Monday, December 31, 2012

Chris gets Crafty: Purse with Secret Photo Lining

Last year for Christmas my girlfriends and I decided to exchange homemade gifts.  Since it was a last minute decision we agreed that we could still come with an ornament for each person instead.  Not being a crafty person I brought an ornament.  The other three all made really cool gifts, leaving me feeling like a big oaf.  I vowed that this year I was going to make it up to them! 

In January I purchased this book from the Photojojo store (they have lots of fun photography gift items) because I thought I might find some neat ideas for things to do with all the photographs I take.  It was in September that I decided to use the book as inspiration for the Christmas craft.  There were plenty of things that I could do on my own; some of which were on the cheesy side or things that I just didn’t think my friends would use or appreciate.  I came across the directions for the Purse with Secret Photo Lining and thought that that seemed like something my girlfriends would like and maybe even use.  The only problem?  I don’t know how to sew.  I can fix a hole in a seam and I can sew a button on.  I can even do some simple hand sewing (I used to make pillows and doll cloths as a kid).  But, I’ve never used a sewing machine.  So, I asked my mom if she would be willing to help me out with the project and she agreed.
To start, I shopped for fabric; opting to use remnants (fabric isn’t cheap) and even an old throw pillow and place mat that were in the Goodwill pile.  I then choose just the right photo to go with each piece of fabric and printed them on photo fabric paper (which was a task in and of its self!) and prepped them for use.  My mom and I went to the craft store to buy some items I was unfamiliar with and choose buttons.  We were unable to find colored elastic cording and we improvised by using hair ties.  One afternoon I cut the fabric and pinned as much together as I could before bringing it all over to my mom’s house.
Once at my mom’s she gave me a lesson on how to use the machine and let me practice on some scrap material.  I wasn’t very good and was really paranoid about not sewing a straight line.  My mom kept telling me that my friends were not going to inspect every detail (though, I’m pretty sure that Shelly will).  Still, I went at a snail’s pace in order to sew straight.  The first night we sewed all the linings and completed the first ‘practice’ bag.  Things went smoothly until we discovered an error in the directions.  Luckily we were thinking ahead and didn’t actually sew anything!  On the second night we flew through the bags and completed all three.  I was able to do most of the basic sewing with guidance from my mom at times while she did the more elaborate tasks.
All in all I think they turned out pretty good!  I can’t say that I will be taking up sewing as a new hobby, but I did enjoy it more than I thought I would.  Mostly I just had fun creating something for my best friends and enjoyed spending time and learning something from my mom!  I warned my friends not to expect something so nice next year.
I don't have an easy way to include the instructions here.  You'll just have to buy the book or check it out on Amazon (I think you can actually view the pages that include this project).  But, here are a few pictures to prove that I actually made (a portion) of the bags and also a few of the items my friends created for me! 
Fabric Sheets

Soaking the fabric after printing
Laying fabric sheets out to dry
Photo selections with fabric and accessory choices
Lining pinned and ready to be sewed
I'm sewing! 
This is the same sewing machine my mom learned to sew on. 
She has a new one but prefers this old machine.
First completed purse
Mom threading the needle
I'm sewing again!
Notice my look of concentration.
Sewing the 'hair tie' on
Finished products!
I did it! With the help of my mom, of course!

And now for my friends awesome homemade items!
Almond oil sugar scrub made by Jenny
Yarn wreath made by Becky

Reversible apron made by Shelly

The other side of the apron
I gave Deanna (not part of the main exchange) the 'practice' purse.
She just so happened to give me a homemade gift too; Apple Butter!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Favorite Things: and Amazon Wishlists

It's Christmastime.  Time to buy gifts for loved ones and, if you're lucky, recieve gifts from loved ones.  I can't tell you how easy Amazon had made Christmas for me!  No more asking people what they want.  Or having to write out a list for Santa (yes, Santa even uses Amazon!).  Amazon has everything your heart could possibly desire!  Plus, their prices are competitive, you can often get free shipping, you don't pay taxes, checkout is a breeze, and returns (what few I've made) were a snap.  We've bought many things from Amazon; $2 cell phone accessories, kitchen goods, pet medicine, an SLR camera (and many accessories), and a 60" flat screen TV!

