30 August 2014

Spur-of-the-Moment Road Trip

Sunset Beach. Fish Creek

Wheatless, I'm feeling better than I have all summer. Probably a lot longer than that. I have renewed energy and big ideas. Anyway, we'd a holiday weekend in front of us with very loosely-constructed plans.

I need the ocean. A few times a year. Yes, my cousin BZY and I are going to Kiawah and Charleston in two weeks while CA is in Fort Collins. Yet, I kept needing the ocean.
Lake Michigan is the nearest "ocean" we have. I kept ruminating on years ago vacations to Door County, WI, which lies on a thumb-like penninsula between Green Bay and Lake Michigan. During the past week, CA and I'd toss around vague travel ideas for Labor Day weekend and then dismiss them. He obsessed a bit over accomodations and whatever, but we still made no plans. Our vacation itineraries are set for mid-September. No need to jump the shark.

But, at 6:20am today I poked him in the ribs to make sure he was awake and said, "Let's go to Door County." By 8:00am we were on the road. No reservations.

It is all so familiar, even though it's been 25+ years since we visited here. We came many times with old friends, and a few times with our kids (cousins or friends) in-tow. We stayed mostly in Fish Creek, but once in Egg Harbor and once on Kangaroo Lake. We always ate at the Cookery in Fish Creek and had ice cream at Wilson's in Ephraim.

I "antiqued" in Door County with my then best friend. A lot. But, not this time. Our decor is pared-down, antiques passed on; and my tastes have migrated to French Country. Linen and lighter, tonal colors. There are still antiques mixed in, but now our floors are almost bare wood and surfaces are bare or simply embellished. I still need less, not more. I look, but I almost never buy and antique shops cast no spell on me.

Today we drove up the Peninsula, marveling at how much is still the same, and not so very much different. We kept our eyes alert to vacancy-no vacancy-sorry signs. We optimistically stopped to inquire a few times, only once or twice offered a 3-bedroom unit or a luxury(?) penthouse rental. I hate it when the two of us stay in a 2 or 3 bedroom vacation rental. It seems so wasteful. We should have brought along friends or family!

We were never frustrated in our search. We'd expected to drive the lone highway today to re-orient. Just as we'd decided to abandon the search for a room on the Penninsula (planning on a 30-minute drive south to Sturgeon Bay after dinner), we saw an old-fashioned motor court in Ephraim that actually looked promising. It was. It is. Clean, comfortable, and very dated. Very dated, not kitschy. We're here for 2 nites @ $100/nite (motel spelling!). We're smiling. Peninsula Parkview, Room #11.
The owner has given us dinner and breakfast recommendations; there's a pool, fire-pit, grill, and coffee in the morning. What more could anyone ask for?!

We're off to Settlers' Square in Fish Creek, a short drive. Tomorrow we'll sit and gaze, walk and graze. We've books and iDevices. But mostly, we'll use our 5 or 6 senses and our smiling muscles.

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