The lofts are in. After years of thinking about them, it took all of two weekend trips. The view and the breeze are just as we had imagined. What a great addition to our little cabin in the woods!
And here's a hint of my little guy watching a good old fashioned VHS tape in the master bedroom.
The birch handrail was put up a couple of years ago and I'm loving how aged and oiled it's getting.
As I cleaned out the garage I found this swing that George made for the kids a long time ago. I promptly took it out and hung it up. The kids played endlessly on it.
Another great weekend on the island. There's always so much that we didn't seem get to. Next visit will have a bike ride to Sand Dunes Beach, a little game of tennis at the Rec Center courts, an ice cream at the Albi, and a visit to the library if we have rainy weather.
We made our first visit back to the island earlier than usual this year. We saw ice on the water and some snow still left on land. It was also very, very wet. Beautiful nonetheless.
We went up early to get a head start on building a loft over the double bed in the children's room.
While George worked on that, I brought in this shelf and tried to spruce it up with some ribbon. I put everything you'd need to set a table on it. This way the table can get set without having to disrupt the cook in our rather tiny kitchen.
We'll be back soon to complete the loft and enjoy the island before we have to hand it over to all of our wonderful renters! :)
Our stop back up to the island this year included an overnight stay at a hotel in Fish Creek. (Just to make it extra special for the kids!) We went out to dinner at one of our favorite Door stops, Wild Tomato. Great ambiance, great pizza, and we love that they give the kids their own ball of pizza dough to play with while our pizza cooks.
We arrived to a whole lot of fog on Washington Island. This didn't seem to hinder our kids' explorations.
We had the most delicious home cooked breakfast over at Findlay's Holiday Inn. A good basic breakfast and when they make doughnuts, watch out...I buy them out!
We always stop at Red Cup Coffee. Everyone does. You have to. This is the side of the building, the owner is also a painter.
This was May and their spring was in full force. Just driving around the island is such a treat.
These are the views you get.
This is my favorite shopping stop on the island, the thrift store. I wait for Saturday morning to roll around when they open so I can see what's new inside. They are also open on a weekend in the summer, I think it's a Tuesday.
The Island Dairy planted thousands of lavender bushes this year. I'm cheering them on, hoping they all thrive. What a beautiful sight it will be when they are mature and in bloom!
It's always so good to be back at our little cabin in the woods. This place will slow you down like you've never been slowed down before.
Another day we headed over to Fiddler's Green for an early dinner.
This place is funkeeeee. In a very good and artsy sort of way. Your eyes will never not having something to look at.
The bar is made out of a boat.
It's a great place for drinks, music, and hanging with locals. I'd hit somewhere else for dinner but the drinks...fabulous!
After our house was booked solid all summer long, we finally had it to ourselves again over Labor Day. It was SO good to be back! We arrived to wonderful letters written by our renters telling us how much they loved our house and their stay on Washington Island. And for some, promises to be back next summer! We were left fabulous artwork by the kids who stayed in our house and some beautiful drawings on rocks for each of our own kiddos. We are so happy that the families that came to stay loved it there as much as we do. And, we are so grateful that they all treated our home like they would their own. Thank you renters! We loved reading all of your letters and hope you'll come back again!
We had a lot people who loved dining at Fiddler's Green and Sailor's Pub. We hadn't been to either of those places since we had kids so we were happy to hear that they were still good stops. Since our kids are little bit older and pretty good at eating out we decided to go for an early seating at Sailor's Pub outside on the patio, overlooking the water, with the sun setting. Perfect. The food did not disappoint. I had fried perch with a honey wasabi dipping sauce. My husband had a pasta with lobster. My mother in law had whitefish right out of the lake. Our kids ate everything we had, including very good dinner salads. It was great!
Another favorite stop this summer is the newly opened Island Bread Co. Yummy bread and a fun stop before you get your cup of joe at the Red Cup and a good book to read at Island Books.
Here's the newly built wood burning fire they use to bake some of the bread. It smelled wonderful!
The water was the absolute lowest I've ever seen it. There were rock bars that we could wade out to and build rock towers. We also just sunk our chairs in the water and watched the kids splash around.
One morning a rare kyaker came by.
And stopped to fish. Can you see our rock towers on the rock bar?
This time we didn't see any sandhill cranes on our shores. But driving around the island one day we spotted them! I think we counted up to 33 of them!
Something else new on the island is the the Island Dairy. It's off the beaten path and looks like it could be an ale and cheese house. It was once the island dairy and has been other things since but has been sitting untouched for many years. Until this year when it was bought by a couple who completely restored it and turned it into something absolutely stunning. My photos don't even do it justice. The first floor is a gallery with a little island history. The upstairs is a beautiful space that they will rent out for events like wedding etc. Like I said, these photos don't do it justice because there are large windows that overlook nothing but land...the views are stunning. The space, not to mention is pretty amazing too. Just look at everything! That huge fireplace, those doors that lead out to a second story deck. It would be a perfect place to host an event! There's talk of using this space, when not in use, as a place to come and have homemade soup, island bread, and play games and lounge in comfy furniture. Watch for new developments for this place, it sounds like they aren't even close to the things that have dreamed up for this place. Make sure you stop by on your next visit. I loved seeing photographs of a Wisconsin photographer in their gallery!
Someone was smart enough to grab up our place over Columbus Day weekend, one of our favorite weekends on the island. Lucky them! But, we'll be back a lot more in the fall. Unless, of course, you beat us to it! :)