Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sweet Summertime Reads Roadtrip with Anna!

Hello, and welcome back to another edition of Sweet Summertime Reads Roadtrip!  Each Wednesday this summer I'll be taking you on a virtual roadtrip to various places on the map and hopefully introduce you to some new reads along the way as well.  This week we're heading back to the Midwest, but visiting the lovely state of Wisconsin, as Anna from Anna Reads shows us around her family's summer retreat.  Pack your swimsuit, be prepared to grub on some yummy cheese, and join us as we tour Anna's birth state!

Ahh, Wisconsin, land of cheese, home of my forefathers, I love you so.

Sure, I'm a Chicagoan now, but once a Cheesehead, always a Cheesehead. So for this week's Sweet Summertime Reads Road Trip, I'm taking you to the land of my birth.

Wisconsin in the summertime is my retreat. We're lucky enough to have some family land that becomes the meeting ground for the entire fam pretty much every other weekend once the snow melts.

What's there to do in small-town Wisconsin?

If you're feeling REALLY adventurous, you can go for an all-day canoe ride down the Wisconsin River and camp overnight on the sandbars.

photo credit: Anna

But, let's be honest: That's a once-a-summer commitment.

Another good option is renting some tubes and floating down the Fox River, but -- again -- a commitment.

photo credit: Anna

So most days, I just start the day off with a kayak ride, right when the water is at its stillest.

photo credit: Anna

Any way you look at it, it adds up to one thing: Water sports in the summer is a MUST.

The best place for exploring and sightseeing is definitely the Wisconsin Dells, just a 30-minute or so drive from our family cottage. Stop by Parsons Indian Trading Post to browse a, um, UNIQUE selection of goods.

photo credit: Anna

My favorite place to eat there is Ishnala, which has beautiful views of the lake.

For Wisconsin food generally speaking, eat a brat. Stop by a cheese store (or castle!) and try some curds. Grab a Butterburger and be sure to sample the frozen custard. And don't forget the Usinger's liversausage. Mmmm!

If you are wanting to be VERY Wisconsin-German authentic like my family, listen to a polka while eating any of these. You will fit right in. (That link goes to my favorite.)

Day to day, relaxation is also a must for me in Wisconsin. Gotta get my reading time in! This is me just this past weekend enjoying the sounds of the woods:

photo credit: Anna

A beautiful way to get the most out of the last bit of sunshine is to take a walk in the woods...

photo credit: Anna

...followed by taking in the sunset!

photo credit: Anna

Want to get your Wisconsin read on? There are plenty of books set in the state, from the "dontcha know" authentic (aka how my entire family sounds) to the out-there (aka zombies attacking in the woods). Here are four of my favorites:

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg



I love a gorgeous sunset picture and that last image definitely has me wanting to visit Anna's summertime retreat on the lake!  This getaway looks to be the perfect escape for some relaxing time with nature and getting lost in a good book.  Thank you, Anna, for showing us around your family's summertime cottage.

With every road trip, a good book is needed!  Be sure to enter my SWEET SUMMERTIME READS ROADTRIP giveaway by clicking the image below.  I'll choose two lucky winners in July!  Next week we'll be heading back to New England for some fun 4th of July road trippin' festivities with Sarah -- can't wait!


  1. Woohoo thanks for having me on your blog today, G!

  2. I am so in love with this post. I spent about 10 years of my childhood living in Wausau, WI and this took me right back! Love everything about it and now I want to go back and visit...haven't been there in over 20 years!

  3. I have never been to Wisconsin...let's fix this :)

  4. I love this virtual roadtrip! I've never had any desire to visit Wisconsin, but it looks stunning, and now I wouldn't mind taking a little trip up north! :)

  5. I really want to go to the House on the Rock in Wisconsin, it sounds fascinating! Another good roadtrip book is Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern - they visit the Cheese Castle and the House on the Rock in Wisconsin :)

  6. Looks like the perfect place for some outdoor adventures and some great places to sit and read. Love it!


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