Lindevig Reunion 2018


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Friday, August 10, 2018: At 6 AM sharp, we tossed a couple of sleepy grandkids and their mother into the van and headed north. Kelly immediately started to check out the baskets of toys Gram Gram had packed.
We got to see dawn break, ...
... and the sun rise over the windmills. Like us, the grandkids were fascinated. "Wook! Wook at dose!" Johnny tried to point at every group he saw.
We passed Fair Oaks Farm, ...
... which markets itself to freeway audiences very well. Note to self: take grandkids there someday.
At a tollway oasis in Chicago, we let the kids shake off a little energy. Gram Gram and Johnny did some laps ...
... while Kelly got a ride on Grandpa's shoulders.
This BMW i8 is a pretty car! Unfortunately, this angle doesn't show the cool cutout space around the tail lights.
Maersk! Tom dominated the game on this trip, with Debbie in second place and Jill in third. The grandkids didn't even try. Maybe we should teach them the game? Nah.
The Zurich building requires photographing every time we drive by.
It was great fun pointing out a castle to Kelly and Johnny, even if it was just Medieval Times.
Here's another thing that always gets photographed. We love cool stone work.
Four and a half hours after leaving, the kids were still doing okay. Kelly had already asked multiple times if we were there yet, but "Mulan" on the DVD player kept them busy.
We saw several of these Ocean Network Express containers for the first time ever. These will probably become more common over time.
Wisconsin Welcomes You! Or as Kelly pronounces it, "Re-sconsin," because we were coming here for a reunion.
By noon, Kelly had finally fallen asleep for a nap, but Johnny was still going strong. He took advantage of Kelly's nap by playing with Norwegian Barbie without his sister trying to take it from him.
Castle Rock at Camp Douglas: so beautiful but so hard to get the perfect photograph. Nailed it this time!
It was after 1:00 PM and we had taken the I-90 fork at Tomah ("Where the I Divides"), heading toward La Crosse and the land of Debbie's Norwegian ancestors.
We were only 20 minutes from our destination when Johnny finally fell asleep too.
We exited I-90 toward Coon Valley. The farmland here is lush and green.
Here's some crop spraying in action.
This is part of a larger geological region called the Driftless Area, filled with river-carved valleys that were never covered by glaciers. These hills and valleys are what make the scenery so pretty.
We've never seen a snowmobile crossing sign before. Add it to the collection!
This way to Norskedalen! Every time we turned left or right on the winding roads, the tiny sleeping heads in the back row rolled to one side of their carseats or the other.
The 2018 Lindevig Reunion was held at Norskedalen, which is a Norwegian heritage museum near Coon Valley. Debbie's great-aunt and grandmother were active volunteers when it was first founded.
We were here to celebrate the arrival of Debbie's great-great-great grandparents, Trond and Christence Lindevig, to America. Two of their ten children did not produce descendants, but the other eight did, and all branches were represented at this reunion.
Our people were already there when we pulled into the parking lot, so Debbie and her brother Doug got their traditional photos of each other out of the way.
Aunt Emmie helped out with registration much of the weekend and got us checked in.
Registration had begun less than an hour earlier, but there was already a good turnout. The big crowd was expected the next day. Every single person at this reunion was our cousin somehow - most likely third, fourth, or fifth, with a few once-removeds thrown in there.
Shortly after 2:00, Debbie's father's cousin Paul addressed the attendees. He was the force of nature behind organizing this three-day event. (Not visible in the background: lefse making demonstrations, with fresh lefse available for sale! Of course, we left with a couple of packages, including one that Aunt Carol bought for us to bring home to Claire.)
Family historian Barb addressed us next. She's descended from both Ingebor and Ole, so she had a double-color nametag. For the previous couple of months, she had been sending family members updates about our ancestors, and she would be giving presentations with more information the next day.
June (Anne's branch) told us about the genealogy work she was doing, and presented this large family tree that only includes a portion of her family branch, so it would likely take a scroll the length of Norskedalen to include all of the Lindevig family branches.
Paul held up a genealogy chart that June brought showing all of the branches of our great-great-great grandparents' descendants. We are proudly Branch Ole.
At 3:30, we drove through Coon Valley to the other Norskedalen site, Thrunegaarden, where Debbie's great-great-great grandparents' home is on display.
Trond and Christence arrived in 1848 with their two-year-old daughter, then had nine more children, all raised in this home.
It was moved from its original location when it was donated to Norskedalen in 1983.
