In the Land of Happy People and Cheese – A Photo Essay

A wild rumpus

Let the Wild Rumpus begin!

Courtney and Kelly are channeling Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are

while playing with the mural my dad painted.

Last week, my family flew back to Madison, Wisconsin. You gotta love their (our) sense of humor. As I was leaving the terminal at the airport, the security guard said, “Welcome to Des Moines!”

They had a monster snowstorm a few weeks ago and the snow was melting. Yes melting. It was a balmy 35 degrees when we arrived.

Everyone took turns walking Charlie Brown Spot.

walking the dogThere was a beautiful park nearby.


My dad came down to breakfast armed for combat while shaking his fist.

combat hat

We celebrated a birthday. Doesn’t everyone look happy?Mike's birthday

The kids wore their party hats too!

mike's birthday2

We went out another night to celebrate life and


…slurp oysters.


Yes, that is a huge slab of butter on a bread plate.

We had to buy cheese. After all, we were in ITS land. We drove to the Decatur Dairy.

World Class Cheese1

The kids needed their fix.

world class cheese3It really is!

Kind of a small home for a cheesemaker, don’t ya think?

world class cheese 5

Men of cheese…

world class cheese5On our way back to my parent’s house, we stopped at the grocery store where I found the mother lode of sausage. The man from the meat department asked why I was taking a picture of the sausage display. I don’t think he understood that in Boulder we don’t have huge cases just for sausage.

land of logs o beef

While I was packing up, I discovered a clove of garlic in a pink bag Courtney had brought Christmas Eve. I was a few cloves low. I brought it to Breckenridge, but forgot to return it. That garlic traveled all the way to Wisconsin! I had to immortalize their reunion as we left for the airport.

Traveling with garlic should keep all those pesky vampires away. Right?


We’ll be back to visit the Land of Happy People and Cheese after the lakes thaw out!

This is an aerial view of Madison, Wisconsin. The State Capitol is located in the center of the isthmus.

aerial view of Madison

When we arrived back at DIA, it was a frigid 9 degrees!

Do you have any travel plans for 2013?

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Filed under Humor, Life, Photography

105 responses to “In the Land of Happy People and Cheese – A Photo Essay

  1. Oh my gosh I don’t know how I missed this. You know I love cheese! I want to go to there.

  2. Liked solely because of the Sendak reference. One day I want to experience a white winter.

  3. Family and cheese :-) What more could you wish for?

  4. Excellent trip. So glad I could come along!

  5. You photo essays speak volumes, Susie! Nice work!

  6. filbio

    Looks like such a great time and terrific pictures! I love cheese! I need to visit Wisconsin one day myself.

    Man, it is cold out there! Here in NYC it’s like winter has not arrived yet.

  7. I have never been to Wisconsin, but I would be in heaven with all of that cheese!

  8. I love the “Old Age Combat” hat. That’s my favorite pic!

  9. Very cheesy shots of beautiful people, indeed!

  10. Kristy

    I love your photos! Especially one at the park and all “cheesy” family pics! :) It was actually this blog that made me look for some holiday photo essays as you hardly find more spirit anywhere else but I love yours so much more. Take care :)

  11. great post! happy to see the home land in images :-)

  12. Great pictures, Susie!
    My 2013 travel plans include Alaska and another motorcycle camping trip ;-)

  13. Yumm! Butter and cheese! Your Dad is quite and artist. Whose birthday?

  14. Delightful! Wonderful mural – some real talent there.
    Winter Wonder Dog lives there – he’s beautiful

  15. Looks like you had a wonderful visit. Your dad’s mural is awesome, and I love his combat hat! Great photos, Susie!

  16. Curd is the word.. haa Great trip and great sharing!

  17. Looks like you had a fun trip. LOVE cheese. Who doesn’t? Let them be outcast! Just kidding. That’s so funny, the guys was curious why you were taking pictures of his display. I guess he doesn’t get too many people snapping away as much. Didn’t you mention you were going to immortalize his display? ;)

    • I think was too busy trying to defend my picture taking. He was pretty curious, like I was going to do an expose on 20-20 or something! I should have handed him a card. I always forget to pass them out! :)

  18. You had my attention at cheese… I love it!

  19. Loved this post. I’m glad you all had a wonderful time…, and my my, all that cheese!!! :-)

  20. Loved this, Susie. Great to get together with your family and who could ever argue about the merits of cheese and sausage? And, yes, it has been very, very cold here. I think it was probably the Broncos undoing…

    • I was raised on cheese and sausage!
      I think it was all the Broncos fault! We arrived at DIA at the end of the 4th quarter and stayed to watch the double overtime. It was so disappointing. When we walked out into that frozen air, I thought of the fans in the stands for all those hours and how they must have felt walking back to their cars… Brrrr…and …Grrrr!
      Thanks for coming by!

  21. So, I think your dad and I could be friends. The hat was all the proof I needed. Looks like such a fun trip!

  22. it’s been a pretty mild winter here – though madison got a bunch more snow…I just keep waiting for the winter hammer to drop (Odin and his Golden hammer) then i’ll think og travel plans – Florida for break and maybe a couple of other places who knows what the New Year will bring! I am sure it is good to be back, even with the garlic!

    • It sure is! I feel as though my New Year has just begun!
      I am waiting for Odin’s hammer too! We need more snow here in Colorado, but I am sure it is on its way! :)
      Thanks Clay!

