Sunday, June 28, 2015

Scenes from a summer place...


A little play on words...my parents met in high school in the 50s, and this was always one of "their songs". Seemed appropriate after spending a wonderful weekend in the place where so many memories have been made. And we made more memories this weekend. You might want to let the song play while you read the post.
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My husband and my oldest son had to work over the weekend, so my youngest son Matthew and I drove up to my parents' place in Door County, in northern Wisconsin. I let him do most of the driving. Actually, I had him do most of the driving over the weekend. He did a great job. I realized how convenient having a designated driver could be after drinking a few Spotted Cows with dinner.


Friday was a rest day for me. Do runners really rest? I did some shopping with my mom in the morning, and then Matthew and I went to lunch at our favorite waterside spot. It was a little cool and cloudy, but the view can't be beat. After lunch, we played 18 holes of golf. Mini golf, that is.
At Fred and Fuzzy's in Sister Bay
The sun came out in the afternoon and we took the kayaks out in the bay. All of a sudden, Matthew jumped on top of the kayak and called for me. I paddled over to see what was wrong. His kayak was full of spiders. And not just any spiders. There was this creepy looking one. All spiders are creepy, but this guy was huge. We think it was a wolf spider, a native of Wisconsin. I tried drowning the spider, but he just curled up in a ball and waited for the water to wash away. Then he started tormenting my son again. I swear he was rubbing his front legs together, plotting his attack. I tried whacking him with the paddle and he scooted away under the seat. I convinced Matthew to paddle back to the pier. He was not happy, but we got back to the pier without any issues, and tried hosing out the kayak with water. We discovered that Mr Spider was not alone. We washed out probably 25 or more of his buddies. Matthew was just about sick when he saw all his passengers. It was crazy, because the kayak I rode in had just a few spiders. I felt kind of bad about this. After all, my kayak was spider free. It wasn't intentional! I swear!


To make it up to him, after dinner, we went for ice cream...
Sister Bay Ice Cream Factory

and drove to the beach to check out the sunset.
Beach Road, Sister Bay
I got up early on Saturday to get my 6 miles in. This was the day I was going to hit 600 miles for the year! I waited at the top of my parents' driveway to get a signal on my Garmin. While I was waiting, the mosquitos decided to have breakfast. With me. I couldn't take it! Even though my Garmin was still searching, I started running, to get away from them. Finally, the signal locked in. I ran up the very steep hill that heads out of town. That was the first time that I ran to the top without stopping to catch my breath! I gave myself a fist pump. A silently thanked Becky for all those deadlifts and squats. Then I headed to the bluff park, a 6 mile round trip. There was no one in the park and I was rewarded with some spectacular views. I headed back down the huge hill, which is as challenging as running up it, trying not to fall head over heels.

Ellison Bay Bluff Park overlook
Later that morning, we headed down to the little town where we were staying to watch the parade. All the little towns in Door County have summer festivals, and this weekend was Olde Ellison Bay Days. We go every year. The parade was short but sweet, and entertaining as always.

Because we are in Wisconsin.
After the parade, we walked over to a local restaurant where an event called "Uncork Summer" was being held. It's kind of a "taste of northern Door County" event, where local restaurants get to showcase their foods. Last year I had the truffle mac and cheese made with Nueske applewood smoked bacon. So, so delicious. This year the line for that dish was really long, so I headed over to the Door County Creamery to try the herbed goat's milk pesto torte. I was rewarded with a really tasty dish. I also sampled a smoked whitefish wrap (the fish is a local catch here) and an asian slider, from the Shoreline restaurant, both tasty as well. I drank a Wisconsin microbrew beer to wash it all down, Ale Asylum Bedlam. I enjoyed it all.

My son enjoyed his ribs...

More kayaking to burn some calories...


Catching up with an old friend whose parents have a place next to ours...

And another sunset, this time from the pier in front of the house

On Sunday, I took my run on a different route, into The Clearing, which is a retreat in the woods for writing and other sorts of artistic pursuits. For me, it's a pretty path through the woods. On this run, I ran up some steep hills again, and ended up by the water. A woman was sitting by the shore writing and we struck up a conversation. It's hard not to be inspired by the beauty here.


I finished up my run, and Matthew and I packed up to go home. We made one more stop at another favorite place, Wilson's, for a whitefish sandwich and a milkshake. We also did some reminiscing about standup paddleboarding with his brother in the bay outside of the restaurant. We missed him.

It's so hard to go back to life in the fast lane after spending time in such a peaceful place. As I wrote this post, the birds were singing and a gentle breeze was blowing across the water. The sun was shining. I feel lucky to have a retreat like this. It's so important for all of us to take time off to breathe, to enjoy, to relax. But there's never enough time, is there? Before this trip, I knew I was stressed but I didn't realize how much, until we took this little weekend away. While I could have enjoyed a few more days there, I felt recharged and ready to tackle life again. I loved being able to spend this time with my youngest son and my parents. How lucky am I?