The restoration team used this photo as a guide to restore the home to its original condition. Taken in 1910, these are the nine surviving Lindevig siblings after Trond, Christence, and oldest child Birgete had passed away.
While we waited for the crowd inside the house to thin out, Debbie chatted with Alan from Theoline's branch, who attended with his wife (Donna), son, and grandson. Alan mentioned the trolls they have at Norskedalen at Midsummer Fest every year, and brought a photo of one of the troll masks the next day to show her.
Here it is.
Here are four generations of Ole's branch - Debbie, Johnny, Bob, Kelly, and Jill.
This is the other side of the house.
Here are Paul and Vilda (Aasne's branch) on the front porch.
When it was our turn to go inside, there was no one upstairs so we went there by climbing the small ladder in the back of this photo.
How did ten kids sleep up here? They didn't. Trond and Christence's children were born over a period of 26 years, so the older ones had moved out, married, and had children of their own by the time the youngest siblings came along.
Here's the first floor, viewed from halfway up the tiny staircase. First, to the left, ...
... then to the right.
Now, let's look a little closer, sweeping back from right to left. Here's a bed with family photos above it.
Here's some linen and lace handiwork.
These are buckles and brooches ...
... and if you look really closely, there's one Norskedalen Lindevighus button, which shows what the building looked like prior to restoration. The room on the right part of the porch was missing at this time.
This case contained kitchen tools, household utensils, and a pair of eyeglasses.
On this wall were portraits of Trond and Christence, a letter from President Clinton to the Lindevig Family Reunion of 1994, and two certificates commemorating inclusion in the American Immigrant Wall of Honor at Ellis Island. The left one is for Sigurd Bjorgufson (no idea who he is) and the right one is for the Trond Lindevig Family. See our Ellis Island page to see the wall and the inscription.
Here's a cupboard with dishware, ...
... and a basket near the front door with kitchen utensils.
We headed back around 4:00, driving through Coon Valley, population 765.
This mural was a little faded, but it depicted a dozen or more adorable raccoons.
There are cute raccoons on the "Welcome to Coon Valley" banners as well.
We headed to Westby next.
It's a ten-minute drive through beautiful farmland.
Welcome to Westby, ...
... a town of old traditions and new opportunities, plus a couple of nisse (trolls).
We checked into the Westby House Inn for the weekend. A last minute cancellation, some begging, and some extra charges allowed us to smuggle the grandkids into this lovely B&B.
It helped that every other room in the place except one was being rented by the grandkids' grandparents, great-grandparents, and other relatives.
It also helped that we weren't staying in the fancy big house, shown here.
We were staying in the less fancy guest house next door, where we had rented both suites.
Debbie's Aunt Carol stayed in the Victorianne Suite. Here's the view to the left ...
... and to the right.
We were in the Atrium Suite on the other half of the renovated house.
It had a sun room connected to the main room via French doors, with a pull-out sofa. Kelly approves!
Like the Victorianne, this suite also had a whirlpool garden tub, ...
... and a separate toilet/shower room.
The Atrium Suite also contains a full kitchen, which was just perfect for travelling with kids.
A continental breakfast of pastries, oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit, coffee, milk, and juice was provided the night before, with a stack of fresh cookies as a treat.
We got checked in, cleaned up, and back on the road in a record 30 minutes.
As we left Westby, we passed the Nordic Lanes, ...
... and the giant ear of corn, ...
... before returning to Norskedalen 15 minutes later.
We returned to the Long House, the huge open-air pavilion that served as Reunion Central on Friday and Saturday, ...
... where some of our Ole Branch cousins, Diane and Bill, were serving ...
... a delicious pulled pork buffet dinner.
Mmmm, dessert. The cake (one of several) says, "Lindevig Family Reunion; 170th Anniversary; 1848-2018."
We feasted on pulled pork sandwiches, fruit and veggies, pasta salad, and potato salad.
The Bekkum Homestead was visible on the other side of the valley, but we waited until the next day to visit it.
Paul addressed the group again, detailing the next day's activities, ...
... then Barb told us about the presentations she would be giving in the morning. Our only regret of the weekend is that we didn't get a chance to see her presentation the next day.
Birds in the rafters overhead listened to Paul and Barb as well.
After that, an accordian player entertained us so Jill and the grandkids got funky on the dance floor.
Go, kids, go!
We left Norskedalen around 7:00, ...
... headed back to Westby, and dumped the tired, sweaty kids in the whirlpool tub. Jill stayed behind to watch them, ...
