Hello! Wondering where we’ve been? Breanne and I were both on vacation in this beautiful north last week and have some stories and photos to share with you. Here’s the first installment: my trip to Bayfield, Wisconsin with my boys and grandparents.
I really need to spend more time on Lake Superior. It is just two to three hours from my home; why I’m not there as much as possible, I can’t really explain.I’ve just returned from a week in Bayfield, Wisconsin, on the southern shore and near the Apostle Islands. While summer in Bayfield has been a Thorson tradition since I was a child (my grandparents and father are sailors), I have been there just a few times in the last 20 years. Too busy building my adult life to go back to my childhood, I guess.
But this summer, with my husband studying in France for his MBA program, I decided to take my boys there for the Fourth of July. I offered to drive my grandparents — who still go there every summer though they sold their home there a few years ago — and to plan for food and do the cooking. They offered the extra room in their condo. While my grandma was thrilled that I did the planning and shopping and cooking, I really think I was the lucky one.
We played dozens of games (Norwegian Poker and Back-up Three, games that definitely meet Breanne’s lake-weekend criteria), picked strawberries, went to the beach, spent a day on Madeline Island, ate a lot of ice cream, took a sailboat ride with my dad (also there with his wife and my two youngest brothers, staying on the boat), saw the city fireworks, and all 10 of us — four generations — caught a fun music show at the Big Top Chautauqua.
There are typically more family members there for the Fourth (all told, there are 40 Thorsons and counting), but I feel so lucky to have spent this time with just my grandparents, my dad, and his family. My kids got tons of one-on-one time with their grandparents, great-grandparents, and uncles, and so did I. We had sunshine and clear water, wind and music, rest and adventure. We had time. And each other.
It was a great trip, and I have no intention of waiting another five years to go back.
If you go to Bayfield (and I really recommend you do), here are some resources for places to stay and things to do:
- Winfield Inn (they manage tons of rental homes, condos, and hotel rooms in the area)
- Erickson’s Orchard (berry picking and the biggest strawberry sundae I’ve ever seen!)
- Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua (live music, local and national)
- Madeline Island (you could spend your whole trip here actually!)
- Big Bay State Park (seven miles from the island docks is a very hot bike ride! The beach is worth it though!)
- Bayview Park (swimming beach a few miles from town; shallow water and sandbars make for warmer Superior swimming!)
- Fourth of July (city fireworks, boat races, and other Americana)
- Apple Festival (the signature Bayfield event, in October)