How not to #adult in Door County

I’m compelled to write this blog post as an “in addition to” piece posted a few weeks ago on OnMilwaukee.com entitled “#Adulting our way through Door County” by Andy Tarnoff. Thanks Andy for showing me the ways of Door County for when I officially become an adult.  Your article is fantastic, find it here.

I want to write about a few Door County options for those of us who haven’t quite made it yet.  Maybe we will join you in the ranks of parenthood, owning homes, paying MORE bills, but until then our paychecks simply don’t allow us to fully #adult. And personally, I’m OK with that.

For a glorious and beautiful summer I worked at Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek.   Perks included living in the park and limitless hiking out of my back door. The not so great part: the job didn’t pay an #adult salary. Above minimum wage but also not quite enough to be rolling in dough while paying the tourist tax on everything in Door County and trying to start on those student loans.  As a group of relatively young college students/recent grads, we found ourselves making our own kind of fun.

So here are a few things to check out in Door County if you are not quite yet #adulting or just don’t have a bunch of disposable income. 

During the Day:

Hike at the state parks or county parks

Buy an annual state park pass! Or a daily, but really think about that annual and support our parks. It gives you access to all state parks and forest areas, all year – it’s the most economical option. Check out Peninsula, Potawatomi, Whitefish Sand Dunes, or Newport State Parks. The county parks are great too, specifically Cave Point. You could spend the whole weekend outside hiking if you wanted to.

Looking for a specific hiking suggestion? Eagle Trail in Peninsula State Park is my personal favorite, it is rated as difficult but it is so worth it. Don’t bring the actual adults in your life with terrible knees… that’s all. That’s a lie my mom did it. Bring the people with a little bit of grit in your life. The towering rock bluffs are awe-inspiring.

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EAT ALL THE ICE CREAM

Ice cream is the best food of all time and cost about the same as a craft beer. Check out Door County Ice Cream Factory, the classic and delicious Wilson’s, or Dairy View Country Store.

Pro tip: If you have a large group and are choosing to get ice cream at Dairy View Country Store buy a half-gallon, ask for 8 spoons. They got pissed at us and charged us 2 dollars for plastic spoons…….. Yup. We each pitched in a $1 and split our half-gallon versus each paying $5 per scoop. Who said millennials weren’t smart with their money? 

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Also feel free to make a late night ice cream run after a few beers. You have no reason not to, you’re not an adult yet.

Screenshot 2017-10-22 at 4.05.02 PMThis is my birthday night- trying to convince everyone we should get the cornucopia which is enough ice cream for 12 people. We would have got our picture on the wall! 

Look at the goats on the roof of Al Johnson’s

Just look at them! You can go in and eat, it’s delicious but a little overpriced but the wait time is high and you don’t even get to hear the goats hoof-ing around up there. I would say spend your time doing other things that don’t cost as much. The coolest part is definitely the goats on the roof which you can see from… outside at the new outdoor beer garden. 

Free wine samples all over

Don’t waste money on alcohol during the day. Search out free wine samples, buy a bottle to split around the campfire later.  Since you are not an adult yet, buy the cheapest/biggest/highest alcohol content bottle. Don’t be concerned about finding the highest quality wine just yet, it all tastes the same after a few coffee cups full… because who remembers wine glasses camping?

At Night:

The Red Putter

The Red Putter is a homemade, wonky mini golf course that is perfection. Complete with moving parts (sometimes they are human powered, swinging log I’m looking at you). This mini golf course is the best. Go late when there aren’t tons of families and bring your own adult beverages (alright I guess we are adult enough for that). I’m not exactly sure if this is technically allowed but we heard it from a co-worker and we didn’t get yelled at so choose your own adventure. 18 holes of pure fun especially when you’re in a few beers.

AC Tap

Good and cheap freakin’ wings, good freakin’ people. Booze for days. Wander off the main drags a little and you will be rewarded with cheaper drinks and a solid townie feel.

Screenshot 2017-10-22 at 4.05.28 PMSpotted in their natural habitat, a bunch of not quite adults at AC Tap.

Door County Brewing Company

This brewing company not only has some really awesome brews, but they also book a great variety of  music you aren’t able to see anywhere else on the peninsula.  From bluegrass to jazz to latin or Cajun inspired tunes – you can catch it all here. They also recently opened up a new location that is the right amount of rustic and a little tiny bit hipster -there’s a deer head with a flower crown and a food truck.  #keepwisconsinbeerd

Have a campfire at your campsite

Pick a campsite, any campsite! They are way cheaper than any hotel you will find. Consider #adulting for a tiny bit and make an advanced reservation. Or don’t and see if you’re lucky but also expect you might have to turn around and head home at the end of the day.

Campfires are the perfect end after a long day spent #notadulting. Crack open that bottle of wine, get a little irresponsibly drunk, hang with friends and talk about how someday you will be an adult. Or don’t. Laugh at how lucky you are you didn’t break anything at the expensive art gallery you accidentally walked into after a few too many free wine samples.

