There’s No Place Like Home

Over the weekend the hubby, the kiddos, and I decided to make a spur-of-the-moment day trip to Lake Geneva, WI. It’s not a place we go often, but it’s close enough for day tripping yet far enough to feel like we’re “away.” So we packed up the CRV and headed southwest.

If you’re unfamiliar with Lake Geneva it’s a small town settled on Geneva Lake in southeast/central-ish Wisconsin. Geneva Lake is rather large and is the second deepest lake in the state. It’s not exactly a tourist trap but it is one of the places to visit when touring WI. Filled with high end shops, multimillion dollar homes, resorts, and designer everything, Lake Geneva has more of a North Shore Chicago feel than that of a small town in Wisconsin. And indeed, you’ll see more luxury cars with IL plates tooling around town than vehicles of any type from WI. But the people are nice, the shops are fun, and the “We’re on vacation!” vibe abounds. So off we went.

We went to Lake Geneva with a plan. We would find somewhere to park (parking there is always a challenge), tour the shops, go to the beach, and then take a drive around the lake before heading home to see the other, lesser known communities there. The kids are very fond of lakefront beaches. K1 pictured himself wading in the lake, and K2 has a unique fondness for burying various Avengers action figures in the sand and watching the waves uncover them (“Mom! Today I’m gonna bury THOR in LAKE GENEVA SAND!!!”).

We made pretty good time getting there and parking wasn’t too horrible. The town was PACKED with people, which was only to be expected. We went through almost every shop not only because they tended towards unique items but also because it was over 90 degrees out and the AC was welcome. Eventually the kids became restless and we headed to the beach.

Like many tended beaches the main beach at Lake Geneva is gated and there is a small charge to get in. I will admit that I had completely forgotten about the admission fee, but it didn’t matter anyway as the line just to get in extended for the equivalent of 1-2 blocks. We contemplated getting into line but after watching it for a few minutes we realized that it wasn’t moving. Indeed, the beach was so packed there wasn’t room for more people. The kids were disappointed, but cheered up when I reminded them that the IL kids go back to school about a month earlier than they do and that I would bring them back in August.

While traversing to the car we were reminded of K2’s unfortunate phobia of bugs. He has a bad habit of running away from any and all insects, usually running into the street to avoid them. His theory is that bugs don’t like streets so that’s where to go, and we cannot convince him otherwise. I’m just grateful that we weren’t near a main road when this happened. We were also getting to the point where it was time for his afternoon ADHD med dose, so redirecting him and averting more dashes into the street was becoming exceedingly difficult. I have ADHD as well (ahhhh yes, my genetic legacy to my children. Sorry guys) and I remember being a child with ADHD, so I can sympathize. But I am soooooo looking forward to K2 achieving a touch more maturity so he will STOP RUNNING INTO THE FREAKING STREET just to avoid a bumble bee or a lady bug.

Anyway, we finally made it back to the car without anyone getting smooshed by one of the ubiquitous black Mercedes Benz’s that seem to abound there. Drinks, snacks, and medications were given. The day was saved. We decided to set out on our self-guided tour around the lake promising the kiddos that we would stop at a beach should one become available.

We headed west following GPS maps to find the best way around. We toured the communities of Williams Bay, Fontana, and Big Foot Beach State Park. However we did not have luck finding a beach we could use. They all were either very packed or were privately owned NO TRESPASSING beaches. The communities are gorgeous and the views were amazing and I’m glad we got to see them. But the kids were still a little disappointed they didn’t get to go to the beach.

Driving back east we were tired, hungry, and still wanting some beach time. So instead of heading straight home we went to one of our favorite restaurants – La Fogata Mexican Grill. This is a small, homey eatery located on the north side of Kenosha right off Lake Michigan. In my humble opinion they have the best cheese enchiladas ever. We defeated our hangriness and then headed over our favorite lake in the world.

Was the beach immaculately groomed? No. Was it imported sand instead of rocky? No. Was it a little chilly? Yes. Did we get our toes wet and throw stones into the water? Yes! Did the hubs and I watch our kids playing with other kids their own age with plenty of room to run around? Yes! Did we have a blast and talked about how lucky we are to live within a mile of this? Absolutely. There really is no place like home.

And Thor was totally buried in the rocky sand. Several times.

– LT

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