A Grand Day Out

Yesterday my niece joined me and the kids for a long day of adventuring. We started at Crystal Cave in Spring Valley, WI.

   
      

Then we headed over to Prescott, a small town on the Mississippi River. At the information center, I learned a lot about the history of the area. If only we’d learned this in school, rather than rote memorization of dates and events, I bet a lot of us would have paid more attention.

   
         

Lastly, we went to Kinnickinnic State Park, where we hoped to hit a beach, but Mosquitos and poor signage had the best of us.

   
 

At least we learned a little something, and got to see where the St Croix and Mississippi rivers converge. 

Big day! Today we took it easier!

Another day of vacation

The fairy house survived the rain/night! 

 I took better bear photos! 

    

This guy stole my chair when I left it for a minute.   

Then he got a little too curious about my knitting.  Apparently a dropped ball of yarn bears a strong resemblance to a dropped ball.   

The Wee Girl staked out the neighborhood from the front lawn. 

There was also rain, which was very exciting to us Californians!

Bargain Bill’s and Bears

With unstuffed bears piling up (if you consider two bears a pile, which I do, because I like to finish my bears as I go!), I really wanted to find fiberfill without having to drive very far. Luckily, my mom reminded me about Bargain Bill’s in Rice Lake (Wisconsin). It’s a craaaaaaazy place!

   
This is the craft hangar, I mean room. My photos don’t do it justice.  It’s so huge, there are so many goods…

 But the Wee Girl and I managed to get just the fiberfill and a crafty project each for her and the Wee Boy. 

And thus, I was able to finish my pile of bears this evening. 

 Meet Teresa and Unique! And pardon the late night lighting.  
 
Teresa is named for an aunt of mine.   Unique is named for the character on Glee.  

In non-yarny craft news, the kids and I worked on a fairy house today. Well…. I struggled to make something stable-ish out of driftwood and nails, while they wandered around, sometimes deciding on the decor, sometimes climbing fences and pretending twine is a lasso…

 
The result will topple if you so much as look at it sideways, but the kids are pleased. As you can see, by the end I was so over it that I merely placed the last bits of birchbark roofing rather than securing it. It’s raining now, so I wonder what it’ll look like tomorrow!  

 

(Almost) hometown LYS/coffee shop!

Today I met up with one of my oldest friends at our other old friend’s small business, which happens to be a knitter’s dream; a coffee shop/yarn store!!  It’s called the Brew House and is located on the north side of Rice Lake, Wisconsin.

justin owns and runs the shop with hisn wife , Jen (not pictured). the three of us pictured here had some awfully good times in high school and college, and I’m so happy to be reunited !

 
Past the front room where you order, you find a small room with various handmade things; bibs, soaps, candles, handspun yarn…

  
  The next room contains big shelves of yarn. Some are well known brands like Cascade, others I hadn’t seen.    

 

   
  

how cute are these??

    

and notions!

They also sell local yarn, which I was so pleased to see! It’s beautiful and soft, and I might need to buy some as a souvenir. Blue Hills Fiber Mill- the Blue Hills are not far from my home town and are especially pretty in the autumn.

I’ll be back several times during my visit, so I have plenty of time to choose a souvenir yarn. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  

Slow day

Not much went on today, due to rain. It was fun introducing the kids to one of the libraries I frequented as a kid, and I had some time to work on my current bear.

 
She’s a T bear, maybe Teresa after an aunt of mine.  

In spite of the rain, we found out that the Wee Girl likes baseball and is a pretty good batter, Is good with cats, and the kids enjoyed their first 4-wheeler ride! On Wisconsin! 

  

Spring Break, day 3

It started out icy! It snowed again last night!

 

We went sledding again, but I only took a photo of the view down to Lake Tahoe.

yesterday i hadn’t realized how amazing the view would be with clear skies.

Then, down at lake level:

 

  

  

 After lunch the kids and I hung out at a beach: 

  

  

  

the water is so clear!

  

 Then at a playground:

coyote! very close but uninterested in us.

  

 Then, back at the cabin, I built my first ever fire:

calcifer!

 Then knitted. 

stripey decisions

  

progress

  

Spring Break, day 2

  A beautiful sunrise,

snow,

  

Snow angels,  

Sledding,

it’s steeper than it looks!

  

A mountain or two, 

fun side note- i texted my brother to ask if he has worked on the cell phone towers in the distance, and he said yes, plenty of times. AND he can see this mountain from his house outside of Reno. nice view!

 

A fire,  

More snow,

it snowed several inches this afternoon!

  

Barefoot snow action,

toughest kid I know

  

A cold stroll,

ganbatte, daffodils!

And some knitting.  

decent progress, and i decided i like it.

  

Not pictured: snowball fight!!!