Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

First Trip Up North June 4, 2014

Escaping to the Northwoods of Wisconsin in late May/early June is one of my favorite annual trips. The area isn’t busting at the seams with tourists, lakes are a little too cool to go swimming, summer vacation homes are just starting to air out and you can easily find a parking spot downtown. Which makes it quiet and peaceful, the last few moments of calm before the whirlwind of summer hits.

On our way up from Chicago we normally hit up a few breweries to help break up the drive. With Porter in tow this year, we decided just to go to O’So Brewery in Plover. Their location is immediately off the highway and they boast an outdoor area where we can enjoy our drinks (mine was called Picnic Ants, a Belgian Saison, Matt got a black IPA, oh and we got a growler of their dopplebock, Dominator) and have Porter with us. I love dog-friendly places!

O'So Brewery

What we did each day was dependent on the weather and the mosquitoes. Saturday we spent enjoying the outdoors, ever thankful for a stiff breeze to keep the bugs away. We started off with breakfast on the deck followed by walk to a nearby lake to teach Porter how to swim. Grabbing a stick we started off slowly introducing him the water and gradually threw the stick further and further away from the beach. He figured it out quickly and before we knew it he was doggie paddling and jumping off of the dock. Porter is going to be a great water dog!


We headed back to the house for a light lunch and then went into town to pick up some supplies. “Supplies” is a keyword for beer, cheese and brats. We picked up some of my favorite brats, pizza brats, from our local grocery store for dinner.  And they were very, very tasty.

Sunday the rain rolled in so we played ball inside the house with Porter to burn off some energy in the morning. Then it was time to earn our stay by replacing two shower heads in our bathrooms, cleaning, and organizing the rest of the cottage. It was the perfect rainy day to putz around and get rid of old stuff.

Around two in the afternoon the sun came out.Grabbing our fishing poles, citronella candle, bug spray, beer and Porter (not to be confused with beer, but yes we did name our dog after a style of beer), we headed to the dock. Thankfully there was a good breeze on the water and the bugs stayed away. Unfortunately the fish did too. Matt got the only catch, and even that was a little disappointing. Ready to forget our fishing expedition we were ready to drown our sorrows with beer at one of our favorite brew-pubs – The Minocqua Brewing Company.

Our orders usually don’t change much. For starters it’s the beef carpaccio and/or cheese curds. The main meal is usually one of their fantastic burgers. This time around we did do the beef carpaccio, Matt enjoyed his black and blue burger and I had an amazing beef and brie sandwich with sweet potato fries. As for beer, I ordered their seasonal, which was a citrus hefeweizen. Matt decided to sample a few…the hefeweizen, the red ale and porter. And yes, we took home two growlers, one of the hefeweizen and one of the porter.


Monday came all too soon, it was time to head back to Chicago. Our next trip back up north isn’t scheduled until August but I have a feeling we might try to sneak up another weekend in July. There is no other place quite like it.


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