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Story of a Vacation Home

Nissan Pathfinder getting ready to tow a Lund fishing boat

In The Beginning

My story of a vacation home must include my recollections of Rice Lake, Wisconsin.  Those memories probably go back further than almost anyone would believe – certainly a time span that exceeds the lifespan of many who will read this.  I’m talking mid- to late 1950s… when I was about six or 7 years old.  Route 53 went right through the middle of town and north to Route 2 at Duluth, finally turning west on Route 2. It would ultimately lead  to a little town called Bagley, just west of Bemidji, MN. That’s where my family would finally stop to vacation for a week.  A long way to drive, for sure, just to see friends and maybe do a little fishing.

paul bunyan and babe in bemidji, mn

My point?  Rice Lake caught my eye even then.  I remember a bridge that crossed a part of the river that flowed from the lake. I remember a Dairy Queen in town at which we always made our father stop for an ice cream cone. And I remember the lake itself. To me it was scenic, beautiful, and inviting.  For the next 60 or so years and for various reasons, I annually drove either to or through Rice Lake several times each summer.  On one trip with my mother and grandparents, I even had dinner at a place called the King Edward Inn.  The town of Rice Lake began to call to me…

The Mid-Seventies

Some time in the mid-1970s, the long trips north to Minnesota got too long for me to drive in one stretch.  I stopped for the night at the Best Western, located on Route SS, or what is now South Main Street in Rice Lake.  I have stayed in many hotels during my lifetime, some very high-end and some, well, not so high-end.

best western inn rice lake exteriorWithout any hesitation, I can easily say that Best Western in Rice is one of the finest, cleanest, best managed and maintained hotels in which I have ever stayed.  My best guess is that I (and now with my wife, too) have spent more than four dozen nights there. Every single stay being perfect in every way.  All our stays at Best Western are comparable to the very best Hilton hotels at which we have stayed – seriously, it is that good.

Somewhere In The 1980s

Somewhere in the 1980s, I met and later became very good friends with Tom Doyle, the owner of Best Western in Rice Lake.  A genuine, honest, hard-working guy who cares greatly about his hotel, his customers and his employees.  I found out that the King Edward Inn at which we dined, oh, so long ago, was owned by Tom’s father.  I now better understand the quality of our dinner and the food & service we received that evening.

This is an unsolicited comment about Rice Lake and Best Western hotel, the best place to stay if you are staying in Rice Lake.  The only bummer for my wife and me is that we will no longer be able to stay at Best Western in Rice Lake. It’s a sort of sad thing and happy thing at the same time. See, we finally decided to move from Illinois to… Rice Lake, Wisconsin. The best news is that I will still be friends with Tom Doyle!  I plan to see him on a regular basis!

Skip To The Present

And so, this website is all about the Northwoods town that began to sing a siren song to me oh, so long ago.  Rice Lake finally set the hook quite deep in me – and in my wife as well. We bought a vacation home here in Rice Lake in February of 2019. That home became our permanent residence last summer (May 1st of 2021). Thanks to Rice Lake for calling me “home” and many thanks to Tom Doyle and his Best Western for making us feel at home for sooo many years.

Join us now, as we begin to really enjoy a vacation home that is now our full-time home.  And join us, too, as we discover the Best of the Northwoods and all that it has to offer, right here in beautiful Rice Lake, Wisconsin!

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Visit Rice Lake Design Team

website design, marketing, social media, content management

We became full-time residents of the City of Rice Lake in 2021. It has been our goal and desire to contribute and give back to the City in a manner that will be as helpful as possible. It is also our goal to dedicate our efforts – and a steadily progressing and growing website – to the people and businesses of Rice Lake, Wisconsin.

Yvonne & Richard