First things first, I need to point out: the Moose has teeth. Not singular, but TEETH. They just kinda showed up a week or two ago and he had zero signs. The kid has never drooled, no fussiness, no tummy issues or weird diapers or rashes or chewing, nothing. I noticed them when I was feeding him one evening and the spoon scraped on… something. Something that seemed kinda toothy. Sure enough! Figures.
Onward with this thang – Saturday morning we had a birthday party to attend at a local Pump It Up (feels like the millionth one in the past month). This one was for Jace. Pete is a friendly dude and has lots of friends at school, but Jace is one of the few he talks about pretty much nonstop, so this was an exciting party for him to attend. He pretty much followed the poor kid around like a love-sick puppy dog and they had many sliding adventures together (I seriously had like, 20 more pictures of them sliding down inflatables together, no exaggeration).
After the party we came home and had a snack, then headed out for some extended pool time. I had to take a photo of Pete’s shirt, it was a Target Clearance bin find and it is awesome (the hot dog is holding a sign that says ‘help me’ all Looney-Toons style). I just realized Linus is seriously eyeballing whatever Pete is eating. Yet again: figures. The kid has two emotions: ‘Nothing Phases Me’, and OMG ARE YOU EATING YOU BETTER BE SHARING WHATEVER THAT IS.
We had a nice long time at the pool. It was in the low 80s and humid and that pool felt lovely. Plus: the weather guys have been saying all week that the rain is supposed to start on Sunday and pretty much continue through the week, so: we’re taking advantage of that pool, man.
And then we went home, the end.
Oh, sidenote: Linus has this new charming way of playing in which he repeatedly whacks himself in the head with a toy. Is that… normal? Orrrrr yeah? What a weirdo.
Sunday we got up semi-early, had a big breakfast, and headed out to Sauk City. We wanted to beat the rain and do a tour of Wollersheim Winery there. I was dead-set on getting SOME SORT OF FAMILY THING squeezed in this weekend, potential bad weather be damned.
Spoiler: a few questionable clouds blew over, but it never rained on us there. SCORE.
So, if you are in Wisconsin and have never been to Wollersheim, I highly recommend it. The grounds alone are just beautiful. BEAUTIFUL. This oak tree, for example, just gorgeous. The vines needed steep ground and to be near a water source (here, the Wisconsin River), which helps make the land so picturesque.
We got there about 10 minutes before the next tour started, which was pretty much totally unplanned but perfect timing. So we paid up and headed to the room to start our tour. The main building was built in the 1840s and was just so pretty as well: 2 foot-thick limestone walls with stucco-type material plastered over it, flooring and ceiling beams from Chippewa pines and oak (brought down the river to the site). It consisted of the main floor with carriage house for deliveries in and out; dance hall above, and wine cellars below. There were several ‘fixes’ done on the flooring, where they used whatever materials available (including old license plates). I could talk all day about the building alone, you guys.
We toured the grounds and fermentation area and the cellars, before heading up for our tasting portion of the tour. Took about an hour, so a nice long one.
FYI, the red-rimmed barrel is from the 1850s. They have a few that they inherited with the site and use mostly for display purposes. They are HUUUUUUGE.
On to the tasting! They have an area set up for kids, and give them sparkling grape juice made on site as well as crackers and coloring pages. Kept the Pete man busy while we got down and tasted some wines.
A quick word, if I may I am almost embarrassed to admit that my only experience with Midwestern Wineries comes from the KS/MO area, mostly Hermann MO. Those wines are no Northern California caliber, to put it nicely. The wines there are sweet, and when I say sweet, I mean SWEET. Candy-level sweet, tooth-achingly sweet. So I hate to admit it, but I kind of didn’t expect much from the wine here, my expectations were low.
However: Hallelujah! There were actual real dry wines. And they were actually good, like really good: in particular I liked their Prairie Fumé (crisp and citrus-y), Sangiovese (light and dry), and dry Reisling (lots of green apple). Scott really liked the Prairie Sunburst red. I won’t lie, there were a few that were not my style (SWEEEEEEET), but for the most part: color me impressed. Good wine in Wisconsin, of all places.
They also make a few spirits, like brandy, of which we were also given a ‘bonus’ tasting. It was pretty strong. The picture below was of a couple standing near us, they told her, “We’re from Tennessee, and we have some of this in the fridge back home. It’s called Moonshine”. I DIE. She was sweet and laughed it off.
When the tasting was done, we were heading off and our tour guide/tasting gal thanked Pete for being so well behaved on the tour. I pretty much gave myself whiplash trying to see what kid she was talking to, because surely it wasn’t MY child. Examples: (1) I looked around after losing sight of my boy only to discover he had commandeered an empty tasting table while waiting for our tour and laid out all his toys for playing; also he (2) played “what is thicker, this support beam or my body” for awhile, (3) enthusiastically hugged a giant bottle of Prairie Fumé, and (4) decided to don a clown nose and then stand straight-faced near the tour guide during a portion, looking for laughs. Oh, and during the ‘film’ part of our tour, he loud-whispered to me about his newly discovered leg hair, and the fact that we had to leave the room NOW because he had to pick his nose because he couldn’t breathe. So…. yeah. Not sure if that adds up to ‘well behaved’ in any universe, but okay.
After that whole mess, we went out to the grounds to walk off that wine and check out the vines and their old storage cave. It was humid and not very comfortable to be out doing all that walking and stair-climbing but man, it was pretty.
Then we headed back inside, and bought another tasting flight before hitting the road (Scott did 3 reds and I did 3 whites). Pete had another glass of grape juice. Then Moose realized he was the only one without a drink, and started moaning for a bottle. Pete also decided to grab a bag of ‘squeaky cheese’ from the cooler (cheese curds). He brought them back to me and was all, Hey can we get some squeaky cheese? I was like, “well what will you do for them” (thinking: you, know, say thank-you or give some sort of valid reason) and he looked me dead in the eye while he proceeded to sloooooowly lick the outside of the bag, bottom to top. Errrrr… So we picked up a half-dozen bottles of wine and paid for them, along with the cheese curds.
We headed upstairs to check out the dance hall, the one area that we hadn’t had time to explore yet. I fed the baby a bottle and then let him roam the floor, Pete got settled in and ate half the bag of those cheese curds, and Scott praised the LAWD that he had that hot sweaty baby off his body for the time being. So everyone ended our tour happy.
Then we packed our wine in the car and headed home. Things to note: (1) we can now recognize the turn-off road from the highway based on the creepy-looking Bates-esque hotel at the corner; (2) for some reason, someone in WI decided to get “Mountain Dew” on as a vanity tag (actually: it’s Mt-10 Dew, which means SOMEONE ELSE already has Mtn Dew, OMG); and (3) the rain started as we headed home. BOOYAH, BEAT THE WEATHER.*
*Actually: it was okay the rest of the afternoon/evening, the rain didn’t start until late, so we even got more pool time in. Yay! The weatherman biffed that one, but I’m totally happy about it.
SO ANYWAY. There is our weekend. Next week there are a bajillion things going on, as in: I had to make a list of things to finish and/or attend and it is 2 or 3 things deep every evening for the next week. So say a prayer we survive, y’all.
See you next week!