15 Things Wisconsinites Should Add To Their Summer Bucket List

15 Things Wisconsinites Should Add To Their Summer Bucket List

The great state of Wisconsin has so much to offer
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With summer coming right around the corner many of us are making plans to go on extravagant vacations when there's plenty of fun things to do right here in our great state of Wisconsin. To out of towners, the state may just be a flyover state full of corn fields and little farm towns, but to us Wisconsinites this state is he perfect place to spend our summer vacation. Here's a list of 15 things all Wisconsinites should add to their summer bucket list!

1. Go to a music festival

Wisconsin has so many different music festivals to offer! One of the most popular ones is probably Summerfest, but there are many other music festivals during the summer months in Wisconsin including Rock Fest, Country Fest, Country Thunder, Country USA, and Country Jam. Each festival is uniquely its own and there's something out there for everybody, so this is definitely an item music lovers should add to their summer bucket list.


2. Take a trip to the Dells

Everybody knows that Wisconsin Dells is the waterpark capital of the world, so if you want to see what all the talk is about, take a day trip to the Dells and ride as many water slides as you can. And if water parks aren't really your thing the area has many other attractions to offer, like spending the day at Devil's Lake or hiking on the state park trails.

3. Visit one of the many state parks

Devil's Lake is just one of the 66 state parks Wisconsin has to offer. Each state park offers a different experience for visitors. Visitors can hike, bike, kayak, and observe nature at any of the parks across the state. It's a great place to visit for any nature enthusiast.

4. Get out on the water

Wisconsinites know how to enjoy the water, so it's no surprise they've come accustomed to lake living. Summer is the perfect time to take your boat out on the lake to soak up some sun or to do some fishing. Don't worry if you don't have a boat though because many Wisconsinites enjoy canoeing, kayaking, and even river tubing during the summer months.

5. Go to the Wisconsin State Fair

The Wisconsin State Fair has something to offer to everyone! There's a ton of rides for children (and kids at heart), there are endless amounts of great food, and here's a number of events and performances fair goers can enjoy.

6. Go strawberry picking

This is one of my personal favorites. I have pictures of me as a baby covered in strawberry juice because I found the bucket of fresh strawberries and I have countless memories of eating more strawberries than I save. Mid to late June is usually the peak time for the strawberry season, so if you love the sweet fruit as much as I do I urge you to go strawberry picking at your local strawberry farm.

7. Go to your local June Dairy Days

It only makes sense that Wisconsinites celebrate the national dairy month since we are known as America's dairyland. Many towns celebrate the June dairy month by having "June Dairy Days" the first week or so of the month. Some of the things the dairy days has to offer is a cheese chase 5K, tractor pulls, truck pulls, live music, and of course a carnival. It's a fun event to go to for any small town Wisconsinite.

8. Go to a small town food festival

Similar to the June Dairy Days, many towns have food festivals throughout the summer. One that I'm most familiar with is The Loyal Corn Fest, where they serve truckloads of corn on the cob on a conveyer belt. Fest goers pay somewhere around five dollars to eat unlimited corn on the cob for the duration of the festival. Some other food festivals across the state include a cheese curd festival, a strawberry festival, and a Bush's Baked Beans and Bacon Days.

9. Go camping

Camping is a fun and inexpensive thing that you should add to your summer bucket list! Wisconsin is filled with county and state parks, so there are countless areas for campers to tent up. It's a great way to disconnect from regular day to day life and reconnect with friends and family.

10. Visit Door County

This is another one of my personal favorites! I grew up going to door county every summer to go salmon fishing, but now that I've made the trip myself I've realized how much of a paradise it is for foodies, creative spirits, and nature enthusiasts alike.

11. Visit the state capital

If you're more of a city person, then Madison's the place for you! It has a ton of history and it's the state's most popular college town, so there's a wide variety of things to explore in the city. State Street is the place to go if you want to see the heart of it all.

12. Explore Wisconsin's ATV trails

For anyone that's never ridden an ATV, it's so much fun! It's a great way to see the nature our state has to offer when you don't necessarily want to break a sweat doing so. There are numerous ATV trails across the state and each one will show you a different side of Wisconsin's wildlife.

