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What I did on my summer vacation: Door County Wisconsin

Although we currently live in Northern California, the money pit 1.0 was in Boston, and before that I home was the Mid-Atlantic.. my (and my husband's) family lives in the midwest.

Wisconsin specifically.
So ever few summers we fly back to the midwest for our big family reunion in Door County Wisconsin.  Where is Door Co you may ask? I don't think anyone who doesn't follow the Green Bay Packers or regularly eat beer boiled brats has heard of it.
It is the tiny little thumb of land that sticks out into lake Michigan.

Honestly, it wouldn't be my choice for a vacation spot if we weren't meeting family, but Wisconsinites seem to love it.  We flew into Milwaukee and drove up the 150 miles.  99% of the scenery was this:
Door County itself is a quaint little area, with small towns dotting the two lane road that runs along the coast.  Door County is "famous" for its cherries, which took a bad hit this year with a late freeze.

We stayed in Sister Bay, a small town with a little marina:
Sister Bay also is the home of Al Johnson's Swedish restaurant, a local tourist favorite which boasts real goats that feed off the grass covered roof and hostesses decked out in full costume.  J seemed to like the exterior decor:
There are also the typical things you do anywhere isolated: hiking, biking, boating, swimming, shopping for overpriced nick nacks and t-shirts, eating in mom and pop restaurants, cheesy photo ops:
  There isn't a Starbucks for miles which qualifies it for "isolated" status in my book.  But there is ICE CREAM and lots of it:
Ice cream became a theme of our trip (since it was really hot the week we were there):
I think we ate it every day:
They don't call it "America's Dairyland" for nothing.

Growing up in New England, Door County reminds me a bit of the New England coast, but with a more midwestern vibe; less pretentious but more run down and equally touristy.  
To add to the feeling of isolation, our rental unit didn't have internet access which is the definition of "roughing it" to a blogger. Therefore I had to make at least one visit to the Sister Bay library every day:
A few other highlights of the week included a trip to the go kart track:
MULTIPLE rounds of mini-golf:
And a trip to the Skyway Drive-In (yes, there are still a few Drive-Ins still going strong):
With an itinerary like that, clearly the kids enjoyed it:
Besides killing time chowing down on saturated-fat laden deliciousness, or partaking in every touristy activity we could think of, we were actually there to see our extended family which we only see rarely:
We got together to paint our names on the Anderson Dock warehouse (a family tradition):
And of course our big family reunion photo shoot was set in front of the Wilson's Ice Cream parlor in Ephraim (the irony was not lost on me):
The week was full of wholesome family fun, a good excuse to get away from the real world for a while.
And to think, it was only the first third of our vacation.  We still had two more weeks to go.. it was time to leave the midwest and head down south.  But that is the subject of another post.

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  1. Beautiful photography! And your first grader seems to have grown by leaps and bounds this summer. She definitely looks a school girl now. Can't wait to see more about your trip

  2. I love the pics. Beautiful scenery and my goodness, J must have grown like crazy since the last pics I saw of her - I barely knew it was her! They're beautiful, your girls. And your pics. ;) And the ice cream. And was that an iced coffee I saw? Yum.

  3. You do know this is my home area, right? Gotta love Al Johnsons and Wilsons Ice Cream Parlor. I am glad you had so much fun while you were here- xo Diana

  4. that looks like a lovely vacation. Totally away from everything. envious!


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