Matthew drove the entire 5 hours home. He did great. So did I.

Do you have any summer vacations planned? Have you ever been to Door County? Where do you go to recharge your batteries? 

I'm linking this post with Tara at RunningNReading for her Weekend Update! You should too!




58 comments :

  1. How great Matthew is driving well and enjoying it. It is gorgeous up there! We used to spend Columbus Day weekend every year camping in Peninsula State Park up there. It was so much fun but got darn cold! Glad you got a chance to relax and recharge. We're heading out for the Epic European Vacay soon!

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    1. I was wondering when you leave! I bet you are so excited!

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  2. Oh my gosh, that place is beautiful! Those sunsets are ridic. Now I'm not one to freak out over spiders, but I think before I got back in a kayak full of them I'd have swam back to shore. haha

    We've already taken two vacations this year (a week in CO and a week in NY)... still have a week in FL coming up later in the year and a couple of weekenders along the way--one of which I just planned this morning! Travel and exploration has always been very important to me, and I was lucky enough to marry someone who feels the same.

    I'm so glad you found the rejuvenation you were seeking this weekend!!!

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    1. He would have swam to shore but I neglected to mention that the water temperature is about 60 degrees...

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  3. Eeeek! Spiders and mosquitoes, oh my! Aside from the buggy parts, your weekend sounds awesome. I'm so excited for my boys to get home next weekend. Have a great week Wendy!

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  4. That spider attack sounds totally creepy! I think I would've swum back. But what great memories you guys made! So nice you could get one-on-one time.

    We have no vacation plans right now. My husband doesn't like crowds, so typically we go places off season, which can be kind of a drag. I though I'd be able to tag along on a business trip with him but doesn't look like that's happening. :(

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    1. I'm with your husband, I don't like crowds either! That's why this is such a great weekend to go to Door County. The weather can be iffy, and summer up there doesn't usually kick off until after the 4th. We would never have gotten a table at Wilson's next weekend!

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  5. How great for you! And all those spiders.....eek!!!!! My summer getaway? Well, I road-tripped to Duluth a week ago (for a little race), and will be road-tripping out east in three weeks for another little running event (ahem...girls weekend with a 50K as a bonus). Two of our kids have birthdays in July, so there's plenty going on :-)

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    1. I would love to meet up with you ladies after that race...I have to work that morning. I'm hoping you guys plan something later that day!

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  6. Sounds wonderful - well except for the spiders. I so want ribs now!!

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    1. He had 3 servings of ribs! Kind of a caveman thing, I think!

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  7. Sounds like a great weekend. Would love to a ladies weekend there someday.❤️

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    1. We need to do that! Maybe we can get a relay in as well....

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  8. Looks like a lovely weekend!!!! As most know, I rarely get away as I more times than not on single Mom duty. I did vow after my trip to Minnesota to make more time to break away when my hubby is home to watch the kids. I've never been to Door County but have heard it's beautiful! So glad you had a great vacation!

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    1. It's never long enough, though...I would have liked a few more days!

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  9. That's a perfect weekend Wendy. My daughter just started driving. It's too soon to see the convenience, as I push my foot into the floor board when I think she needs to begin to break, but I know with time I will love the convenience of having another driver in the house.

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    1. I only did the "brake" once this weekend. He drove to Wisconsin and back, and did most of the driving while we were there. Probably got 10 hours in, and he and I are both more confident in his driving ability! One month to go...

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  10. This sounds and looks like a lovely weekend! I would definitely go every chance I got. I'm not sure my kids would have paddled back to the pier knowing the spider was in there! Brave! I know it was extra special to get some time with your youngest too! We are lucky to have a place to go in the FL panhandle. My parents bought it when young and it takes 3 hours to get there. I spent summers and holidays there as a child -- so it feels like going home.

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    1. We've been to St George Island (on the FL panhandle) twice and loved it. We've actually talked about retiring there. It's a dream...

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  11. What a fun weekend, Wendy! Those pictures are just gorgeous and I'm so glad you were able to enjoy so much time with your son, family and friends; that is the perfect combination, right? I'm definitely excited about recharging my batteries at the lake all next week; it's going to be heavenly! Thanks so much for linking up with the blog; hope your week is off to a great start.

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    1. I hope you have fun at the lake next week! I'm sure you'll get some good runs in, as well as reading a few more books!

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  12. What a great weekend! 600 miles!?! That's such an accomplishment!!!
    isn't it crazy to see your baby behind the wheel. Such a reality check.

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    1. You aren't kidding! I can't believe he's going to be 16 next month.

