Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August Staycation: Our Day in Chippewa Falls

Hello!  I'm back today with my final post of my August Staycation.  As I've already stated in previous posts,  I took two Staycations this summer to spend some time hanging out with my adult children.  For our June Staycation we went camping at a local state park, and then in August we went to Milwaukee to attend the Wisconsin State Fair and visit old friends.  On the final day of my  August Staycation we were looking for something to do that wasn't too far of a drive, so my daughter went on the Internet and discovered Chippewa Falls 'Pure Water Days' was going on that weekend so we decided to check it out.  We read that there were a lot of activities at Allen Park in downtown Chippewa Falls.  There were suppose to be 'giant inflatables, kid games, food, live music, vendors, etc.'.  Sounds easy to spot, eh?  Well, we get to downtown Chippewa and it looked like a ghost town.  The streets were deserted and there wasn't anything going on.  The shops were open, so we popped in a few and I had an ice cream cone (of course!).  We could see litter from the early afternoon parade still on the streets so we knew something happened in town that day.  But where were all the festivities?  Where the heck is Allen Park?  You'd think there would be some signs when you drive into town telling people where to go, but nope, nothing.  

Well, our main event we wanted to attend was a tour of a well known mansion in Chippewa, so we decided to go there, and we found it easy enough.   I've lived in the area for about twenty years, and I have tried repeatedly to view this mansion but the hours and schedule are so minimal that it was nearly impossible.  It is only open three months out of the year, and only during certain hours and on certain days.  So with my busy schedule, my chances of getting inside this beauty are, well, close to impossible.  But finally my day had come!  It was open!  For one hour!  I'm thinking, 'Run Amy!   Don't walk, before they close the gate once more!'

Here is the beautiful Cook Rutledge Mansion originally built in 1873 by a Wisconsin Lt. Governor and later remodeled in 1887 by a lumber baron.  I only have exterior photos to show you, but you can click on the link I provided if you want to see some interior shots.

 We had to wait awhile before they would let us in the house so we took advantage of all the beautiful wrap around porches to take some pictures.  Here is my pretty daughter Ashley and her husband Jason.  She is wearing all my clothes as she loves to raid my closet when she is home.  I'm not including any pictures of myself in today's post because I'm saving them for my Fashion Over Fifty post on Friday.  The house was the perfect back drop for fashion photos and we took advantage of it!
 Rather than buy expensive annual hanging baskets every summer, I love to just hang houseplants outside.  They really appreciate being outdoors for awhile and I can bring them in the house for the winter, saving me money on hanging baskets.  I have three gorgeous ferns hanging on my north porch. I loved the spider plant the Cook Rutledge Mansion had hanging from their front porch.
 There is a lovely garden and seating area in the back of the house.
 Here is a side view of the mansion.  Don't you just love all the detail?  You just don't see intricate details like this in modern homes.
 Even though part of the lot was sold off a long time ago, it is still quite a large property with an iron gate going all the way around.  I just love the American Flag displayed on the front porch.
It cost $5.00 per person to tour the inside, and it was well worth it.  It is a guided tour and they actually let you inside the rooms unlike a lot of house tours we've attended where they rope off the room and your only allowed to peek in from the hallway.  Every room is beautifully decorated and accessorized with many original pieces.  The tour guide tells you all the history of each room and it's owners as you walk through.

When we finished the tour, we decided to stop by the Chippewa Falls Zoo - Irvine Park.  It is a very small free zoo, but we always enjoy visiting it when were in the area.  There are a few larger animals (two tigers, two bears, and some buffalo),  but the rest are small animals like foxes.   They also have a petting zoo.  I don't have any pictures of the zoo because I was too busy looking on my IPhone trying to figure out where the Pure Water Days activities were instead of taking pictures of the animals.  LOL! But you can click on the link if you'd like to see what it looks like.  It is actually a very nice scenic park with lots of hiking trails.

Well by the time we were done visiting the zoo it was already 5:00 and we still had to go shopping and have some dinner.  So we gave up on every finding the Pure Water Days activities and headed to the Eau Claire mall to shop.  We then took the kids to our new favorite local Mexican restaurant called Tacos Juanita.  If you live in the area or are just passing through, I highly recommend you stop and visit this tiny little gem.  It is real, authentic Mexican food and it is all freshly made.  Their salsa alone is enough reason to visit.  It is so fresh it tastes like they just pulled the tomatoes off the vine that morning.  Their portions are HUGE and their prices are very reasonable.  I can't sing enough praises about this place.  I love it.  And the kids loved it too!  My daughter only eats gluten and preservative free foods, so this restaurant was an absolute hit with her.

Have a great day!  Amy


  1. Happy to hear you finally got to visit the house! It does look beautiful from the outside, and from what I saw of the inside from the link it looks gorgeous. I love old homes too!
    Sorry you weren't able to find the Pure Water Days, but it looks like you all had a fabulous time anyway. Can't wait to see your fashion post!

  2. Oh my word!! LOVE that house!! I was so tickled to find the house we just moved into because it's an older home where I live and I am a huge fan of restoring older style homes. The 18th century Victorian homes are my fave! :) Thanks for sharing those photos! Would love to see inside!! Going to look now! :) Thanks for the link!


Thank you for leaving a comment. I love feedback from my readers. If you have a blog, I always return the love by visiting within a week whoever leaves a comment.