... while we went to the patio outside the main house to celebrate Cyl's birthday with our relatives. Starting from the left and going clockwise: Cyl, Paul, Judi, Susan, Doug, Herb, Mark, Bob, and Emmie.
Mark & Emmie's annoying birthday giggle doll made another appearance (as it has occasionally over the years), as did some light-up birthday glasses, to make sure that Cyl felt properly celebrated.

Saturday, August 11, 2018: Kelly and Gram Gram were up at 7 AM sharp and headed to the kitchen for some breakfast.
Eventually, everyone joined us.
By 8:45, we were all fed, dressed, and ready for another big day at the Lindevig Reunion. By the way, this is a view of the beautiful garden behind the Guest House.
We drove through Westby again, ...
... never quite getting a good photo of this history center, whatever it is.
It was clear skies and sunny up here in Westby, but clouds lingered in the valleys below.
The road from Westby descended into Coon Valley, ...
... where the low-hanging clouds blanketed the town in a thick fog.
It gave a spooky look to the Coon Valley Lutheran Church ...
... and Coon Valley Cemetery.
But it was sunny a couple of miles away at Norskedalen.
We arrived shortly after 9:00 and staked out a spot in the Long House for our wagon and cooler. Signs on each table reserved them for various family branches according to how many were registered, which was a nice way for people to meet other people who might be more closely related.
We went out for a stroll with the kids before things really got moving.
Jill and the kids were dressed in their best Norwegian flag colors. Kelly very much enjoyed wearing her name tag. When asked which branch they were, both kids would smile and yell, "Ole!" (It sounded a little bit more like "Oh-wee!" though.)
A boy and his bridge. Johnny was constantly drawn to the water, which made watching him a bit of a challenge.
We headed up the road to the Bekkum Homestead. Tom and Debbie had been here in the bitter cold of winter in 2013, so it was nice to visit in the summer.
Here's a lovely backdrop for some lovely people.
Kelly and Johnny examined the gourd vine looking for baby gourds.
The garden was filled with gorgeous flowers.
Here's a building, ...
... with a not-so-scary scarecrow in front.
That's the blacksmith shop on the right where we would be visiting later.
Johnny is always on the go. "Wook!"
Here's a better look at the Bekkum Homestead from the front, ...
... and the side. We saw portions of the interior when we were here in 2013.
Then we headed back to the Long House, ...
... with just a brief stop to throw some rocks off the bridge again.
There was lots to see and do at the reunion. Hayrides were available for those wanting to see more of the Norsedalen valley, courtesy of a team of Belgian horses, and one baby Belgian colt who was learning the trade.
Ringing the bell was especially popular with the kids.
Back in the Long House, there were rosemaling demonstrations with crafts for sale.
Rosemaling is a classic Norwegian style of painting, and every Norwegian owns at least one example of it. Stop by our place to see our antique rosemaled wooden box.
Distant cousin Virginia demonstrated how to churn butter and gave us all samples of fresh butter on crackers. It was delicious! Virginia is the cousin who donated the Lindevig Cabin to Norskedalen.
Wood carver Becky of Lusk Scandia Wordworks demonstrated her craft, ...
... and we went home with the beautiful dragon board in the middle of this photo.
There was Norwegian-themed face painting for the kids. Here's Kelsey's turn.
We brought six homemade LEGO sets for kids to play with. Each set made one Norwegian flag. Here are second cousins Solveig and Koree building a set together, ...
... here's Kai finishing his flag, ...
... and here are some cousins from Aasne's branch playing with a kit. We intended to bring the sets home with us but heard later that they were given away to young attendees to keep. Not a problem - the LEGO store sells bricks by the piece so we were able to restock our personal collection. We were happy that the kids enjoyed playing with them.
There were delicious treats available all day long. There's Aunt Bonnie in the kitchen helping out.
June's family tree was on display, ...
... along with smaller versions of the Lindevig descendant tree we had seen the day before, so everyone could take home their own copy.
Uncle Herb and Aunt Cyl arrived with some leftover birthday treats from the night before.
Uncle Mark was in his finest Norse gear, ready to help direct traffic in the parking lot.
Mark was happy to greet the Gritzmachers and assist them with their parking. (Note: check out those shoes and socks.)
Aunt Carol worked the registration desk while trying to keep cool in the sunny heat.
Cousins Sara and Erik helped out by fetching the Kubb supplies from the Norskedalen visitor center up the hill. Billed as a "Viking Yard Game," many of us had never heard of it, but some of the local relatives knew all about it.
The team of Belgian horses returned from a hayride ...
... with Tom, Jill, the kids, and newly-acquainted cousins.
Branch Anne was well-represented, and this family had the best t-shirts.
Meanwhile, more kids had gotten their faces painted. Here is our youngest Lindevig checking out the Norwegian flag on his cheek. And yes, this was an actual Lindevig. Of the thousands of descendants, there are very few people with the last name of Lindevig still left, and here are three: Debbie's first-cousin-once-removed David's wife, daughter-in-law, and grandson.
Grandpa and Kelly took a turn building a Norwegian flag.
Here's Kelly's face painting. Also, her nostrils.
Here's Johnny's face painting. This handsome kid is going to be a model someday, but Gram Gram might be biased.
Here's what Kubb looks like when it is set up. The rules are a little more complex than this but it basically boils down to trying to knock over wooden posts by throwing a piece of wood at them. Johnny wanted to pick them up and run instead. "Wook!"
The grandkids spent time digging in the dirt for interesting rocks.
Then they played with the wooden horsies that Diane brought.
Johnny helped by rearranging the traffic cones.
Around 11:30, we headed to the Coon Valley Cemetery to look for our ancestors.
Reunion volunteers had put orange flags by gravestones of our relatives and provided a map as well.
We started in the back east side where we knew some of our closer relatives were buried, and wandered around. We encountered Lloyd Lindevig from Christopher's branch.
Here are Lloyd's parents, Henry and Selma.
This is the grave of Trond and Christence's daughter, Gurine, and her husband, Iver.
Amy was a longtime family historian. Until now, we didn't know that her middle name was Irene. She was a descendant of Anne.
Here is the original set of Lindevig gravestones.
The two stones on the right are Trond and Christence Lindevig. If these two people hadn't found each other in Norway, none of us would have been here this weekend.
Here are Trond (1822-1905) ...
... and Christence (1825-1909), Debbie's great-great-great grandparents.
To the left of the Lindevig monument are Trond and Christence's son, Knute (1869-1957), ...
... and his wife, Tilla (1869 - 1933). They did not have any children, which may be why they are buried next to Trond and Christence.
Debbie snapped a photo of Tilla Lindevig's grave for findagrave.com because her grave's photo wasn't yet documented there.
Next, we headed over to where some of our closer relatives are buried.
Here are Trond and Christence's son, Ole (1851-1936), and his wife, Anne (1853-1930), Debbie's great-great-grandparents.
Here are Ole and Anne's son, Hilmar (1889-1963), and his wife, Amanda (1887-1984), Debbie's great-grandparents. Hilmar died shortly after Debbie was born, but Amanda lived until after Debbie graduated from college.
Here are Hilmar and Amanda's son, Harold (1931-1988), and his wife, June (1935-2012), Debbie's great uncle and great aunt. Debbie visited their farm home several times when she was a child, which is where most of her memories of this area are from.
Harold and June lost a child, Stephen, when he was a baby, before Debbie was born.
We wrapped up our visit quickly because we had limited time before we had to get back. Jill and the grandkids had been waiting for us in the van, taking advantage of this trip solely for its air-conditioning and kid-entertaining opportunity.
We were back at Norskedalen shortly before noon, ...
... because it was lunch time! At the front of the buffet line, brochures about Warrens' Cranberry Festival were laid out, along with cranberry taffy as an added incentive to attend.
Borgen's Cafe of Westby was catering today's lunch, the only meal of the reunion that required a ticket. All other meals were financed by donations.
There were rolls with butter, cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans, and baked chicken. Delicious!
We scrambled to feed the kids so that Tom and Jill could take them back to the Westby House for some badly needed naps.
Paul opened the afternoon's presentation by introducing two state representatives, ...
... Lee Nerison (a relative of ours) and Nancy VanderMeer. They came by to present Century Farm certificates to two families who had owned a Wisconsin farm within the same family for at least 100 years.
Here's the first family (related to June) ...
... and the second family (didn't catch his name).
Next, June presented a plaque to Paul ...
... for his tireless efforts to get everyone here. Many people helped with the reunion, but it was Paul who made countless phone calls, created the website, organized the troops, and put much of his own money into this gathering.
Paul presented a certificate of appreciation to Virginia for her assistance and long-time support of the Lindevig family.
Uncle Herb was given a certificate of appreciation for his ongoing support of the Lindevig cabins, including the one here and ...
... the one that Trond and Christence left behind 170 years ago on the shore of Bandak Lake near LĂ„rdal, Norway, shown here.
Herb told the crowd about his visits to the cabin in Norway and reminded them that his video about the cabin was running on a loop at the Norskedalen visitor center. (We helped create the 30-minute version of the video that was shown during the reunion.)
June presented a plaque to Barb for her amazing work as our family historian.
Individual committee members in the audience were recognized ...
... and thanked for their efforts.
Next, it was time to take family pictures. The different branches were photographed in order of number of attendees, so that the smaller groups were first, and larger groups requiring more time were later.
Uncle Benny only recently married into our family, but he patiently played photographer all weekend long.
Here is Ingebor's branch, but several of these people are descended from Ole as well, so we took a special group photo of just them right after this photo was taken. Then they came back later to be photographed with Ole's branch as well.
Debbie was the official wrangler, but brother Doug and sister-in-law Susan helped just as much gathering people, so the whole process went very smoothly. Here's Theoline's branch.
Koree and Kelsey visited the blacksmith and got little souvenirs to keep: a hook for Koree and a minature horseshoe for Kelsey.
Their mom, Sharlot, showed off the family tree Debbie made for her many, many years ago, thus earning many cousin brownie points.
Meanwhile, Kelly and Johnny had been briefly recharging back at the hotel before coming back in time for photos. It had taken them some time to fall asleep, ...
... so they were a little grumpy when it was time to come back for photos at 2:30.
Everyone cooperated with the photo taking, so we had to take pauses to make sure we didn't get ahead of schedule. This is Branch Anne.
To kill a little time, some attendees took group photos on people's phones/cameras for them.
Benny kept on going for a full 90 minutes of photography, patiently arranging people and making sure everyone was looking at the camera.
Once every group was photographed, including a group photo of all attendees, Aunt Mary thought it would be fun to get a photo of Benny recreating a tumble he had taken earlier in the year. Don't fall, Benny! He sent the photo to his daughter who claimed that she was not amused. But we were!
Jill, Tom, and the kids had made it back right in time for the Branch Ole photo. After the group photo, everyone milled about for a while. Here's Jill with Aunt Bonnie and cousin Sara.
That's the strangest house-on-stilts we've ever seen. Nice roof!
The grandkids played happily by the creek. Here's a rare shot of Johnny not running toward the water.
We headed to the blacksmith shop next.
It was in the 80s outside, so it was even hotter in here ...
... next to the coals.
No one had warned us that the blacksmith, Nate, was a full-on hottie.
He was hotter than Liev Schreiber and Gerard Butler combined. He was leave-your-relatives-behind hot.
He was also great with the kids. Kelly was excited to help pump the bellows by pressing down on the large handle while everyone praised her.
Afterwards, the kids played on the large cast iron cauldron outside. It might not actually be a cauldron, but we're city-dwellers and can't really identify it.
We had been told that the spring house was nice and cool, ...
... so we went there next. It contained yet another water source where Johnny could attempt to drown himself, so we didn't stay long.
We found another cauldron to play on. Seriously, what are these things?
When we got back to the Long House, Kelly raced Grandpa on the stick horsies.
Kelly always won. She's just that good.
Doug and Susan had brought along presents for our family. The kids opened bottles of bubbles. "Wook! Bubbles!"
The bubbles were a big hit and attracted a pair of distant cousins from Anne's branch to come and play.
Lisa and Gavin came to play too, and Lisa took her turn blowing bubbles, ...
... before having to head back home to the Twin Cities.
We were thirsty for some beer, as were Uncles Mark and Herb, ...
... so we made a quick beer run into Coon Valley. Once again, the grandkids got a little bit of air-conditioning and a little bit of video entertainment.
When we got back, we opened more presents from Doug and Susan. Here's a cool 3D-printed moon light for Tom that Kelly and Johnny will love as well. (One of Johnny's favorite lines is, "I see moon!")
Tom took this picture of Debbie about to ...
... take a photo of her dad and brother.
Here are a trio of aunts: Cyl, Mary, and Lani.
Bob had a note that said to give $135 to his brother Herb. It sounds like a dark mystery, but most likely it was because Herb paid for all the deposits on the rooms at the Westby House Inn so that the rooms would be reserved for family members like us.
At 5:30, dinner was served. It was a classic Lutheran church ladies buffet, ...
... prepared and served by the Lutheran Church Circle of Coon Valley Lutheran Church. Did we mention that they're Lutheran?
