Back Home Again

We disappeared for the weekend, escaped to my parents’ cottage in northern Wisconsin.

It’s always a wonderful sight to take in the lovely flowers and landscaping my mom has planted surrounding the house.

Their cottage is located in a small bay on the Green Bay side of the peninsula in Lake Michigan.

It feels like you’re on the ocean, minus the warm salt water and palm trees.

Some of the shorelines are gorgeous rocky escarpments, which you can’t appreciate unless you’re on a boat. We were lucky to get the boat out this weekend.

The area is full of harbors featuring water sports, and lots of quiet little towns offering shopping, arts and culture, and restaurants. We have our favorite places we visit every time we are in the area. I love stopping in at Quilters Quest, which has a great selection, including holiday prints, batiks, Kaffe, and nautical fabrics. I also love spending time in Red Sock Yarns, where I usually spend at least an hour contemplating what I should make. I couldn’t resist buying some yarn to make a couple simple scarves, two sets of fabric to make winter table runners, and yarn to make a big floppy hat!

It’s refreshing to spend the afternoon playing in the water.

We were lucky to wind down the day in front of a campfire. We roasted those new giant marshmallows, which were quite messy and especially yummy squished in between graham crackers and a chocolate bar!

It was our third family weekend in a row, this time with my parents, my brother and his daughter, and my sister’s family.

I always love a getaway to the lake cottage, but it does feel good to be home again.

Weekend at the Cottage

Sorry to disappear for a couple days! We spent the weekend at my parents’ cottage on northern Lake Michigan, which always makes me happy.

My brother ran the half marathon for the third year in a row, so we were there to cheer him on.

(Note that the time in the background wasn’t his finishing time – he did much better than that! I needed to wait until he was cooled off and ready for a picture.)

I always love exploring in the woods along the water and beachcombing. It’s heavenly looking for the most perfect rock, watching the gulls and ducks, and daydreaming over the water.

We did a little shopping (so proud I didn’t buy anything), a little eating, and a lot of relaxing!

We haven’t seen my family in a few months, so it was good to get together.

I didn’t do any sewing, but I sold the last tote bag from my shop and my mom ordered a purse, so I have a few sewing projects to get done this week. Hope you all had a nice May Day and weekend!

Good To Be Home

Thank you for all the vacation wishes! It was great spending a week at the lake cottage, but it sure feels good to be home now. I missed by hubby, who stayed home to work and take care of things in my absence.

We spent a lot of time swimming in the cold Lake Michigan waters.

waves rolling inWe had so much fun playing in the waves.

nieces washed up on shoreAnd we taught my five-year-old niece how to kayak.

Amanda kayaking

We all took turns on the kayak, but my 12-year-old niece Taylor enjoyed the best sunset on the water.

Taylor kayaking at sunsetOf course, we spent plenty of time around the bonfire.

bonfire on the beachWe enjoyed dinner at my favorite outdoor restaurant.

the gang at Fred and FuzzysWe went for a ten-mile bike ride through Peninsula State Park.

Peninsula State ParkI would highly recommend this trail.

Sunset Bike TrailIt went through the beautiful woods,

biking through the woodsand it went along the lakefront too.

biking along the lakefrontWe ended each day chillaxing with a cocktail around the bonfire.

chillaxing around the bonfire

It felt good to sleep in my own bed again, shower in my own bathroom, and enjoy being home with Dave. I managed to get a little sewing done while I was away, and I look forward to more time for that over the next few days. Unfortunately, I’m NOT looking forward to returning to work on Monday. Hope everyone had a great week!

Hitting the Road

I am hitting the road today, driving to my parents’ cottage in northern Wisconsin for a week of R&R. My parents, my sister and her daughters are already there, and my brother and his daughter are meeting us too.

benches for contemplation

I am looking forward to a repeat of our last time there, swimming, biking, kayaking, skipping rocks, reading, watching the bonfire on the beach, and just chillaxing!

the beach in Garrett Bay

I will try to check in once or twice on the days we make a trip to the library, since my folks don’t have Internet at their cottage. (I know!)

fabrics for zigzag quilt along

When I return, I am looking forward to starting on the next quilt along – a zig-zag quilt led by Amy. I’m going to use this beautiful stack of Dance With Me fabrics. Hope you all have a great week!

Bonfires, Boating and a Maze

What a great getaway weekend to my parent’s cottage! Almost like a mini vacation. We lucked out with perfect weather in northern Wisconsin, considering it was hot and humid in Madison.

the lake side of the cottageI managed to spend a lot of time daydreaming over the water.

daydreaming over the waterAnd more time gazing at the bonfire on the beach and the millions of stars illuminating the sky over us.

bonfire at dusk

I love the way that fire looks in the blue light at dusk. And the way it changes when the night grows darker. Then the flames make the ground underneath glow.

bonfires

We were lucky enough to go boating,

leaving the marinauntil we ended up at my favorite place! (they have the BEST bloody mary drinks and whitefish sandwiches!)

table for 4 at Fred and Fuzzy'sTheir views can’t be beat.

view from Fred and Fuzzy'sWe even went swimming in that cold, cold water, but it was so exhilarating and refreshing.

We also went to the Seaquist Orchard to try out this rope maze.

