My friend Denny recently messaged me and asked where my annual Green Lake trip report was. I realized that I forgot to publish it last autumn, but here it is now. As always, I enjoyed a sublime weekend in beautiful Green Lake, Wisconsin.
Green Lake, Wisconsin – My 2022 Trip
2022 marked the 11th year in a row that I have made the annual pilgrimage to Green Lake to hang out with some of my former co-workers from Star Alliance in Frankfurt, Germany who remain dear friends.
I travel around the world throughout the year, but I don’t think I look forward to a trip more than this one. Every year is unique, and yet every year is a return to the familiar in a part of the country that is so different than where I live in Los Angeles.
I flew into Chicago and then drove up to Green Lake. Upon arrival, Denny always has delicious pizzas from Lou Malnati’s in the oven. This year I am
horrified pleased to share that I ate 1.5 sausage pizzas, which is a personal record and is literally 5,000 calories…
Once a year, I keep telling myself. Once a year.
What a beautiful morning it was the next day, Typically, we’d get blue skies in the morning, then the clouds would come in.
We drove into town and passed some critters along the way:
Coffee is such an important part of my day and nearby Ripon, WI features Mug’s Coffee, an independent coffee house that I look forward to returning to each year.
Ripon is such a charming little town with old buildings and “mom and pop” businesses.
We stopped at a store called Alexandria Games which offers a huge selection of board games. Patrick and Lauren McConnell are the owners and were such gracious hosts as we chatted for quite some time about Ripon and how the town weathered the pandemic and is coming to life again.
Our Friday night tradition is to go to Walker’s for fish fry. We showed up at 6:00 pm and had to wait over a half hour for a table. But it was worth the wait!
The following morning we had waffles topped in ice cream for breakfast.
It was a bit gray out, but Green Lake was having its annual harvest festival, so we went into town to walk around.
Here, I found a new coffee shop called Sassafras Specialties which offered great coffee.
Back at home, we snacked on some cheese and crackers ahead of our big dinner.
I also used the time to take the Sea-Doo on a spin, followed by a four-mile run to atone for my pizza.
During my run I had stop and marvel at self-serve stand selling jams, salsa, herbs, vegetables, and flowers. It was on the honor system and there was a container of cash just sitting there. That sort of thing simply would not fly in LA.
For dinner, we headed to a Schaumburg Supper Club in nearby Randolph, WI. This is another cultural treasure that you don’t find in California. We again had to wait for a table in the bar area, but when seated enjoyed a sumptuous prime rib dinner with soup, salad, bread, crackers and cheese, and a baked potato heaped with butter. What a delicious meal!
Then it was back home, where I whipped a variety of cocktails to round out the evening. If all else fails, maybe I can be a bartender…
The weather was beautiful on the last day and I spent more time out on the water before we headed back to Chicago.
And of course, no trip would be complete without Chicago-style hot dogs. Let’s just say I had a lot of them…
Green Lake is always a lovely weekend and I look forward to returning again in 2023. The food and fellowship make my annual trip to Wisconsin one of my favorite trips of the year.