My visit to the Upper Peninsula and my parents was too short. When planning this trip the one thing we thought we took into account, we really didn't – the distance between points to visit all the people and take in a couple places we want to explore along the way. Or the fact that it really is six hours of driving from L'Anse, Michigan to Brodhead, Wisconsin. That is it is six hours of driving if you never stop to pee or take a picture of some random thing you see between the forests and the farms, or eat – never stop for lunch. Then you can get to the next location in time to take in some sight seeing and have dinner with your friend's mom.
The window of time that one can easily travel across the midwest is short and filled with heat, humidity, and mosquitoes (otherwise known as summer). Though most of the mosquitoes we left behind in the forests of Michigan, which gave way to the forests of Northern Wisconsin, which finally gave way to the farmlands of Central and Southern Wisconsin. We stopped for lunch in Wassau, Wisconsin – this is after I forced us to pull over in Land-o-Lakes for a selfie. I like butter. Here I am in front of the library but you can't read the sign.
Was there anything special about Wassau? No, it is just a town in Wisconsin with a town square and bars for breakfast, lunch and dinner spots. We got cheesecurds, fish tacos, and a salad with questionable vegetables at a place called Townies.
The cheesecurds were good. I picked the place because the review of the cheese curd burger was very good – but when we got there I just couldn't imagine eating even a part of a burger covered in cheese curds it was so hot out. The humidity clung to me like a damp sheet. The air conditioned car was a refuge and we stayed in it for the next three or so hours until we arrived for a little excursion through the Mustard Museum. Just for fun.
The International Mustard Museum exists to pay tribute to all things mustard, as well as to promote all things mustard. Why and how it came about is a bit of a mystery – but whoever curates it really loves mustard and agrees with me that ketchup is a transgression against flavor.
They even used old mustard bottles as the soap dispenser in the bathroom.
They are also dedicated to tasting all of the mustards.
And then we got back in the car and drove some more out into the country, past the suburbs of Madison, to a little town in the middle of the farmlands called Brodhead where Dan's mother lives in a lovely row of houses that no one wasted any creativity on.
I spent the evening playing Skip-bo and "the marble game" learning that 78 year old mothers can be quite cut throat when it comes to board games.