I was facing down two more weeks of maternity leave before I had to go back to work and I was just devastated. I didn’t know how I was going to be able to leave Evie every day, how I was going to be able to deal with missing her smiles and discoveries, how I was ever going to fit into pants without an elastic waist (spoiler alert: I can’t!). So I decided to take my mind off of it by declaring a family vacation. I decided that we were going to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary by taking Evie and Oz to Door County, WI where we celebrated our first wedding anniversary three years ago.
This was only our second time there, but we love Door County. It’s known as “The Cape Cod of the Midwest”. A string of charming hamlets along Lake Michigan connected by farmland and forests. The end of April is right before the season starts so it’s nice and quiet. There’s enough open to keep us entertained, but not enough to make us feel we have to over schedule ourselves to see everything. It’s a nice change for us cynical city folk to go to a place where people are friendly and chatty. It’s just idyllic, long woodsy walks, lazy drives and cheese, plenty of cheese!
We justified the trip by declaring it a trial run for our trip to VA later this summer. We wanted to see how Evie did in the car (great!), how much time we lost stopping to feed her (about an hour every four hours of driving), and whether a full size car was big enough (nope, looking forward to our Rav 4 or similar). We managed to get everyone strapped in an on the move fairly easily, although Evie wanted to stop for conversation breaks 🙂
We made good time and arrived in the afternoon. We decided to stay the same place we did last time, The Beachfront Inn at Bailey’s Harbor. It is dog friendly, right on the lake and extremely reasonably priced. They are so nice there, and because we pretty much had the place to ourselves (pre-season and all), we got to pick our room and boy did we score. We could still see the lake and we had PLENTY of space. Oz had his own bed and once we were inside he was racing around, tongue hanging out exploring every nook and cranny – hiding under the dresser and even disappearing into the gap between the sofa and the wall. Yep, sofa! This incredible hotel room had two queen beds, a sofa, a recliner/rocker, a dinette set, mini fridge, microwave, coffee maker and flat screen TV. It was heaven and perfect because while we did get out and see the sights, realistically we had a baby with us and it was nice to have room to spread out and a comfortable place to relax at the end of the day.
Here’s a photo of our room last time, as you can see both the room AND the photography got an upgrade 🙂
The first night we ventured out only far enough to get dinner. The kitchen was closing but they said they could do anything fried. The food wasn’t the greatest, but the New Glarus Fat Squirrel beers we picked up along the way more than made up for it. I was disappointed that the amazing buffalo fried jack cheese sticks were no longer on the menu, but I have a photo from last time!
The perfect first night in Door County. I even had time to run out with my camera and catch a few shots of the end of the sunset. And it felt great to be on my own tramping on the beach photographing something new.