Monday, June 16, 2014

Door County: Day 1

That is the view from my work table here in Door County, Wisconsin, where Erik and I have come for a kid-free working retreat. It's better in real life though, since I am taller than my laptop and can see over thebats to he always-moving deep blue bay.

We arrived in the area last night around 8 p.m., after dropping off our girls at camp about 3 hour away. We had no reservations and hoped to drive around looking at inns. Of course just as we arrived, it started pouring, which made things a little more difficult, but it wasn't terrible. First we drove through Fish Creek, the largest tourist town in the area, which is really just a stretch of shops and a few streets stretching from the highway to the waterfront, lined with old-fashioned inns and cottages. Most of the inns are white with white front porches and Adirondack chairs.

Just outside town us the entrance to Peninsula State Park, with a few inexpensive motels just outside it that don't have water views. We drove past all that to the smaller town of Ephraim, where the hotels are right across the highway from the beach. The Bay Breeze Resort caught our eye because we could see from the parking lot that it had a hot tub and pool. We checked into a king suite as a slight discount ($167/night, "midweek special," extended at our request even though it was Sunday night). It's two rooms, a living room with a couch, table, fridge kitchen counter and micro, and a small bedroom with a king bed. The bathroom has a whirlpool tub.

By this time it was 8:45 p.m. I was starving, but it did not look like any of the local restaurants deliver. We called up a pizza place that advertised carry-out, only to find that they close at 7 p.m. We also found out that Ephraim is a dry town! No matter, we hit the hot tub and pool to watch the sun set (divine), and found some Girl Scout cookies in my bag to tide us over till  morning,

At around 6 a.m. I realized something I had not noticed the night before: The window in the bedroom is covered only by blinds, with no blackout curtains. This seems odd for a hotel. Because of this my dream of sleeping in until 8 a.m. was not realized -- maybe tomorrow if I can find myself a sleep mask somewhere.

After we got up we paused to admire the  view from the balcony that runs the full length of both floors of the Bay Breeze. The bay was very blue, the morning sunshine warm, with a fresh breeze coming off the water. We drove to the Old Post Office restaurant for breakfast and found that we were easily able to get a table looking right across the road to the water. Directly in front of the restaurant is a dock with chairs on it, and I asked the hostess if it belonged to the restaurant. No, she told  me, it's public.

Our waitress was friendly and chatty, telling us that today looked like the nicest day of summer so far. She has a pool at home, and she said so far no one has been in it. She also informed us that her bsck-to-back neighbor had recently burned some trees in a large bonfire, which she did not think was a good idea because they had had very little rain al spring., I ordered hah browns with cheese, an over easy egg and toast, which were delicious. Erik had a pancake and sausage. The restaurant has a tiny gift shop area selling kitchen towels with crocheted tops for hanging, Tshirts that say The Old Post Office, and some homemade  nylon poofs for scrubbing. I didn't think the building looked like a post office; it was like the other inns, with a wide front porch. But he restaurant brochure explained that it used to be a general store, with post office services in the back. As we ate we listened to the hostess take reservations for the night's fish boil.

After breakfast I dropped Erik off at the Bay Breeze so he could start his work day, and drove back to Fish Creek to grocery shop. I  noticed on the way that there is a bike rental shop right across from the state park entrance. I parked on Main Street in Fish Creek and browsed some of the clothing and souvenir shops, looking for a floppy hat to replace the one I'd forgotten back in California. I found a  nice straw one for $18. None of the store were very busy since it was a Monday morning, and I listened to the staff at one store engage in a lively conversation over whether the local beer festival was a waste of money (agreement: yes) and how much money one of them could make selling original works of art ($75 for very small ones). I strolled around town a bit on my own, breathing deep the smell of lilacs in full bloom everywhere and listening to the birds twitter.

The grocery store was tiny and of course pricey, but I found a nice bottle of Death's Door gin, made on Washington  Island, to give Erik as a belated father's day gift. Food and drinks for the room came to well over $100.

No comments: