It has been two and a half months since we arrived in the great state of Wisconsin and here's what I have learned so far...
* In Wisconsin those speed limit signs seem to indicate the actual top speed you should be driving and not just the suggested minimum as was the case in California. Not that everyone drives under the speed limit but they definitely take the word limit more seriously here.
* They also take the Great Lakes seriously. Middle Man had a test within the first week of school. He had to know the names of the continents, the great lakes, and the oceans. Notice the order - knowing the great lakes comes before learning the oceans. I'm thankful for the HOMES acronym (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior) and my son's quick memorization skills.
* Don't tell anyone from Wisconsin this but I am not a fan of plain cheese curds, which they will proudly tell you is the cheese the squeaks when you eat it. But I do love me some fried cheese curds. I also think ice cream is superior to custard but Culver's makes the best local chain store hamburger we have ever had. Better than In-n-out and Burgerville. I think it's the butter. I didn't say it is the healthiest but definitely the yummiest burger.
* Rural living takes some planning, as in don't forget to make a list and check it twice when going to the grocery store or Target or pretty much anywhere else since you have to actually drive into town for those. It's really not that far at all but for someone who used to have three grocery stores within a half mile and at least as many coffee shops, having to drive into town has proven to be a bit of a deterrent for me. My Starbucks consumption has gone way down (might want to sell your stock) and when I ran out of Lancome mascara I decided to just go with something from Target rather than drive to the mall which quite a bit farther. My boys also got to experience the joy of having pizza delivered for the first time last night because it was worth it to not have to drive and get it. One thing that has gotten closer is the ice rink which is only five minutes away now. Joy upon JOY!
* Thunder storms are no joking matter. They happen regularly and can cause quite a bit of ruckus when they want. Last weekend we lost power for a few hours after a particularly bad storm. Between Little One's anxiety and my not liking to lose power to the water well pump, I think a generator is in our future.
* There is no AT&T cell service in parts of the state. I met up for a girl's weekend with a friend from Iowa at a halfway point between the two of us. While Mineral Point is quaint and full of artistic and historic charm it has neither a good sports bar nor cell coverage for me. Thankfully my friend had Sprint which apparently loves real rural life (not the pretend thing we do outside of Milwaukee) and had plenty of cell towers to keep us from being completely out of reach. Not that I needed to be reached since my husband had the kids at the grandparents in Michigan. Three adults can certainly take care of three kids without needing to text or call Mom.
* This is one beautiful state. Green and lush. Cornfields and water towers. Roads cut through limestone walls and wonderful architecture. History laid up next to every day now. And as the leaves just start to hint at changing colors, I am looking forward to experiencing all the seasons this year.
This West Coast girl is still caught off guard at times by differences between the Midwest and the West Coast but I am feeling more at home each day.