You know you’re in Wisconsin when…

cover II

Well, we just got back from a little trip to Wisconsin.  We went to see my sweet mom, and as a plus got to see all three of my brothers and their families. Initially my mom was going to have knee surgery, and we were going to help her with recovery, but her knee got better so it was not needed (yet, anyway), so we got to just hang out and have a good time.

So, lets talk about Wisconsin for a bit.  I have few observations for you.

You know you’re in Wisconsin when…

You see cheese curds on the menu every place you go. BTW, they don’t ever say “fried” on the menu, just “cheese curds” – it’s just a given that they are fried.

The weather TV station calls a 37 degree F forecast “a warm front”:

There are spotted cows everywhere. Both the actual cows and the craft beer.

cow collage
You see cranberry bogs and craisins everywhere (did you know that more than half of the country’s crop is harvested in Wisconsin?):


You see TONS of options of cheese everywhere. And it’s cheap – especially at the Rudolph Cheese Factory where you can get every type of cheese imaginable and the prices are low (and REALLY LOW for folks living in Costa Rica!).


Note on cheese curds: you can get plain cheese curds (not battered or fried) from the Cheese Factory – they are usually warm (really, that fresh!) and squeak when you eat them. Definitely a Wisconsin thing.


You see Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badger clothing on everyone:


There’s snow on the ground in the winter!


You all know I love Costa Rica, but Wisconsin has a special place in my heart. It’s my home state, after all.

We had a blast hanging out with Mom – yes, even in the middle of winter.  The sun was out most days, and after the first couple of days of zero degree (F) temps, it “warmed” up to 35 and was actually pretty nice out, we even went for a hike one day on a cross country ski trail.  

Here’s a few highlights from our trip (yes, a lot of these center around food, don’t judge):

Seeing Mom!

Being able to eat Jerky (Greg) and Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream Potato Chips (Jen):
foodSeeing my brother Andy and family:


Eating and looking at LOTS of cheese! We had so much fun visiting the Cheese Factory (twice!).  Here’s what we brought back to Costa Rica with us, all this for under $40:


Seeing my brother Tim and family:

tim fam

Eating fried cheese curds.  Also, you can’t go wrong with Wisconsin beer cheese soup.


And because you can never have too much of a good thing, here’s some more fried cheese curds for you:


Seeing my sweet brother Ted & wife Shannon and their kitty Penelope in Chicago:


Eating good pizza (this was in Chicago too!):


Wearing my UGG boots:


Drinking craft beer (Greg):


Visiting REI to pick up some hiking gear:


Eating a good burger!!


An invigorating winter hike:

It was a really good trip, and we were so happy to see all of my family.  
Thanks for having us, Mom.  You rock!


That’s all for now!  — Jen



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21 Responses to You know you’re in Wisconsin when…

  1. Looks like a GREAT trip! (And glad your mom got to at least postpone the surgery — that knee surgery can be a bear sometimes, so nice that you guys got to just hang out and visit.) Seeing family and eating good food — doesn’t get much better! Savor all that cheese!! (Bet you didn’t know that I used to live in Wisconsin, too! Well, actually, it was mostly mostly Minnesota — the Cities and then Duluth — but the boat I was moving onto was in Bayfield, so for a short time I technically lived in Wisconsin!)

    • Arden! I did NOT know this. I also lived in Minneapolis for 2 years after college, and loved it (well except for the blizzard that hit one winter). 🙂 We will now try to stretch out the cheese we brought back for however long we can.

  2. Looks like a wonderful trip Jen. So glad you enjoyed family, great cheese and snowy weather. Thanks as always for bringing your adventures to us too 🙂

  3. Enjoyed hearing about your trip, but I’m envious that you got to return to Costa Rica! I love that place. I live in NC and once when visiting Wisconsin I came back home loaded down with cheese & sausages. Nothing better. Interesting to see those current cheese prices…..much cheaper than where I live. Look forward to hearing more of your adventures in Costa Rica.

    • Hi there Anita! Thanks so much for following me (from the beginning!) and buying my book. Also thanks for letting me know about the “other” chica, but no worries. 🙂 Pura vida!

  4. Hi Jen – Rick and I met you and Greg last year, and we have Wisconsin in common! While you were in Wisconsin, we were in Grecia.. kept an eye out for you at la feria and gave you a virtual ‘hola’ when we passed your house on a bus ride up the hill. Warm regards!

  5. Just finished reading your book for a second time(first time was over a year ago) still here in chilly Wisconsin…dreaming,but getting closer to planning! 2 kids, one a junior in high school, my other is a freshman “badger” at Madison. getting closer!!!
    You’ve re-inspired me! Thanks Jen! I think I’ll go clean out a closet or something

    • Tammy – what a nice comment to read! I love that you’re in the great state of Wisconsin, and have read my book (twice!). So glad I’ve inspired you. GO BADGERS! 🙂

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