We Did the Door

leeannrubsam.com

We just got back from a couple of days in Door County.  I could post the pictures and tell you what a wonderful place it is to visit, and I would sound like a travel magazine.  But anybody who ever reads this blog knows that’s not what you’re going to get. 

We did the things we like to do, which means we avoided all the tourist trinket shops entirely, and visited the photogenic places — Cana Island, Peninsula State Park, Cave Point, a few pretty buildings, and the ferry port on the edge of the world.  Beebee had a good time with her dad’s camera.  She probably had a good time with her parents, too, but the camera won the popularity contest.

I restrained myself from bringing little bits of Door County home with me. Last time, my mind got stuck in the groove of crab claws and other lake debris being cool.  I brought home a margarine bucket full of such things.  It resides on a shelf in my closet, and I take it out and look at it every couple of years with my nose plug in place, because all those little marine life thingies smell horrible.  I think someday I will show my crab claws to the grandchildren to see whether they are scared or delighted.  I would imagine at least one of them will be delighted.  I will tell him Grandma got these while sailing the seas in a pirate ship, and he will think I am even cooler!

I noticed they don’t have any homeless people hanging around under the docks and park benches in Door County.  It’s probably because they would freeze to death in the middle of July.  I’ve never been to Door County when it wasn’t freezing.  I recommend bringing your winter coat when you come in May.  We didn’t, and we should have.

I didn’t see too many taverns, either — not that I missed them, or needed one, or anything like that.  I suppose the locals there get the same satisfaction out of a bowl of lingonberries as folks in my neck of the woods do out of a bottle of beer.  (Lingonberries are like a cross between cranberries and currants.  You eat them in a sauce.)

Eating is a problem in Door County, unless you bring your own food or have a wallet the size of Warren Buffet’s.  The lingonberries cost, folks!  And when it is off-season (it still is, in late May) there are not a lot of places open for business.  The owners stay in Florida until June, hoping to store up warmth, somewhat like a solar battery.  They want to bring back at least the remembrance of what it was like not to shiver constantly.  But Al Johnson’s is always open.  I would eat every meal there  —  if I had Warren Buffet’s wallet at my disposal.

We stayed at the same resort that we were at the last time.  Back then, it was elegant to my plebeian eyes, but it was decidedly tired this time.  The entire building was extremely musty-smelling and my nostrils were assaulted with nastier-yet odors upon entering our room.  I did not look under the bed for dead mice resting in an ashtray full of cigarette butts, but I think I would have found that if I had looked.

The lady at the front desk informed us that if we wanted to go swimming and had not brought our suits, they had a supply of left-behinds from previous guests.  We could pick through them and wear them if we liked.  Uh, no thanks. I wonder if they offer free recycled underwear that was left behind, too.  How about toothbrushes?

Which brings me to my husband, who forgot his toothbrush.  He thought he was going to share mine.  There are times when I am not in a sharing mood.  Forgotten toothbrushes are one of those moments.  Beebee thought it should be no big deal if he just didn’t brush until we got home from the trip.  (I see that I am going to have to monitor the child’s toothpaste consumption, to make sure it is being … consumpted.)  Thankfully, my husband did not think skipping the tooth maintenance was a good idea.  We sent him down to the desk, and they sold him a toothbrush.  It was still neatly wrapped in plastic, so I don’t think it came out of the box of recycled underwear and bathing suits.

It’s a good thing that the resort thought to keep a stock of (new) toothbrushes, as we were staying at the absolute end of nowhere, at least five miles from inhabited places, and by this time every store in town would have been closed anyway, because it was after 3:00 p.m., the official time all the businesses shut down and everybody forgets to breathe until morning (except Al Johnson’s, which serves lingonberries far into the night — until 8:00 p.m., in fact).

So that’s the angle on Door County that no one else will tell you.  There’s more, but we’ll save it for another day.

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