An American Summer: Freedom Isn’t Free

This post is dedicated to all of those who put their lives on the line so that we can be free. We got to have a magical 4th of July holiday because of the selflessness of others and I am so grateful.

Flag Cake

We’ve been absent. We’ve been on summer vacation. Not even going to sugarcoat it: we’ve been taking pool breaks, travel adventures, and just trying to simply enjoy the heat of summer. In my year-long quest to live more simply, I’ve decided to be done glorifying “busy”. Constantly talking about how busy we all are is exhausting. Take breaks when you need it.

Ok, now I’m ready to talk about how I just experienced the North Woods of Wisconsin for the first time over the 4th of July. Dang it America, you’re just so beautiful.

Paisley lake
With crisp boreal forest air and clear cool water, it’s hard to not appreciate upper Wisconsin for its native beauty. The quaint towns and cottages sprouted around the area south of Lake Superior are picturesque and have the ability to slow time down. I highly suggest you find a cabin or take a tent, stick your toes in the lake, and breathe in the magical North Woods air. We spent five days camping on Squirrel Lake near Minocqua, WI. Three adults. Two dogs. One tent. Camping, I love you but I’ve found someone else: It’s my bed. In all seriousness, there is nothing like falling asleep to the sound of gentle lake waves and loons calling to each other in the distance. Or waking up with fog rolling up from the lake. That kind of peaceful is few and far between. WI Tents

tents at night WI

Scarlett and Paisley life vests
One day we decided to try out some of the bar scene and we ended up wearing my dog in a baby bjorn to the magical bar by the name of Musky Shores. The bartender knows everyone, and they allow dogs in the bar. What more could you want in the woods?  Don’t order anything fancy except the fried mushrooms (that’s all we can vouch for) and don’t expect to win any of their arcade games. But this is the type of place a local or a foreigner can saddle up to the bar or a group of tables, drink the day away stealing glances at the lake and not regret one minute of it.

Paisley baby bjorn
What to do if you get a weekend on a North Woods lake near Minocqua:

Jet ski the clear, cool water = Heaven
Eat Paul Bunyan’s donuts
Buy beer cheese dip from the local grocer
Try cheese curds from anywhere, these need no description
Check out Wisconsin’s great craft beer scene

WIHappy Summer!



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