Rope Maze at SeaquistIt was fun to wind our way through the woods to get to the platform in the center.

rope maze through the woodsI only messed up once, retraced my steps, and found my way on the right path.

the right pathIt was a little hard to say goodbye to such a beautiful weekend, but it felt good too.

garrett bay

Oh yeah, by the way, I never touched the binding on that quilt, but I finished my book.  Wow! (I’m already on to the next one.)

Weekend Away

We are headed north to my parent’s cottage for the weekend. It’s a 4.5-hour drive, so I am looking forward to losing myself in my new book. Considering I read the first book in one day, I will probably finish the next one pretty quickly. But I might need to re-read the first one because I read it sooo fast.

the beach in Door County

(the view of the beach from the cottage)

I am looking forward to kayaking, biking, hiking, ice cream, and bon fires on the beach. I am bringing along a quilt that I need to sew the binding on, and my art supplies too. 

coin quilt to finish

I hope we aren’t too busy so I have time to daydream over the water. Hope you lose yourself in something wonderful this weekend!

Recap of Summer Vacation 08

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over. The end of August is just a few days away, as is Labor Day weekend, which always seems like the last hurrah of summer. It feels like just yesterday I was getting excited about sprucing up our gardens and spending more time outside. I had a ball over my summer vacation, so I wanted to share with you my fabulous list:

I watched my brother compete in his first half-marathon.

I spent a week in Chicago for a work-related conference, which was great fun, meeting people from all over the country.

We spent a week in Destin, Florida for our seventh wedding anniversary. It was the relaxing beach vacation we were hoping for.

We planted eight new trees in our yard, more flowers and a vegetable garden.

I watched my brother and cousin compete in a triathlon.

We spent the 4th of July weekend at my parents’ beach house in northern Wisconsin, boating and biking and enjoying the outdoors.

We went to Art Fair on the Square and Concerts on the Square. (lots of events in Madison are held on the grounds around the Capitol building)

We hosted twenty people from my family at our house for a family reunion.

I spent a week with my sister and family at the beach house again, with more outdoor adventures such as hiking and swimming, yet you can’t leave out cooking and baking when there are two or more women from my family together in the same house (we all enjoy the domestic parts of life).

I spent another weekend with my family one last time before my sister moves to China. (boo hoo)

I read a bunch of books, all of which I would recommend, including The Road by Cormac McCarthy, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg, Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larsen, and Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. I’m almost finished reading Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, which I highly recommend.

I was much more creative than anticipated. I made portable cushions, a fabric beach ball, a tablecloth for our kitchen, curtains for our kitchen and for my sewing room, flower pincushions, a lunch bag with iron-on vinyl lining, and a garden quilt. (if I knew how to make one of those photo mosaics, I would have included that here, but you get the idea.)

I participated in a placemat swap, which was great fun, although I was sad that I never heard from my partner. (I wonder if she received the set I made for her? I wonder if she liked it.) Still, I was happy with the six placemats and matching napkins I made for her.

Oh yea, I bought lots of fabric too. How could I resist – there were so many wonderful new fabric collections – Midwest Modern, Drawing Room, Farmers Market, Garden Party, August Fields, Pop Garden – that came out this summer and so many convenient etsy shops to order from. I know, you understand.

My favorite parts of summer vacation were the adventures and the quality time spent with family. Thanks for stopping by. Cheers for Fall – I’m looking forward to beautiful sunrises, cool evenings, changing leaves, hiking in the woods, caramel apples, and more.

Spring Racing

The first annual Door County Half-Marathon and Nicolet Bay fun run/walk was held this past weekend.

welcome runners

The course was in Peninsula State Park, a large state park in northern Wisconsin formed back in 1909, located on the Green Bay side of the Door County peninsula.

the course

This park has the best hiking and biking trails, as well as popular camping grounds, and a beautiful sandy beach to swim, fish and picnic.

the beach at Nicolet Bay

Now, I personally did not participate in this run/walk, but I made a great cheering section, photographer and support crew for my brother who completed his first half-marathon and my niece, who completed the 5k.

cheering for the competitors

My mom and husband were also along for the ride to help cheer for our competitors. Go Team Wilhelm!

more cheering

As I mentioned, this was the first ever half-marathon, but the organizers of the race were fantastic. The registration went smoothly, the competitors were given transponder timing chips to wear so their results were clocked accurately, the courses were marked very well (from what I heard), and there were six aid and water stations set up throughout the course. Six hundred people were registered for this combined event, so I would say the first one was quite a success.

the finish line

Taylor (my niece) completed her 5k in fifty-seven minutes. Pretty darn good for an eleven-year-old!

Taylor during her run/walk

Mike (my brother) completed his half-marathon in two hours and fourteen minutes. Quite impressive for his first race!

Mike crossing the finish line

While I wished I could have participated in this event (my arthritis doesn’t mix well with running), it was still very exciting to be a part of it, cheering for the competitors.

finished!

At the end of the weekend, we celebrated with breakfast at the famous Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay. This restaurant has been drawing people in for over fifty years. Besides being popular for a great place to get authentic Swedish food (especially the pancakes with lingonberries and Swedish meatballs), the restaurant is well-known for it’s sod-covered rooftop which serves as grazing ground for goats. Yes, goats grazing on the roof in nice weather. It’s very cool to see!