10/1/05

Trip to the Dells

Well my grampa came to town (all the way from Texas) on Wednesday for a week. We decided it would be fun to take a little trip up to the dells for the weekend and enjoy some time off and take a dip in the pool and see the sights. And I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to take mini dee out for a long trip too. This would be the first time my gramps and mini dee would venture out to Wisconsin Dells.

So we loaded up the mini (spotless after a quick shine a couple of days ago), fastened our seat belts, and set out for an enjoyable 4 hour ride in the mini to the Dells.

At first, I had to tell my mom how to sit in back because she thought the mini would not have any room for her feet. To her surprise it did have more than enough when I pulled the seat up for her. And luckily my gramps is not the tallest man in the world so he had plenty of room for his legs too.

We left about 11 am on Saturday morning and on the way, just past the Illinois/Wisconsin border, we stopped at the visitor center where we picked up all the information we needed to know about the Dells. Being the beginning of October there was certainly plenty of lodging available so I wasn’t worried about finding something we liked.

Well when we arrived we checked out some possible hotels to stay at, headed into town and then took a wrong turn and ended up in Matson (about 15 miles north) by mistake... oops. Well at least I was driving the mini so that was fun, but after driving for so long we needed to stop for a bite to eat.

We thought it would be nice to stop at the tourist trap known as Paul Bunyan’s buffet. But other than the grub we ate, which was very tasty and expensive, we did not fall for buying any of the other souvenirs they bombarded us with. (not that we didn’t look)

Afterwards we headed into town where all the small shops are to see what we can see. To our surprise, the entire downtown area, which is literally about five blocks was being repaved and I guess some sewer and utility lines were being replaced. This meant that the entire area was not very car friendly, so the place looked a little deserted.

Some of the die hard souvenir shops were still open but it seemed that most closed at about 5 pm. My guess is that most of the shops have just closed shop for the season and will reopen once all the construction is done. I’m sure it will look great then and all the shops will reopen to eager tourist. As for us, we decided to head back to the hotel, take a dip in the pool and hot tub, and then go to the casino and test our luck.

We hopped on the free shuttle to the Ho-chunk casino. As typical to most casinos, the amount of grandness that is put into the lobby can be a bit overwhelming.

They decided to create an artificial waterfall, with an escalator, very cool. My grampa kept on saying how he thought it was real and the painted sky looked real. He actually asked me if it was real, but I just pointed out the brightness of the artificial sky and then pointed out the doors at how dark it was outside. It still looked very real to him.

Being the high rollers that we are we decided to test our luck at the nickel slots, investing just two dollars each, that's one roll of nickels. What fun!... I actually started with 40 nickels, got down to less than 10, got all the way up to 57 and then lost it all. I just couldn’t quit when I was ahead. Oh well its just 2 bucks, and we all had enough free drinks to cover our losses. My mom actually lost 4 bucks but who’s counting. By the way this place is huge and has a ton of nickel, dime, quarter, dollar, etc... slots. they even have 2 penny and one penny slots. I think it’s just about the number of “credits” you walk away with. very fun!

Well the next day we headed out to a duck ride. Very cool to see the very colorful rock formations from both land and water.

We had a blast and enjoyed the boat ride, even the bumpy parts.

Well that’s when we decided to head home. Gramps had a blast and never knew how pretty the dells are. I’m glad he had the opportunity to enjoy it. I sure did and mini dee did as well.
Well besides the bug splats of course... She gave a respectable 31 mpg for the drive in and with the little city driving we did the combined came out to be 29 mpg at the pump. I actually made it all the way there with a half a tank left, so I probably could have made it there and back on one tank, my range is about 350 miles. I’m sure Ill be able to test it again when I head down to murray to visit my girlfriend in early November... maybe... if it doesn’t snow of course.

DanC

2 comments:

murmini said...

Interested in your reporting mpg - there is a great on-line app called MyAutoLog.com run by Leslie Porter for tracking mpg and much more - he is also developing a way to update while on the road using your cell phone...

DanC said...

Thanks, I'll be sure to check that out. I usually write down the miles driven on every gas receipt but then I end up with a ton of receipts everywhere.