Wednesday, April 01, 2009

House on the Rock

We spent the weekend and Monday/Tuesday driving to Chicago to visit my nephew Max on his fifth birthday. Our two big events, other than Max's birthday, were a stop at the House on the Rock in Wisconsin, and a trip to the Chicago Field Museum. I had never been to The House on the Rock before, at least not to my knowledge. It was a fascinating trip. Partially because the guy, who built an interesting house, progressed into crazy, collecting everything from teeth to creepy dolls to air-powered musical ensembles, and partially because Eryn walked for 3.5 hours without so much as a single complaint. She was quite taken with his collections, particularly the carousel and musical contraptions. But there was very little she didn't stop to check out for at least a moment.

Before we go on a short tour, a piece of advice, never ask the younger saleslady at the House on the Rock gift shop for directions. "A mile down the road" is literally seven miles. We turned back thinking we'd missed our hotel. There's not much around, which leads to some surprise that she doesn't know the directions to the closest town.

Here's a dragon on one of the pots adorning the driveway. Damn snow. It came down thick the night before and we abandoned my desire to hit up a local brew pub because the Focus was slipping on the 1" of slush that was under 3" of fresh powder. I was somewhat worried we'd have to wait for a plow in the morning before sightseeing.

Squid/Whale fight. The whale has huge teeth, like you or I, but larger. Seeing as regular sperm whales seldom lose a fight with a squid, I'm not sure why the teeth were necessary.

See, teeth. And a rowboat. Because you always have time to eat a rowboat before fighting a squid.

Scarier than the whale. Urinals where you can't put appropriate distance between you and the next guy. This breaks a lot of guy bathroom etiquette.


Crazy peacock statue.

Pooteewheet thought this was funny because of the piles cure. She's not funny. The sign isn't funny. Piles aren't funny.

The Mikado. One of the air powered musical ensembles. Eryn liked how he wiggled his eyebrows even after the music was over.

I preferred the ensemble that played a bit of Benny Hill...

The Marieville. According to a puzzle cache in Klund's home town of St. Peter, this was the last paddleboat to travel up the river past St. Peter.

I didn't know St. Nick had a wand, much less that it tasted like a candy cane.

The infinity room. It was built after the House on the Rock designer died. The way it wobbles in the wind is seriously creepy. That didn't stop me from bouncing up and down on the floor as Pooteewheet walked out to the end.

Here's video...

Somewhere, Count Olaf is afoot.

Proof of the madness. These angels adorn the area where the carousel sits.

And one of them has a beard.

Eryn, wishing she was big.

The carousel. This was actually pretty neat, even if you couldn't ride it. The animals were about six deep and of all sorts, none of them a horse (the horses were all strapped to the opposite wall, like they'd been banished for bad behavior). The bulldog was my favorite.

What's this? We're everywhere! It's trippy to run into work when you're touring House on the Rock.


Anonymous said...

There is no place in the 50 states that captures the American character -- for better or worse -- than House on the Rock. It should be a national monument.

PrincessMax said...

I've been there once and it is seriously my favorite tourist destination. I've been trying to figure out how to get back for years.

And. I lost my virginity there.

Scooter said...

Was it your favorite destination before or after?

I can see that as a possiblity. There weren't too many other people around when we were there so early in the season. Just a handful. Lots of places to hide away.

LissyJo said...

We almost went there once (i think you babysat, actually), but it was closing so they wouldn't let us in. Your pictures confirm it might not have been worth it.

We did check out the frank lloyd wright house about 20 miles from that house on the rock. That was cool. Cooler than an angel with a beard.

Anonymous said...

I am sure you were there when we first moved to MN. Your Mother took you and Andrew, when I was working long hours at the Power Plant. I asked her and she agrees with me. Sorry Allison you were not around yet!

Scooter said...

I remember NOTHING of that trip. Are you sure? She didn't just drop us off in a field to play somewhere in Wisconsin while she had a beer? Or maybe we just stood outside the place, looked at it, and left?

Scooter said...

I remember NOTHING of that trip. Are you sure? She didn't just drop us off in a field to play somewhere in Wisconsin while she had a beer? Or maybe we just stood outside the place, looked at it, and left?

Anonymous said...

She could have done that. Remember she left Andrew and went to Mpls.

Sharyn said...

My son and I went to House on the Rock on Friday. It was amazing! And definitely the highlight of our little road trip. I want to go back to take more photos sometime.