  23. That is a huge sausage display lol. That shopkeeper could have had more fun with you taking pictures of his sausages *snort*

    Lovely pics!

  24. Your daughter is so much like you! Looks like a great time. I’m hoping to reach Bali this year :)

  25. I love the hats and that dog is very cute. It looks like you all had great fun. I’ve never heard of cheddar curd before, is it some kind of pastry?

    • We did have a great time. Thanks Guy!
      Cheddar curd is cheese that is in a lump form. The kids love it because of its bite sized portions! The traditional curd like a mild mozzarella, but they make a cheddar curd along with some other varieties.
      Thanks for stopping by to read!

  26. I might have done without the ‘oyster shot’. 9 degrees??? Remind me to visit you in the summer.

  27. I like your stuff, Susie, crazy but very likable.

    Your sense of humor seems to be as quirky as mine (and I like cheese with my beer).

    Nice pics as well. Keep on a’blogin’



  28. p.s. Susie – come to France with us! What a wild ride that will be!

  29. Looks like a very happy family weekend. *the best* Enjoy that cheese!

  30. Pretty cheesy post, Susie…, and was that big hunk of butter really on your diet??? Travel Plans….., let’s see now…, not to anywhere that the temp isn’t above 70deg. How about you?

    • I did have a little of that butter Paul. I have to admit it. I know. Pretty “cheeeeese-y post!
      My dream travel plans would include another trip to SoCal and a trip to France and Italy. We’ll see what 2013 brings!

  31. Burrrrr Susie! My hubby and I saw it was in the single digits in Denver yesterday. Welcome home, eh? Glad you had a wonderful time with the family in Wiscaaanson. Love the Sheltie or is it a Collie? Gorgeous, truly. And I have to say that your kids are so good natured Susie. Those are special times hanging out together. Okay, time to get those skis out girlfriend. We watched the skiing competition in Breckenridge today. We’ll be ready for more of Susie’s wild ride! :)

    • Thanks Karen!
      It is cold here, but will warm up by Wednesday. Yay! I think it is supposed to be dry through the week, but I am sure we will head to the mountains to do some skiing this weekend. I am hoping for a big storm that dumps feet of snow up there so we can hit Whale’s Tail again. Fingers crossed!
      My parent’s collie is a like a small horse and gets a lot of attention on walks.
      You must be familiar with the accent! Hahaha!
      I am so glad you are back!

  32. Looks like everyone had a great time. I’d like to make a trip to the Midwest this year. I never travel much, but I think this will be the year… :)

  33. I wish I could still eat cheese! The foodstuffs all look great, Susie. When did your dad paint that mural? It looks very cool.

    • I used to have to take a Lactaid, but for some reason, I am able to eat cheese again. Looking at the photos reminds me that I better think about what I am going to make for dinner! I’ve been spoiled for a couple of days!
      He painted the mural about 10 years ago. He is 86 and is still painting!

  34. I am really impressed with your dad’s artistic talent. The mural is beautiful, and an actual tree in front turns the whole concept into 3D art.
    It’s been down to 24 degrees here in So Cal, and to us anything below 60 is freezing.

    • He does beautiful work Chaz and is still painting. He just did one of his dog Charlie and he is 86 years old!
      24 degrees in California?? That is ridiculous! Most homes don’t have any heaters, do they? Try to stay warm….

  35. You got me with the cheese tease, Susie! :D

  36. Cheese curds – YUM! Love your captures – visiting family can be a fun, wild, crazy time:) Getting ready to go to Hawaii soon and cannot wait! Have a Great One:)

  37. Curd is the word . . . . I love cheese curd!! But now I also have the ‘Grease’ tune in my head. Glad you had such a great time. Thanks for sharing the photos!

    • Thanks so much Mary!
      That’s what CC said below you! Hahaha! It was a fun time and great to see and catch up with family. Time keeps on racing by and it is great when we can stop for a moment and just have a conversation.

  38. Love the hats!!! And what a beautiful dog! He’s gorgeous!

    • My sister-in-law brought hats for everyone! It was a blast to get both families together.
      Charlie stops cars, really! Almost every time I have walked him, some one pulls over or runs over to chat and pet him. Well it is Wisconsin, land of happy friendly people!

  39. This is such a wonderful story and so much better with pictures. I hope you know I’ve been singing “Curd is the word” to the tune of “Grease is the word” ever since I read it!

    • Thanks so much Lisa! Ironically, I wasn’t sure I had enough of a story since we were only there for five days, so you made my day!
      “Curd is the word, its got groove; its got meaning….” Hey don’t be impressed. I just FSOG’d it! Hahaha!

  40. Fab fotos Susie! We are going to Florida in about a week to see my pop in Tarpon Springs for a few days. Other than that, stuck here in dark, dank Michigan.

    • It has been so hot here in Florida – I just turned the AC back on again. We have had record highs this past week…

    • Thanks John! I bet he is really looking forward to the visit! I was surprised by the mild weather in Wisconsin, but it has been that way for the last couple of years.
      Have a great trip! I am sure I will “see” you before you leave. :)

  41. So plans but to go home for a few months… That is one beautiful dog. so is the cheese..:) I will take you balmy 35 degrees..:)

    • Hey we’re back in Colorado where the temps have been about 12 as a high temp. We are in the freezer here!
      Yep. Everyone knows Charlie Brown Spot in Evansville. He is a huge collie although the photo makes him look smaller.
      Thanks Linda!

  42. With all that cheese around it’s no wonder everyone smiled for the camera! *eg*

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