Eric's dad grew up in Sturgeon Bay, WI, which is in Door County--the "thumb" of Wisconsin. I think it's called "Door" because the early French explorers approaching from the Great Lakes thought of this area as "Death's Door" but it is a lovely place to visit now.
Grandpa Mike has a house right on Lake Michigan and now that we live a mere five hours away we hope to see a bit more of him and his mother and siblings who still live in the area. Our first trip was last weekend. Because of Eric's work schedule we went Saturday through Tuesday which helped us avoid the insane holiday lake and resort traffic in Minnesota and Wisconsin (I'm using the word "insane" in a very relative way as I've yet to see anything that rivals the daily traffic headaches in DC).
We had a lovely and relaxing weekend. The Great Lakes are really something--we fell asleep to the sound of breaking surf each night. The horizon goes on and on. But it always feels to me like "fake ocean." I know that the Lakes aren't trying to be like the ocean but I still feel just slightly confused every time I see them. Anyway. The kids enjoyed swimming. Joseph has always been a little fish so he was anxious to dive right in. He would have stayed in all day but he got seriously chilled after less than an hour despite the hot weather.
Margaret was terrified of the ocean when we last went almost a year ago. She sort of tiptoed toward the water with a lot of coaxing from Grandpa and after a minute happily plopped down just where the waves would crash on her and threw sand at the waves. Eric took her for a turn in the deep water, too but I was trying to warm up Joseph and couldn't get to the camera.
The next day we went sailing up Sturgeon Bay. Joseph was beside himself with excitement over the boat, the cabin on the boat, his life jacket, the "inboard" motor, the sails. Everything. He spent most of the trip on someone's lap helping steer the boat.
Margaret was decidedly less sure about the whole endeavor. She liked the "sputtering" part of the trip--as Joseph called it--and the sailing down the bay was okay. But tacking back up afterward with the boat leaning to alternate sides and lots more wind was not her idea of a good time and I was enjoying myself less than usual worrying about her going over the edge--which was probably much less likely than it seemed. She elected to remain below deck for awhile until we turned on the motor again.
It was a lovely weekend and we do hope to make at least a couple more trips this year to get to know this part of the family a bit better.