Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Camper!

Oliver went on the second camping trip of his life this past weekend and had a great time. We went camping at Yellowstone Lake, Wisconsin, a favorite spot of ours -- especially every other year, when nearby Monroe hosts the every-other-year (bi-annual, semi-annual? you tell me.) Green County Cheese Days Festival.

From CAMP08_Yellowstone

It was really the most beautiful weekend for camping -- nice and cool in the shade and overnight, but clear and warm in the sun. For those adventurous enough to trek down the hill from our campsite (Eric, Dawn), there were beautiful sunsets over the small lake, too. (The rest of us just peered through the branches around our campsite at the bright orange sky).

Oliver had a great time playing with Christian, who he was also meeting for the second time in his life (I just love saying that). Christian is the son of Andrew & Christa Weiss and is just about a month older than Oliver, so it was good fun to see them play together on the Neat Sheet (which I highly recommend for outdoor fun).

The Weisses travelled all the way up to Wisconsin from Urbana/Champaign -- so great to see them! And Jim & Dawn Finn joined us on Saturday (all the way from Arlington Heights), and willingly joined into our lazy group around the campfire. Thanks for being such sports, Finns!

The friend-fest continued in Monroe on Sunday where we saw the Harts (Ryan, Catherine, Henry, and Caroline) -- although very briefly (such is life with children in tow). Check out the full photo album to see some great shots of Henry on Ryan's shoulders watching the parade. (And, as a side note, please do not get the wrong impression of all the beer/baby compositions. No babies were harmed in the filming of such fodder. There is, however, some shame in the amount of beer the grown-ups went through in just 2 days of camping. But, c'mon, when in Rome... when in Wisconsin, right?)

I have to admit to a slight disappointment in Cheese Days, though (even after I advised everyone else not to build expectations too much). You see, I LOVE cheese. I mean really, really LOVE it. And I have come to the conclusions that Cheese Days as a theme is not lived up to by the festival. Sure, they have the elected "Dairy Queen and Princess" on their float and they have a wonderful cheese tent where you can fight your way to free samples, but beyond fried cheese curds and a grilled cheese sandwich, there is a lack of cheese-inspired food choices for purchase. I'm not sure what other choices I'd suggest, but really, there wasn't a cheesy nacho in sight. How 'bout cheese on a stick? Good 'nuff for me. Or hunks of cheese shaped into elephant ears? Or a quesadilla? Is that too much to ask? There were some good-looking cream puffs (dairy-deliciousness close enough to cheese to pass the test), but between the crowds, the 4-hour parade (things move a little slower in Wisconsin), the bees, and a crying baby, we needed to hit the road.

But at the end of the day, we had a really awesome weekend. We're so lucky to have a baby who is such a trooper. Thanks for making this installment of The Oliver Chronicles such a happy one, little man. We look forward to many years of successful trips, of enchiladas in the fire, of rice crispie treats for breakfast, and of wonderful memories with family and friends.


mrsjtg said...

Sounds so fun...even if the cheese didn't measure up. I love cheese, too. All cheese! Oliver is a trooper, but you guys are doing it right by just bringing him along on all of these excursions. He'll stay a "go-with-the-flow" kid.

Anonymous said...

Looks like it was a blast!!