Do yourself a favor: Take time to recharge wherever, whenever you can

A couple of months ago, my son and his family invited Kathy and me to spend a weekend at “the cabin” in Hayward. It only took us a microsecond to say, “YES!”

We have been there before but this experience was really different. It was the first time we had deviated from our lockdown habits since early March. Even though we were only there for a weekend, we packed more in than ever before. We spent time boating, golfing, hanging out, getting takeout, grilling burgers, and the list goes on. About halfway through the weekend, I realized that I had not had so much fun since the pandemic began. More important, I also realized how dearly Kathy and I needed a break like this. On the drive home, we decided to see if we could find a nice place in Door County to spend a few days more over a weekend later in the summer.

I should also note that our three-week, well-planned excursion to northern Italy had been canceled due to the pandemic — bummer!

Well, we got lucky. Despite all our favorite places being booked solid through October, we found that the Harbor Guest House in Fish Creek had five consecutive nights available in early September. We booked a one-bedroom, second-floor condo overlooking the marina and it was beautiful! Wowzer sunrises, nightly cocktail hour on the deck, and conveniently in the heart of Door County. In addition, from a safety standpoint, all of Door County was following the masking protocol better than any other place we have been.

We arrived on late Tuesday afternoon and had dinner at a local Fish Creek restaurant. Wednesday began the real recharging. We spent the entire morning at Whitefish Dunes State Park hiking and taking pictures. This was the Wednesday before Labor Day and the crowds were not a problem at all. Back to the condo for lunch and then a real treat. We rented electric bikes and rode them through the Sunset Trail in Peninsula State Park. The trail was well marked, a ton of fun, and picturesque as all get out. The day ended with another excellent dinner in the area.

The recharge-o-meter was well past 60% by Thursday morning and we pressed on. Cherry pancakes with all the fixings for breakfast at the White Gull Inn, a breakfast worth waiting for — and we did! This fortified both of us till dinner.

We have played golf at many of the courses in Door County in the past, but Horseshoe Bay has always been on the list. Well, we checked it off the list on Thursday. What a layout! I only wish I could have golfed on par with the beauty of the course. The day was finished with a bit of shopping — masks on — and our final in-restaurant dinner.

We spent Friday morning in Peninsula State Park doing lots of hiking. The recharge-o-meter jumped to 80% when we arrived at Sven’s Bluff. We saw three eagles overhead and Kathy was lucky to get some great photos of these majestic creatures. She is a great photographer and it is always great when the photographer’s subjects cooperate!

The rest of the day was R&R. Cocktail hour was at the outdoor area of Al Johnson’s in Sister Bay. We picked up takeout fish fries on the way back to our condo and finished up a beautiful Friday overlooking the marina.

No big agenda the next day. We did notice that traffic was getting demonstrably thicker on Friday, and Saturday was crazy. We decided to explore Cave Point County Park, then drive north on the “quiet side.” Cave Point was NUTS! A jillion people, no masks, no social distancing. In spite of the fact it was beautiful and reminded us of the sea caves in Bayfield, we didn’t stay long. We ended up having lunch at Gills Rock the top of the peninsula and crawling back through the thickest of the thick traffic on Highway 42. The recharge-o-meter finally hit 100% when we had our takeout paisano pizza from the Wild Tomato in Fish Creek.

I know that not everyone has the schedule to do a getaway like this. At the same time, whatever you can do to recharge during this pandemic can do wonders for your disposition. I have not felt this good since the mess started, and 100% recharged feels good!

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