For 12 years in a row I have gathered with friends each autumn in Green Lake, Wisconsin but this year we met rather late in the season. Even so, my 2023 Green Lake trip was a sweet time filled with superb fellowship and delectable food.
Green Lake 2023 Trip
Our meeting was delayed this year due to my tree drama, but thankfully we found some time last week to squeeze in a few days together. Going so late in the season meant that the leaves had already changed colors and fallen off (unlike in Los Angeles, where we are still waiting for the leaves to turn) and the docks had been pulled up from the lake, but the weather was actually quite pleasant during our stay.
We stay at my friend Denny’s house and every trip to Green Lake begins with a pizza from Lou Malnati’s (I only had 1.25 pizzas this year…) and a Moscow Mule.
We skipped breakfast the next day, opting to wait for our lunch…Chicago-style hot dogs, another tradition. I eat hot dogs once per year, but so greatly enjoy them here. The added ingredients make all the difference.
As if five hot dogs were not enough, we had a massive dinner with Denny’s daughter and her husband at The Public House in Ripon, WI.
The onion rings were great:
So were the wings:
I ordered a Southwest Bowl (quinoa vegetable blend with chicken breast, black bean and corn salad, roasted bell pepper, green onion, jalapeños, chipotle crema, cilantro lime crema, queso fresco, pepitas):
Others tried the Irish Poutine (poutine with thick cut fries, fried cheese curds, gravy, and corned beef), Pork Belly Bahn Mi (fried pork belly strips tossed in Korean krack sauce, Asian dressed slaw, fresh jalapeño and cilantro on sub roll), and a pub burger.
But the highlight of the entire meal was the giant soft pretzel with Guinness beer cheese sauce:
While not our usual Friday fish fry or Saturday prime rib (because the trip was mid-week this year), this was a nice meal.
Ripon was already decorated for Christmas:
After a pleasant evening of more discussion and Moscow Mules, we had a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs and sausage.
A few days of eating and renewing friendship is always a joy. It has been another rough few months and yet I am quite thankful, especially as we approach Thanksgiving, for friendship and for the ability to get away and see these guys every year. What a cherished tradition!
I did miss the water, though. Next year I hope to go earlier! (maybe even in the summer).