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Today’s “Weekend in Wisconsin” post is the start of a new series of posts called #WaybackWednesday’s. My friend Mike over at www.52hikeswithmike.com has been doing these for a while and I’ve loved his posts. Similar to his, these posts will be light on text and heavy on photos. These posts will allow me to share photos from various trips (not all public land-related) that wouldn’t normally make it onto the blog in a longer trip report-style post. I hope you enjoy these quick recaps and be sure to leave any questions about this trip in the comments section below.
Perks of Work Travel
Back when I was working, I would attend 2-4 conferences in Chicago each year. After a conference was over, I’d grab a ride to the airport, rent a car, and then drive north to Wisconsin to spend a long weekend with my family. The five-hour drive went quickly after a stop at the world’s largest Culvers in Edgerton and listening to my throwback country songs on the radio. I would be in Wisconsin from Friday night until Sunday morning when I’d return to Chicago to catch a late flight home. Monday morning was always rough, but it was so worth it!
Even better than the free airfare to the Midwest, was that one of these conferences always took place in the days leading up to Mother’s Day weekend. Every. Single. Year. It was amazing! For this weekend, I’d also take Monday off of work so that I could spend more time with my family. I loved being able to spend the holiday with my mother!
Mother’s Day Weekend in Wisconsin
In addition to being Mother’s Day, that weekend also happens to That weekend happens to be the Spring Festival in my hometown. There is a Little Britches Rodeo, Folk Festival of Music & Dance, and a pancake breakfast hosted by our local EMT/First Responders, Ocooch Mountain Rescue. It’s a wonderful time to be home and I cherish those memories. My favorite event of the weekend, besides winning whatever board game we play, is attending the pancake breakfast.
The breakfast is always busy and I love visiting with community members who I rarely get to see since I moved away. It’s set up like your typical small town event with folding tables and chairs arranged in the ambulance bays. Donations are taken at the door, food is plentiful, and socializing is encouraged. As you leave, you have an opportunity to buy raffle tickets and all the women are given carnations in honor of Mother’s Day. One year, we started taking a family photo after we left the breakfast and now it has become a tradition. I’ve included three of these photos below (I couldn’t easily find any others). I love these photos and the changes they show. We’ve changed our hairstyles and have different exchange student siblings, but it’s always a snapshot in time on that one weekend every year.
Now that I’m not working and attending Chicago conferences, I miss these weekends. They were always a great way to visit my family between our longer trips to see each other. Even when I couldn’t make it up for the weekend post-conference, we tried to get together somehow. Once my family drove to Chicago during the week to have dinner with me and then returned home that night so my youngest sister wouldn’t miss school!
Most of all, I just love that we always made the effort to see each other when it would have been easier and cheaper for on us to not. Family first.