Ok, it’s time to admit it – growing up in Wisconsin might make you a little strange. All the unique, wonderful things we love about our state might also be the things that make us seem a bit off to everyone else. They’re they quirks that make us wonderful Wisconsinites, but maybe life here should come with a warning: “Side effects may include …”
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. You find yourself craving cheese.
This one is especially for anyone who'd lived away from Wisconsin for a bit. I think that distance really helps you understand how truly spoiled we are. We can buy cheese at highway-side gas stations that kicks most other state's cheese selections out of the water. There's just really nowhere else who's residents think "you know, a Hook's aged cheddar would really make this dish."
2. You consider anything above 40 degrees to be shorts weather.
There's nothing better than being on vacation in a different climate and being able to spot the midwesterners. We're the ones who'll remind you it has to be at least 32 degrees to snow, so a blizzard is usually actually a warm up.
3. You're convinced you don't have an accent.
We're not quite so bad as Fargo, and we don't "Doncha know" quite as badly as Minnesotans, but whether you're drawing out the "O" in soda or the "A" in bag, it's usually pretty obvious where that accent comes from. Of course, you'll tell anyone you ever encounter that not only do you not have an accent, but the midwest dialect is what they teach people in acting school as "American."
4. You find the concept of four distinct seasons laughable.
I suppose techinically we have all four of them, but often Spring forgets itself and it snows into May or Fall gets confused and it's 75 in October. Plus, none of this accounts for Construction Season, so basically I think the four seasons thing they teach you in school is a big myth.
5. You automatically reply "yes" when someone offers you Packer tickets even if it's going to be miserable out.
Not only that, but you'll thank them profusely and think it was the best time ever! If you live near Green Bay, you'll volunteer to shovel snow off the bleachers and then you'll show up and snuggle in with your bench mates. Then you'll lament when one of them gets up for a beer run because your whole side is now freezing cold. But you'll tell the story of being there in the blizzard to friends for years to come.
6. You learn how to pronounce quite a few unusual places.
And you judge anyone who gets them wrong. Oconomowoc. Ashwaubenon. Mequon. Prairie du Chien. The Chequamegon - Nicolet National Forest. It's a long list, but it's a good test to tell who's lived here awhile and who has not.
7. You'll go outside no matter the weather.
Polar bear swims on New Year's Eve seem to be particularly popular here and that feels indicitive of our somewhat imbalanced brains. It's cold and snowy and miserable for a long time here and if you don't get out during the long winter, you'll start to go stir crazy. Never did I think I'd go hiking in the snow or watch an outdoor hockey game, but years in Wisconsin seem to have made me immune to the idea that winter means we should stay inside.
8. Every time you hear a baseball game was cancelled for weather, you smile a bit and wonder why they didn't build with a roof.
Purists have a lot of thoughts about domed baseball stadiums, but seeing as it snowed on Opening Day 2016 and we've had to host games for other teams that got snowed out, I'm pretty sure we're the smart ones.
9. You orient yourself using the lake (or river).
Whether it's Lake Michigan, Lake Superior or the Mississippi River, nearly everyone in Wisconsin can figure out directions based on where they know one of these big features is. We'll also give you directions that relate to them and probably tell you how long a trip will take, not how many miles.
10. You could survive a blizzard with the things you keep in your trunk.
It's July, but you've still got an ice scraper, jumper cables, winter gloves, a hat and a blanket stashed in the corner of your trunk because you never know!
11. You're a farm-fresh food snob.
With a state made up primarily of farm land, we've got access to the freshest foods at pretty much all times. Our farmers markets are stellar, our restaurants are totally under rated and we get to eat really, really well.
12. You will find any excuse to spend time outside in the warmer months.
Between being grateful for our scant few weeks of pleasant weather and our extensive and amazing park system, it's not hard to find a reason to get out and explore. But we've also all gone to a cousin's little league game or birthday party at the zoo just as an excuse to be outside and soak in the sun.
13. You unabashedly love where you're from.
You're fiercely loyal, you'll defend Wisconsin against the haters and you'll proudly proclaim where you're from. You're a born and raised Wisconsinite and you're darn proud of it!