We had an epic trip to WI. A whilwind of seeing friends, family, irresponsible drinking, and bootlegging of beer.
The trip out:
We originally planned to fly to WI for the week, but after seeing $400+/person flights that week, and a rental car bill that would be the same, we figured we would use our TDI Touareg instead and drive out. I made the trip in ~ 13hrs flat last year… why not. The SUV is super comfy and high mileage so we figure lets give it a run.
We got just a hair under 30Mpg on the way out, with one tank of diesel getting us ~ 760miles. Essentially from the CO border to West side of Madison, WI. We stopped over in Lincoln, NE for a bit of a rest on the way out and arrived the next afternoon.
Friends and Family:
Kate and I stayed with her sister Jenn and got to visit with her family for a couple days before heading out to my family reunion. Kate spent most of her time with her two nieces, her sister, and mom. I spent much of my time visiting with friends, and catching up with whats going on around WI these days.
Had a pretty epic bar crawl Thursday hitting up Ale Asylum, and the Essen Haus with my man Whitey (Mike White). Where we proceeded to solve all the worlds issues one beer at a time. We ended up running into some other friends at Ale Asylum as well, and that made for a very fun night!
Next day after the hangover I met up with friends and visited where I worked at the State of WI for 5 years. I had lunch with Pontus (my former coworker who I’ve spent time in a cramped Amtrak car with, and he is the un-officiant who married Kate and I) and former coworker Jordan. We went to The Dane down town and I think also solved a few problems with the world.
It was great seeing the folks at DAIT again, and seeing how the State of WI is changing, but still largely the same. (which is good in this case as its a great team)
So… CO is awesome in many ways but a few – they fail at supper clubs. No matter how hard they try, they cant do it. Maybe its the altitude, maybe it’s because the hipsters try and take over everything and make it crap… But a true WI supper club cannot be replicated. Its the people not the building.
In Randolph, WI there is a true icon of supper club perfection: Feils.
Feils is owned by Herb Feil, and he is epic. Owned this place his since day 1, worked there for 47 years, and is a complete crack up. His staff, and customers are very much the local scene. They remember us as if we were there last week. Herb hosts bus tours of the US for his patrons and they sound like a pretty fun time. (Imagine a bus load of good small town WI folks, drinking their way across the country. Its probably the most friendly, and least drama filled bus ride in the world)
They know how to make a proper old fashioned, not the BS that Colorado thinks passes as one. They dont mess it up by trying to make it modern/edgy… they keep it proper and true to its name. CO cant make one with out fucking it up, its impossible, just cant happen it seems.
Fridays are a fish fry, that is one of the best we’ve had, broasted chicken as well… and tons of other bits. You leave fat, drunk, and happy.
This place is easily Kate and my favorite place to eat/drink on earth. We’ve been going there since we lived in WI, and it gets better every visit.
Its impossible to not be happy there. Everyone in attendance is having a grand time, living the good life in their small town and community. And just there to enjoy themselves, and chat with others. There is little that one could do to replicate this small town establishment. All that makes this special is largely non tangible or able to be bought.
The other funny thing is, its 5 minutes down the road from where the family reunion was being held! So we enjoyed a few rounds, some tasty fish, and headed out to meet the family again.
Every 5 years the Miller family (which I am a descendant of) out of Beaver Dam has a reunion. We got to meet much of my extended family we haven’t seen since the last time. The reunion kicked off for us on Saturday and consisted of hanging out by the lake, swimming (or wading), some Canoeing, and drinking, lots and lots of drinking with family.
Then a big family dinner in the barn, followed later by a drunken hay ride for the adults. *not going to say much more about that due to the fact it may incriminate folks* But it was a great time getting to hang out with the fun crowd 🙂
Next morning (Sunday) my branch of the family cooked breakfast at the farm for everyone, and had a good morning taking pictures and chatting with family.
Sunday we left the reunion mid day and met up with another friend Randy at Pasquals in Madison (another one of our favorites) for some margaritas in the afternoon. A proper ending to a great weekend.
The Drive Back:
Monday morning we pushed off and headed back home, but not without a serious bit of cargo in the truck first:
While CO is home to some epic breweries, and lots of top shelf micro brews, WI has a few tricks up its sleve, and also gets a few beers CO can’t from other areas of the country. So while there, I picked up roughly 8 cases of beer and a number of bombers of hard to find stuff.
This load of beer is going to help some CO folks figure out what some solid WI beer tastes like 🙂 It’s also so us WI expats (and others out here) can get their fix. We’re pretty sure its not boot legging as long as we don’t sell it 🙂
With our load of beer and other goodies, the car was packed up and we made the 950mi trip in around 14.5 hours in one day. Kate and I both unpacked the car and proceeded to pass out when we got home.
That was a whirlwind trip to WI. Besides for sleeping there was little “down time” and was exhausting in the end. Happy we got to see everyone, and I think we really maximized our time out there seeing as many people as we could.
This also wraps up roughly a month of travel for me, with only a handful of days between trips to Florida, Camping, and the Reunion trip to WI… I need a break 🙂 All before August comes around we kick off another silly busy month!