Look up at the sky, you might catch the northern lights. We did. Sit back and drink it all in just like the bottle in your #notadult hand.

 

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Microadventures and Me

Wisconsin. Lakes are always just a quick drive away. Hiking, biking, cross country skiing, fishing and canoeing- you name it, we’ve got it.  Plus we have the Packers, good food, great beer and even better people. You can tell I’m a Wisconsinite through and through. I’ve been exploring and “Travel[ing] Wisconsin,” as our state tourism slogan boasts, for all of my 23 years.

I grew up camping with my family who decided a cabin was never quite the right fit because that would be too much commitment to one place.  There are too many lakes to swim, rivers to fish, and trees to climb. Our cabin was a mobile rig that included a boat, a few tents and some air mattresses in the back of a truck. Sometimes we would get a little luxurious and take bikes and a kayak with too.  This idea has fundamentally shaped how I view the world- so many places, so little time. We’ve made our way around exploring not only Wisconsin but national parks and outdoor havens across the U.S. and Canada.

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Me –  majestically looking off into the distance at sunset. Peyto Lake, Banff National Park. Photo cred: my mom.

I studied abroad in college, taking trips every weekend and exploring as much as I could of Liverpool and the surrounding countryside. Once I hopped back across the pond, life seemed a little less exciting. Transitioning from having everything be new and exciting to returning back to the same college town was a little rough. I felt like a piece of me was missing. I wanted the excitement of discovering the best hot chocolate in town or hiking a hill to find an expansive view of a lake far below while the rolling Welsh hills surrounded me. (Pictured above- Connwy, Wales)

In order to fulfill this missing piece, I intentionally started taking microadventures. Microadventures are short adventures that are cheap and close to home yet still fun. I strive to check out new places often. Whether a it’s new restaurant that I’ve lived around the corner from for a solid six months, a new trail during one of my frequent visits to Lapham Peak State Forest, or an adventure across the country, I make an effort to keep exploring and pushing myself to never be comfortable. Some people strive for comfort, I strive for change.

So that’s what I’ve decided to write about in this blog. I will catalogue my microadventures and tell you all about the best beer I’ve had in Milwaukee or an adventure that happened while I backpacked in Ecuador. Or it might be a simple change of perspective on a normal day. I hope to inspire you to take a quick microadventure.  Microadventures are not just for weekends and days off, but it’s about taking on a perspective that allows you to be constantly surprised and never complacent. You may never know what adventure is waiting.

To My Lady Friends

To my lady friends,

I recently was working on project that included interviewing two teenage lady friends.

First of all, they were adorable.  They chatted about their musical taste, how they met, and the ups and downs of their high school experience.  As the interview progressed, they often laughed at our questions already knowing what the other was going to say.  When we asked about their guilty pleasure music, they answered for each other too embarrassed to say it themselves.

At one point, it developed into a compliment session.  Telling the camera why they admired each other and what they sought out in each other. One girl’s outgoing and bold personality complimented the others shy but confident demeanor.

As the interview progressed, I reflected on my own female friendships from my high school and college years.  Although I’m embarrassed to admit it, my eyes definitely misted up a few different times throughout the interview.  I laughed along knowing that if you were to put me in front of a camera with a number of my close female friends, a similar interview would play out.

I became acutely aware of the roles that my female friends have played in my life.  I thought of my friend who introduced me to the sounds of alternative music, the friend who was always there when you needed a good cry (or get ice cream three times in one day), the friend who pushed me out of my comfort zone, the friend who forced me to think differently, the friend who never let fear get in the way, the friend who you could count on to be down for ordering pizza with and knowing they wouldn’t count how many slices you ate.

These ladies have shaped me, pushed me, and accepted me.  Thank you.

But I’ve never sat across from these brilliant ladies and told them how important they are to me, why I admire them, or how they inspire me.

So I’m making it a personal mission this year to take the time to thank them for their help, guidance, and love.

Truly lady friends, you’re the best. I love you.

Love,

Courtney

About

We11295938_10206714261804531_3569669413038039505_nlcome to our blog! All three of us graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in May of 2015. Residing in the same dorm building, our beloved Thomson Hall, we connected as Freshmen and enjoyed numerous invaluable adventures together throughout our college careers. From our Sweat suit Sundays to late night shenanigans we’ve had each others back through everything. Graduation was incredibly bittersweet and it was super tough to part ways.

Cue adulthood. We were all lucky enough to find jobs in our respective fields not long after graduating and are all navigating the obstacles and adventures the “real world” throws at us. Through this blog we aim to create content that makes you smile, chuckle to yourself awkwardly in public spaces, and reassure you that we understand the struggle. We welcome any questions, comments or post suggestions you may have. You can learn a little more about us individually in the tabs. Thanks for reading!