The weather was beautiful when we visited Lake Michigan. The Missus dipped her toes in for good luck, and I tried really hard not to fall in and be swept away in a riptide.
One thing I made a point to do was pick up some apples for my Grandma. She asked for ‘Snow Crisp’ apples, which only attracted laughing and confused looks from the folks at the orchard. I think she meant ‘Honey Crisp,’ as the entire acreage was littered with them. Done and done.
A trip to ‘Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant’ in Sister Bay was eye-opening, in that all of the authentic Swedish waitresses were seven feet tall, blonde and wearing those traditional outfits. All of the arrogant assholes visiting from Illinois were enjoying seasonal jams and jellies that I had never heard of before, as I dug into my grilled cheese sandwich and begged for mercy.
As much as I feel that scenery and ‘being there in person’ is overrated, I was quite taken by the beauty of water as far as the eye can see. It’s like a more personal version of staring into space and realizing your fleeting insignificance in a random world. Also, there’s pie.
Julie’s restaurant had amazing pasta and desserts, but halfway through our meal, a huge spider crawled onto the table and damn near gave the Missus an embolism. Minutes later, our waiter crashed into the table next to us, spilling water and food everywhere. Later, when we paid the check, the man working the counter couldn’t wait to stop talking to us. It was an awesome place.
The four of us stayed in a two-bedroom, two-bathroom suite, boasting a full kitchen loaded with accessories. Those accessories came in handy when we were ordering pizza and drinking cider with whiskey. There was a wall-hanging that really bothered Ben, so I pulled it off the wall and set it on top of the freezer.
I saw this baby at a local car show; the only time I’ve ever seen a Delorean in person. The owner of the car didn’t want me taking a photo of myself next to it, so we simply waited until he turned away. Dude, there’s like, 50 of these left on the planet! Don’t be selfish!
Without question, you mainly visit Door County for their endless array of knick-knack, specialty and candy shops. I took home a pound of fudge, 10 pounds of apples, two milk chocolate bars, some candy cigarettes I swore were off the market and a candle that smelled like pumpkin pie. If I wouldn’t have been wearing my wedding ring, I would have been completely indistinguishable from every other gay guy there.
At the hotel, I walked around the entire perimeter looking for an ice machine. For a half-hour, I shuffled around, holding an empty ice bucket, while drunks and newlyweds stared at me and skittered back into their rooms. Once I did get my ice, pretty much everyone in my room was fast asleep. I don’t know when I started hanging around with infants incapable of staying awake past 10pm, but it’s starting to annoy me.
After the parade was over, about 5000 tourists scurried into downtown, as we walked against the grain to get back to our hotel. I pretended that they were zombies, which actually started to freak me out after a while. In the photo, you can see me lurching in a feeble attempt to blend in, so they didn’t eat my brain with a side of boysenberry jam.
Man, candy stores smell so great. I asked one of the employees, “Isn’t this the best job in the world?” The teenage boy looked at me with the face of someone who was about one more scoop of taffy away from an all-out shooting spree, so I paid for my fudge and got the hell out of there.
Taking the MINI Cooper was a no-brainer. The Autumn weather, mixed with the winding roads and limited traffic was simply breathtaking. Also, we could park anywhere and looked like a novelty amongst all of the embarrassingly-large Expeditions and Tahoe’s. A co-worker once asked me if I feel insecure about my masculinity when I drive the MINI. This person is an idiot.
Ben and Sherry wanted to visit a place that sold nothing but Olive Oil. Thinking that it was some niche-place that only attracted a small group of people, I was slack-jawed to see the line for this place extending right out the door. It’s just oil, people.
Skipping stones by Washington Island (the tippy-top of Wisconsin’s ‘thumb’) was amazing. I began to fantasize about perhaps owning a Summer home there once I became a wealthy and self-employed author. I then thought about owning a Unicorn that cried quarters and blasted Bad Religion songs out of its ass.
The master bedroom in the resort had a whirlpool hot tub, which me and the Missus were lucky enough to stay in. While we didn’t ‘use’ the hot tub like I had assumed we would, the Missus slipped in it during a shower and almost knocked herself unconscious. Close enough, I suppose.
Me and Ben played a set of tennis on Sunday morning, and my shoulder still hurts as of Wednesday morning. I won, however, which is the only thing that matters. On the sidelines, the Missus and Sherry tried not to notice how fat, old and out completely of shape we’ve both become. I appreciated their support and ignorance.
Me and Sherry drove to a local bar to pick up a pizza, where I was instantly reminded that no matter where you are in Wisconsin, you’ll always run into people that could probably be friends with your dad. Having more or less been raised in bars ourselves, the two of us didn’t stick around very long, instead opting to drink alone, like well-adjusted people do.
At one of the coffee shops, I bought a little pin that says, “I like sammitches.” There wasn’t a scrap of irony in that purchase; I freaking love sammitches, and want everyone to know. Later, I bought a hot chocolate that a bee landed in. I’m considering paying someone to follow me around with a muted trombone to make the ‘whaa-whaa‘ sound every time something like that happens.
Let it be said that there’s nothing more rewarding and special than traveling the world with your best friends. Even if I was a dick at times, and didn’t really want to do anything. I still enjoyed myself; I’m picking the vacation next time, though.
So long, Door County. We’ll be back, but not soon enough.
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