Spring of 2020- Most of the country had been on solid lock down since March. Illinois was one of the strictest states and had completely shut down altogether. Schools were closed immediately, no eating indoors, no shopping except at places that sold groceries. No playgrounds or movie theaters. We were stuck at home by ourselves. People were not allowed to congregate, and most churches went to an online only format. People were fist fighting in the aisles over toilet paper and if you wanted disinfectant wipes you were out of luck for the next 6 months. Masks were required to be worn everywhere outside your home. You could only walk in one direction through aisles of grocery stores guided by arrows on the floor like a herd of sheep. Heaven forbid if someone came within 6 feet of each other! We were all convinced that we would die on the spot.

The lockdown was only meant to flatten the curve, supposedly only two weeks were needed. Yet, two months later the lockdown was still in full force in Illinois.

It was Memorial Day weekend and Evelyn, and I hadn’t left the house since March. To say we were going stir crazy, was an understatement. Aaron was our tribute, who we sent out to get groceries and things we needed. When we learned that Wisconsin was wide open, we flew the coop for a nice relaxing weekend getaway and headed north to Fremont, Wisconsin!

On our way!
Both were ready to go!

When they are available, we prefer to stay at Jellystone Campgrounds. Pre-covid, they always had fun activities for the kids to do and great pools. Some of the Jellystone’s are turning into Full timer places and that really takes the fun out of camping. This is from personal experience, but people who keep their campers there full time come off rude and unwelcoming. It really kills the mood and fun atmosphere of the place. Sadly, we ran into one like that in Indiana, and we will never ever camp there again. It was a bad experience all the way around. This campground was nice, unfortunately everything was shut down due to covid. No pool, arcade, playground or activities, but that did not stop us from still having fun.

Fred and Fiona- our camping mascots.

Even though everything in the campground was closed we still found plenty to do. Our campsite was full of sand, so Evelyn spent a lot of time playing in it. That drove her OCD Daddy crazy, but I thought it was just fine. After all, I grew up in a backwoods “holler” in West Virginia running around barefoot and making mud pies. As long as I didn’t get my Sunday clothes dirty or turn our front door into a swinging door from running in and out constantly my parents didn’t care how dirty I got. (After all, we were not supposed to be cooling the whole holler nor was I raised in a barn.)

Our first day camping I made sloppy Joe’s with Fritos and slaw on top for dinner. If you have not had slaw on a hot dog or a sloppy Joe you are missing out, my friend! It is delicious. Seriously, go try it now! I will wait…

Slop-slop, slop sloppy Joe

After dinner, Aaron made us a campfire so we could roast some marshmallows. Evelyn prefers hers right out of the package, while Aaron prefers his in the trash. I, on the other hand prefer mine burnt to a crisp! The blacker the better. Yummy! We use a couple things to roast marshmallows on the fire. First, is this handy dandy s’mores maker. This thing is the bomb digity. The older kids can use it to make their own s’mores, which cuts mom and dad some slack.

One of the things that I have learned from many years of camping is to always pack for all weather occasions. Even in the summer, pack a jacket for those chilly evenings. Also, always, always, always pack tennis shoes for everyone!

If you are using the campground showering amenities, make sure to bring everyone flip flops that can be worn in the shower. I use generic ones from the dollar tree. Trust me, the last thing you want to bring home with you from vacation is a bad case of fungus! I also love a good shower bag to take with me. I prefer one with a handle so I can hang it up. I can not stand anything touching the floor. Ewwww! I use one like this below.

Day Two

After eating some yummy banana pancakes that Aaron made us, we ventured out to see The Animal Haven Zoo in Weyauwega.

Her sassy pose?

This zoo is super cute with lots of animals to see. You can buy food to feed all the animals. We bought a little of everything, but the carrots seemed to be the most popular.

Adorable baby bunny.

You can even feed a bear through a long tube!

Nom nom

Make sure to wear bug spray! There are areas where you walk through the woods and the mosquitos were quite bad.

This girl loves her daddy!

They even have a petting zoo there and the lady who was volunteering that day was so nice and accommodating. We learned so many fun facts from her!

Learning the difference between a turtle and a tortoise. Do you know the difference?

Out of all the animals there Evelyn’s favorite was the tortoise named Turbo. Turbo is an escape artist and apparently knows how to push the gates open as well as the fences to get under. You would think he would be easy to catch, but Turbo got his name for a reason. He is quite quick for a creature who is known to dilly dally! Him and Evelyn walked back and forth along the fence for a long time. She told us she was taking him for a walk. I really think he was walking her though!

Usually, you have to sell your first-born child to be able to purchase something for your other children at a zoo gift shop. Not the case with this zoo. Everything was affordable, even the giant plush animals that normally run into the hundreds were relatively cheap.

After visiting the zoo, we stopped in at Wega Dairy Barn to grab some lunch, and of course, ice cream! The seating is outside under a nice, shaded canopy. The food is your average dairy bar food, just ok, but the ice cream was good!

Waiting for our food!
Her favorite part. She actually made friends with the little boy in the background. They played while waiting for our food. This made me happy, as Evelyn had not had any social interaction due to covid. If you know Evelyn, you know she is a social butterfly.

After finishing our ice cream, we headed back to the campground to do some fishing! I was raised with a pole in my hands. My dad used to tell everyone that I could catch a fish in a mud hole. I have so many fond memories of fishing with my Dad. From ocean fishing, to trout, to crappy, bluegill, bass, walleye, pike and everything in between. I love that I can pass that knowledge on to my kids, (and Aaron.) I ended up catching a couple small catfish before Evelyn wanted to make a fire and roast marshmallows.

Day Three

Morning chat with her best friend.

After spending the morning relaxing, we decided to head out and get some lunch! I wanted something with a view. (Of course, I did) So I picked the Nauti turtle. It is right on the lake and you can watch all the boats going by. I would love to give this place a good review since the view is so amazing here, but sadly I cannot. It took us an hour and a half to get our food! It was a super-hot day, and the wait was torture. On the plus side, they do allow dogs on the dock. We had the fish tacos, and they were delicious.

Waiting for our food.

While we were waiting, we got to witness an inebriated man crash his pontoon into a docked pontoon. That was interesting to say the least. He had teenagers with him, and they were so embarrassed that they were hiding their faces. Everyone at the restaurant were staring at them. Poor kids. The guy didn’t even stick around to see if the owners were around. He just took off.

Where is the food, Mom?

After finally getting and then eating our food we headed over to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to visit the EAA Aviation Museum. Unfortunately, it was closed due to covid, so we didn’t get to see all 200 of the neat planes they have inside. They do have some planes outside of the museum that you can view that were really cool though! Every year, they have the world’s largest aviation event called the EAA Airventure. This is on my bucket list and I can’t wait to see this huge spectacle! If you have witnessed this event, please drop me a comment below and let me know what you thought!

Evelyn running to the plane. I think she was excited.

After visiting the airplanes, we travelled over to the Menominee Park to see the lake. The stench from the lake was bad, but the mosquitos were the absolute worst!! As soon as I stepped out of the Jeep they swarmed me. It was the worst I had ever seen. We quickly got out our bug spray and sprayed the living day lights out of all of us. The view from the beach was very pretty with sailboats in the distance. If I see a body of water, I must put my feet in it immediately. It is a quirk of mine that I have had since childhood. I don’t know why I do it, or where it stems from, I just know my feet have to feel the water every time. I am weird like that, I guess. My husband has finally given in on the subject. He now knows my feet cannot be deterred!

After visiting the beach, we headed back to the RV to do some fishing.

Evelyn’s first fish!!

Evelyn caught her first ever fish! As you can tell, she was super excited and I, of course, was so proud of her! She reeled it in all by herself. Being typical Evelyn, she made friends with it immediately and wanted to take it home with her and put it in her fish tank. Instead, we said goodbye and let him go back his merry way.

Last night

This was a much needed vacation and after such a stressful Spring, thanks to covid, I am so glad we chose to go somewhere and just be and relax.

The End

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