I lived in northern Wisconsin for a summer a couple of years ago, when I worked for a lodge, but I never thought it would become a place I frequented. I also never thought I’d end up dating a guy from Wisconsin who is from the Northwoods, and who grew up around the lake I worked at. Having both spent time in the Northwoods, it gave us a bond when we first met and it’s continued to be a special place and haven for us… a place away from the noise of big cities and a place where it’s about family and closeness. A Wisconsin ‘hygge’ I suppose, and a much needed one when the world is currently filled with havoc.
After spending three months at home, I took a flight (Covid safe procedures included) to Wisconsin and quickly found myself taking bike rides through the countryside and picking asparagus (new favorite vegetable). Did you know it grows in shoots from the ground?? And so quickly too that we could get new cuts every day! I was admittedly nervous to possibly catch Covid on the flight and then infect Tristan’s family, but I practiced extremely safe measures and thankfully, yet unsurprisingly, nobody got sick.
We had coffee in the dewy mornings and watched lightning bugs after dusk. We grilled out most days and ate delicious fresh peach cobbler for dessert (but also breakfast). Smoothies, time with the cutest dog, walks in the woods and nearly running over a nest of baby birds. Due to the ‘special occasion’ of my visit, his parents took a couple of days off of work and we went further north to Lake Superior. Small beach towns, picnic meals, long walks by the shore… it was gorgeous!
Tristan and I spent an afternoon kayaking through a lagoon and out into Lake Superior while his parents went on a hike and bike ride. The wind was tossing us into shore so we took a quick snack break on the empty beach. Wrong move. The sand flies got to us very quickly, and we rushed into the freezing cold water doing our best to fend them off. The water didn’t work and the end of our beach trip became us paddling away in the sanctity of our kayaks.
*Many, many, sand flies were harmed in the making of this blog post.
There’s something about small towns and nature that has always made me feel at peace– from Dutch villages to Hungarian towns to the forests around my parents house. With everything going on, it was easy to pick veggies and road trip without thinking of the world around me. And sometimes.. that mental break is really important. It’s no good for our brains and bodies if we can’t turn off the anxiety! This mental reset definitely helped me more than I realized at the time.
Before we knew it, the days had gone by and it was time to start our roadtrip south to Texas – our new homebase!