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Category: Door County

Door County – Day Two

Day Two in Door County was wonderful. The weather was unusually warm for early fall. The sky was filled with sunshine. One boy couldn’t wait to get up and go and the other boy didn’t want to leave the swimming pool behind. It was quite a day.

We started by having breakfast in the lobby. Danny wanted cereal and Alex wanted waffles. Well, the lobby was quite crowded, so Danny got his cereal way before Alex was able to get a waffle. They were actually so well behaved that I received a beaming compliment from a woman who informed me that I was doing a terrific job of raising my two boys. I didn’t bother mentioning that I’m their grandmother. Cheryl joined us for breakfast and by that time, Danny wanted a waffle, too. The couple at the next table graciously gave up their place in the waffle line to allow me to go next. I didn’t get their names, but they said that they had five boys of their own, so they understood.

Once breakfast was over, it was off to the Door County Maritime Museum and the Door County Fireboat Cruise. For some reason, Danny didn’t want to take a ride in the fireboat, but Alex was just thrilled.

On our way to the museum, I was pulled over for speeding. The one thing you have to watch in Door County is your speed. The whole of Sturgeon Bay is 25 MPH. Pretty hard to maintain when you’re going down a steep hill. I saw the nice policeman make a u-turn and turn on his lights, so I quickly pulled over. Cheryl said, “Why are we stopping here?” Then Danny said, “Yeah, Nana, why are we stopping here?” To which I answered, “Because the police are pulling us over.”

I put the car in park, rolled down the driver’s window and turned off the engine. Then, I looked in my rearview mirror and saw Danny had his hands up above his head. “Danny, what are you doing?”

“Nana, the cops are coming! The cops are coming!” Danny yelled at me. Cheryl and I exchanged some laughter and I told him to put his hands down, just as the nice officer appeared in my window.

Now, it has been a very long time since I’ve been pulled over. Not to brag, but I haven’t had a speeding ticket in over seven years. I do make it a habit to drive carefully. But the last time I was pulled over, I don’t remember the officer introducing himself and asking me how my day was going. I can’t remember this Door County officer’s name, but he has to be the nicest policeman I’ve ever met. And that’s not just because he let me off with a warning. I’ve been pulled over and given a warning before, but this guy was just extremely nice. I imagine that is how an officer has to be in a tourist town.

After that little incident, we pulled away, and Danny still didn’t want to go to see the fireboat. (I should’ve left him with the officer.) Before we went in, I called my dad to tell him about the incident and I mentioned that we were seeing the fireboat. Well, Danny wanted to talk to Grandpa Totsch, who told him about the fireboat he’d ridden in Texas, and an amazing thing happened: Danny suddenly wanted to ride the fireboat. Imagine that.

We purchased our tickets – $20.00 each for Cheryl and me, the boys rode free. The cruise took an hour and a half was and just terrific. There’s narration to tell you what you’re seeing, and I loved every minute of it.

We started the cruise sitting in chairs, but that didn’t last long. Alex was first to start running everywhere and checking out everything as the boat cruised around Sturgeon Bay.

An interesting item on the tour was passing the Arthur M. Anderson. In the picture, it is the ship on the right. Arthur M. Anderson The Arthur M. Anderson was the last ship to have contact with the SS Edmund Fitzgerald on that fateful night in 1975. For those of you who don’t know, the Fitzgerald sent a signal that they were holding their own and then sunk in a horrible storm on Lake Superiour. All 29 hands were lost. Not only was the Anderson the last ship with contact, she searched for the Fitzgerald, as well.

Another item of note, the the lighthouse seen in this picture. According to legend, it is haunted.

It is now being used as a relaxation area for the US Coast Guard. There are reports that the wife of one of the men who worked in the lighthouse now haunts it.

I think the best part of the whole cruise was toward the end. For a while, they bring out one of the fire hoses and let the kids on board shoot water off the side. Well, as you can imagine, the boys were more than a little thrilled to play with the fire hose. There were three other children on board and they each took a turn, but Danny and Alex seemed even more interested because they waited out other children and went right back for more. The man aboard was more than happy to let them do so.

If you’re traveling to Door County, with or without children, I highly recommend the FireBoat cruise. I think it was the most fun we had the whole trip.

After the cruise, we toured the Maritime Museum. That was interesting. They have a lot of interactive exhibits and a few hands on ones. Danny enjoyed being able to guide a ship, using a computer mouse. I think he thought that was the best part. Alex had fun asking me what kind of ship each of the models represented. I’d say the name and the type and he would repeat it back to me.

All of that brings me to lunch. When we had been at the Pudgy Seagull the day before, our waitress recommended that we head to PC Junction for lunch the next day. She had overheard Alex say he liked trains and she didn’t steer us wrong.

If you’re going to the PC Junction for lunch, keep this in mind — to sit by the train, there’s going to be a wait. This is not a place where you just pluck yourself down for a quick lunch. There’s a playground for the kids. In fact, the whole place is designed with kids — even us big ones — in mind.

The train comes through and serves your drinks, lunch and even bubbles. The boys loved it. I loved the huge selection of sodas. I’m not a beer drinker, so having more to choose for soda than Pepsi or Coke makes me pretty happy. The meals were good and the serving of food on the back of a toy train is amazingly efficent. After lunch, the boys enjoyed a little romping in the playground.

Then, we traveled back to Paul David’s Jewelry to pick up all of our rings. There’s something wonderful about a cleaned and buffed ring, makes them look brand new.

We walked through a couple of shops and then the boys reached their limit. It was time to head back to Jack – my Chevy Cobalt. We went back to the hotel for some swimming.

Door County – Part One

Ah, Door County. To say that I love our annual trip to Door County is an understatement. It is one of the few places in the state where I don’t have to use my allergy medicine. Although, I did bring back a very bad cold this year.

Unlike previous years, we didn’t go up after Labor Day and stay an entire week. We went up on Saturday and came back on Labor Day. Also, unlike most reviews, I’m not going to pick one spot and review it, I’m going to mention the various places we visited and give you my opinion on them.

On Saturday, we picked up our grandsons – Danny and Alex – up in Green Bay and drove up to Door County. We checked in at the Comfort Hotel in Sturgeon Bay. Frankly, I think $125.00 a night is a bit pricey. However; the staff there are very nice, which makes up for the high price. I’m known to be on the cheap side and knowing that I have had the same room (or a similar one) for forty dollars less just bugs me to no end. On the other hand, the $125.00 price tag is right in line with all other area hotels. The Comfort Inn is pet and kid friendly, has a small swimming pool, free wireless Internet and a nicely done Continental breakfast that includes Waffles. The boys love waffles.

When we checked into the Comfort Inn, Danny was still sleeping in the backseat of the car. Cute, isn’t he? Alex accompanied me into the lobby, where Bobby checked us in and set the ground rule that no one can go swimming unless they have eaten lunch first. I thought that was a nice touch and really helped me convince Alex that we have to eat first. Kim had packed the boys clothes in their school backpacks, which made unloading the car very easy. Each boy was thrilled to carry his own luggage into the hotel. Alex even took his backpack down to the lobby to show Bobby.

Once the car was unloaded, it was time for lunch. We headed down to downtown Sturgeon Bay. We gave the boys the choice of eating in the Inn at Cedar Crossing or across the street at the Pudgy Seagull. The Seagull won hands down. What boy doesn’t want to eat at a place called the Pudgy Seagull?

The Seagull is very family friendly and not very expensive. Lunch for the four of us came to just over twenty dollars. Not a bad price to pay in a tourist town. Cheryl and I had the egg salad on wheat toast (you get your choice of bread), Danny had a cheeseburger and Alex had a chocolate chip pancake with a side order of cole slaw. What can I say, the kid has a cast iron stomach. The egg salad was nicely done, it wasn’t salty and it had an almost sweet taste to it. Also, it wasn’t so crammed onto the bread that it dropped everywhere and it wasn’t so mayonnaise layered I was wondering where the eggs were.

Next was a stop at Paul David’s Jewelry store in Fish Creek. We purchased a very beautiful diamond ring from Paul around five years ago and every year Cheryl and I stop to have him inspect the ring and clean it. Taking good care of your jewelry is very important. Unfortunately, while we were there, we received bad news. When my grandmother died, my only inheritance was her wedding band and engagement ring. I had taken them to a different jewelry store and had them inspected, had them separated, had new shanks put on and had all the diamonds re-tipped. Since then, I have lost two of the small diamonds, one in the wedding band and one in the engagement ring. Turns out, according to Paul, they didn’t re-tip my rings properly. They charged an outrageous sum of money and only placed one tip on each diamond.

So, Paul now has my grandmother’s wedding band and he’s going to properly tip the rings. I’m just kicking myself for not taking those rings to him in the first place!

The boys were restless – they wanted to go swimming – so we didn’t stop to look at any of the other shops in Fish Creek. However; the boys did allow us one stop on the way back to the hotel: Wood Orchard Market. This is a great little shop with fresh fudge, homemade pies (cherry and apple) and a slew of other items. We picked up a cherry pie, cherry salsa, cherry cider and two six packs: one of (yes, you guessed it) cherry soda and one of root beer. We would’ve picked up more, but the boys were restless.

Wood Orchard Market sells an apple called SweeTango. Oh, it is the perfect combination of tangy and sweet. I wish we had picked up a bunch of them. We meant to stop again, but we forgot. Next year, I’m bringing home a basket full!

One of the nice amenities to Wood Orchard is the fact that they have both a slide and a little race track – complete with pedal cars. The boys loved the pedal cars. This is a terrific way to keep rambunctious kids happy, while the other parent (or in our case, grandparent) shops.

The rest of the evening was spent in the hotel and, of course, in the hotel swimming pool. Both boys aren’t afraid of the water. They love to stand on the side of the pool and jump into our arms. Alex, who was scared of the water last year, kept wanting to be dunked and I was more than happy to oblige.

This was just one day in Door County and, as much as I’d like to tell you about day two and three, I think I’ll combine them into my next article.

God Bless

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