Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Vacation 2011

For Mr. D's last vacation of intern year, I wanted to make sure we took some time to actually get away since it will be several months before he has more than a day or two off in a row.  Unfortunately money is extremely tight so I tried to plan a low key, budget friendly getaway in the midwest.  With some suggestions from friends and family I was able to plan a very fun few days!

We started our trip meeting with our good friends (Mr. Dawkter's cousin and wife) at Starved Rock in Utica, Illinois.  We had a delicious picnic lunch and then hiked the afternoon through the park.

We had a perfect day for it!  The weather was in the low 70s which was perfect for hiking!
Jake and Lindsay

It was absolutely beautiful!

Although I had never been there before, it isn't too far from where Mr. Dawkter grew up, so we had a nice dinner that night with his parents and Grandma.

After that we headed north, up to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  Personally I love Wisconsin, but Mr. D being a devout Chicago sports fan, has a serious negative association with the state due to the intense sports rivalry (in football in particular).  As a result I've never been able to convince Mr. D that we should tour or sight see in the wonderful state of Wisconsin.  I'm not sure why he was suddenly open to it, but I think he's changed his mind!

We stayed two nights in Lake Geneva.  One night at generous family friends' place, and the other at a hotel on the lake.  The first day we got there we walked along the lakeshore, looking at all the beautiful homes.  That night we went to dinner near big foot beach, where we had a beautiful view of the sunset.

During our second day there we rented a double kayak from a place right across from our hotel.

Although we rented the kayak for two hours, we only lasted about an hour and forty minutes.  We also walked around and checked out the shops, and had dinner at the local favorite Popeyes.

The fountain in front of the Rivera

After that we continued north up to Cedarberg, Wisconsin.  We were a little bummed because our first day was rainy and dreary.  We tried to stay dry by checking out many of the cute little shops, and even took a tour of the local Cedar Creek Winery
One of the stairways at the settlement shops

Just outside the Cedar Creek Winery

That night we walked to dinner went to dinner at a delicious pub called the Anvil.  They had me sold when I saw pesto mozzarella sticks on the menu!

We stayed overnight at an adorable bed and breakfast called the Stage Coach Inn.  

A few things we enjoyed about the Inn were: 

  • Each bedroom had its own bathroom
  • In the evenings they had a free wine and root beer social in the little pub on the main floor where you could check out menus from the local restaurants
  • They served a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit, pastries, muffins, cereal, yogurt, coffee and tea
  • The the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful
  • There was a little candy shop on the main floor
  • The Inn gave us a coupon for a discount on bike rental and a free lunch at one of the local cafes for renting the bikes.
Thank goodness the rain cleared up for our second day in Cedarberg.  The beautiful weather allowed us to take some pictures around the precious little town.

Outside the Cedar Creek Winery

After getting a few pictures, we rented bicycles from the local bike shop.  For roughly $45 we got two reusable water bottles (to keep), two bicycles for four hours, and a coupon for a free lunch at a local cafe.  

Mr. Dawkter and I have cheap (crappy) bikes, so we really enjoyed renting and riding the "fancy" Schwinn bikes up to Port Washington, WI.  


The beach and the view of Lake Michigan was absolutely beautiful!

When we got back to Cedarberg, we grabbed our free (and delicious) lunch, a cup of coffee, some gelato and went to check out the covered bridge on our way out of town.  

After leaving Cedarberg, we took our time getting home, spending one more night on the road before returning to reality.
It was our first vacation (other than our honeymoon) that we spent somewhere other than Florida, and we had a wonderful time!


  1. I love your photos from your trip! You guys really look like you had a fantastic time!!! So happy you enjoyed Cedarberg too! :-) Love ya both and hope to see you soon!

  2. That looks like SUCH a fun trip! How nice to be able to enjoy so much time together before second year.

  3. Seeing the places you visited on vacation reminds me that even with Starved Rock only about an hour a way from us we have yet to go there in the 5 years we've been here. It is on the list! But we did make a trip to Lake Geneva 2 years ago that was amazing. That area is beautiful and make my mouth water just thinking about Popeye's! Glad you had a nice getaway (and I am jealous - I'll have to look through my pictures and take a day dream).

  4. oh my goodness what beautiful pictures! Looks like you had a great (and much deserved) vacation!
    I love the sunset picture, it's so beautiful!
    And those pesto mozzarella sticks?!?! YUUM!

  5. I just stumbled upon your blog and saw that your pictures looked familiar - Andy is from Mequon, one town over from Cedarburg. My hometown is 30 minutes away. Hope you enjoyed Wisconsin!!


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