I hadn’t been home since February 2011, almost 4 years away from my family and friends in the U.S. so I was really excited to go back. Getting to see everyone again after being away so long made me really happy but also a little bit sad about the moments I missed with them that have passed by already, especially around the holidays when family is constantly on my mind.
We arrived on September 3rd and went to Whitnall Park where Viviane saw her first deer. My brother Brian, his wife Sasha, and their son Dominick arrived the next day. It was the first time I’d meet Sasha and Dominick so I was especially excited for the opportunity to get to know them better.
The next day was a Friday, and anybody from Wisconsin knows a Friday fish fry is one of our favorite traditions.
Then on Saturday we went to a flea market and to visit my Dad where we made a fire / got goofy after a few drinks before dinner.
Check out Dominick rocking out to some Rolling Stones.
On Sunday morning we went to Lizard Mound County Park which has a bunch of Native American burial mounds.
Then on Sunday afternoon we went to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house for a nice party where I saw a lot of family whom I missed a lot.
On September 9th we took a walk in downtown Milwaukee by the art museum.
On September 10th we had a dinner with my Mom’s friend Kathleen.
September 14th we went for a walk around Mauthe Lake with my Dad and Karen, Brian, Sasha, Dominick, my step-brother Chad, Chad’s wife Anne, and their son Malakai.
September 16th was Viviane’s birthday, we went ice skating at the Petit National Ice Center (it was her first time) and we had a party at home. Viviane didn’t do too bad for her first time ice skating, she didn’t fall and didn’t hold on to the railing the whole time. She was walking more than skating but she’s not used to ice either, so it was an interesting experience for her.
September 19th we went to Grant Park for a walk after meeting up with my Aunt Sally and visited some old friends who live in one of the houses I grew up in.
September 20th Viviane and I went to Madison for the Wisconsin Badgers football game, we watched near the stadium at one of my old stomping grounds (Jordan’s Big 10) and walked around the campus. Then we met up with my Mom, my aunt Michelle, my brother, Sasha, and Dominick to walk around on State Street / have a lunch together. It was nice to go back there, I miss Madison and have a lot of fond memories of my college days there.
Then after the Badgers game we went to my Aunt Michelle and Uncle Ross’ place. We took some pictures together and went for a walk up the hill near their house.
September 22nd we went to the Wisconsin Dells and stayed at the Wilderness Resort so we could all go to the waterpark together. The next day we went mini-golfing at Timber Falls and Pirate’s Cove while checking out some of the sights around the town. Really miss going to Wisconsin Dells every summer when I was a kid, now of course it is a year round destination with the indoor waterparks but either way it is a place I will always have warm memories of.
September 26th Brian, Viviane, and I went to the Milwaukee Brewer’s game, another first for Viviane (first baseball game). We snuck into the lower level midway through the game when we realized there wasn’t a lot of people down there. Viviane found the baseball players were cute with their shirts tucked in swinging around their bats and everything.
On September 27th we went to the Wisconsin State Fair Park for Harvest Fair.
September 28th we went to check out the fall colors in Whitnall Park.
September 29th we went to the Domes.
October 2nd we went to the Milwaukee Art Museum.
October 5th we went to the Kettle Moraine State Forest, and went to the top of Parnell Tower to see the fall colors.
October 14th Brian, Sasha, and Dominick went back to Russia.
October 19th it started to get cold, and by this time we had our car. We stayed overnight at my Dad’s house and it got cold enough to leave frost on the car which Viviane got excited about in the morning.
October 20th we went back to the Domes again, this time I had a better camera. They had a Wizard of Oz theme in the show dome and Halloween decorations everywhere.
October 25th we went to Whitnall Park again to see the fall colors, which were even better than the last time we saw them.
October 26th we went for a walk around a random lake, saw a group of deer outside my Mom’s friend’s house and caught the sunset in Whitnall Park.
Our biggest adventures of 2014 were yet to come as shortly after this we took a road trip to California and back with our $1600 car, stopping at all kinds of awesome places along the way. Being with family is irreplaceable though and I needed to re-connect with everyone before traveling again. We had so much fun in Wisconsin, so it was really nice to make this post to remember it all over again.