13. Take a brewery tour

Wisconsin is known for their love of beer, so there are numerous breweries across the state. There are large manufacturers and even small one man run breweries across the state. Each brewery offers their own spin on beer, so there's something for everyone to enjoy. Even if you're not a huge fan of beer this might be an interesting item to add to your summer bucket list.

14. Visit Cave of The Mounds

Cave of The Mounds is about 30 minutes west of Madison and it's definitely a must see. It's an underground cavern and tours are given every day of the week. Inside the cave, visitors can see beautiful limestone that has grown over the years.

15. Go Up North

Last, but not least, you should definitely go spend some time up north. It's a different place for everyone, but generally "Up North" is somewhere in the northern half of the state where people go camping or to a family cabin preferably on a lake. It's a place where you forget about the rest of the world and focus on spending time with the ones around you. It's a truly magical place!

If you find yourself in the state of Wisconsin this summer, you definitely should never murmur the words "I'm bored." This state has plenty to offer when it comes to opportunities to have a good time.

Cover Image Credit: 88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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Sociolinguistics Series: Part 41

Language is a powerful tool.

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After our lunch at the market, the sun began to go down. When the sun sets on Jerusalem on Friday nights, the city essentially goes to sleep. The people don't, but the city as an institution rests; it's the observance of Shabbat, or the day of rest. For Christians, the day of rest is Sunday. For Muslims, it's Friday.

A cool linguistic tangent about Arabic--the days of the week in Arabic recognize the label of "Shabbat" for Saturday. In Arabic, Saturday is called "يوم السبت" or "yom al-sabt" in transliteration. "Yom" means "day," and "al-sabt" is the label for Saturday. "Sabt" sounds like "Shabbat," and it is the name for Saturday as a reference to the Jewish community that observes Shabbat on Saturdays.

The rest of the days of the week in Arabic are also very interesting. The first day of the week is Sunday, and its name is "yom al-'aHad," which refers to the word for "one": "waaHid." Monday's name, "yom al-ithnayn," is in reference to the number two: "ithnayn." This pattern continues with the words for Tuesday (three), Wednesday (four), and Thursday (five). However, Friday is different. The word for Friday is "yom al-jumea," or "يوم الجمعة."

As mentioned previously, Friday is the day of rest and gathering for Muslims. At a mosque that we went to in Haifa, we learned that when Muslims pray, they always gather as a group to pray; the movements of prayer are in-sync with each other and beautiful, as if it seemed to be the motions of the waves on the ocean.

In Arabic, nouns are made from roots that consist of three letters. Every noun that shares the same three roots have meanings that trace back to a central theme; for example, the nouns that derive from ك-ت-ب, or k-t-b, have meanings that go along the lines of "writing." "Kitaab" means "book," while "muktaba" means library; "muktab" means office, which is a place where people write, and "kaatib" means writer.

The word for Friday, "يوم الجمعة," has the three root letters "ج-م-ع" or "jiim-miim-ayn." Other words that are derived from this root pattern are "mosque" ("جامع" or "jaami3a"), "university" ("جامعة" or "jaamie3at"), "all" ("جميع" or "jamee3a") and "to collect" ("جمع" or "jam3a"), to name a few. All of these have to do with gathering--students gather at a university, observers gather at a mosque, and a collection of things are gathered.

The reason the word for Friday also uses this root is because Friday is one of the most important days for Muslims to gather and pray together (of course, all days are important for prayer for those who follow religion). Arabs congregate for family visits on Friday as well, and thus, Friday is named accordingly.

I hope you found that tangent as fascinating as I did! We are back to Shabbat in Jerusalem, where observant Jews are not allowed to do work. What does "not doing work" mean? A circuit cannot be completed. For example, elevator buttons cannot be pressed, because when the button is pressed, an electrical circuit is completed.

At our hotel, there was an elevator that became a "Shabbat elevator" on Friday night. This meant that no buttons were able to be pressed; instead, the elevator automatically stopped at every floor. It was a slow process to ride that elevator, but it did follow the rules of Shabbat.

