Long Weekend Part Three – Wisconsin

This will be the last post in the series detailing our trip to see Phish.  Part One here, and Part Two here.

The morning after the show at Deer Creek we slept in a bit, grabbed breakfast at the hotel, then hit the road.  The traffic heading back on 65 was much worse than on the trip down. Much worse.  It probably added about an hour to our trip.

We made a side trip to Three Floyds in Munster Indiana for lunch.  It was alright.  I wouldn’t go out of my way to go there, but if you’re a beer nut and happen to be traveling through Indiana on I-65 or I-80, it may be worth checking out.  Their beers are okay, but not outstanding, and the food was good, but certainly nothing to write home about.  The brewpub itself is tucked away in the middle of an industrial/business district – it’s really just a bar attached to the front of the brewery.  (I wonder if they had to get special zoning for that.  You really wouldn’t expect to find any kind of restaurant or bar where it was located.)

Back on the road towards Wisconsin (the rest of the ride was pretty uneventful).  We stopped at the Brat Stop, to pick up some brats for grilling in the lot the next day, some New Glarus beer (we got the Imperial Saison and the Berliner Weiss), summer sausage and some really good cheese.  Seriously.  I know the whole Wisconsin=Cheese thing is a bit of a joke, but you really can’t get good cheese like that elsewhere.  Especially aged cheddar.  The oldest aged cheddar I’ve ever been able to find in any gourmet food store in Chicago is 3-year.  We got the 9-year.  (They have older than that, too.)

We checked into the hotel (The Geneva Inn) and set up shop on our balcony overlooking the lake.  (Make sure you head over to Flickr to check out the pics from The Geneva Inn.  There are some really great shots taken from the balcony.)

We spent the rest of the evening relaxing on the balcony, sipping beers and snacking on sausage and cheeses, listening to music and playing cards.  It was a nice relaxing break, especially after the hectic previous day.

The following morning (Sunday, if you’ve been keeping track), we got up and headed to town for breakfast, then hit some of the shops.  (There’s really not much in Lake Geneva – pretty much the same types of stores that you can find in any small town tourist destination.*)

After that, it was back to hotel to get ready and pack the cooler for tailgating at the concert (we actually kind of felt like blowing off the concert and just spending the evening on the balcony again).  We were on the road pretty early and hit absolutely no traffic on the back roads between Lake Geneva and Alpine Valley (a nice change of pace) and got to the lots right after they opened.  Since I had sprung for the premium seating, we got a great spot just a few hundred feet from the venue gates.

The rest of the afternoon was spent grilling brats and drinking beer in the lot.  We got up and walked around to check things out a couple of times, but mostly just hung out enjoying the afternoon until it was time to go in and find our seats before the show.  The concert was really great, especially the second set (the first set kind of petered-out towards the end).

And, that’s pretty much it.  The next day we drove back home with nothing but our memories of a great weekend (well, our memories, some great cheese, and a couple of bags from shopping at the outlet mall that’s just north of the Wisconsin-Illinois border).

*UPDATE:  I wanted to point out that I’m referring to, specifically, the little down-town shopping area.  There is, of course, plenty to do in Lake Geneva.  But, if you’ve been to any touristy small-town, they all seem to have the same kinds of shops in their down-town area.