I discovered the beauty of Amazon Wishlists years ago.  I not only use my list as a Christmas gift list, but as a reminder list for myself.  If I think of something that I want/need but am not ready to purchase it right at that moment I will just add it to my Wishlist.  A few years back they even added a Universal Wishlist button that you can install so that you can add items from other websites.  Whoa!  That changed my life!  I also discovered that you can create multiple Wishlists.  I currently have a public list and a private list.  The public list contains anything that I really want and wouldn't mind receiving as gifts.  The private lists contains more expensive items that I know I will never receive as gifts or items I'm still thinking about.  Or just things that I really don't want someone to buy for me; like underwear!  (that's just an example!)  Many people create additional list for their kids or spouses who don't use computers.

I love that virtually all of my family has Wishlists.  I'm a practical gift buyer.  I don't want to waste my money and get you something you may or may not use or don't really want.  I like to think that I know my family well enough to just go to the store and find something for them, but the truth is, I can't read minds.  I'm not at your house often enough to know if you have this or that.  The Wishlists have really helped take the stress out of Christmas (and birthdays).  Some people think this takes the surprise out of gift giving.  However, I don't know what you purchased for me from my Wishlist and am always surprised when I open it!  The other nice thing about Amazon Wishlists is that you don't have to purchase from Amazon to delete it off of someones list.  If you found a better deal somewhere else you can go to the Wishlist and click the 'Bought this somewhere else' button so that the person doesn't end up with duplicate gifts.

On top of Amazon's regular every day awesomeness, they have other programs to make your shopping experience even more outstanding.  Amazon Prime, Subscribe and Save, and Amazon Moms are a few that I know of off hand.  I don't use any of these programs personally, but I've heard good things about Subscribe and Save and have been contemplating it for some time (it would be awesome to get 50lb bags of dog food delivered to my door every month!).

So, if you haven't tried Amazon yet, crawl out from under your rock!  It really is the best.  Along with a few other online shopping sites, I think I can avoid setting foot in a store this year!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Tradition of Saint Nicholas Day

As a child, my family always celebrated the Saint Nicholas ‘holiday’. 

According to Wikipedia, “The tradition of Saint Nicholas Day, usually on 6 December (19 December in most Orthodox countries), is a festival for children in many countries in Europe related to surviving legends of the saint, and particularly his reputation as a bringer of gifts. The American Santa Claus, as well as the British Father Christmas, derived from these legends. "Santa Claus" is itself derived in part from the Dutch Sinterklaas.” In the United States, “While feasts of Saint Nicholas are not observed nationally, cities with strong German influences like Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and St. Louis celebrate St. Nick's Day on a scale similar to the German custom. As in other countries, many people in the United States celebrate a separate St Nicholas Day by putting their shoes outside their bedroom doors or hanging an empty stocking by the fireplace on the evening of 5 December. St Nicholas then comes during the night. On the morning of 6 December, those people will find their shoes/stockings filled with gifts and sugary treats. Widespread adoption of the tradition has spread among the German, Polish, Belgian and Dutch communities throughout the United States. 

On 24 December, Christmas Eve, each child puts one empty stocking/sock on their fireplace. The following morning of 25 December, the children awake to find that St. Nick has filled their stockings with candy and small presents (if the children have been good) or coal (if not). Gifts often include chocolate gold coins to represent the gold St. Nick gave to the poor and small trinkets. They also awake to find presents under the tree, wrapped in Christmas-themed paper. This is a very traditional part of Christmas. 

The religious St. Nicholas

Growing up, I knew nothing about the actual Saint! I went to a Catholic school and all, but my family wasn’t very religious. I just knew that St. Nick stuffed our stockings with candy and other gifts. Having a sister with a December 2 birthday and an unwritten rule that holiday decorations couldn’t come out until December 3 meant that the coming of St. Nick was the first sign of Christmas in our house. We all looked forward to waking up on December 6 to see what sort of goodies St. Nick brought us; always giving the apple and orange to mom to put in the fruit bowl (because, really St. Nick. With all that candy did you think we would want to eat fruit?). My favorite part of the stocking was the little presents: Small toys, Christmas socks, pencils/pens. The Christmas themed stuffed animals were my favorites! 

To this day, my family STILL celebrates St. Nick. Can you believe he still stops by my parent’s house and leaves stockings for us? He even asks my mom to mail my sister’s stocking to her in Jacksonville, FL. I’m not sure if he’s getting old or what, but I don’t think he realizes he leaves a stocking for me (and my husband and dog) at my own home too! Over the years he has left less and less candy and instead he leaves more adult appropriate gifts like movie theater or custard stand gift cards. For the last ten years or so he’s been leaving me the Hallmark singing snowmen at my home! I always look forward to seeing the newest animatronic stuffed animal that Hallmark has created.

