Eat cheese or die

Trip Start Aug 24, 2013
Trip End Aug 31, 2013

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines

Flag of United States  , Wisconsin
Saturday, August 24, 2013

We started out from home in the dark and arrived for our flight in time to see Dulles fully decked out in a spectacular, pink sunset. "Luck of the Gibsons," Doug said. Our half-full flight was another painless, easy trip to Chicago, and we hopped in our bright red rental car (Pete: it's a Camry) and headed north toward Madison, Wisc., our first scheduled stop on the trip.  

The landscape turned urban to suburban pretty quickly and we saw some lovely neighborhoods and fun, ethnic streets and shopping areas. We decided to follow U.S. 12, since the GPS was confused (she'd never been here before!) and that was easy for us to do. At one point, we took a wrong turn and while we were trying to figure out what to do we noticed a very old McDonald's with the "Hamburgers 15" sign in front. That's when I realized, much like Pete realizing we were at the original McDonald's in San Bernadino, Calif., that Des Plaines, Ill., is the home to the first store in the chain opened by Ray Croc. That's when I finally realized why Des Plaines sounded so significant to me. 

As we wandered north, we got hungry and using the trusty Yelp app on my phone, discovered we were just a few blocks shy of Priscilla's Soul Food Cafeteria West, which had just opened for the day for lunch. We were the only customers in the place and enjoyed a fabulous lunch of fried chicken, ribs, collards, green beans, mac and cheese and sweet corn bread--all for about $16 total. Nothing like heading north to find a great southern meal.

We stopped for groceries and road trip supplies and decided to let the GPS take us from there, so we left Route 12 and headed toward State Line Rd. We had driven on another such road years ago with the kids, between Indiana and Ohio, but we were not prepared for the rutty, ragged lane that divides Illinois from Wisconsin. Farms and homes lined the road and we laughed at license plates on one side with Illinois tags and the other with plates from Wisconsin.

Making our way through Wisconsin to Madison, stopping in a couple of antique malls, we checked Yelp again and found a place for dinner called the Old Fashioned, which sits on the square facing the beautiful state capitol. We had our first fried cheese curds and discovered why the Wisconsin license plates say, "Eat Cheese or Die."

As we walked back to our car, in downtown Madison, we saw lots of little bunny rabbits hopping around the yards near where we parked. Maybe they have bunnies like we have squirrels. Madison is a very cute town, so I wouldn't be surprised.

Our little apartment is nice and cozy and sits adjacent to the huge Arboretum. After driving through the thick woods with its beautiful views of Lake Wingra, we settled into our home for the night, dropped into bed and slept almost 12 hours. Time to start another day! 
Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • You must enter a comment
  • You must enter your name
  • You must enter a valid name (" & < > \ / are not accepted).
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address


trish on

Wisconsin=Cows in Sin, or at least when I lived there.

There was an easily attainable "Escape to Wisconsin" bumper sticker, oftentimes people would cut these up to say "Escape Wisconsin" or the aforementioned "Cows in Sin."

Is the Edgewater still there?

Karen Z on

Mmmm...cheese curds :)

I love the idea of a state line road. I picture neighbors across the street glaring at each other and snapping their fingers, a la the Sharks and the Jets.

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: