For the last few summers now we have gone to a magical place to vacation. There are no rollercoasters, movie theater, water parks, animal mascots. While we are there I cook and clean and do laundry. I bring almost everything we need. There is no television, no internet, no telephone, Ipad, Wii. Why on earth would I call this vacation and why would you return without a court order? Let me tell you.
Washington Island, Wisconsin is at the tippy top of that little finger that breaks away from the state. North of Green Bay in Door County. It is a 7 hour drive from here, a long 7 hour drive. We arrive at the dock. Oh, did I mention you get there by ferry-boat?
After those hours in the car the ferry-boat ride seems like a dream! The sunshine and stretching our legs, whooping and cheering and feeling the wind in our hair. There is nothing better in the world than the ferry-boat ride to Washington Island!
We’ve been blessed in the past to be able to stay at a friend’s cottage. This year he wanted to use his own place–so we rented a different cabin, sight only seen on craigslist–this is where we settled.
The cottage is clean and comfortable. The door is open and so are the windows. Breeze is blowing thru the lace curtains. We bring our own linens and towels. The boys unpack the car and I am busy making beds and dinner. There are places to eat on the island. The last thing I want is to get back in the car and take the boys somewhere to be quiet and still. I picked up a couple of rotisserie chickens at our last stop on the mainland–that will make dinner and lunch tomorrow. We relax after dinner watching the Boys blow bubbles and Monster Baby chase them. It is good. It is enough.
Next morning we clean up our little cabin, gather laundry, make beds, do dishes and pack a picnic to head to our favorite place, Schoolhouse Beach.
I love this place. The water is calm, clear and cool. The beach is made of smooth, white , round stones. They make the best “Plunk” sound when you toss them in the water, not just your usual plunk, but a deep baritone plunk–and they are great skippers too. Building rock towers is the island version of sand castles and harder than it looks. I enjoy stacking the smooth rocks and there is no sand to clean up !!! We grill hamburgers and hotdogs right there, some days just a PB & J or snack on cheese and Door County Cherries. The boys swim out to the dock–the bright cheery orange dock that is further out than you think. After a bit of encouragement cannon ball off. We share the beach with Islanders and a large family from Vietnam. Great way to spend the day. It is good. It is enough
There are sights to see and simple things to enjoy. Kite to fly, Apples to chuck, treasure to find. K.K.Fisk has a DVD lending table. We end the evenings introducing the boys to the classics…Indiana Jones, Beetlejuice.
This year we did have rain while we were there. That didn’t damper our plans. After the storm we did return to our beach and found this….
Our calm water was full of 6 ft turbulent waves and the temperature was 20 degrees colder!! Watching the waves hit the shore, I understood how the rocks got so smooth. That was a sight I had to see to believe. We went home and made popcorn and had a fire in the fireplace. That was good. That was enough.
The thing that I find so perfect about this place is that is really is a place to connect. We listen to the birds, enjoy the smell of lavender wafting from the fields. We laid a blanket out in the yard after dark and watched the meteor shower. We laughed and listened to each other. This is a place to play card games and board games. There were no clocks in the cabin. We live on Island time.
Yes, we will go the Disney someday. We will spend a lot and take a lot of pictures and have a ball. I hope though that when my boys become men that they look back on our summers on the Island and remember the real magic kingdom we shared.
P.S. We ran into our friends while we were there. He offered to take the boys fishing on Lake Michigan and I invited them to supper. I will tell you about that tomorrow.