Because M mobilized the twins, they tackled the first couple of cleaning tasks on the first day. The kids’ books on the shelves? Sorted and donated (except the ones which really were beyond repair).
The rooms? Cleaned out (and wow, is the recycling cart full!).
And a bonus round of spring cleaning: two, count ’em, two toy chests from ages past were cleaned out, the toys donated, and the chests are finding new homes. It hurt a little to watch the Little People and their School Bus move on to greener pastures, but reclaiming the space from the toy chests? Worth it.
(As an aside: never watch or even think about the Toy Story movies when you are ruthlessly deciding the fates of toys that haven’t been played with in years. I had guilty twinges all night long until the bags of toys were out of our house.)
So on Sunday (officially Day Two of Camp Mom), we headed out on an impromptu field trip to Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin. I learned lots of things:
1. [Be prepared: I’m going to rant a little here] Gas prices in the greater Chicagoland area are outrageous. Yesterday in my neighborhood, it cost $4.55 for one gallon of gas. Just over the border in Wisconsin, the same gallon set you back on $3.88. Can you say “gouged”? Ridiculous.
2. Traveling with a puppy is a lot like traveling with a baby. You need to make a lot more stops along the way, and each stop takes a lot longer than you think it will. We ended up taking turns at the car with the pup, walking him around and giving him food and water. How do people eat along the way when they travel with their dogs? Any tips?
Also, Culver’s restaurant apparently hands out dog treats in Beloit, WI. One of the gals who worked there saw us at the car with Louie and offered to get him a treat. So. Nice. He was beside himself with joy.
3. Wisconsin is the home of circuses. Really. I read it on a sign at one of the world’s nicest rest areas about 45 miles north of Madison. See?
4. You need more than a couple of hours to explore Devil’s Lake. We trooped around for a while, but we barely scratched the surface of things to do there. We’ll head back there again and probably camp overnight.
5. There’s a ferry that connects Merrimac, WI to Okee, WI, and it’s free. Being Midwesterners, we don’t expect to see ferries in the middle of a state, but this one was quite the nice surprise for all of us. The trip across takes about 7 minutes, and the ferry only hold 15 cars.
The kids thought it was awesome.
6. Wisconsin’s small towns have many untold, unique treasures. For instance, we passed through this little town, called Lodi, population 3050, that proudly boasted that it was the home of Susie the Duck. I couldn’t grab a picture, but we were intrigued. Who is Susie the Duck? Per Wikipedia, she is the official mascot of the town since 1948, and there’s a Susie the Duck celebration every year. We’re going to have to go back to see that.
Not a bad beginning for Camp Mom’s Spring Break. Today I’m off to the grocery store to refortify the “mess hall” (aka, the fridge). These campers sure are hungry.