|Peninsula State Park|
Husband and I decide to take a little mini-vacation together this summer. Seeing as how the last time the two of us took a weekend away together, without other family, and without needing to was way back when Husband won a two night stay in the Dells at a work Christmas party, when he still worked at the resort, so it was at least 4 years ago, we figured we were due for a little get away.
We opted to take a trip across the state to Door County (for those unfamiliar with Wisconsin geography, Door County is the peninsula that divides Green Bay from Lake Michigan, the “thumb” of the hand that is Wisconsin). We had spent a couple of days there right after our wedding, and always talked about going back, but never gotten around to it. We knew from previous experience that it is a pretty dog friendly place, so I tossed out the idea of bringing Pippin along. We had only attempted to travel with Pippin once before, an ill fated camping trip cut short by spending an night of storms in a tent with a thunder phobic dog and were pretty nervous about doing it again, so decided that we better only plan on making this a weekend trip, just in case.
The first step in all of this was to find a dog-friendly place to stay. It didn’t take too much searching before I discovered the Beachfront Inn in Bailey’s Harbor. Not only did they allow dogs, they offered a special package catering to guests with dogs. Excellent. The package included a two night stay at the hotel, a gift certificate to a local restaurant that had dog-friendly outdoor dining, a day pass to a state park, and a gift certificate from the Door County Visitor’s Bureau. It all sounded good, and they had one dog-friendly room available for the weekend we needed. We booked the stay and I started to research additional animal-friendly things to do.
|In the car and ready to go!|
It’s a four and a half hour drive from our home to Bailey’s Harbor. That’s a long time in a car for Husband and me, and an impossible amount of time for Pippin. I needed to make sure we provided him with enough chances to get out, stretch, and bathroom. I worked out stops about every hour to hour and a half on the way, which seemed just about right for Pippin. When we packed up the car, we made sure that Pippin had the whole backseat to himself (with the exception of my knitting bag and his supplies), and found a canvas seat cover to protect the back seats.
Our first stop was in Steven’s Point, where we picked up lunch, and ate and visited with Husband’s aunt, uncle, and cousin. It was nice to catch up with everyone, and Pippin enjoyed a bowl of water, some ice cream, and a walk around their yard.
Stop number two was in Appleton, at the Outagamie County Dog Park. This was Pippin’s first experience with a dog park, so we were a little bit nervous about it. Our concerns turned out to be pointless, as Pippin thoroughly enjoyed himself at the dog park. I think he would have been perfectly happy to stay there all weekend.
We continued on our way, making a third stop in Sturgeon Bay. Fist Husband took Pippin for a walk while I browsed at a local yarn store, Spin of Door County and bought myself a lovely skein of handpainted sock yarn. The color way is called sea wash and it combines teal blues, greys, whites, and browns. We also stopped at Stove Dog Bakery; which, as the name suggests, if a canine bakery and store. Pippin left there with a bag of homemade cookies, a new bandana, and a walking harness. The staff there was wonderful, letting Pippin browse with us, supplying a bowl of water for dogs, and allowing us to remove the harness from the packaging in order to make sure it fit Pippin (he tends to fall between sizes for doggie clothing).
|The beach at Beachfront Inn|
Finally, just before dinnertime, we checked into our hotel in Bailey’s Harbor. To say that the Beachfront Inn is merely dog friendly, would be an understatement. From the welcome treats in our room, the off leash beach area, and the lobby where the owner’s dogs allowed visitors, this was very much a hotel for dogs and the people that love them.
Dinner that night was just down the block from our hotel at the Harbor Fish Market and Grille. Pippin enjoyed his own bowl of water, complimentary dog treats and a hamburger, without a bun, served on a bed of kibble.
After a lousy night’s sleep (unfortunately, our hotel room was directly below a patio, and the scraping of chairs scared Pippin and kept us up), we headed out to begin our day. First stop was for breakfast, a little place in Ephraim, called Good Eggs. It was basically a little place in a converted garage, but the food was fantastic.
|Checking out Eagle Bluff Lighthouse|
The majority of the morning was spent at Peninsula State Park. We drove along Shore Road, making several stops to enjoy the beautiful scenery, including one at the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse. We then parked by the Eagle Tower, and enjoyed a hike through the woods and along the lakeshore. While the nice breeze off of Green Bay was nice, it still was pretty warm out there. By the time we got back to the car all three of us were beat!
|Eagle Bluff Lighthouse|
We grabbed lunch at a place just outside of the park, Julie’s Park Motel and Café, which had a dog friendly patio. Pippin enjoyed both his bowl of water and the dog treat given to him by a complete stranger. We then decided to head back to the hotel to catch a nap and escape the hottest part of the day.
With renewed energy, we headed out to explore downtown Fish Creek. We grabbed some frozen custard at a little shop called Not Licked Yet, where Pippin enjoyed a complimentary doggie ice cream cone. I was a little bummed because we had missed the Heritage Days celebration, but we browsed through several of the little shops until it was time for dinner. We had decided on a place in Fish Creek called Gibraltar Grille. They not only had a pet friendly patio, but run a monthly “Dog Pals” contest on Facebook. The food there was amazing; I recommend the Scallops and red pepper risotto, which was delicious.
|Cana Island Lighthouse|
We enjoyed the cool evening breeze off of Lake Michigan while exploring a county park beach and the Cana Island Lighthouse just outside of Bailey’s Harbor. The lighthouse and grounds were beautiful and the wind coming off of the lake felt refreshing after the hot day we had. Despite our midday rest, we were exhausted from the day and headed back to the hotel.
|Enjoying the wildflowers at Cana Island|
Day three we headed for home, but not before enjoying some fantastic pastries and coffee at the Door County Coffee and Tea Company in Carlsville. We had wanted to hit a couple of shops near there, but we got going a little too early on a Sunday morning. We did, however, browse at the coffee shop where I picked up some coffee beans (roasted on site) and some local cherry jam. We also hit a store called Grandma Tommy’s, where we grabbed some local cherry wine before heading out for home.
You could tell Pippin was tired for most of the ride home. We made a second stop at the Outagamie Dog Park in Appleton, and another at a rest area, but the drive was pretty uneventful. We were all happy to be home.
All in all, it was a pretty fantastic get away for us all. I was impressed with the number of pet-friendly places for us. We’re already planning on going back next year, but this time renting a cabin and staying for a little longer.
|Sock in progress|
Surprisingly, despite the long drive, I didn’t get much knitting done. I did some work on my sweater (for which the deadline has now passed) and started a new pair of socks. The socks are a pattern called Michigan Lakeshore, which seemed fitting considering that we were staying on the shore of Lake Michigan. They are made from Adorn sock by Three Irish Girls. The color way is Father Time, a blend of blues, brown, grey, with a little green and white mixed in.
|The grounds at Cana Island Lighthouse|