Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet

In the Venn diagram of my life, there would be one circle for my family, one circle for my romantic relationship, and the only sliver of overlap would be me. Perhaps as a way to protect the weirdness and charms of both parties, I’ve always preferred to keep these circles rather distinct. Then I met the Urban Farmer.

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Why must I hem and haw to remember the most minute detail ofΒ a story, even when it’s boring and tangential? Why are donuts so sacred? Why am I so competitive? Having fallen head over heels for that farmer fella, it was time for the ultimate vulnerability, time to explain so much about me- it was time for him to meet the Kogels. It was time for the Venn diagram to become one big, muddled pie chart.

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

This past Thanksgiving, the Urban Farmer, Julep and I hit the road. We were westward bound, en route to my parents’ new place in a tiny town in Iowa! Having a dog as a copilot can make for a few challenges (you mean I can’t take her to appreciate fine art museums?), but the challenge forced us to exercise at rest stops, and it led us to a dog-friendly, dream retreat in Wisconsin.

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Our first destination on our Westward Wander was Milwaukee. “Milwaukee?” you might ask with a judgmental, squished face, but it was a convenient midpoint and the home of Growing Power Urban Farm (more on that later). Seeking a dog friendly place to lay our heads landed us in Helenville, a country town conveniently centered between Milwaukee and Madison. Thanks to AirBnB, we found the most gracious hosts in Ashley and Jordan, and Julep found her new happy spot.

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

The loft was simultaneously spacious and cozy, with so many personal details like this wall of instruments, which made the Urban Farmer’s eyes go all big and googly like a cartoon character.

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Beyond the cozy loft with its bright skylights and tall windows, was this idyllic, snowy countryside. We had arrived late at night, but the morning revealed the type of peaceful property that makes me question whether I do in fact belong in a city.

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

After hours in the car, Julep burst onto that snowy property with a constant smile. We had all found our happy place.

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Two nights at this dreamy retreat made me rethink the entire trip- should we just spend a whole week here? But alas, we were westward bound! Stay tuned for more recaps from our Westward wander (including food and farms), and if you’re ever in the Milwaukee/Madison area, do your soul a favor and stay at this gorgeous place!

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