The buffet included sloppy joes, veggies, pasta salad, fruit salad, pickles, potato chips, ...
... and an assortment of tasty desserts.
After dinner, Kelly played with her new Duplo set from Doug and Susan, joined by her second-cousins-once-removed, Kelsey and Larissa.
Paul addressed the group again to talk about activities for the next day and to see if there was interest in doing this again, perhaps in 2022 on the 200th anniversary of Trond's birth. The crowd was enthusiastic about another reunion.
Judi spoke for a few moments as well. Then we all applauded Paul for a job well done.
At 6:30, it was time to party. Debbie and Cyl were among the first ones on the dance floor when "Cecilia" was played.
You can always count on little kids to dance, especially when the DJ plays their request.
We snuck away for a few minutes to get a nearly complete family photo, minus Craig, Claire, and Stewart. Johnny looked longingly at the bridge.
Back inside, Mark was entertaining Mary and Judi with his light-up gloves.
When "Dancing Queen" played, Branch Ole was well-represented on the dance floor. Sister-in-law Susan quipped, "I feel like I'm at a Scandinavian hoe down." Yes, you are.
The kids were really exhausted by now, so Grandpa played patiently with Kelly while they waited for Gram Gram to be ready to leave.
But Gram Gram was still taking photos. Here's the sun setting over the Bekkum Homestead.
Right behind the long house ...
... is a pond and the start of the troll trails, because when you are a Norwegian heritage site, you have to have troll trails.
By 7:30, we were packed up and heading out. As we passed the field behind Benrud Chapel, ...
... we spotted some deer, ...
... including this little fawn, ...
... and this mama and her twin fawns.
Several locals had recommended that we take an alternate route to Westby through Snowflake Valley.
The route took us through beautiful rolling hills ...
... while the sun was setting. It was beautiful and well worth the few extra minutes of driving.
Back in Westby again, Jill and the kids settled in to watch movies and have some downtime.
Carol, Debbie, and Tom headed over to the patio of the main house to enjoy some wine with the family gathered there. Here are Doug, Susan, ...
... Carol, Herb, and Cyl.
Benny called it a night after spending all day photographing every moment of the reunion.
Bob was there too, ...
... and Mark (and Emmie) joined us too.

Sunday, August 12, 2018: There were several more reunion activities on this day, but we had a long drive ahead of us, so we needed to get on the road. Before we did, however, we gave tours of our suite to various relatives who had been staying in the main house.
We finally said our goodbyes and were on the road before 9:30 AM. A few bottles of tasty Elmaro wine ended up in the van, courtesy of Carol.
Buh-bye, Westby!
We passed North Coon Prairie Church and Cemetery ...
... and Pasture Pride Cheese in Cashton, ...
... while driving on Astronaut Deke Slayton Memorial Highway.
We had to do a quick U-turn at the Melvina baseball field, ...
... so we could get a second look at the Mystery Machine parked behind a house across the road.
When we reached Sparta, we were amused to see that it still had the endless sea of orange cones that we had seen two months earlier.
We got breakfast in Sparta because Debbie doesn't consider continental breakfast to be real breakfast unless meat is involved. We were tempted to try ordering this "Sausage McMuffin with Egg with Egg" just because of the name, but we didn't.
At rest stops, it's important to get your wiggles out.
Using the van as a jungle gym is a very valid way to do this.
We stopped at the Cornellier Superstore in Beloit, so Kelly could pose for another photo with the giant cow, this time with Johnny joining her.
They had to check out the giant mouse too.
As usual, we got a few tasty, tasty packages of cheese curds and sausage. We also found a new Sprecher's flavor, watermelon, which turned out to be unexpectedly faithful to the flavor of actual watermelon.
After being in the car for hours, we were nearing Chicago and the kids were still in fairly good spirits.
We passed the cool Zurich building again, ...
... Hofbrauhaus Rosemont, ...
... and the Ballpark at Rosemont.
We stopped at a tollroad oasis for a late lunch.
Sleepy Johnny was in the mood for some cuddling with Gram Gram.
He was very lucky because during our brief time at the oasis, several dozen school buses drove past. "Wook! School bus!"
We made sure that the kids got a good look at the giant quarry south of Chicago. Two kids who love rocks as much as they do need to see the greatest rock-finding site in the world.
By 6 PM, we were getting close to home. Johnny pointed out the windmills as we passed them. "Wook!"

** THE END **


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