekend. The last time the two of us went camping was in 2012 (I think). I lived in Madison, she lived in Chicago. We reserved "our family's" site at Devil's Lake, my then co-worker and her sister joined us and my co-worker did her first triathalon there. It was COLD! We had some "Darn Good Chili" that almost killed us in her two person tent. So when I received this phone call I was a bit hesitant. I started searching for a campsite and I booked New Glarus Woods State Park- we were motivated by beer.
Menu planning has evolved- thank you Google Docs! In the end, it seemed easier to just have one person buy all of the food ingredients, or so I thought. I haven't had a cart that full in a LONG time. I searched and searched the grocery store for 1. Bacon Bits and 2. FFO's (French Fried Onions). I went up and down the aisles so many times passing the stocker of the store numerous times. He didn't ask if I needed help and I didn't ask either. But I don't really buy FFO's outside of Thanksgiving time and they are so BAM in your face you can't miss them. Grocery list- Check!
We made it to the very tiny campground, pitched our brand new tent that Elisabeth gave us for our wedding! Everyone should have to help set up the tent they give newleyweds! Thanks E! Jeremiah had been to the campground before. But I didn't ask about showers and flush toilets. Big mistake. We all thought James was joking when he said he went to the bathroom in a pit toilet.
We woke up to 43 degree temps and made a fire to keep warm. This is not a normal camping occurrence! We headed into New Glarus for lunch at our cousin's restaurant, Tofflers Pub & Grill.
After an order of cheese curds were devoured, Jeremiah, James, Erin and E all ordered the special Loaded Baked Potato Mac n Cheese. I was the odd man out and ordered the pulled pork sliders. The meal was absolutely delicious. I highly recommend a stop there if you're in the area.
Next came New Glarus Brewing Co. We had a great time sampling some beers. Elisabeth and I have a new favorite-Staghorn Octoberfest. I also decided I don't like Cherry fruit beer.
The rain came just as we were starting happy hour back at the campsite. I drank my first alcoholic beverage in a car shielded from the rain while E snoozed in the backseat. Erin was in her car and the bearded brothers shielded the already started fire.
Our wood supply ran low and we went searching for more. The smallest campground has a part time park ranger and the office was closed. New Glarus is very small, we hoped we could find more wood!
Roy's Market saved the day with wood!
We decided to cut our trip short by one night and had a sibling night at our house. Complete with Oven Baked S'mores and time in the hot tub. We capped off a great summer! Until next year…