To Waterloo and back.

Yesterday was my cousin Mackinnley's 6th birthday. Six is a pretty exciting age, if you ask me. He's getting ready to start the 1st grade in the fall. He plays soccer and can hold pretty awesome conversations. At six years old, of course, he knows absolutely everything. And birthday parties really start to mean something! So we drove two hours south to the town of Waterloo (where Trek, the bicycle manufacturer is based -- they were hosting their 22nd annual century ride yesterday, too) and joined up for a double-cake kind of birthday party. Mack's mom made a strawberry cake, per request, and then a family friend brought a Simma's cheesecake (a Wisconsin treasure) along for good measure.

We scarfed down buttermilk pancakes and homemade breakfast sausage strata, and, astoundingly, still had room for a LOT of cake.

After brunch and present-opening (which included a Nintendo DS and an MP3 player to Mack's utter astonishment), we took a detour to one of our favorite antique malls, Jefferson Street Market.

This is the place where I found my beloved Lucite chairs, which I have currently in my living room. The clear ones, with the gray seats. Yup. Love. No luck finding anything quite so amazing this time, although some of the dealers' booths didn't fail to impress, and I still found some fun stuff. Such as...

1950s plastic kitchen containers!

Or maybe ceramic deer.

Or perhaps an entire vintage kitchen! Yes, please!

Regardless of not finding anything to purchase, we had a great time looking around. Then, it was homeward. We stopped at a little water mill town to take pictures of a mill on the Crawfish River, however they had recently removed the wheel so it was a little less idyllic looking. Still nice:

Stopping to take photos there put us in the mood to meander (as my mom would say, with a capital 'M') home. We started northeast and ended up in the town of Ashford, where my mom suddenly had a revelation that there was an ancestral cemetery in Ashford, so we plugged in the location on the GPS and found ourselves at the Rauch family cemetery, where I found the resting places of some great-great-great relatives, and even my great-great-great-great grandparents. Whaddayaknow. Crazy. (My mom, later on, showed me pictures of these relatives so I could put faces with names.)

We stopped a couple times to take in some Wisconsin vistas...

All day was overcast, but I think we defined "made the best of it."

Today, the weather is gorgeous, I did some grocery shopping, I'm off to work, and there's always more to come!

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