It was a very busy & very fun weekend!
Saturday was jam-packed, beginning with Wiener & Kraut Day festivities. And how could you possibly have such a celebration (in Wisconsin) (do they have these types of celebrations elsewhere?) without some Klement's Racing Sausages?? Pictured above are Italian Sausage, Chorizo, Hot Dog, and Polish Sausage (not pictured, Bratwurst; perhaps he was at another event).
Before I was hanging with the DAWGS, though, I was competing with my sister Annie in The W&K Day Amazing Race!
We rode our bikes downtown to don our t-shirts, collect our "passport" and map, and formulate our plan of attack. One of nine 2-person teams, we competed by earning points for completing a list of tasks -- stipulations being that team members must stick together and that all travel must be accomplished by bike or on foot.
Most teams hit the in-town stops first, but Annie and I decided to head out of town to the furthest location and work our way back, which meant nearly five miles out to Crave Brothers Farm (some of that route was familiar to me from last month's triathlon relay!). We earned points just for getting there (an achievement on its own) (and, in fact, we were the first to arrive, even before the attendant who drove her car!); we also earned bonus points at that stop by finding a specific phrase written on something in the room (a piece of paper placed inside a promotional folder).
In addition to W&K Day festivities, there were a million rummage sales in town and one of our tasks was to find a buy a small red Christmas ornament at a rummage sale! There were no ornaments on display at the sale where we stopped, but Annie asked and the guy in charge went inside to find some. I was a little nervous at that point because we were IN A RACE and didn't have time to wait for some guy to go crawling around in the attic or someplace to find a box of ornaments -- SHEESH! Would he even know where the Christmas ornaments are?? (My husband would be VERY hard-pressed...) (And, boy howdy, it seems that my long-dormant competitive streak has been AWAKENED this year!) Luckily, he quickly returned (I was nearly ready to bolt) with a box of ornaments and was, thankfully, amused by our goofiness and that we wanted only a small red one from the bunch.
From there, it was a short ride to a local tavern where they had a bean-bag toss -- we each needed to land four bags in the hole, or at least on the box. Ooooh, those things are SLIPPERY! And HEAVY! One must toss them "just so"!
We realized that we never had the rummage sale guy sign our passport, so quickly rode back there to take care of paperwork.
I'm a little fuzzy on how the rest all went down, but I think our next stop was at the fire department. We had to go upstairs to the equipment room and get dressed -- pants, jacket, boots, hat, and OMG that stuff is HEAVY!! And HOT! We had to go back downstairs, drag a full-size dummy for 10 feet or so (I was bobble-head top-heavy and took a header during that part) (the hot and heavy clothing was a bit like "padding") (I sort of felt like I was wearing a Sumo wrestler suit); then Ann had to roll up a 50-foot firehose and I had to unroll it (I lost my hat altogether at the end of that task). This task might be one reason why my shins are so sore -- still today!
I was also on the cusp of bitchy at this point and pulling on all that heavy clothing when I was hot and sweaty and tired was not helping. Then I thought about what it was like for a REAL firefighter -- I work with a guy who's a volunteer firefighter -- putting on those HOT and HEAVY insulated clothes and then going to fight a HOT FIRE and get all wet, besides! I shut my trap and stopped complaining. Also, they were all pretty fun at the firehouse. And Annie really impressed them with her hose-rolling abilities.
We stopped at Jim's Cheese because it was marked on the map, but it wasn't actually a stop. DRATTED WASTE OF TIME!
Next stop: Fireman's Park. We ran up and down the concrete bleachers twice, then traversed some playground equipment -- a couple of guys right on our tails. Run, run, run! This stop probably sealed the deal with my sore shins.
From the park, we made our way to K&B Auto where we were charged with changing a tire on a trailer. Neither Ann nor I had ever changed a tire on anything before! We arrived at that stop at the same time as another team, and I ran ahead and muscled in so that they could only watch and wait 'til we were done. (Hello, COMPETITIVENESS!)
I knew all along that there was a stop at the pool, but I just could not believe that we'd actually have to swim -- I was sure that there'd be some other goofy task related to water where we'd have the chance to stay relatively dry. I was wrong. I drove an hour-and-a-half in the rain to get there, ant it was still chilly and misty-damp at race time, I was wearing jeans with some layers on top... and, um, none of the layers was swimwear. I don't even own swimwear! I bought some in May but returned it (unworn) in June. I was definitely NOT going to swim in my jeans and I'd come too far to forfeit, so, with apologies to all in attendance, I did it in my underwear and a shirt. Damn.
Bowling was next. We had 15 minutes and 2 lanes to get 3 strikes between us -- and we did it! (There was a very fun crowd there, too!)
The last major stop was a tavern right across the street. They thought they'd seen us all already and had just finished cleaning up when we arrived. We would have had to dig through a small vat of kraut to find a little trinket-y thing. Yeah. I'd certainly have done it, but I'm glad I didn't have to!
Our last task was to sell raffle tickets -- one each at $20 a pop, and not to a relative or anyone we knew; bonus points if we sold more. My sister Ann has been known to sell a leaf off of a tree -- for real -- so I was not too worried... and we sold four.
We didn't earn any points for speed (or, one may argue, style), but piled up enough altogether to finish in the money!
It was crazy!! While I saw a good number of cute wiener dogs after-the-fact, unfortunately I missed the WEENIES ON PARADE!
I did make it to Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival later in the day, though! More on that later.