Written September 24, 2005

For my last weekend in the US, I went to my parents' house near Minocqua in northern Wisconsin. It's a nice, quiet place built on a small lake and surrounded by lush forests. I think I would get bored there rather quickly, but at least there are a lot of potential outdoor activities like fishing, hunting, and swimming to partake in.

Luckily for me, boredom didn't have a chance to set in because this weekend happened to be "Beeforama" weekend in Minocqua. Large crowds of people gathered on the city's main street to watch would-be chefs dress up in various cow costumes and parade their sides of beef for all to see. The parade was easily the shortest parade I had ever seen. In fact, only one lane of traffic was blocked off for the parade! It also goes without saying that it was the first beef-themed parade I have ever seen. After the parade, everyone quickly marched to the food tent where they were able to buy beef sandwiches and judge the quality of the beef for themselves. Did I forget to mention that a large percentage of the onlookers were inebriated? It seems fitting because after all, how could anyone think up such a festival sober?

Only four days remain until my trip. The feeling of being overwhelmed is now long gone and a bit of reminiscence has set in. I'm actually going to miss my family and friends while I'm gone. I'm sure the next few days will involve a lot more sad goodbyes (as if there haven't been enough already), but I'm still really looking forward to getting out of this bumming around phase and onto my journey.

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