On The Move Again

We just drove 24hrs back from Florida to our home in Wisconsin only to spend the next 2 days packing our entire house before we drive 10 hours to move back to Canada. If my kids aren’t completely sick of being in cars after this it will be a miracle.

Super excited about this move, but I’m still putting off that post until another day. I’m going to keep this short and sweet. The only reason I’m even posting is because I don’t want to break my weekly posting streak, but between vacation and moving who has time to write a proper blog post?

Fingers crossed for a smooth move!

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Wisconsin Bucket List: Jelly Belly & Cheese Curds

I checked 2 more items off the Wisconsin Bucket List over the weekend! Yay!

The JElly Belly Factory Warehouse

We finally checked out the Jelly Belly Factory tour.  It’s actually ridiculous it took us 18 months to do that seeing as it is literally less than 10 minutes from our house.
Jelly Belly Warehouse, Kenosha, WisconsinFriday was a PA Day so we drove Daddy to work then went straight there so we arrived at the Jelly Belly Factory, correction, Warehouse about 20 minutes early and had to sit in the car for a bit (totally worth not taking all 3 kids in and out of cars seats unnecessarily!). The monsters all got antsy after 15 minutes so we got out and walked around outside. Well as soon as we got up to the doors and Miss Monster saw the giant jelly beans floating from the ceiling inside she wouldn’t stop yelling with excitement “My jelly beans! my jelly beans!!” haha :)

Jelly Belly Warehouse tour

Sitting on the “train” in the Jelly Belly warehouse

The experience started and ended with a bang, but everything down the middle was pretty blah. I was under the impression that it was a factory, but it was actually just a warehouse. The tour (which we were the only ones there for) was just some guy driving around a “train” with us on it and stopping at various stations that consisted of some sort of display of jelly bean packaging, memorabilia, etc. and a a video screen on which they played videos clearly made in the 1950’s about the history of the Jelly Belly Company. The best part of the tour was that every single time they showed a jelly bean or even said the word jelly bean (which you can imagine how often that would come up!) Miss Monster would scream “my jelly beans!!”. The 2 staff running the “train” couldn’t stop laughing. I’m sure she is the most enthusiastic visitor they’ve had, haha.

Jelly Belly, Kenosha, Wisconsin

Kid in a candy shop…literally

Jelly Belly jelly beans

My 3 Monsters wired on jelly beans!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tour conveniently drops you off at the Jelly Belly merchandise store, but you do get a free bag of jelly beans to take with you and the store has a free jelly bean tasting bar where you can try every single flavour that they offer. I tried to talk Mr.Monster into tasting booger flavor, but he wouldn’t do it. Each of the kids picked a bag of beans from the store (Middle Monsters picked gummy fish since he doesn’t like jelly beans) and I picked up a bag of Champagne flavour for me and Draft Beer flavour for Daddy. Overall I’d give this about a 2/5, but at least it killed an hour and the kids were happy.

Deep Fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds

Wisconsin is known as “America’s Dairy Land” and therefor is well known for it’s cheese, including cheese curds. I have had cheese curds in Canada before obviously, poutine! But here they don’t use them for poutine, they don’t even know what poutine is! I noticed a few menus that have had deep fried Wisconsin cheese curds as an app and even a few places offer them as an alternative side dish to fries (win!). We tried making our own a few summers back at the cottage, but the cheese just kept melting out of the breading, so I had to try deep fried Wisconsin cheese curds to see what the secret is.

Looks like the secret is just multiple layers of breading, either way they were delicious!!

Deep Fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds

Deep Fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds from Culver’s

Wisconsin Bucket List

When I found out 18 months ago that we would be moving to Wisconsin, even with my limited knowledge about the state, there were a few things that immediately came to mind that I knew I wanted to do and see during our time here (hello, Young and the Restless is staged in Genoa City, Wisconsin!). Then as I started to research the area we would be living in there were a bunch more great things I really wanted to experience while we were here. And so, The Wisconsin Bucket List was created.

Now as I am finding out that we are leaving Wisconsin with only a few weeks to prepare (more on that another day!), I’m packing for a trip to Florida, packing to move and trying to squeeze in a few more items off of my list.  Sadly, I haven’t done any of my top 5. I’m not sure how much I can accomplish in the short time we have left, but I’d hate to leave here saying I never experienced this things!

  1. Take a picture at the Genoa City limit sign (hello, Young and the Restless!)
  2. Eat breakfast at Frank’s Diner (as seen on Diner’s, Drive Ins, and Dives)
  3. Go to Chicago with the kids
  4. Go to Chicago without the kids
  5. Tour the Jelly Belly factory

We still experienced quite a lot in our year and a half living in “America’s Dairy Land”. All of the experiences we have checked off the list have been great. My top 3 things we have discovered in Wisconsin are:

Rendez-vous Tiki Bar quickly became a favourite spot

Rendez-vous Tiki Bar

Visiting the Dinosaur Discovery Museum

Dinosaur Discovery Museum

America's Action Territory with the boys

America’s Action Territory

 

 

 

 

 

 

There wasn’t one thing though that didn’t live up to or surpass our expectations. If you’re ever in the Kenosha, Wisconsin area check them out! (See what else we did in the gallery below the list). Now let’s see what we can squeeze in in less than 2 weeks!

