A great thing about this trip is we have the opportunity to catch up with our relatives all over the country.
As we headed east, my mother reminded me that my cousin Heather lived in Madison, Wisconsin. Since Heather grew up in Iowa and I grew up in Oregon, we never saw each other as children but I always heard about her. We finally met just six years ago at my brother’s wedding in St. Paul, Minn. and we immediately hit it off. We seemed to have a similar sense of humor (maybe there’s something to those shared genes!) She said I reminded hrt of her mother, who I actually look more like than my own mother. My Aunt Dot and I are both tall and have a similar build.
Being spontaneous, I only gave Heather about a 24-hour notice that we would be visiting her town. But luckily, Heather and her husband and 2-year-old son Tahvo were available. Tahvo is just three months younger than my youngest- Arthur. We all enjoyed visiting their beautiful home on a pleasant tree-lined street. My boys had a blast playing with their cousin and his toys. They also enjoyed taking a ride in the cart on Heather’s amazing Denmark-made bike. I want one!
It was interesting finding out more about Madison and how progressive it is- with lots of vegetarian restaurants, bike paths and a great recycling program. There is also a free art in the park program that runs all summer with children getting to make crafts.
We love how green Wisconsin is and all the gorgeous trees. We also had a good time a day earlier in Eau Claire, where the boys enjoyed playing at a park by Half Moon Lake, which once was the site of a thriving ice industry. I am really struck by the beautiful public open space areas so many towns have.