It's hard for us ladies to do things together and be able to really visit with each other because my sisters and stepsister, unlike me, have children and they are all fairly young. My stepsister also lives in Minneapolis. My stepsister comes to Wisconsin often to visit, but normally when she visits, naturally her husband and two children come also; when we all get together with my sisters and their kids....well, you know that chaos often ensues!
Even though everyone has busy schedules, we made a plan for us ladies to leave kids and husbands behind and spend a weekend somewhere just to relax, have fun, play cards, visit etc. We chose a resort in northern Wisconsin, in the town of Warrens, which is near Tomah. Tomah is about halfway between where we live, and Minneapolis, where my stepsister lives, so it worked out well; it was only about a 2 hour drive for us and for her. We stayed at a resort called the Three Bears Lodge (HERE). In the first picture above, you can see some of the villas. There is a large main building which includes regular hotel rooms and suites, and also restaurants, and a 50,000sq. foot water park. Because it's off season, we got a great deal on one of the villas!
This was our villa for the weekend. The decor is very rustic and lodge-like, which is perfect for this area of the state, with all the tall pine forests, farms and cranberry bogs. There are many Amish in this area as well. In the spring, summer and fall months there is a lot of tourists in this area because of the Cranberry Festival, the numerous campgrounds and the Wisconsin Black River State Forest. Cranberries are the state fruit of Wisconsin and are grown in twenty counties (out of a total of 72 in the state). Most of the cranberries produced in America are from Wisconsin.
This was our little porch attached to our villa. Behind the villa is a small stream with a walking path. Each unit also has a fire pit in back for summer and fall bonfires.
It's always interesting to me how different northern Wisconsin looks from where I live, just outside Milwaukee in the south-eastern part of the state. Southeastern Wisconsin is actually a lowlands area; it used to be a vast marsh and prairie. Milwaukee is actually in a large, bowl-shaped valley, called the Menomonee Valley, which was formed many millenia ago by glaciers. The same glacier that flattened most of Illinois, actually. In the Midwest, folks from Illinois, Iowa, and some of those states are often called "Flatlanders" around here! ;-)
We arrived on a Friday night, had dinner, opened some wine and played a few hands of canasta before it got too late. The next morning we did some shopping.
Everyone else was gracious enough to let me stop at an antiques mall in Tomah. I can spend days in such a place...but I knew the rest of my party was anxious to move on, so I only "breezed" through.
Mmmmm.....a lovely collection of dishes that I would have loved to have!
I absolutely loved this desk; it would be perfect for Erik's "man cave!"
The price tag was a little steep and there would be no way for us to get it home, of course, so I took a picture of it with my phone and texted it to him just so he could see it!
The inside of our villa was very rustic too. This was the main living room; there was also a full kitchen and dining area behind me, which I forgot to photograph.
On the main floor were two bedrooms each with a double bed.
The quilts on the bed were very pretty and perfect for the rustic decor, with moose, pine trees, fish, leaf and farmhouse motifs.
The upstairs was an open loft with a steeply pitched roof. Up in the loft were four twin beds. I slept on the one on the left, under the eave!
Each floor had a bathroom; this was the upstairs one.
Following our shopping trip, we returned to the villa for lunch, then we walked up to the main lodge to visit the water park for the afternoon. It was a lot of fun! Then we went to soak in an outdoor hot tub for awhile and just talked and had fun. We returned to the villa that evening to shower and dress for dinner, which we had up at the main lodge, then we returned to the villa to have dessert, open up more bottles of wine, and play some games until late into the night!
My family has always enjoyed card games and board games and we often played games regularly at home when I was growing up. As young adults, we still loved to play card games, cribbage or board games at family gatherings and holidays and we often did at every chance. It's been harder to do this the last few years with the arrival of all the grandkids; there are now seven of them, ranging from age seven years to one year old. It was really nice for us girls to get away and I know it was nice for my sisters and stepsister to have some "me" time. It was especially enjoyable for my mom too, to have all her girls with her all weekend. My mom and stepfather were accustomed to playing cards just about every evening after dinner, or sometimes they played backgammon, which was a favorite as well. Since he passed away in 2003, my mom has really missed that, so it was really fun for her too.
While we were shopping the first day, I came across this print, done by a local artist, that I decided to buy.
To try and keep the glare off the glass, I took a photo really close up. The print isn't very large, only about 8x10 size. The style is sort of country/primitive, which isn't my style at all, but the picture just really struck me and I had to have it. I think it was the farmhouse and really, the whole composition. The farmhouse really reminded me of my Grandpa Al and Grandma Helen's farm (my mom's parents). They owned a large farm with a house that dated from 1850. It looked very much like this one, except it had a really big porch on the front. I love the crows on the fence too; there was lots of old wooden fencing like this on the farm. I have decided to hang this picture in the front entry hall.
We are going to try and plan a girls weekend every year now. We don't need to spend a lot of money or do anything fancy because really, the real point is to spend time with the ones we love.
Thanks for stopping by!