Wisconsin 2016

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Saturday, August 13, 2016: We loaded up Jill and her two sleepy children and were on the road while it was still dark out. We had decorated Kelly's view with stickers and a mirror so we could see her face when we looked back.
We were passing the windmills on I-65 when the sun came up.
When we got to Chicago, ...
... we had two sleeping tots in the back seat. Kelly was not quite two years old, and her little brother, Johnny, was five months old.
We arrived in Wisconsin around 10:00 AM and stopped at the rest area just inside the state.
Kelly was ready to get her wiggles out and had a blast on the playground.
Let's go again!
One more time?
So much fun!
Two hours later, the tots were napping again. Nine-hour long car rides are definitely more fun for adults when the kids are asleep.
Kelly had just started potty training the week before, so we made a lot of stops early in the trip. She refused to go in the potty chair in the van, but was successful in the rest area.
Kelly says, "Hi, Gram Gram!"
This historical marker told us all about Coulee Country, which is the part of Wisconsin that Debbie's grandmother and grandfather are from.
We got to the La Crosse area, then checked in at Stony Creek Hotel, where we scrambled to get five people ready for a wedding while cousins stopped by to say hello.
Off we go! We headed to French Island, where the wedding and reception were being held at Celebrations on the River.
By 4:30 PM, we were seated toward the back.
Kelly was looking especially adorable in her party frock and party hair.
Jill stood in the back with Cory, trying to keep both kids quietly entertained during the service.
Grandpa Tom joined them to help out.
Here comes cousin Rachel, ...
... and cousin Sarah, ...
... and the bride, cousin Megan, ...
... with her proud father, Ron.
Wedding stuff happened here.
Megan and Craig are married! Time to start the party!
Here's cousin Rachel again, smiling at her BFF, Kayla, ...
... and here's cousin Sarah again.
While we waited for Megan's extended family to be rounded up for a group photo, Kelly looked out at Richmond Bay.
Here's Megan's huge family, including all eight of Debbie's cousins plus four of the Eights (her aunts and uncles).
Inside the reception hall, the bride had made place cards for everyone, ...
... incuding the littlest guests.
Debbie's aunt Carol had a little present for us: ...
... a six-pack of delicious Elmaro wine.
Most photogenic members of the family? Discuss.
Cory showed off a custom C+W wedding Instagram filter ...
... and his beer from La Crosse-based Pearl Street Brewery: Me, Myself, and IPA.
During dinner inside, a slide show was playing.
Here are the newlyweds.
After dinner, Kelly got to play in the arcade for a little while.
Here is the entire membership of Schilling Women with Sons-in-Law Named Craig.
Ralph's sons, Andy and David, were good sports about posing for a picture with their bossy older step-cousin.
Hey, how did Kelly get in there?
Cory is too tall for Instagram, says Rachel.
Kayla and Kyle were less than a year away from their own wedding.
On a quick trip to the van, Tom discovered this excellent bumper sticker in the parking lot. Perhaps this car belongs to someone in our family?
Speaking of family, a large selection of Debbie's female relatives had joined her on the dance floor.
Kelly was very busy pushing Johnny around the reception hall in "Bumble," our little yellow-and-black striped stroller, ...
... and dispensing rubber ducks.
Cory dutifully held onto the ducks he was entrusted with until Kelly returned.
Time to give them back, Cory.
We all got some fantastic beer koozies to bring home. #WurzMyBeer
There was more dancing, ...
... and more posing for photos, ...
... and even more.
Time for some reception shenanigans.
Oh my.
Johnny wasn't in the mood for posing when it was his turn with the Instagram frame.
By now it was after 9:00 PM, but Kelly was still going strong. There were lights to play with ...
... and papers to draw on. A few minutes later, we loaded up the tots and brought them back to the hotel to go to bed.

Sunday, August 14, 2016: Good morning, Wisconsin!
The tots had slept in our suite, ...
... which looked like a suitcase had exploded in it, since this was the room that all five of us had used to get ready the day before, despite having two rooms.
We were on the road by 8:30 AM, because we had another long drive ahead of us ...
... especially if we were going to stop at rest areas every hour or so for Kelly, who had decided that she was definitely done with diapers.
Along the way, Debbie watched her Swedish cousin, Edvin, play floorball for a Swiss team in the Czech Open, courtesy of the Internet, an unlimited data plan, and an entire day of free time.
We had to stop at Cornellier Superstore as usual. Kelly got out to see the gigantic cow.
Of course, Gram Gram bought her a cheesehead hat in the store so she modelled that as well.
A package of delicious sticks-n-curds may have ended up in the cooler too.
It's always nice to see Irene Road on the Illinois Tollroad.
An entertained child is a quiet child.
After being in the car for so long all weekend, Kelly deserved to get a fix of Harry the Bunny during an oasis stop somewhere in Illinois.
Oh, Indiana, it's good to see you!

** THE END **

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