Monday, June 15, 2015

Door County Anniversary Trip, Day 1

Our Second Wedding Anniversary Getaway!
Day 1: Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What? Anniversary trip? Is it the end of July already? Summer always goes by so fast!

Nope, it's still June, this was just our only chance to get to celebrate our anniversary this summer. We are very thankful that we were allowed a week away, and especially grateful to my family who watched over Charlotte while we were gone! 

For our trip, we decided to go to an area we had heard great things about but never visited: Door County, Wisconsin. We found a great house off of that was very reasonably priced, so we decided to stay there for a whole week. For our honeymoon, we did a road trip tour of the Great Lakes. However, we didn't go into Wisconsin at all, so it was both a new and exciting experience, but also something familiar to what we had done before. 

We started out by driving through beautiful Stone City, IA. This place is close to my heart because I went to Carlson College of Massage Therapy here! It was fun reliving the drive there through the wide open country. It's no wonder that Grant Wood chose to live out here and paint scenes of the area - the rolling hills, fields, and patches of trees are gorgeous. One thing that makes Stone City so beautiful is all the old stone buildings. We loved driving through, and added it to our list of "potential places to settle down someday." 

But let's be are we ever going to "settle down." We have way too many plans. ;)

Does this building look familiar? Does the "American Gothic" ring a bell? Well, it's okay if you didn't guess that. This is a model of that farmhouse, and the real one is located 2 hours South of here!

After that, we drove to Dubuque, IA, another gorgeous city where I almost went to college, and which we also added to our ever-growing list. We stopped at the Mines of Spain Recreation Area for a short hike and gorgeous views of the Mississippi River. From here, you can also see both Wisconsin and Illinois!

This tower is the Julien Dubuque Monument. Julien Dubuque was the first English man to settle in Iowa, and he lived and mined in this area. 

We took a short walk on the trail. We were amazed by how green everything was! I am also thankful that there is less of a chance that we'll run into any mountain lions while hiking here. ;)

It's also not often we run into water while hiking. Too bad it isn't Havasu Blue or Colorado Green. ;)

After that, we took a trip across the bridge and ended up in Wisconsin!

Mississippi River!

Wisconsin welcomes us!

M Mountain?

When in "Swiss-consin"....

Without letterboxing stops, this drive was about 7 hours. We made it an all day trip and finally arrived in the Door County peninsula around 4:30. However, we still had the whole drive up, as our home for the week was in Ellison Bay!

We stopped for a box and learned about the great fire that took place here. The same time that the Chicago fire was going on, there were also fires in Wisconsin. Because of the fire and the weather patterns of that day, there ended up being tornados of fire. The town that was here at that point is now wiped out.

In Sturgeon Bay, WI, we watched the drawbridge go up for a tall sailboat passing through. 

Our adorable rental house! If anyone needs a recommendation for where to stay, ask me! This place had just what we needed for the week. (We'd say it's best for couples to stay here though, it's pretty small!)

We grabbed a pizza for dinner, then came out and watched the sun set over Ellison Bay.

I am so glad we were here for lilac season! We learned later that week that lilacs aren't native to North America, the Norwegian settlers brought them over to remind them of home. So if you see a big lilac bush in Door County, there's a chance that that area was once occupied by a Norwegian settler.

Our first sunset over Green Bay. (Ok, the sun isn't down all the way...we don't always have a lot of patience for these things!)

Day 1 Wrap Up: Drove 400 miles, found 2 letterboxes. 

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