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 theΒ 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?

106 thoughts on “In the Land of Happy People and Cheese – A Photo Essay

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    1. 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!


  1. 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.


    1. 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. πŸ™‚


    1. 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!


    1. 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!


    1. 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.


  2. 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.


    1. 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….


    1. 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!


  3. 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! πŸ™‚


    1. 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!


  4. 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?


    1. 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!


      1. Hahaha! No. That tree was much bigger. My dad is an excellent artist!
        It will be 50 degrees tomorrow. It is usually pretty mild here while the snow comes down in the mountains. πŸ™‚
        Thanks Ted!


    1. 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!


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

    Lovely pics!


  6. 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!


    1. 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! πŸ™‚
      Thanks Clay!


  7. 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…


    1. 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!


        1. So true! I heard that it seemed as though a few plays were called in favor of the Ravens and Patton lost his confidence. It makes me feel so much better about choking in tennis matches when the pros do it too! Hahaha!


          1. It was a really weird game. Officiating took forever – they stopped play on many occasions to decide what had happened, reviewing videos, etc. – meanwhile the players were standing around getting colder and colder. I think that interrupted Peyton’s rhythm. But overall, just amazingly frustrating to watch.


  8. 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? πŸ˜‰


    1. 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! πŸ™‚


    1. My mother-in-law’s boyfriend!
      It is truly the Dairy State. πŸ™‚ My Dad can create anything from a table leg to a watercolor. He is a master of media and still going strong at 86!
      Thanks for coming by!


      1. Cheese Curds in Wisconsin is our Happy Place! Really great blog you have here, but we’re probably biased because we are happy cheese head people. Happy to come across another Happy Cheese Native! Don’t let our bling Hollywood image fool you (our lake in Wisconsin can be seen here: Cheese Heads Rule! Oh, and we can’t forget: Go Packers! (And Badgers!)


        1. Hahaha! Thanks for following!
          I have always said that they can take the girl out of the Land of Cheese, but they can’t take the cheese out of the girl. My blog is pretty much like me, a happy place. πŸ™‚
          I will check out your lake!


  9. I love your photos! Especially one at the park and all “cheesy” family pics! πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚


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