Wisconsin Bucket List

  • Take a picture at the Genoa City limit sign (hello, Young and the Restless!)
  • Go to a Green Bay Packers Game √ (I only get this one by proxy through my husband :( )
  • Eat deep fried cheese curds
  • Drink Wisconsin beer √
  • Eat breakfast at Frank’s Diner (as seen on Diner’s, Drive Ins, and Dives)
  • Eat at The Spot Drive In
  • Go to Chicago with the kids
  • Go to Chicago without the kids
  • Tour the Jelly Belly factory
  • Visit the lighthouse on Lake Michigan √
  • Tour the Mars Cheese Castle √
  • Visit the Dinosaur Discovery Museum √
  • Visit the Kenosha Public Museum (Natural History) √
  • Take the kids to America’s Action Territory (I just love the name!) √
  • Get a flight of wine at The Wine Knot √
  • Go to Rendez-Vous tiki bar √
  • Go dancing at the only nightclub in Kenosha, Club Icon √
  • Take a picture at Bong Recreation Area (I don’t even, but seriously, who approved this signage?)√
  • Take the kids to Noah’s Ark Waterpark (largest water park in America)
  • Go to the Racine zoo √
  • Order from the Trailer Park Boys menu at Captain Mike’s √ (Also by proxy through my husband)
  • Survive a Wisconsin winter! √

(And yes I realize √ is not a check mark, but it was the best I could find lol!)

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I Hate The Park.

Have I already mentioned that I hate going to the park? Well beautiful weather means a perfect day for the park right? Ugh. My least favourite activity. “Go to the park” they say. “It’ll be fun” they say. This may be true if all of your kids are over 5 years old, or maybe even over 3 years old, or if you only have one young kid to wrangle. However if all of your kids are 5 years and under, with your 3 year old being sucky, and your 1 year old being dangerously adventurous, it’s a trying experience. It starts with no one wanting to go pee, get suntan lotion on, or even bring me their shoes (seriously, we’re not going for my benefit!) and ends with the 2 little ones being too tired to walk home (and I certainly can’t carry both). And the whole time in between I really need to clone myself to handle the park experience with any kind of ease.

Reason #17 why I hate going to the park: no one wants to walk home.

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Always a Good Time. Not.

Getting groceries. Sigh. Just another one of the things that is challenging to do with 3 very small children. Not to mention that none of the grocery stores in our town even have the 2 kid shopping carts. How is this possible?! The town we live in has the largest grocery store in NORTH AMERICA and they don’t have 2 kid carts? So now the option I’m left with is my 18 month old in the shopping cart seat, ok, good.  My 3.5 year old physically in with the groceries like a sack of potatoes likely eating crackers or squishing produce, tolerable.  And finally my 5 year old either swinging from the end of the cart like a monkey or pillaging everything in sight off of the shelves, or both, not at all good. Obviously if I had another option I would have taken it, but hubby got unexpectedly admitted to the hospital for foot surgery and we had just returned from being away for 5 weeks so there was literally nothing in the house to eat. Bread crumbs and ketchup anyone?

my3monsters get groceries

Clearly I elected not to tackle the largest grocery store in North America for my first time doing groceries alone with all 3 kids. Instead we opted for the local Piggly Wiggly (that name always makes me laugh). I have to say it was only about 50% as bad as I was expecting; a few grapes got squashed, some tears were shed, and if you look closely a lot of junk food magically made it inot my cart, but we all survived. And if you know my kids, the picture really sums them up nicely.

 

Ready for Florida?

Wow, how has another week gone by already and I haven’t written a thing! I guess ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ as they say. This week my Mom is in town, it was my birthday, we’ve checked some items off our household ‘Honey Do’ list, and I’ve started packing for Florida (YAY!). Looks like the kids are ready to go!

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My bags are packed, I’m ready to go

I can’t wait to go to Florida and get out of this Snow-mageddon of Wisconsin! We missed going last year because we thought it would be too much with a newborn and 2 toddlers in tow.  This year everyone is a bit older, the boys are both super excited, and it will be BabyGirl’s first trip to Florida as well as her first airplane ride. It should be fun managing the 3 of them through the airports and on the plane…can you sense my sarcasm?

Travelling with kids this small (5 years, 3 years, and 1 year) is so much work! Our 5 year old is a handful at the best of times, but at least he’s self sufficient for the most part. Our 3 year old is sucky and won’t want to do the walking through the airport, but we can’t take a double stroller to the gate and our 1 year old, who is almost as heavy as our 3 year old, has gotten to big for the baby Snugli so she will have to go in the stroller. Then there’s the issue of luggage, carry-ons, and car seats. There is the potential to have 3 kids, 5 bags, 3 carry-ons, 3 car seats and a play-yard…and only 2 sets of hands. Good times.

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Me as a packing-mule, Florida 2011

And even still, when you get there you have daily packing and repacking to go to the beach, times 5 people, multiple trips back and forth for eating and bathrooms, times 5 people, hours spent in your room or with the family divided to accommodate nap times and then you get to finish the day off by trying to eat out with 3 exhausted and potentially screaming children. All day, every day, for 7 days.  Thankfully we meet up with about 20 other family members when we get there.  And I have to be honest, if we weren’t meeting up with the rest of our family at the other end, I’m not sure it would be worth the effort, not at the young ages they are right now. But that’s exactly what it’s all about right? In the end it’s all worth it to have that time with not just our immediate family, or even my parents and siblings, but with the “whole Clan” as we call ourselves.  It’s getting that real quality time in with even my Aunts, Uncles, Cousin and my Granny (or Big Granny as my little ones call her). People that were such a huge part of my life growing up, and who I am so close to, but who often that connection gets lost on the next generation.

This blog post kind of went a different direction than I had planned when I started writing, so don’t get me wrong, for all the extra work it is to vacation with multiple children under 5 years old it is worth it! I absolutely look forward to spending a week with the “whole Clan” in Florida every year and pretty much start counting down the days on New Years Day… only 9 more sleeps! Only one questions remains to be answered…

Do we dare attempt Disney??