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  13. MMMMM. ribs and blue ice cream? I am with HIM!

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    1. He does enjoy his food! As he can, since he's a calorie burning machine!

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  14. HA! WE murdered a HUGE wolf spider in our garage last summer! I tried to catch him first, but ended up blasting him with spray later. Poor baby! Nah... not really!!! Those things seriously are so huge they could eat us! :)

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    1. Ugh! I bet it crunched when you smashed it! Blech! Ewww!

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  15. looks like a great family bonding weekend! You needed one of those. The spiders! yuck. Congrats on getting the 600 miles in so far that's impressive friend!

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    1. It was nice to spend time with my parents and my youngest son! Of course, I wish we had more time up there.

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  16. What a beautiful peaceful place. Your son is precious, very handsome :) Sounds like a fantastic weekend with a great balance of relaxation and good eating.
    I have never visited WI, but sure would like to some day.

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    1. We really enjoyed ourselves and my parents' company too!

      It's a very pretty place!

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  17. Oh, how lovely! I'm so glad you had a nice time, in spite of the spiders. Wolf spiders are really common here. The fun thing is that they carry their babies on themselves, so if you smash mama? Hundreds of baby spiders go scampering in all directions. Yay!

    I've never been to WI, let alone Door County. It looks really nice.

    For recharging... I don't know. I just like to travel in general, so really anywhere that isn't home is a great way to get myself going.

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    1. Well, ewww to the spider smashing! I'm glad I didn't do that, I think my son would have jumped in the water. And it was cold!

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  18. Freaking HATE spiders, I think I would have jumped into the water and abandoned the kayak. I don't think I could have ever been coaxed back in. Not sure I read much of the rest of the post, because all I could think about was spiders spiders SPIDERS!! but the pictures are pretty :)

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    1. I couldn't stop thinking about the spiders either, so don't feel bad. It was pretty awful. The water is so cold up there that it was a really tough decision for him...

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  19. I would have bailed and swam back to shore if my kayak had a bunch of spiders in it. Ugh. Awful.

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    1. Haha, the struggle was real! But the water is so cold!

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  20. Looks like a great weekend! Those sunset pictures are absolutely beautiful! I need to try kayaking one of these days. My husband has one and goes out in it from time to time.

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    1. It's really enjoyable. There's just something about being out on the water..

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  21. That sounds like the perfect summer getaway with beautiful scenery! I love those sunsets! Thats so exciting that your son can help out with the driving. I am the oldest and I remember my mom being so excited when I got my license so I could run errands for her!

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    1. He's my youngest, and you never get used to letting them start driving. By the end of the trip, we were both relaxing while he was behind the wheel.

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  22. What a great weekend..... the pics are beautiful.... I love all the kayaking you do... I'm waiting for my the official end of June to add up my miles...this is the first year I'm keeping track monthly but I haven't added them yet.... I'm guessing I should be just over 600, but will see:) Oh...and having one of my kids be able to be the designated driver, that IS something to look forward to!!

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    1. The funny thing is, my husband wouldn't ride with my oldest while he was learning and he won't ride with Matthew either. Someone has to man up, right? Anyways, he got about 10 hours in this weekend and we are both feeling much better about his driving.

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  23. gah spiders!!! eeek!!! But otherwise sounds like an awesome weekend! congrats on 600 miles!

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  24. I will ask my hubby hen he gets home where door county is. Wisconsin has some beautiful spots! I loved the pics and the music and designated drivers are the best! I learned about Spotted Cow on my first trip there- it was uggie! LOL! Back to the rat race my friend, Happy Monday!

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    1. Tomorrow the rat race resumes. I'm not looking forward to that.

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  25. Wow, those sunsets are to die for! How were you able to leave?!?

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    1. I didn't want to leave. My son begged me. He wanted to get back to his friends. Sigh....

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  26. Gorgeous sunsets for sure, the spider thing has me totally creeped out. Not sure I ever want to go in a kayak now......

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    1. I think it was just up there...my kayak here at home is spider free!

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  27. I've been on vacation with my boys visiting my family in New Hampshire for the last 8 days, we have one more day to go and then head home. I have so much blogging to catch up on. It's hard to get any social media time when it's just me and them, the hubby couldn't make it unfortunately. OMG, I would have DIED with the spider incident. I am totally arachniphobic! Looks like a beautiful vacay for you, that sunset looks amazing!

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    1. It was a great trip, but too short unfortunately. And coming back to reality hasn't been so smooth...I need to go away again!

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  28. Ya know, Ale Asylum brewpub is in Madison or we could meet at Tyranena which is in Lake Mills or Delafield Brewing... So many options.

    I can't wait until we have a designated driver...

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  29. What gorgeous views!! Glad you got a little escape with your son (with the bonus of no driving!)

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