7am early morning checkouts and breakfast in a box on the go was first on the agenda. (Breakfast box had one boiled egg, one sugar croissant and one banana! Simple and sufficient!) We started driving to Trempealeau, to see Lock & Dam #6 where we watched the dam work and sailboats pass through, then Perrot State Park where we checked out the viewpoint and spoke to the park ranger, followed by the National Wildlife Refuge where we spoke to the park rangers and checked out the culmination of two types of forest land in one expanse. A visit to Elmaro Vineyards brought on a bout of wine tasting. A hurried lunch at Hungry Point Bar & Grill (where I tried fried curds) paved the way for ample fishing in Onalaska. My first time fishing so I was glad to have a few pros with me. After a long wait that drained out all my patience, accompanied by several false starts, I caught one fish! (Special thanks to travel writers Rebecca and Ed for their fishing advise). We were then all checked into different hotels at La Crosse. I luckily got a Marriott to stay in for the next two days - nice to have a coffee maker in the room. Dinner at the Waterfront Restaurant in La Crosse with just the folks from our group living at the Marriott was a fun affair. Not too crazy a day, and not much strenuous activity either. Mostly a lot of driving around so happy to get in a good night's rest before tomorrow comes around.
Was very excited to head to Wisconsin for the first time today. Have lived in the US 8 years now yet somehow Wisconsin never seemed top of mind for vacation plans. Arrived at Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport, met with my travel team, got a Starbucks lunch to go and started driving straight to the Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center at Freedom Park in Prescott. This was a point A of sorts for the trip. It is also at this time that I learned that this was pretty large group of travel writers and a team of PR folks to drive us around so it would be a caravan procession from here on! We then stopped at Flat Pennies Ice Cream in Bay City for the ice cream from a caboose experience. After some shifting around of people and luggage, a friend and I were dropped off at a quaint little bed and breakfast in Pepin with instructions to be ready for dinner at a farm. The B&B was pretty but noisy - I knew only when we got back to bed tonight there is a goods train passing by every 15 minutes or so and the whole place rattles like an earthquake announcing its arrival. Any who, welcoming dinner at Suncrest Gardens Farm in Cochrane, a 16-acre family farm nestled amongst the rolling river bluffs of central west Wisconsin, was a fun affair. Met all members of this travel adventure while we enjoyed some local wines and dined on wood fired pizzas right on the farm. A chilly day for me so I am happy to head back to the comfort of a warm bed (trying to ignore the trains) and some rest as we have a hectic day tomorrow. I promise to have lots of images from the trip to share after but for now just posting some highlights.