I recently received a phone call from a girlfriend who was feeling a bit spontaneous on a Friday night with no weekend plans. She called me from her home in Minneapolis and said, "Hey, Wisconsin friend, how about meeting me halfway in Stockholm for the weekend!" With no imminent plans (other than cleaning my garage) I quickly responded with an emphatic, "Heck yes!"
As I traveled the scenic sixty miles from Eau Claire, I soon found myself drifting into the small-town Wisconsin relaxed mode, looking forward to a couple days of specialty shopping, river-side dining, local festivities and precious girlfriend chatter. Driving up to the quaint bed & breakfast, I smiled at my lifelong girlfriend greeting me in her "fun hat" with a glass of local wine. With so much happening in this quaint village of 97 people, we knew we couldn't waste any time. We quickly freshened up and headed down the road to Pepin, planning to dine at the famous Harbor View Cafe. The 90-minute wait passed quickly as we sipped wine from the shop next door and talked to visitors from all over the Midwest, who also willingly waited for the special culinary treats in store for them. Once seated, and following a careful study of the menu (a central chalkboard in the restaurant) we decided to share the three-cheese stuffed mushrooms and the famous champagne grape chicken breast platter. "Unbelievable" does not do the experience justice. The next morning, as we awoke to the beautiful August sky, we decided to stroll the village streets, and came upon yet another culinary delight – the Bogus Creek Cafe. Scratching our heads at how we could possibly imagine eating again, we settled in for the blueberry stuffed pancakes and black bean omelets with homemade toast and jam. A quick stop at the candy store and a few walks around the block brought us back to reality, saying our goodbyes and looking forward to our next "fun hat" weekend in Wisconsin!
Linda John is the Executive Director of Visit Eau Claire.