If you want to be a Badger

just come along with me! A Wisconsin Badger, that is.

This post is my love story for WI, so all you haters (Mike) can just stop reading now. But if you want to hear about a place that’s just a little bit different from the rest of the world, a place of wonderment and friendliness, keep reading.

We started our stay off at my aunt and uncle’s place, otherwise known as Camp Juldonk.

They live on a few acres, with all the outdoor fun two little boys and a few dogs could ever want. There was fort building, sword fighting, soccer playing and dog chasing, and not a mention of television or Legos for five whole days.

I started my first morning running like a rock star because of the change in altitude.

This is a view from the driveway at Camp Juldonk. You can see the road I started on. Isn’t it pretty?

Here’s the view from the driveway when I got back, as I forgot to take my camera with me. I never had an opportunity to take any more pictures while on a run, because, well, I didn’t go on any more! Oops. Oh well, one day is better than none.

That day we traveled to Madison to stay with an aunt and uncle from the other side of the family.

Nothing like a morning cocktail to start a vacation off right.

We enjoyed the gorgeous weather (not something WI is known for), and visited while the kids played in the yard. Then it was off to campus to soak in some Mad-City culture and restock the Bucky gear.

We also stopped at the student union to get some ice cream. They make it right there on campus at the Babcock Hall Creamery. It is America’s Dairyland after all. We would have been remiss not to sample the goods.

Next morning we were off to the Madison Farmers’ Market. Check out my ride!

That’s my uncle, throwing the “W” sign. Don’t worry, the decals are removable. People in WI only paint permanent football stuff on their garage doors.

Here’s me and the boys at the top of the Capitol building, showing our Bucky spirit.  Are you starting the get the idea that state pride is no joke?

The other thing that’s no joke? The Farmers’ Market. This is just an itty bitty sample of the produce offered by over 200 local growers. You think you go to a farmers’ market now? This one puts all others to shame. It was beyond gorgeous.

Seeing all the fresh produce made me wish I lived there so I could buy stuff and cook it up. If you want to be inspired to eat healthier food, skip the grocery store and go to the market. Something about the abundance of shapes and colors and varieties just seems so much yummier than the identical piles of fruit and veggies at the local Albertson’s.

After the market we headed on back to Camp Juldonk to spend the remainder of our trip.

We went down to the pond to feed the fish and have a bonfire.

And on the last day, we had a great party with four generations of family who don’t all get to be together very often.

So as you can see, Wisconsin is a magical land. I don’t think I could live there full-time again; too many weird bugs and lots of summer humidity and winter frigidity. But I’m proud to be from such a great state, where people say “hi” whether they know you or not, the pace of life feels just a little more mellow and the accent is awesome!


6 thoughts on “If you want to be a Badger

  1. terry says:

    From one Midwestern girl to another….”You Betcha!!!!! we love going home to the Midwest!”
    Thank you for sharing your adventure.
    I know all of your friends and relatives were thrilled to have you and the boys in Wisconsin!!!
    The photos made my heart sing!!!

  2. Papa says:

    You left out the part where Granma taught the boys how to sing the “If you want to be a Badger just come along with me” so they could sing to daddy,Mike the Penn State fan. Cool the way Garrett memorized the score from Wisconsins win over Oregon State Beavers, 35-0.

  3. shelley says:


    I am so glad you were able to go back there and visit your family. I can tell you had a great time with your two little darlings.

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