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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

American Adventures: Part 2



Part 2: Washington Island, Door County, WI

I've been going to Washington Island since I was an infant. A visit by my parents when I was a few months old inspired them to buy some property. We camped for years and then, about 18 years ago or so, they had 2 former motel a-frames moved to the land. Slowly, slowly, the buildings have been remodeled. Joined, shag carpet ripped out, kitchen added (they were just bedrooms + bathrooms), etc. The cabin is definitely still a work-in-progress. And far less than perfect. But still one of my favorite places in the world. No tv. No internet. Cell service if your lucky. There's a little radio and a landline (installed only after my uncle fell off the roof and broke his leg about 15 years ago). While I was there with The Scot we played a lot of Scrabble.

the cabin


To get to the island, you have to take a ferry. The ride takes about 30 minutes. We lucked out as it was a gorgeous, sunny day. Little wind. No big waves. It was a perfect ride. I hadn't been up in 2 years (since, sadly, I didn't get to visit the US last summer) and it was really like coming home. This is the place I spent much of my summertime growing up. Between trips in the family motorhome across the US and Canada, weeks spent at my grandparents', and the island, my childhood summers were always full and fun. It meant a lot to bring The Scot to this place. To me, it's a bit full of magic.

testing the waters


We visited Schoolhouse Beach, along the Northern shores, for a swim in the clear Lake Michigan waters. I don't think I've gone swimming there since high school! Such fun! It was a bit brisk, but still lovely. Iris came along, too. She looked every bit the beach babe! ;)

iris dips her toes in


A climb up a tall staircase and another winding up a lookout tower, and we were treated to the beautiful "mountain tower" views of not only Washington Island, but looking further to Rock Island and beautiful Lake Michigan.

the mountain tower


fortuna doesn't mind the height


I had a great time taking photos, and the boy had fun taking photos of me taking photos!

{in progress}


Of the many beautiful places, we also visited the Norwegian stavkirke. This lovely little chapel was created by local craftspeople and is owned by the Lutheran church. I've seen it from it's beginnings and as it's developed into a finished building with gorgeous gardens. I always find a sense of calm there.

stavkirke


fortuna and the kirk


We only stayed a couple short days on Washington Island, but it meant so much to include this visit as a part of our larger vacation. It's as much home to me as my parents' house is. I already can't wait til my next chance to visit.

our beach




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