Sunday, January 6, 2013

Little Switzerland

I am blessed with many unique friends. They are all so diverse and challenge me to do different things. My very good friend Kenny, who I've known since early in my college career, is one of my biggest 'challengers'. He once got me to walk through a cemetery at midnight to see the mysterious Iowa City Black Angel. Not something I would have planned on my own at that time. This trip was no different.
He now lives way up in Wisconsin so he decided for us to meet halfway and spend the day together. We met in a little town called Mt. Horeb, which had a reoccurring theme of trolls, then drove together to New Glarus. This place is known as Little Switzerland and I was really excited to explore their historical village museum, brewery, and all the little shops. That was until we found out everything was closed. Some places for nearly the whole month of January! Those that were open weren't so until almost noon. It was a huge let down but we just rolled with it and went on to the next town, Monroe. 


This town's theme was pirates. It even had a pirate ship in the town square. We stopped for coffee and midmorning tiramisu, then wondered around the square. We stumbled upon another brewery and as we entered, we were just in time for a tour. Only in Wisconsin can you accidentally join a brewery tour before noon. 

Local cheese house
The Minhaus Brewery had a cool story and since this was my first ever brewery tour, I was thoroughly entertained. We got unlimited free samples, but didn't partake too much since Kenny was driving and I don't like beer and it was barely noon. They did have a coffee beer called the Chocolate Bunny that I kind of enjoyed. For lunch we wanted to head back to New Glarus which was a fantastic decision. We popped into the Glarner Stube for Swiss meatballs and Wiener schnitzel. So amazing! 


Once thoroughly stuffed we went next door to the Bramble Patch. The owner came and showed us around his store filled with Polish pottery, his family's handmade candles, soaps, jam, and nationally award winning Maple syrup. I couldn't resist an expensive little bottle, but after this morning's pancakes, I honestly would have spent a lot more! So delicious!

I never would have explored these little towns without Kenny. The people were some of the nicest I've ever encountered, but here was almost no yodeling in little Switzerland. Semi disappointing.

It's awesome to have people to show you different things.

Liquid gold!