Summer Weekend Adventures

Weekends are never long enough, especially in summer.

Spending a long holiday weekend at my parents’ house on Lake Michigan is always full of adventures, from kayaking to hiking. This time we also hiked The Ridges and the Mink River Trail.

Exploring the variety of flora is a fun treasure hunt throughout the seasons.

Noticing the wildlife is an exciting outdoor activity too, finding birds, wildlife and insects.

Some critters are hard to capture with the camera, like this pileated woodpecker, and other critters are fun to watch their shenanigans, like these cute little red squirrels chomping on cones right outside our kitchen door.

And of course, there are many varieties of butterflies and dragonflies to follow. I’ve never seen this particular 12-Spotted skimmer dragonfly before. I had fun following a tiger swallowtail and a few monarchs too.

I always cherish these weekend getaways and wish I could stay longer. I’m already looking forward to the next one! Cheers to more summer weekend adventures!

Lake life

One of my favorite things in life is water, so I love spending time at my parents’ lake house.

Their house sits in between the water and wooded bluffs so it’s quiet and peaceful, perfect to take a nap in the hammock or just watch the wind blow over the water.

Or go for a hike to explore the flora and fauna in the woods.

Last weekend we had the bluest sky I’ve ever seen!

Fun to end each evening with a beach bonfire at sunset!

Cheers to summer!

Field Notes: Weekend at the Lake

I just spent a fabulous weekend at my parents’ house on Lake Michigan. It was chock-full of eating, shopping and adventures. The weather was nice so we could took the boat out for some sightseeing from the water and swimming, even though the water was breathtakingly cold.beach view at the beachsandals on the beach coneflower pathwaymonarch butterfly frittilary butterfly

boat ridehouse from the water door county bluffs

door county ice cream factory ice cream quilt little sister bay sunset sister bay sunsetWe used to spend a lot of time playing and exploring on Lake Michigan when we were kids, so I always miss it since it’s the closest thing to an ocean around here. Hope you’re out enjoying these last few weeks of summer!



Notes From the Weekend: Big Waves and Fall Color

We took a road trip to spend the weekend at my parent’s cottage on the lake. The first couple days were super windy with cold winds from the North, producing big waves that were 4 to 6 feet.

Door County - big waves Door County - big waves Door County - big waves

The last day we were there the winds completely died down and the waters were calm.Door County - calm waters

Door County - calm waters We were lucky to go hiking a couple times since the fall colors were spectacular!

Door County - fall colorDoor County - fall colorDoor County - fall colorDoor County - fall color

Door County - fall colorDoor County - fall color Door County - fall colorDoor County - fall color Door County - fall color

Door County - fall colorDoor County - fall colorDoor County - Fall Color

Door County - fall color Door County - fall color Door County - Fall ColorWhen you look closely in the woods, you find all sorts of cool things!

Door County - fungus

Door County - fern Door County - fern

Door County - wooly bear Door County - Fall ColorDoor County - mushrooms Door County - mushrooms Door County - mushrooms


We were also celebrating my mom’s birthday, so it was a treat to get away for the weekend and spent lots of time in the woods!



First Weekend of Summer

Yippee for the official first weekend of summer! I was lucky enough to be able to spend the weekend at my parents’ cottage on the lake. The weather wasn’t very summery the first couple days but we managed to have fun anyway, with some kayaking, bird-watching and hiking in the woods.

kayaks in door county

gull on the dock

gull in the water

loons in Garrett Bay

tree stump terranium

tree roots

tree roots

poppy in Door County

The kick-off of summer meant the Fyr Bal Festival in Ephraim, where the city sets up a few bonfires on the beach to symbolize burning the winter witch and welcome summer. After the bonfires die down, they put on a great fireworks show over the water.

Fyr Ball bonfires

Fyr Ball fireworks

fireworks in ephraim

Hope you enjoyed your first weekend of summer!



Finding Some Quiet

What better way to find some quiet for the weekend than sneak off to my parents’ cottage on Lake Michigan where there’s no cell coverage and no Internet access.


First on our agenda was to have lunch at Fred and Fuzzy’s waterfront bar and grille. They serve fabulous bloody mary’s, cherry margaritas, whitefish sandwiches, and sweet potato fries. (I didn’t have ALL that!)

fred and fuzzys

We also had to make sure we stopped at the Door County Ice Cream Factory for the best ice cream. My favorite flavor is Mississippi Mud Pie; Dave’s favorite is Death’s Door Chocolate.

door county ice cream factory

We tried something new this time by stopping at the tasting room of the Island Orchard Cider House.

tasting room

They make the best Normandy style cider, a fermented alcoholic beverage made from apples, which tastes like carbonated white wine. I was surprised at how much I loved it. apple cider

We went for a long hike at The Clearing, a folk school specializing in arts, nature and science classes, in the woods with a beautiful property.

the clearing

It was fun to explore the classroom buildings and dormitories scattered throughout the woods.

dormitory at the clearing

courtyard at the clearing

They have trails leading you through the woods,

trail at the clearing

and end up overlooking the lake.


Just being on the trails after a long hiatus during the summer months was peaceful and quiet.

blue chucks on the trail

We were also lucky enough to go kayaking a couple times.

kayaking in Garrett Bay

Just being on the beach, watching the water was peaceful and quiet.

flip flops on the beach

It’s also one of the best places to do some stargazing once it gets dark because there’s not a lot of light pollution. We saw shooting stars and the Milky Way galaxy stretched across the sky.

sunset - no horizon line

Hope you’re finding some quiet in your busy life. Thanks for stopping by!


Weekend Adventures: At the Lake

On the weekends, especially Saturdays, we’re always trying to think of something fun to do that’s outside our neighborhood. Sometimes, we go to the farmers market. Other times, we go downtown for a slice of pizza and a dose of people-watching. Other times, in Fall, we hit the hiking trails.

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to spend a couple days with my family at my parents’ lake house.

Door County house

I met them at one of our favorite restaurants, Fred and Fuzzy’s (named after the owners), which is a waterfront bar and grille. Simple patio tables, chairs and umbrellas. Simple menu. I always get the whitefish sandwich with sweet potato fries. Their cherry margaritas are SO good. (Door County is famous for its cherries, which grow well in the local conditions.)

cherry margarita

view at Fred & Fuzzys

We took the boat out to sea for a cruise.

Abby and MK on the boat

boating at sea

out to sea

We had a bonfire, complete with s’mores and a lovely sunset each night.

bonfire at sunset

After the bonfire simmered down, we were able to do some serious star gazing, another one of my favorite pastimes. We saw lots of shooting stars, constellations, satellites on the move, and the milky way galaxy.

bonfire party

We went letterboxing, which is always fun, even though the notebooks in this box were pretty wet and the entries were a couple years old.

girls letterboxing

found the letterbox

It was still fun to peel apart the pages and see the variety of stamps people use.

letterboxing in Baileys Harbor

sample letterbox page

Did I mention that I haven’t seen my sister in a year or my brother in six months? I have really missed spending time with them and spending time on the water.

we 3 in Door County

We enjoyed a few days of fresh air, good food, and good times together!

lake michigan

It’s been a crazy busy summer, so a weekend full of R&R was exactly what I needed. Thanks for stopping by!


Thankful Friday, Family Edition

Thank goodness it’s Friday! At the end of the week, it’s nice to stop and take a moment to share the things I’m thankful for from the past week. It’s a great way to appreciate the big things and the small things.

1. I am thankful for the great week I just had with my family at my parent’s lake house. It was wonderful to spend time with my parents, my sister, my brother and their families.

2. I am thankful to have access to Lake Michigan so we could go swimming, boating and kayaking.

3. I am thankful for all the beautiful sunsets we saw over the water.

4. I am thankful for beach bonfires and s’mores.

5. I am thankful for the woods around my parents’ house so we could explore on our hikes and bike rides.

6. I am thankful to be home, after being away for nine days.

7. I am thankful to have cell phone and Internet access again, after being without for nine days.

Inspired by this ongoing series of posts.

Hope you have a few things to be thankful for this week.

At the Lake

I’ve been a little quiet around here lately, enjoying the past week at my parent’s house on Lake Michigan with my family.

We’ve been boating, swimming, kayaking, hiking in the woods, biking and spending time together.

sunset at dinner


hiking in the woods

beach bonfire

I haven’t seen my brother and sisters’ families much this year, so it’s been great hanging out together. I’ll be back on Friday with my list of things to be thankful for this week. Hope you’re enjoying some family time these last days of summer too.