Even as a kid I knew that St. Nick did not visit all my friends.  My neighbor friends were often jealous of my candy and I knew not to mention my St. Nick gifts to certain kids at school because I didn’t want them to feel badly.  I often wondered though; were they naughty?  Did they really just get coal and not want to admit it?  I later found out that some kids got their stockings filled by Santa Claus; I did not.  That must have been why St. Nick didn’t visit their house!  The visit from St. Nick will always be a big memory of the Christmas traditions of my childhood and I plan on keeping it alive for a long time.  At least until Hallmark stops making the singing snowmen!

If you're interested, while searching for images of St. Nicholas I found this article about the tradition of St. Nicholas in Milwaukee.

This is the St. Nicholas I knew.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Project MCP - November

I can't believe there is only one month left of this photo challenge.  That's probably a good thing as I totally slacked with it this month.  I skipped two weeks because I wasn't willing to go out of my way to photograph a a favorite child or a veteran.  I'm really not a fan of the themes where I have take pictures of a certain type of person.  I don't live with a child or even see children all that often (and it's probably not ok to take pictures of the kids I see at the grocery store).  I have access to veterans at work, but, asking them if I could photograph them would be....weird.  I could have been a little more creative with those themes, but, I just wasn't feeling it this month.  I'm hoping December will be more enjoyable.  I love photographing Christmas lights and ornaments!

Here were my submissions for the month of November:

Project MCP / November / Low Light

November Week 2 - Low Light
Gilbert trying to nap

Project MCP / November / Thankful for...
November Week 4: I'm thankful for.....
My Christmas cactus finally blooming!

Project MCP / November / First signs of Christmas

November Week 5: First signs of Christmas
Lights on the outside trees - this photo was featured on the MCP blog!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Kitchen that wasn't made for Cooking

About a year ago I realized that I really didn't like to cook anymore.  It was an odd discovery as I always thought that I did.  I like to eat.  I used to watch a lot of Food Network TV.  I enjoyed looking through cooking magazines and websites.  However, I no longer wanted to cook the food I saw.  I began to wonder what happened.  Why did I not like cooking anymore?  Was it because I felt it was something I HAD to do?  Was it because I was tired after putting in a full days work and running a few miles or going to the gym after work?  Then it dawned on me.  It's my kitchen.

The funny thing is, when we saw our house for the very first time I was quite impressed with the kitchen.  Though it's not 'new' it had a few updates and looked way more impressive than the kitchens in some of the other homes we looked at.  However, looks can be deceiving.  In no particular order, here are some things I dislike about my kitchen.

- We have an electric stove top.  At my previous rentals I had gas stove tops.  I can't count how many times I've boiled things over after turning the heat down/off.  It's a real pain in the butt to have to REMOVE the pot completely!  Not to mention that you can't tell if the burners are still hot.  My hot pads have burn marks all over them because someone kept placing them on the hot burners. (that someone was not me)

- The oven is the size of a pan of lasagna.  For the most part, this isn't an issue since I typically just cook for two.  But, forget about baking a crap-ton of Christmas cookies.  It takes forever.  I'm not even sure a Thanksgiving turkey would fit inside.  I actually had to give away a brand new cookie sheet that I purchased because after taking the sticky tags off and putting stuff on it, I found that it didn't fit inside my oven!  Ugh!  Not to mention that it's older than dirt and is a built in so it's not so easy to get a new (bigger) one.

Old built in oven and electric stove top
- Outlets are hard to come by.  Our counter top is in the shape of an L.  The sink is against an outside wall.  The other side is like an island (peninsula) looking into the dining room.  So, there is one set of electrical outlets in the corner.  It's not in a very convenient spot and we often use an extension cord.

See the outlet on the wall in the corner?
 By the toaster and coffee maker and everything else that needs to be plugged in? 
So annoying.

Extension cord to plug in the crock pot away from all the other crap.
I should note, the crock pot is my favorite method of cooking these days.  Just dump it all in and leave!
- We're short on counter space; both horizontally and vertically.  The upper cabinets hang too close to the counter top.  Blenders, stand mixers, food processors, and anything with a lid or flip top don't fit under it.  I've hit my hands so many times when removing lids they should be callused.  My Kitchen Aid mixer has been used once in this house because I realized I can't use it on my counter.  Again, no Christmas cookies here!  The cabinets also have glass doors.  They look pretty, but I always have to keep the insides nice and display worthy. 

