Our Wisconsin Trip

According to Google Maps, we traveled 733 miles, and drove for 16 hours and 34 minutes during our week in Wisconsin while avoiding highways.

Each state we visit, we will choose at least one point of interest from each of the following categories: Famous Person, Famous Food, Roadside Attraction, State Capitol & State Museum, National Park, Historic Location, Can't Miss Attraction, and Made in the USA Factory tour. Some of the categories may have more than one selection, and sometimes a category will be vacant due to the lack of a candidate. Please click on the links below for the corresponding blog related our experiences in Michigan over the past week.

Famous person: The Fonz from the Happy Days

Famous food: Fried Cheese Curds

Roadside attraction: Lady Bug Building

State Capitol/Museum: Madison

National Park: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Historic Location: Harley Davidson Museum

Can't miss attraction: Wisconsin Dells

Made in the USA Factory tour: Harley Davidson

Please view our previous blog posts for the past week for further explanations of our experiences in Wisconsin.

A breakdown of our expenses of the past week are as follows:

Gas $ 116.00

Comments:

$ 2.15 gal. in Cottage Grove, WI was the lowest price paid.

$ 2.19 gal. in Green Bay, WI was highest price paid.

Groceries: $ 82.00

Walmart: $ 17.00

Aldi: $ 3.00

Costco: $62.00

Comments:

We shopped more at Costco this week and less at Walmart. Good Job!

Dining out $107.00

Hagemeister Bar $11.00 (1st failed attempt at fried cheese curds)

8th Street bar $ 9.00 (2nd successful attempt at fried cheese curds)

Café Hollander $ 33.00 ( 2 yummy veggie burgers and 1 hot pretzel)

5 Guys burger & fries $ 6.00 (Disgusting fries! Starving and needed a snack)

City Market $ 7.00 (Below average veggie panini)

Pizza Ranch $ 24.00 (Average pizza on the go)

The Cheesy Tomato $ 17.00 (The nastiest pizza we have ever had)

Comments:

We continue to eat out more than budgeted, but the expenditure is holding steady at or around $100.00 per week)

Entertainment: $ 122.00

Red Box $ 6.00 (Budgeted Movie Night x4)

Harley Museum $28.00 (Budgeted Admission x2)

Apostle Island Boat Tour $88.00 (Budgeted tickets x2

Comments:

We did great in this category again!

Lodging: $28.00

Walmart $ 0.00 (slept in parking lot x 6 nights)

Camping $28.00 (Unbudgeted, camped on Lake Superior)

Comments:

We continue to do great in this category

Miscellaneous: $ 15.00

Parking $ 6.00 ( Parking in Milwaukee)

Parking $ 4.00 ( Parking in Madison)

Parking $ 5.00 (Parking in Wisconsin Dells)

Comments:

Paying to park our high top van in the city is an unavoidable expense

Oil Change $37.00 (Budgeted expense oil change number 3 of 10)

Comments:

Car repairs and maintenance are not a regular budgeted expense and come out of our emergency fund.

Wisconsin Expenses Grand Total: $ 470.00

(Our expense list does not include re-occurring expenses such as insurance and cellphone etc. )

Is Wisconsin Our New Home State?

Here are the rules:

Below are the 5 categories that are important to us in choosing our new home state. Each category is rated from 1 to 10 based on our personal experience in no particular order. 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest for each category. Each category will receive 2 scores; 1 from Lori and 1 from Nate. The average of these two scores will determine the final score for each category. To determine a state’s final score, we will average the total score of each category. If a state’s final score is less than 8, then that state is eliminated from consideration. At the end of our year long cross country trip, the states that scored 8 or higher will be subject to further consideration. In addition, Lori and I each have 1 wild card option, which allows a state that otherwise would have been eliminated, to be considered as our new home state.

Economy:

Nate: 7

“The two primary economic sectors are retail and agriculture, which greatly limit the economic opportunities in the state”

Lori: 7

“Everywhere you looked, there were help wanted signs all over the state, and it appears there is a work force shortage. $14.00 per hour to work at Aldi’s!”

Economy score: 7

Cost of Living:

Nate: 5

“The state sales tax was 5.43% slightly better than CT, and the income tax 6.27% which is comparable with CT. We can do better in another state."

Lori: 6

“At $2.15 per gallon, Gas prices in the state have been comparable to others in the Midwest”

Cost of living score: 5.5

Quality of life:

Nate: 4

“An ongoing problem in the Midwestern states is the risk of tornadoes, and Wisconsin has a lengthy history of them”

Lori: 5

“While the summers are temperate, the winters can be brutal especially in the northern part of the state”

Quality of life score: 4.5

Culture:

Nate: 3

“A cheese pizza was the states idea of a vegetarian meal, and despite the vast open farmland, I don’t think I saw a single solar panel in the entire state.

Lori: 4

“Outside of the major cities, there was not much happening in the state”

Culture Score: 3.5

Environment:

Nate: 2

“Between the gaping craters in the roads, the unsigned detours and abrupt road closures, (one after another, after another, after another) Wisconsin has been the absolute worst state to drive through on our trip so far.”

Lori: 2

“While there were some enjoyable aspects of the state such as the dells and the apostle islands, the parks, historic sites and cities are extremely far apart and far and few in between”

Environment Score: 2

The verdict is in:

The final score for Wisconsin was 4.5 and it will NOT be our new home state. Neither Lori nor I opted to use our Wild Card Option on this state.

Below are the current standings:

Michigan 8.3

Ohio 7.6

Indiana 7.4

Virginia 6.6

Pennsylvania 6.5

West Virginia 6.0

Kentucky 4.9

Wisconsin 4.5

Missouri 3.5

Illinois 1.9