A perfect fall day according to a Southern Californian in Wisconsin

Today I was on a mission to do something with both my one-year-old and my bulldog. It’s not easy thinking of places where both a one-year-old and a bulldog will be entertained for at least 30 minutes. Anything less than 30 minutes doesn’t really make it worth the hassle to load up both the baby and the dog in the car so wherever we go, they both have to have fun for a long enough to make the trip worth it.

It came to me instantly- Sussex Village Park.

I’ve been to this park many, many times before and it’s never let me down. This park has a big huge field with a little pond in the middle of that sometimes gives you the pleasant sound of frogs and other days gives you the unpleasant bite of mosquitoes. But today was definitely not a mosquito day.

My cell phone said it was 40°F. Of course, 40 degrees is pretty darn cold for a So Cal girl but the sun was shining brightly and I was not going to be deterred. I was determined not to use my “Places To Go When It’s Miserable Outside” list on a day like this. With enough layers, we can power through the cold and enjoy the sun outside.

I loaded the baby and bulldog in the car and confirmed everyone had a jacket. Yes even the bulldog, who I managed to coerce into her skeleton Halloween sweater.

As it turns out, we didn’t need the jackets.

My weather app lied to me. It DEFINITELY didn’t feel like 40 degrees. More like 60 degrees, thanks to the sun, which shone brightly and the wind, which held its breath.

As I predicted, Sussex Village Park did not let me down. The baby and the bulldog played in the leaves, the bulldog did lots of rolls and a backslide down the hill, the baby got to practice walking in a wide-open space, and I got to admire the beautiful fall foliage.

After what felt like 30 minutes of playing with grass and leaves, we headed to the park’s little playground. Smart move, Mom, saving the best for last.

We spent another 30 minutes playing at the playground. Surprisingly, my son was more entertained by the spherical things he found on the ground than the playground itself. I have no idea what these things were, but he kept bringing me his treasures and would say, “Ball”. So that’s what we called them.

I finally decided to call the mission a “success” and head home. We’re could’ve stayed longer but I was getting hungry and I was nervous to mess with Nap Time.

Gjalla and I went down the slide one more time (that’s right, the bulldog slides down hills AND down playground slides). Then we headed to the car. I got confirmation my mission was a success because the bulldog and the baby were walking slowly. I think Gjalla could’ve walked faster (she normally trots to the car) but she stayed side-by-side with her brother like a good guard dog.

Mission Accomplished. Thank you Sunshine and Sussex Village Park.