We have just returned from our first vacation in 3 years. We went to Wisconsin Dells. Why did we pick that location? The main reason was the rock formation. The other reason was the nature and farms. Finally, it was only a three-hour drive from our home. We have moved onto C-C-Cows and B-B-Birds in My Father's World. We stayed at Thunder Valley Inn, a small, Norwegian Bed and Breakfast run by the Nelson Family who also owns a modest dairy farm. The dairy farm has 120 cows. Our trip began with a sign from God in the heavens. The Big Dipper and Polaris, the North Star, were clear for all to see. Our children saw their first star constellation. (It was also my first constellation.) That was our first welcome. The Inn had a horse, hens, ducks, goats, two kittens, rabbits and a peacock that loved to spread its full splendor. The children were fascinated. Each morning the children awoke and went outside to play with the animals. They got to milk a goat and feed the horse. They also collected eggs from the hens. At breakfast the daughters of the Inn owners played Scandinavian violin music accompanied by their mother on the piano. They also played Amazing Grace as the breakfast hymn.
We then went off to a cheese factory to see how cheese is made. The highlight of the vacation was a personalized family tour of the dairy farm to learn about milk. The children got to feed the calves from an oversized milk bottle. The workers were from many countries. They had someone from Lithuania, Japan, Norway, Italy, Spain. The person that gave the tour was the wife of the Nelson son. She had come from Norway on an intern program and ended up marrying the owner's son! She lived on a dairy farm in Norway. Her delightful daughters ages 4 and 5 kept my 4yo daughter amused and well looked after. She had several gardens growing rhubarb, carrots, onions, cabbage and corn, radishes, and many other vegetables. This is the first time my children have seen a real garden. She also had a butterfly garden with a butterfly house. My son spotted a Turkey Vulture in the road.
We climbed the hard quartzite rocks with a guided geological tour of the Dells rock formation. We also rode through the tiny canyon on a horse and wagon. The children reached out and touched the cool moist sandstone. The end of our holiday featured a nature walk at the International Crane Foundation (ICF). The ICF features a prairie habitat, a wetland habitat, and a savanna habitat. We mainly toured the prairie habitat. The Cranes are a sight of wonder. This beautiful and graceful creature is now endangered. I bought my first living book, "Folktales and Poems about the Crane". I plan to use this as a read aloud for the children. Other than the cranes, the common birds were in abundance. We did not have binoculars, otherwise, we would have been bird watching. The cranes made up for the lack of binoculars. In addition to the Cows, horses and goats, we have four new birds to feature in our nature book.
Having a wonderful time in My Father's World.
International Crane Foundation