A couple of weeks ago, we packed up my car and took an overnight trip to La Crosse, Wisconsin. T & I lived in La Crosse the first year of our marriage as T was finishing up his residency at Mayo Clinic La Crosse. Our trip was planned in part thanks to a surprise party for the residency director of his program, Dr. Thomas Grau, who is retiring this year. I'll be honest, with two little people in tow, I didn't get to partake in the big celebration at Freighthouse Restaurant or the drinks downtown afterwards at the Bodega (bummed I missed catching up with some of our old friends), but the boys and I had a good time hanging out at our amazing hotel and watching the Iowa Hawkeye football game Saturday night.
We stayed at The Charmant Hotel, which when we lived in La Crosse was a high-end furniture store. It has since been remodeled into a spectacular boutique hotel, and we had so much fun staying here. The rooms were amazing (I booked a corner room that had floor to ceiling windows overlooking the mighty Mississippi), and we had plenty of room for our two pack'n'plays, baby gear, and extra space to play. C immensely enjoyed loading and unloading the in room mini-fridge (thank goodness there were no sensors to charge us every time), and I enjoyed my late night hot chocolate from the hotel coffee shop before quarantining the boys in our room for the night while T was off partying.
After getting all of our gear dropped of in our room, we immediately headed out on a search for late afternoon dinner as a family before T headed out for the evenings events. Lucky for us, our hotel was situated immediately across from one of our very favorite restaurants in La Crosse, Four Sisters Wine & Tapas. The weekend was unseasonably warm for mid November, and we were able to sit patio-side without bundling up in extra layers. The tapas were as usual, amazing, and we discovered that there is no better place to take a toddler than a tapas restaurant. I mean...we chose the cheese journey off the menu, and when it arrived, it was immediately obvious that this restaurant would be C's dream come true. All of his favorites, cheese, crackers, dip, peanuts, bread, fruit, and pretzels. Seriously...the best. I so wish that we had a similar restaurant close to us locally! We would be regular customers for sure!
The boys had so much fun sitting outside and people watching on the patio. There happened to be a rodeo in town at the events center, and C loved watching all of the horses walking by on their way to the show.
After dinner, back in our room, the little boys and I got ready for bed, had story time, and watched the Iowa game. I wasn't really sure what to expect in terms of how well our little people would sleep both being in the same room, but it worked out pretty well (or at least as well as can be expected). C was not about to miss a wink of the Iowa Hawkeye game...which of course was a night game with a 7pm kickoff (his usual bedtime), so it was almost 9:45pm when he finally called it quits after the game ended. After the boys fell asleep however, everyone was out for the night, and slept until around 7:30am the next morning.
After getting everyone ready and going in the morning, we went downstairs to the in-house coffeeshop and restaurant for breakfast before starting the days adventure. C enjoyed reading a magazine and drinking a milk while we waited for breakfast, and was particularly amazed at watching the chefs in the open kitchen as they prepared orders at the restaurant.
We didn't really have a particular plan in mind for the rest of the day, so we took it easy and went on a walk around downtown, stopping in some of the shops, and then a walk along the riverwalk on the Mississippi before getting packed up to head home. On our way out of town, we drove by the hospital that T has so many memories from of his years of residency, and our first place we lived together. It was only after getting home that we realized that we took a picture of the wrong condo! Our first place was in a big complex, and neither of us could remember exactly which house number we were! Oh well! They all look the same, and the boys will never know the difference!
All in all, we had a fantastic, albeit quick visit, and decided that we need to make it back more often. Who knows? Maybe next time we will even stick around long enough to hit the trails for some biking, take our littles to the park, or even get some squeaky cheese!