Notice that the blender sits just below the upper cabinets.

Notice how close my hand is to the upper cabinets when I try to remove the lid.  No swiftly removing lids while saying 'Voila!' to showcase your latest creation or you'll be screaming in pain because you crushed your knuckles.  Instead, you must use the tilt and remove method...and hope you don't tilt too far and spill the contents all over.

- Though the kitchen looks slightly 'open concept' with the peninsula separating the kitchen and dining room, having conversations between the two rooms is impossible.  Basically, you talk into the cabinets and the person on the other side can't hear anything.  In order to talk to someone on the other side you have to bend over and talk under the cabinets.

- I don't have a dishwasher and some counter space is used for a drying rack.  I really don't mind not having a dishwasher (Well, I have one.  My husband does not!) but it gets really annoying when guests come over and someone says, "You don't have a dishwasher?" like we live in the stone ages.  Our house was built in 1962.  Dishwashers did not exist then.

I could go on about not having cabinet or pantry space, but I think that is a concern for most people.  Plus, we have enough food in our pantry to feed us for months, I'm sure! 

We've discussed what we would do to the kitchen if we ever decided to break down and remodel.  Some ideas are extreme; get rid of the dining room and make one huge kitchen.  Other ideas aren't as much so.  Maybe we'll just start with a new stove top and work our way up to the gourmet kitchen (because then I will cook gourmet food, right?).  Until then, I'm left with what I've got and thoroughly enjoy the nights we can go out to eat!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Favorite Things: Tech Edition - Apps

In this edition of Favorite Things I'm going to share my favorite phone apps* (many of which are regular old Internet sites as well).  However, I’m not going to bother with the common ones like Facebook, Google Reader, Instagram, Pandora, or even games.  I’m going to focus on apps you may not have heard of or have heard of but didn't know what they were for or why they might benefit you.  Okay.  Ready?  Here we go. 
Trip It 

This is a website as well, but the mobile site is nice to have when you are on the go, like in an airport.  Basically, it’s a storage place for all of your travel plans.  When you purchase airline tickets you can have the airline e-mail TripIt and all the flight information (times, flight numbers, confirmation numbers) will get stored in your TripIt account.  You can also add hotel and rental car information.  It puts all of the confirmation numbers and such for a trip into one place, making it a handy tool for accessing the information (rather than having 15 separate e-mails in your inbox).  The other nice feature is that you can connect your travel information with other TripIt users if you so choose so that your travel info is in their account.  My husband and I use this when we take trips without the other.  This way, he has access to my flight numbers and times and then knows when to pick me up from the airport.  Gone are the days of him asking me to e-mail him my itinerary for the tenth time…or me wondering if I sent him one in the first place!  The mobile app is extremely convenient because you no longer have to carry around hard copies of confirmation numbers with you (though, I still do because you never know when your phone is going to die!). 

I sometimes use this app when I am out running.  Using the GPS on your phone it will track your route and calculate distance, time, and pace.  You can also manually log routes on the website.  The GPS is a little unpredictable (possibly the fault of my phone not the app).  Sometimes it tracks me way off course.  But it’s nice to get a general idea of how far I ran.  I don’t use this all the time since I typically run the same route and know how long it is and don’t usually run to beat times, it’s just fun for those days when you feel like it.  I believe there is a MapMyRide version as well for biking, but I don’t see why you can’t use one for both. 

This is another travel app.  I’ve used this when I have layovers in unfamiliar airports.  You enter the airport and the concourse you are on and you can find out what stores and restaurants are nearby.  So, if you have a short layover but want to grab something to eat, you can open the app while you’re waiting to deplane and find out what your food choices are before you even get inside the airport.  Then you can decide right then where you want to eat, instead of opting for your first sighting only to find that there was something better if you had just kept walking!

