Thursday, July 9, 2015


View from our room at Grand Geneva Hotel
Mansions line shores of Lake Geneva
City park Lake Geneva
Wisconsin is a beautiful state covered with lush, green forests and dotted with lakes.

Heidel House grounds at Green Lake
Our first stop was the town of Lake Geneva, long popular as a summer retreat for people from Chicago and Milwaukee. It was here that Frank Lloyd Wright built the first modern drive-in motel. Wealthy barons of the 19th century built homes here and it came to be known as 'the Newport of the West'. We enjoyed a boat tour around the lake, seeing the beautiful homes and mansions that line the shores. 

Then it was on to the smaller but lovely Green Lake. Friends we met while cruising live nearby and it was a pleasure to see them again. As natives of Wisconsin, they were able to give us lots of good advice. We saw them again when we moved on to Stevens Point. 

Heidel House on Green Lake
We spent several days in Wausau, a very nice little city bordering the Wisconsin River. 
On June 13 we arrived in Eagle River where we had booked a  townhouse on Voyageur Lake for one month. The lake is one of 28 composing the world's largest chain of lakes. We were told Wisconsin has more lakes that Minnesota; there are 1,300 in this general area alone. With so much water, you can imagine how popular fishing and boating are here. We were fortunate that neighbors invited us for a boat ride and gave us a tour of 
many of the connected lakes.

Hiking in the National Forest North Country

Our place on Voyageur Lake - one of a row of townhouses
Our view
With 3 stories, our lodging had far more room than we are used to. It was great having our own laundry room and a full kitchen where Ron made many delicious, healthy meals.  

Living area and kitchen 2nd floor

We hiked local trails and the nearby National Forest, and visited surrounding towns. On a drive back from the tiny town St. Germain, we saw two young Chinese girls walking their bikes so stopped to help them. They are on a work-study program at one of the area lodges so we put the bikes in the trunk and drove them back.  It turned out that there are actually 4 of them here. They were so appreciative and sweet that we enjoyed taking them out and to lunch a couple of times.  

Boating with our neighbors
Not to be missed was the Eagle River 4th of July parade. Surrounding towns participate and people come from near and far. It has been a very relaxing, enjoyable time here. Next week we will be heading south to visit other Wisconsin towns and Door County which we've heard many wonderful things about. 


New friends: Chinese girls on work-study program

4th of July Parade

This is what you need for snow in northern Wisconsin


You probably know Wisconsin is known as America's Dairyland. It leads the nation in cheese production and is 2nd to California in milk production. But did you know it produces more than 60% of the nation's cranberries? No wonder cranberry is the official state fruit. 

Wisconsin has long been famous as a major beer producer. Though some of the best known companies are defunct or moved out of state, craft beers have become hugely popular and there are countless microbreweries. New Glarus Brewing Company is considered one of the best in the country. 

4th of July parade: Horse of the fallen soldier
Wisconsin borders Lake Superior as well as Lake Michigan. The state capital is Madison but the largest city is Milwaukee. One third of the approximately 6 million Wisconsinites live in the greater Milwaukee area.

You probably know that Frank Lloyd Wright was from Wisconsin but many other famous people were also from here: Spencer Tracy, Orson Wells, Liberace, Georgia O'Keefe, Jackie Mason, Houdini, Chris Farley and Gene Wilder to name a few.