Family / Parenting

The Clark Griswold of Lesbian Moms

We were having dinner with friends when we all decided that we should do something together for spring break. Were we daunted by the fact that both families are on tight budgets? No! Were we daunted by the fact that spring break was less than a week away? No! Did we worry that our hastily thrown together spring break fun might not be as exciting as the trips to Rome and Venice that our kids’ classmates were taking? Hell no!

I grabbed the laptop and started searching…

Vikki: “Oh my god! We could go up north and sit on Paul Bunyan’s foot! It’s the World’s Largest Paul Bunyan, and we could sit on his foot!”

Kids: “Nobody wants to sit on Paul Bunyan’s foot!”

The children, fearing my other suggestions, quickly suggested a trip to Chicago.

Vikki: “We could take the train! Think of the adventure!”

Kids: “Most people just drive…”

Vikki: “We are not most people!”

After checking train schedules, ticket prices and hotel deals, we ruled out Chicago. The kids resigned themselves to a boring spring break when we came across the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and I read the following aloud:

The highlight of the museum complex is a landmark “Shrine to Anglers” which is a structure one-half city block long and four and one-half stories tall, of concrete, steel and fiberglass, hand-sculpted into the likeness of a leaping muskellunge. Its innards are a museum and its gaping open jaw accommodates about 20 persons or more as an observation platform.

Who wouldn’t want to go climb inside a muskie’s innards? How could standing in a muskie’s jaw be boring? We decided then and there that we were going to Hayward, Wisconsin to see the giant muskie! It didn’t hurt that there was a big candy store where you could watch them make fudge and pull taffy. The fudge and taffy convinced the kids, and we had a plan!

I texted my friend Laurie a picture of the muskie and excitedly told her about our upcoming adventure and she said, “You are Clark Griswold. I can’t believe I never saw that before.”

And she was right – I am the Clark Griswold of Lesbian Moms and my entire life is a quest – a quest for fun!

We spent a few days at our friends cabin and then the day of The Great Muskie dawned, and we packed up the cars and headed to Hayward.

Vikki: “This is an adventure! When you get back to school, you can say to your friends, ‘Rome schmome! I saw the world’s largest fiberglass statue of a fish!'”

Miguel: “How much candy are you going to let us get?”

When we saw the muskie from the frontage road, I gasped, “There it is!”

Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame

PHOTO CREDIT: LUISA BRANDÃO

We pulled into the parking lot, ran to the fence and found this:

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PHOTO CREDIT: VIKKI REICH

I have to admit that we knew it would be closed but who could have predicted a chain link fence and signs that read “BEWARE ELECTRIC SECURITY” ever five feet? We took a few pictures with our disappointed children and I said, “At least we can still go to the candy store!” I looked at Luisa who had her phone to her ear and was shaking her head and mouthing, “It’s closed.” I looked at the four kids and said, “You want to hear something funny?”

They didn’t find it funny.

IMG_0541

PHOTO CREDIT: KRISTEN BROWN

We did find another candy store so the adventure was not a total loss. I think I can make it up to them – there is always Paul Bunyun’s foot!

FEATURED PHOTO CREDIT: KRISTEN BROWN

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13 Comments

  1. Rome was probably closed when those other kids got there, too. Probably also the gelato shops. But your kids got to see the roadside muskie!

  2. I’m sorry everything was closed. But, A for awesome! I am totally going to take my kids there once it opens.

  3. You had me at Paul Bunyan’s foot, which by the way, is SO COOL! I have been there, well, I made a certain person drive 15 minutes out of the way to see it because LARGER THAN LIFE PAUL BUNYAN!
    Maybe I am a Clark Griswold too.

    • Maybe we all have a little Clark in us. We also ruled out Minnesota’s Largest Otter Sculpture. Because it didn’t really look like an otter. Ha.

  4. I know exactly where you’re talking about. I seriously HOPE you stopped in to see Paul Bunyan’s shoe, because that place has the most amazing logger’s breakfast with these delicious, fresh hot donuts … mmmmm!

  5. I would like to thank Kristen Brown for the picture that is worth more than a thousand words. And may you visit many more closed attractions for our amusement!

  6. I want to go to see that Muskie and to see Paul Bunyan’s foot and any other fiberglass wonder I can work in. Nice work finding another candy store.

  7. You realize, of course, that one (or both) of your kids WILL write about this in a college creative writing class. And then they will thank you.

  8. The photo is perfect

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