On the Road Again: Fond du Lac, I Hardly Knew You
Hello, world! I am writing to you live from a cushy little Starbucks in sunny but cool Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, home of nothing in particular that comes to mind right now!
Well that was rude, wasn't it? Honestly, though, I could not tell you what this place is known for. Fond du Lac — French for "bottom of the lake" (it sits at the southern end of Lake Winnebago) — does happen to be the seat of its own county here in America's Dairyland, home to a population slightly north of 40,000 fun-loving individuals, and the place of residence of an amigo of mine for the summer, which is how I ended up here!
(That's probably enough exclamation points to last you a few weeks; I rarely use them.)
Though I generally spend more time in vehicles than your average bear (seems that way, anyway), it was nice to be on the road again yesterday heading off to parts unknown for the first time in a while. In truth, I have not been to Wisconsin since I was a mere lad of 11 years old — and we were only passing through this land of cheeseheads and Packers faithful on our way to Minnesota on that trip.
Fun fact, however: Wisconsin was the first state outside of my home state of Michigan that I ever visited, way back in 2002.
Okay, but I feel like we're getting way off track with background information here. I know my childhood is really interesting to you, but we're here to talk about what's a-happening in Fond du Lac, not how I got my head stuck in the metal railing at a hotel in Wisconsin Dells when I was 8 :)
After six hours of driving around the bend of Lake Michigan yesterday — and getting stuck in some rush hour traffic outside of Chicago — I arrived at my amigo's place and we promptly set off to get some grub. We hit up this place called Trepanier's Backyard Grill & Bar, which is apparently a hit with the locals because it was packed.
The Milwaukee Brewers' game providing background noise, I dug into a Santa Fe chicken sandwich, swallowed some sweet cocktail called the "Garden Hoe" (minds out of the gutter please), and enjoyed some stimulating conversation — the best kind of conversation — with my host.
To downtown Fond du Lac we journeyed afterward, stumbling (not literally) into a bar called Googles Inn, which can definitely appropriately be called a dive bar, or perhaps a watering hole. We got a couple rounds of drinks, shot some pool, threw some darts, and watched the ending of the Brewers' game (they lost 5-4 to the Braves if you weren't aware (and lost again today, 3-1; apparently they are doing their best Detroit Tigers impersonation)).
Earlier today, I made my way to the shores of Lake Winnebago, where much ado was happening (is that grammatically correct?). Somebody was getting married, a Ben & Jerry's ice cream truck was chilling, a teeny-tiny train was offering rides to the youngsters, and various people were casting their fishing poles into the lake.
Among a swarm of gnats, I conversed with a friend from NYC on my cellular device and then sat down to read a little Harry Potter by the water, as one does. This Starbucks I'm sitting at happened after that, so you're all caught up. Don't you feel accomplished? Pat yourself on the back for making it this far.
We'll be off to the races at Road America in Elkhart Lake tomorrow. Stay tuned for a post on that, if you'd be so kind.