I realize I like a lot of travel related apps!  That’s probably because when I travel I don’t have access to a computer but I always have my phone.  The TripAdvisor app is nice to have if you want to look up reviews to restaurants or tour providers when you are out of town or on the go and don't have a computer with you to access the website. 
I used this app (and website) last year when I wanted to drop a few pounds before having to bare myself in a two piece swimsuit on our trip to Belize (all my favorite apps really DO relate to travel, don’t they?).  You set up your account with your current weight and weight loss goals and it spits out a daily calorie number for you to target depending on how many pounds you want to lose per week and how active you are naturally (Are you a waitress or someone who sits at a desk all day?).  Throughout the day you add any foods you ate to the log and it will track the calories for you.  The database of foods is extensive and includes many restaurant meals.  You can also scan the bar code of an item to find it.  You can also track your exercise and it will add the calories you gained from exercise to your total for the day.  I found this easy as I was able to add to my list whenever/wherever I wanted.  I didn’t have to wait until I had access to a computer or write it down on a piece of paper.  I wasn’t all gung-ho about it and ‘took off’ on weekends and special events, but it helped me be more aware of what I was eating.  The best part?  I lost about 12 pounds in four months!  Of course, for me, the best motivation to lose weight is fear of swimsuit season.  As soon as my trip was over I stopped logging and gained a few pounds back, but it’s easy to start up again…no joining fee!

Have you ever heard a song on the radio or at a sporting event and wondered what the name of the song/artist was so that you could go home and download it?  If so, this is an app you'll want to have.  Just turn it on and click ‘tap here’.  The little men inside your phone will listen to the song and tell you the name and artist!  It even stores your last few searches so that you will remember it when you get home.  There have only been a few occasions where it was not able to identify the song and most of those are due to too much background noise (like at a sporting event with cheering).

This is basically a folder that is networked between your phone and your PC/tablet.  You have to install it on both devices and sync them.  Then, you can easily share pictures, music and other files between your phone and PC.  Got an old picture from a few years ago that you’d like to use as your phone wallpaper?  Just plop the file in the DropBox folder on your PC.  Turn on your phone and open the DropBox folder and, viola!  The picture is now accessible on your phone.

That completes the tech edition of Favorite Things.  Please don't expect many more technical related posts.  This is as techie as this non-techie girl gets! 

*I have an Android phone.  I do not know if all of these apps are available for other types of phones/tablets, but I would guess that most are.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Project MCP - October

Once the October challenges were posted, I was really excited to start.  I knew some would be a little difficult or at least hard to submit by the weekly deadline though (only two were submitted on time).  As always, I found October to be an interesting month for photography.  The change in seasons is a welcome change from the same old same old of summer!

Project MCP / October / Shadow
October Week 1 – Shadow
This was a fun one.  I love shadows!  I always notice them when I’m walking the dog or running and wish I had a camera with me.  Of course, it’s hard to take a photo of your shadow when you are the one holding the camera!  I managed pretty well with this one of Gilbert and I. 

Project MCP / October / Cozy

October Week 2 – Cozy
Initially I had wanted to submit a picture of Mike and Gilbert lounging on the couch.  Gilbert loves to lay with Mike.  However, I couldn’t manage to do that without Mike knowing and therefore Mike didn’t really look that cozy.  I opted for this one….Gilbert curled up in his spot on the couch (go figure, the dog gets the biggest piece of furniture for himself usually).  Some days I wish I didn’t have a black dog.  They are so hard to photograph….especially against a dark brown couch!

Project MCP / October / Fall Leaves
October Week 3 – Leaves
I’m not sure why but I didn’t particularly like most of my leaf pictures.  I think I’ve taken better ones in the past.  I’m sure all my neighbors thought I was a weirdo when I was collecting pretty leaves on my walks with Gilbert!  But, I had to get them elsewhere because all of our maple leaves have that black spot fungus and oak leaves are a boring brown.  So, here's a close-up of a maple leaf that I stole from someone else's yard!
Project MCP / October / Fall Activity
October Week 4 – Favorite Fall Activity
Personally, I don’t really have a favorite fall activity.  We don’t really do all that much fall related since Mike is usually busy cleaning up all the leaves that fall from our trees.  That pretty much takes up most of our weekends in fall.  I did visit my friend, Deanna, in Kentucky this month and we visited a pumpkin farm with her two girls.  So, I can’t say it’s my favorite activity, but, it’s a good fall activity!

