This past weekend Travis & I went camping in Door County with his sister & bro-in-law and our friends Rachel & Eric. Although it was rather wet and chilly all weekend (tarps and umbrellas came to the rescue more than a few times), we still had a great time together exploring the little towns & boutiques along the peninsula, sampling local wines and goodies like apple butter, cherry salsa and fudge, playing games and laughing together, and eating lots of delicious food--both at our campsite and in local restaurants.
Saturday night we attended a fish boil at the Old Post Office Restaurant in Ephraim. Fish boils are a local custom where they (surprise) boil some fish outdoors in a big pot with potatoes and onions, and then at the proper time, douse the whole thing with kerosene to burn off the oils released by the fish. This results in quite a conflagration, which I was able to capture in a photo. After "the show," we moved into the dining room to enjoy the meal, which was capped off with a slice of cherry pie. Apparently, the fish boil tradition comes from Scandinavians who settled in the area over 100 years ago.
Sunday morning we enjoyed a yummy brunch at Al Johnson's Swedish restaurant. Their Swedish pancakes and meatballs were excellent, but they're best known for being "the place with goats on the roof." Which there are. See:
This was my second camping trip this year. The third will be next month at Warren Dunes in Michigan with friends from small group. The first excursion was frigid, this last time was wet, and yet I still enjoyed myself. Although weather and location are certainly important factors, I'm finding that the success and enjoyment of each camping experience depends a lot on who you're with and how you camp (I was very impressed with Jon & Jamie's set up, which included a camp stove and coffee maker). I wouldn't have expected it of myself a year ago, but I think I may now be on my way to becoming a happy camper. Well, at least a weekend camper. At official campsites. Where there's a conveniently located bathhouse outfitted with clean toilets and hot showers. :)