June 17–18, 2017
Posted here March 29, 2022
An account of our visit to Joe, Elizabeth, and Asha in River Falls, Wisconsin. Taken from our Family Journal, with minimal editing.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Up 8:30 am. ~ Jimmy Dean croissant sandwiches for breakfast, with butter pecan cappuccinos (using the moka pot). ~ Watched part of a movie on TV, Freaky Friday, then Wendi DVR’d the rest of it so we could get going.
Left home at 12:00. ~ Ate lunch at Taco John’s, 12:09–12:58. Meat and Potato Burrito with Potato Olés.
Stopped at Shell station in New Lisbon, WI, 2:46–3:17. Bought 8.8 gal gas, cheese curds, sodas, water. Ate some cheese curds while traveling.
Arrived at Key Inn Motel, Woodbury, MN, at 5:53. Checked in to room 124. ~ Joe, Elizabeth, and Asha met us there around 6:30. We visited for a bit, then went to dinner at Denny’s in nearby Maplewood, MN (checkout 9:40). Everyone ordered breakfast except Wendi, who got country fried steak, hash browns, broccoli, and toast. ~ The staff was very nice until checkout, when the manager (name was Mo) was rude. ~ Joe, Elizabeth, and Asha stayed until 11:30 pm.
The Little Mmm Guy just hanging out
(Posted at 11:04 pm, shared on Facebook and Twitter)
Wendi had a box of stuff for Joe and Elizabeth; there was also a few items for Asha, and a Belgian waffle maker.
The motel stay was fair but not great. Wendi found the TV pesky to use. The refrigerator was too cold, well below freezing; we took Wendi’s insulin out before it had a chance to freeze, but the cheese curds and restaurant leftovers froze solid. The air conditioner was maxed out with the thermostat set for 60°F. when we arrived at the room. The carpet was dirty; Wendi’s feet picked up the dirt. The bathroom exhaust fan was very loud. The curtain rod above the shower was warped and cracked. The website (Booking.com) had listed the room as spacious—1,800 square feet, but it was actually about 300 square feet. The king size bed was nice but too firm for Wendi, who is used to sleeping in a recliner and woke up sore all over in the morning. Still cheap at $64.99 plus 7.13% sales tax, but we probably wouldn’t stay there again. ~ Nearly all of the 200 reviews on Booking.com were horrible, indicating that we actually fared better than most visitors.
For a late snack, I microwaved Wendi’s leftover part of a burrito from Taco John’s. I was full and decided to skip the snack. ~ I took a shower, using the motel’s soap which cleaned but refused to lather. ~ We went to bed around 1 am, I think.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Up 8:30 am. ~ Helped Wendi take a shower; she used the soap her doctor gave her, which worked very well. Later she told me that the motel’s shampoo was great too; her hair didn’t itch afterward. ~ Packed up and checked out of the motel at 10:23.
Ate breakfast at Burger King in Woodbury, MN (10:30). Wendi had a Fully Loaded Croissant with bacon, sausage, and ham on it along with egg and cheese; hash brown rounds were included in the meal. I got the Ultimate Platter which included three “large” (4.5-inch) pancakes with syrup, a biscuit, sausage, scrambled eggs, and hash brown rounds (I made a sandwich of the biscuit, sausage, and eggs). I got coffee to drink; Wendi had Mello Yello Zero with peach flavoring added.
From there, we drove to the Schlotte home in River Falls, WI, where Joe, Elizabeth, and Asha were now living, getting lost just before arrival and finally using my phone’s GPS to direct us in. The large two-story house with fully finished basement sits in a wooded area at the end of the road. The weather was cooler (high 71°F) so it was very nice. We were there from 12:14 until 6:58 pm.
Elizabeth was just waking up when we arrived. Joe made me several cups of coffee in his Keurig coffee maker, using a refillable K-cup and French roast coffee; Wendi had a little of it. ~ We watched a movie on DVD (National Treasure), then watched some Doctor Who, also on DVD (from 2011, from the public library). ~ We shared some of our cheese curds for a late lunch, finishing them off; the taste and texture seemed unaffected by being frozen. ~ We got to see Emily Schlotte for the first time in a long time. ~ Randy and Therese Schlotte, who live upstairs, were gone to a wedding (they had been gone a few days, Joe said). ~ While we were there, Josh and Joy Jewell came; Emily did a photo shoot of them, as their one-year wedding anniversary is the 20th of this month.
Asha was both adorable and a handful. She would jabber from time to time, say “hi” or blow raspberries. Most of the time she is calm, but if she gets upset she cries a lot and seems hard to settle. ~ When we went to leave, Asha put her arms up for me and/or Wendi; she didn’t want us to go.
Joe made some 1/3 lb. preseasoned Angus beef burgers for us around 6:00 and served them on bread with ketchup; despite the plain presentation, they were delicious. We had chips on the side.
The return drive went surprisingly well, though there was a lot of construction and resulting slowdowns from near Wisconsin Dells to just north of Madison. ~ We stopped at the Shell in New Lisbon again (9:20–10:23); we got 14.5 gal of gas and bought a late “second dinner” at the McDonald’s there (9:39). Wendi had Chicken McNuggets; I had a Quarter Pounder with Cheese; both were Value Meals with fries and soda. ~ We bought some Little Debbie snacks at the gas station but didn’t eat any until we were home.
We arrived home at 12:16 am (Monday). We logged 604 miles over the weekend. ~ I unloaded and unpacked everything. ~ We each ate a couple of Nutty Bars before bed. ~ Got to bed around 2:30 am.