So one night while in the Northwoods, we drove to Rondele Ranch (pronounced Rondalay) because we heard they had a Christmas light display. Most of the seasonal event was over (the part with rides and cookies and such). But the lights were still up and the weather was crisp and cool …
So two Sundays ago I went to Belinda’s graduation in the hallowed halls of Rhinelander High School – home of the Hodags.
The last time I was at a high school graduation was … when Belinda’s dad graduated.
The approach of this graduation was total confusion: Would it be outside in the soccer field where everyone could attend? Would it be inside in the gymnasium?
Chaos rained. Literally rained.
First outside. Then emails to all the graduates that it was inside. Then outside. Then inside.
But once the place was decided – all was well.
And the graduation itself was orderly, with teachers sad that the kids were leaving, and kids sad that they were leaving and everyone being respectful to everyone. The speeches weren’t overly memorable, but they were well prepared and what you would expect at a high school graduation.
Two hundred kids were in the class, but only 180 or so gradated that day – maybe because they didn’t pay all their fees (a threat given the day before) or because they didn’t show up. I don’t know.
Rather than filing in in a long line – kids came in two at a time which I thought was nice and gave parents opportunity for pictures, except Belinda came in to the immediate left of us and we didn’t see her until she was almost to her seat.. So good idea for all concerned except for the band who had to play Pomp and Circumstance for seven minutes straight – just ask Elizabeth.
Last weekend Carter and I headed north to hear Elizabeth perform for solo and ensemble (as I said in my last post).
Before we went, I checked out some local restaurants that might be fun to try.
On the way to Steven’s Point, I found a cheesy option which I thought was appropriate being that we were in Wisconsin and all. The place had several different varieties of mac and cheese – that was their specialty – hence their name. Neither Carter nor I were very hungry, so we split a bowl – well, actually a mini cast-iron frying pan of the classic cheese – nothing fancy.
And that’s kind of how it tasted. Even though it is considered the #3 best restaurant out of 130 restaurants in Wisconsin Dells, it was rather cheesily bland. The macaroni was drenched in a creamy sauce. Maybe I just don’t like creamy sauces. We ate it, but were glad we didn’t order separate servings. (And I’m guessing some of their fancier dishes are more tasty.)
You order at the counter and take your dish to a seat (or maybe the server brings it to you – I really can’t remember)- so semi-kind of, fast food.
Maybe it was #3 restaurant – I haven’t been to the other 130. I’d give it a six out of 10. I did like the decor. Very Wisconsinish.
Once we got to Stevens Point, we were asked to meet the others at Hilltop Pub and Grill. (#4 of 91 in S.P. according to Trip Advisor). Cindy’s parents had heard it was a great place for Friday Night Fish Fry (definitely a Wisconsin thing).
I still wasn’t hungry (not feeling 100%) so had something simple – but most of the family got the fish fry. So, I did eat a couple pieces of Cindy’s fish and it was super good. Carter had the chicken tenders and said they were similar to what he’s had other places. But everyone truly thought the fish delicious.. Good recommendation.
Another restaurant that interested me was the Wooden Chair. (Trip Advisor – 3 of 91). So after the Saturday competition we headed over.
The restaurant opened in 1993, but is located in a bank building from 1891. (Seems like I have been in several banks turned restaurants.) A lot of the structure/decor reflects the bank.
Jeff, Cindy, Carter, Elizabeth and I were the ones who ate here and we all got something different. Everyone seemed to enjoy their food. I was feeling better, so I got a BLT. The sandwich was absolutely delicious! I like BLTs and eat them a lot – especially on road trips – but this one was extra good – moist with a lot of bacon. I wished we lived closer so I could try some other foods. (I was still eating cautiously.)
The walls were brick and very old-time bankish – which I also liked.
And I had to smile at Carter and Elizabeth playing games with the creamer containers. Anyone who ever went out to eat with my dad knows how he had a whole series of games with the creamers – getting points for landing one upright, etc. These two never met my dad, but his DNA was evident in their choice of activities.
To prepare for a quick trip to Stevens Point with Carter, I searched on the internet for things to do/see that would interest me and a 14-year-old boy.
That’s how I found the Stevens Point Sculpture Garden. By the time we got to S.P. , met the rest of the family for dinner, and then checked out the performing arts center on the UW campus (where Elizabeth was to perform Saturday morning), the sky was beginning to darken.
I put the address in the GPS and we headed out. But Siri just left us with “find a place to park and walk to your destination.” However, there was no place to park and no clue as to where the destination was.
So after riding around some more and after the sky getting even darker, we went back to the hotel, picked up Jeff And Elizabeth, and headed out again. This time I put Zenoff Park in the GPS because I guess that the Sculpture Park is inside of Zenoff Park – but if you don’t know that – the directions get very confusing.
All this to say that by the time we found it, the evening light was fading. The trees were leafless and the ground brown and muddy. Parts were flooded from the recent rain. This was the night’s aesthetic as we wandered the trail and looked at strange formations in the dusk. The pictures do not even do justice to the eeriness of our walk.
I am sure if we did the same walk on a sunny summer morning, the perspective would be a lot different.
If you’re in Stevens Point, I would recommend it for a place to get some exercise – however, although we did not get bitten by an army of bugs (maybe a little early in the season) – reviewers say the place has a multitude of ticks and mosquitos – which I believe because of the boggy areas. So beware.