Project MCP / October / Scary
October Week 5 – Scary
What’s spookier than a jack-o-lantern?  Ok, a lot of things.  Especially when they aren’t even real jack-o-lanterns!  But, this will have to suffice.  I like how the mouth of the left pumpkin sort of looks like candy corn.
November’s challenges have been posted and I'm not really looking forward to them.  We'll see what I can come up with for turkey month!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Back in Time with Man's Best Friend

I found out about this Flickr album from a blog that I read, Dog Milk.  The album is posted by Boston Public Library and is full of black and white photos of dogs and cats and often their human friends.  All were taken in the late 1800's/early 1900's.  I enjoyed perusing these photos because I'm a dog lover.  But I also enjoyed the look back in time...a time that I do not know.  I always find it interesting to look at old photos: seeing how people dressed and coiffed their hair, looking at the cars they drove, noticing how simple objects became children's toys, admiring the often intricate and detailed furniture.  I also like to admire how simple life seemed to be, yet it was still a lot more difficult than it is today (hello?  No washing machines?!).  One thing is the same though; people love their pets (and dress them up for Halloween) no matter what year they live in.

Dogs (dressed up)
Little girl with big dog

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Favorite Things - Pyrex Storage Containers

I’ve been married for over five and a half years now.  We received many gifts for both the wedding and the bridal shower.  Many of these gifts were memorable (in both good and bad ways) because they were items that we didn’t register for.  I’m typically a person who prefers to stick to the bridal registry gift or give cash.  Some think it’s not very personal, but why waste my time and money on something the couple may not like or return?  Sometimes going off the grid works out though.  For instance, my cousin Nicki gave me a set of pyrex storage containers for my bridal shower.  Until that point I had been a user of plastic Tupperware/Gladware.  It hadn’t occurred to me to even register for the much nicer glass versions.  Upon opening the box and seeing how nice they were and how nicely they nested within each other I decided that this gift was a keeper.  And I went on to add another set of these storage containers (in different sizes) to the registry.  Every few months, when transferring leftovers to these glass bowls, I think, “This might be the best and most used wedding gift we received!”  The other day I thought that maybe we should invest in more.  We have approximately 12 different containers and often times we run out of the smaller sizes because they are used for so many different things. We don’t just use them for leftovers either.  We use them as casual serving dishes, prep bowls, and we use them for freezing items.  The tight fitting lids make them convenient for bringing leftovers to work and for storing and stacking in the fridge and/or freezer.  I love that they all nest within each other with the lids on.  I’ve virtually gotten rid of that cabinet exploding with plastic containers and lids.  I just don’t have the cabinet space to waste.  We’ve been putting them in the microwave all this time with no ill effects.  None of them have broke or chipped.  The lids are still intact and the bowls are not stained with spaghetti sauce.  There are also no funky odors to smell!  So, if you’re looking for a solution to that scary Tupperware cabinet of yours, I suggested investing in Pyrex instead!  I’d also like to give a shout out to Nicki for opening my eyes to a different storage solution!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Doing Door County

Mike and I recently took a weekend getaway to Door County, Wisconsin.  Neither of had ever ventured to the peninsula of Wisconsin before and we weren’t completely sure what to expect.  After a day there I began to wonder why we had wasted so much time in the past visiting Wisconsin Dells!  Door County isn’t much farther away than the Dells and there is far more to do, especially with the close proximity to Lake Michigan and Green Bay.  We stayed at Bay Point Inn in Egg Harbor and have nothing but good things to say about it.  The room was great and they had a nice breakfast which was included.  The location was convenient to everything and they had a friendly and helpful staff.  Plus, there was a beautiful view of Green Bay which could be seen from our private balcony.  Hopefully on our next visit the weather will be warm enough that we can enjoy lounging on the balcony or swimming in the small pool.

Most everything in the ‘touristy’ section of the peninsula is within easy driving distance.  We spent one day driving north stopping at Peninsula State Park and a few other parks/scenic  views.  Once we hit the ferry to Washington Island we turned around, stopped for lunch and then headed towards Bailey’s Harbor on the Lake Michigan side and ended up back in Egg Harbor to do a bit of shopping.  Another day we drove around to a few wineries in the area and also visited Cana Island Lighthouse.  Both days we were out from around 10am-4pm and managed to cover a lot of ground during that time while still taking our time and enjoying the views and a leisurely lunch.

We will definitely go back to Door County for future visits.  We would like to bum around Egg Harbor, Fish Creek and Sister Bay when it’s not so chilly and windy, maybe do some hiking, take the ferry to Washington Island, and check out some other lighthouses and natural areas.  When it’s warm out I’m sure there is even more to do as well….like lounge at the pool or beach and relax!

View from Bay Point Inn

Mike and I at Peninsula State Park


Cairns at Door Bluff County Park

Cana Island Lighthouse

Another Sunset

Wine Tasting

One more sunset