Vacation: A special trip for the purpose of recreation or relaxing. While this is true, my favorite reason to take a vacation would be making memories with my family. Every few years my mother and father plan an unforgettable vacation that is full of amazing memories. One of my favorite vacations with my family was when we drove to Wisconsin Dells in July of 2010.
Wisconsin Dells might be known as “The Waterpark Capital of the World” today, but this place is so much more! Wisconsin Dell is heavy in Native American culture, specifically the Ho-Chunk tribe.
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In 1832, the U.S. Government began its infamous removal policy, stating that all Indians must be moved west of the Mississippi River. It wasn’t until 1873, when the removal policy was reversed, that the Ho-Chunk could file claims to land in the area, but by this time, Wisconsin Dells had become a site that tourists could come and enjoy the Ho-Chunk culture.
This town was originally named Kilbourn City, but the name did not stick and in 1931 the town was renamed Wisconsin Dells. This is the name locals always used for this town because of its meaning. “Wisconsin”, derived from the Native American word meaning “dark rushing waters” and “Dells” after the French word “dalles” which means “layers of flat rock” that describes the bluff rock formations.
Wisconsin Dells is a truly beautiful place. Every year, the Dells attract thousands of tourists to witness its natural beauty. There are many attractions in the Dells. There is everything from the Original Duck rides (army amphibious vehicles), panning for jewels, waterparks, as well as petting zoos.
On my family vacation we visited a waterpark named Chula Vista. Chula Vista is a popular hotel that is equipped with an indoor as well as an outdoor waterpark. My brothers and I had great fun sliding down the water slides and running around the spray park. I had so much fun…until I realized my mom was taking a bunch of pictures! (She posts EVERYTHING on Facebook!)
Another place that was visited was Timbavati’s Wildlife Park at Storybook Gardens. Built in the early 1950’s, Storybook Gardens was one of the first tourist attractions in the Wisconsin Dells area. Storybook Gardens was a quaint retreat full of fairy tale characters, such as Humpty Dumpty, The Old Lady that Lived in the Shoe, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk, just to name a few. When my mother was a child, her parents took her and her brothers there every few years. I have seen countless pictures of my mom and her brothers by Humpty Dumpty, it was only fitting that she take a picture with my brothers and I in the same place only 30+ years later. Incorporated with Storybook Gardens is a Wildlife Park where you can walk around and see different animals such as zebras, tigers, hyenas, fox, and even pet the giraffes! My mom was in heaven, she is obsessed with that animal! Too bad there weren’t any pandas, and then I would have been in heaven too! Along with the animals on display and the fairy tale statues there was also a wild life show that spotlighted certain animals and their habitats. Unfortunately, Storybook Gardens closed its doors forever and Timbavati’s Wildlife Park relocated to a different location in the Dells area.
Wow, strolling down memory lane, telling you about my trip to Wisconsin Dells, makes me want to go again…..Wait! I am this summer! I hope to have just as amazing time this year as I did in the summer of 2010.
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