Wednesday, July 7, 2010

travel tip: Hayward

After dropping Charlie off at scout camp, Mike and I wound our way through the curving county roads in Wisconsin.  It was a sunny summer day-the corn fields lush with green, water twinkling on the lakes and ponds, and a slight haze in the air from the high humidity.
Our destination, Hayward.  A town of just over 2100 people, it balloons in the summer with cabin people, and those enjoying the hundreds of lodges and resorts in the area.  An absolutely adorable downtown, decked out in flags for the weekend.  Even on a hot Saturday afternoon, the sidewalks were full of tourists enjoying the shops, everything from a Ben Franklin that seems pulled from an old movie set, to an enormous candy store, where they demonstrate their fudge making and taffy pulling on a regular basis. 

There are high end shops that cater to those wanting to add to their cabin's charm, clothing stores with every expensive sporting good brand, a tiny bookshop for those rainy days, and everything in between.  Restaurants have outside seating, and live music can be heard ringing through the air.

Mike and I found ourselves in the wine shop.  Imagine that.  Hook Stone Winery is making wine from California grapes and selling it in Wisconsin.  A tasting of each of the 12 wines they produce was $4, and you got to keep your Hook Stone Wine glass.  Having traveled through Sonoma and Napa, and paid California prices for wine tastings, Mike and I quickly sat at the bar for a tasting adventure.
The owner and winemaker was a delight, deftly pouring each wine and giving us background on how it was made, while at the same time sharing stories and keeping an eye on each customer who walked in the door to make sure everyone was taken care of.  The artwork on the bottles is delightful, and the wine was pretty darn tasty too.  The finale of our adventure was port in dark chocolate cups, a perfect way to enjoy grapes.  We ended up taking home nine bottles of our favorite wine, the Sunfish red (a syrah with viognier), and two bottles of Vacationland Viognier.  They also make their own olive oils, and all were available to sample.  We had to make room to bring home a bottle of the Garlic oil, it was amazing.

So a good while later, we found ourselves back on the busy sidewalk, the wine making us feel languid as we explored the rest of the downtown, picking up chocolates at Tremblays and goodies at the bakery.  The day was waning and the heat and humidity were building, it was time to head to our resting place-the Ghost Lake Lodge.

Stay tuned!


  1. Oh I need to taste that wine.
    xoxo, t

  2. You two always explore such fun places! The wine tasting sounds like lots of fun.


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