On Friday morning at the hotel breakfast, there was a coffee machine where guests could choose for a latte, espresso, cappuccino, or Americano to be made. On Saturday morning, the coffee machine was turned off and covered by a blanket. For those coffee addicts, though, there was a pot of Americano.

At first, I was very confused by how this coffee was made without doing "work." I learned that the hot water used to make the coffee was actually boiled the day before, on Friday before the sun had set. The boiled water would be kept in a thermos-like container (much like the kind my family uses in China to make tea at a minute's notice) overnight, and it would be used to make coffee with pre-ground beans for Saturday morning hotel guests.

One person in our group of students argued that even moving a chair across the carpet is completing a circuit, if we're speaking in terms of physics--we laughed this off as a joke and informally established that they probably meant ~electrical~ circuits cannot be completed on Shabbat. Most observant Jews will not use their phone or drive on Shabbat, and all the public transportation in Jerusalem is not in use either.


Since Tel Aviv is a more secular (and less religiously observant) city than Jerusalem, Shabbat there is very different than Shabbat in Jerusalem. But we'll get there later.

In Jerusalem, restaurants and stores close at sundown on Friday and don't reopen until after sundown on Saturday. When we were at the market for lunch on Friday, we noticed that Jews were frantically gathering groceries--stocking up for the next day, but more importantly, stocking up for Shabbat dinner.

By 2 or 3pm, the energy surround the markets and stores had died down; since the sun sets between 4 and 5pm, people were already getting ready for their 25-26 hours of rest.

Every Friday night in Jerusalem, families gather for Shabbat dinner, which is an important occasion that happens every week. There is something beautiful and ritualistic about the way Shabbat dinner is carried out.

We were fortunate enough to be invited to a Shabbat dinner at the house of our guide's friend; we arrived at the Amit family house by walking that night, as our bus driver had gone home to observe Shabbat--and we couldn't use the bus on Shabbat!

We started dinner by reciting prayer--the blessing over wine, which is called Kiddush. It was presented, almost as if singing a hymn, in Hebrew. After it was finished, we washed our hands in the traditional manner and then broke bread with each other at the table.

We were then served some delicious, homemade Israeli food, including couscous, hummus, and chicken. No one used their phones a single time--both out of respect for not using technology and for being fully present at dinner instead of distracted by social media.

At dinner, we went around and introduced ourselves to the host family--and vice versa. The family had many sons, but only one daughter. The mom of the family was originally South America, but she and her husband--the dad of the Amit family--made Aliyah to Israel to raise their children. Their daughter, Leya, was sitting at dinner with us; she had previously studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and gotten her first degree there.

Some of her brothers were in the IDF at the time, and the others had already served their time (all Israeli citizens, no matter what gender, are required to serve in the IDF--girls for at least two years, boys for at least three--upon turning 18 and graduating high school, though there are other options (like community service) to accommodate for people with disabilities/other conditions, or who choose to not join the army in some day). Leya had chosen community service. She plans on going to medical school in the future, and she was currently studying for the MCAT.

Once we learned about our host family, it was our turn to talk. At this point, our group had not really gotten to know each other very well yet, so this introduction helped us just as much as it helped the host family. Keep in mind that we've only been there for a little over 24 hours, though it's already felt like forever.

We were asked "who are you?" by our host family, and each student spoke individually about themselves for a few minutes. It really allowed our group to break the ice with each other, as I learned something new about every person.

Even for a place as diverse as Berkeley, our group was special--it was a slice of the pie that was more diverse than I had ever seen before. We came from all different walks of life. One Caucasian girl had been born in Indonesia and raised their for the first part of her life, which is something I never could have known just by looking at her.

One guy was half Indian and half Jewish-German and had spent years of his life living in India. Another girl, who was Indian as well, had actually been brought to India to live and study there by her parents--as a surprise! She didn't know she was there to stay until she had gotten there already, which was hard at first but ultimately shaped the way she is today.

That was just a few examples of the amazing stories I heard that night, and thanks to this introduction around the dinner table, I began to really start knowing the genuine, curious, and strong people who were with me--for which I am incredibly grateful.

The next morning, while the Jewish sector of Jerusalem was at rest, we explored the Christian and Muslim Quarters of the Old City. Stay tuned, as we will cover that in the next section!

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