Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday in Shawano

I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but our hotel window looked out on a very unique vista.....a petting zoo next door! We woke up with a camel less than 30 feet from our beds.... Alex got to visit the zoo on Saturday evening, but spent a good hour observing and 'naming' the animals from bed that morning!Our first stop was at the Cheese Factory-- a must-do Wisconsin tradition.

While the selection was a bit overwhelming (60+ varieties), we finally settled on Peppercorn Ranch Cheddar and Habanero Jack. It didn't take Alex quite as long to make her selection... good old fashioned string cheese!
We were meeting Great Grandma Alice, Great Grandpa Bob and Great Aunt Sarah for lunch at noon, so we had a bit of time to explore Shawano. Luckily the farmer's market was taking place, and Alexandra found some beautiful flowers for Great Grandma! She carefully (and seriously) picked out each blossom to make the perfect bouquet. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera at the restaurant, but we had a lovely lunch at the Farm Inn on Main. Alex surprised everyone with her voracious appetite (craisins and fruit snacks while waiting, an entire'big' grilled cheese sandwich, applesauce and a cookie for lunch!), and chatted away with the family.
After lunch we returned to the cottage, where Great Grandpa Bob and Alex compared notes on proper fly-swatting techniques.
We had a wonderful dinner of brats and steak, and then Alex and I headed back to the hotel to get some rest (day 2 of no naps took its' toll!). We did stop at the neighboring restaurant / petting zoo, Anello's Torchlight to visit the animals. I am shocked that this restaurant has no web reviews-- how many small town restaurants have a large 'free zoo' to visit??? Most of the animals are tethered in the yard during dinner hours, where they contentedly munch on the grass (and any carrots that diners bring out to them). There is one donkey, however, who is 'free-range' (apparently he knows the rules?), and Alex was absolutely delighted when he trotted up to her to nuzzle and visit.

They also have a camel and a kangaroo!!

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