Our Family Vacation to Door County, Wisconsin


Remember how my last blog post said, “I’m back!” ?? And how that was two whole months ago? Haha. Oh dear. It has been a busy summer (which is an understatement!).

I know that 2020 has been quite the year for people all around the world. Here’s a bit of a life update in the Olson home: In January, my husband Bjorn publicly announced he was running for the Minnesota House of Representatives. Our District has a seat that will soon be vacated. There was an endorsing convention (where delegates voted to officially endorse one of the four candidates from our party), and Bjorn received the party’s endorsement. Then, June came and we were thrust into a primary battle within our own party (a bummer, but that’s how life goes). The entire summer was spent campaigning – and I mean all day every day, for our whole family – I did a lot of behind-the-scenes work, and Bjorn was out campaigning every single day. Our campaign door-knocked at over 4,000 homes by the time the primary election rolled around in mid-August.

Add to that summer a global pandemic, a busy toddler girl, and an increasingly mobile baby boy (Soren just turned 9 months old), and I guess you could say we’ve had our hands full! πŸ˜€

The primary was on August 11 and Bjorn won! All the hard work was well worth it, and I’m so proud of my husband. He’s going to be an incredible representative – he’s very qualified and a gifted leader! Anyway, we’re pushing on now towards November’s election.

After the primary election win, Bjorn and I really wanted to get away for a few days (before cross country practice started for him). We road-tripped with the kids over to Door County, Wisconsin. (It’s a 7 hour drive for us.) It was so wonderful to have time together as a family to just play and relax! It was Soren’s first vacation and we all had a blast. What a beautiful area! I’d gotten recommendations from several friends as to what we should do and where we should eat, and the recommendations did not disappoint!

And, like I mentioned, now we’re home and we are working towards a win in November!

I have missed blogging so, so much. I’ve missed working on YouTube as well, although blogging will always be my first love. πŸ™‚ I’m an Enneagram 4 and I desperately crave some kind of creative outlet. So that’s why I’m here and I’m writing this post! I wanted to hop back on the blog and say hello, give you a little life update, and share about our Door County vacation! Today’s post will be more of a “photo dump” but I really am hoping/planning to get back into blogging with more consistency in the coming months. We’ll see, but just know that if you don’t see a blog post from me in a while, I’m not giving up blogging permanently.

Let’s jump in!

Sophie’s favorite rest stop – she calls it the “dinosaur park!”

We stopped at a quiet elementary school on our drive out to Wisconsin for a picnic. It was such a peaceful evening!

Wrapping up our supper as the sun started to set!

We stayed at a gorgeous Airbnb in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on our way out! We opted for the “rent the whole place” option and it was so fun to have this darling house to ourselves (for less than the cost of a hotel). I love Airbnbs. We used them a lot when we traveled to Europe in 2016, too. Click my referral link HERE to get a good discount off of your first trip!

RELATED POST: Why You Should Use Airbnb When You Travel

The final leg of our trip, and walking from our inn that evening to downtown Ephraim, Wisconsin.

The backyard of our inn. We stayed at O’Malley’s Inn in Ephraim, and had one of the newer hotel rooms in their hotel wing. It was clean and quiet, and a close drive to everything we wanted to see! (Also – and this is silly – we happened to be on this trip during Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. We watched a lot of shark shows in the evenings, haha – always a treat to be traveling during Shark Week because we don’t have a TV at home!)

Sophie’s first time playing in Lake Michigan!

We decided to spend a day on Washington Island. It was a gorgeous morning when we got in line for the ferry around 8:45 am! Sophie was so excited!

Once we arrived on the island, we hopped back in the van (we TOTALLY recommend you bring a vehicle along if you take the ferry to Washington Island), and we drove to Schoolhouse Beach!

Schoolhouse Beach is known for its super smooth limestone rocks, deposited by glaciers so long ago! We tried some rock skipping and let the kids wade in the water a bit. πŸ™‚ How pretty are these rocks?! They’re so unique that there is a fine if you take one. So, I just took a lot of pictures. πŸ™‚

Even the parking lot was stunning! (You park right amongst all of the trees!)

We also spent time at the two lavender farms on the island. I had really been looking forward to them, but Bjorn (being a farmer himself) also thought they were really cool! πŸ™‚

We stopped at the little gift shop at this lavender farm, where they also sell coffee drinks and baked goods. I picked up a lavender scone for myself (so good!) and surprised Sophie with a purple lavender marshmallow! πŸ™‚ She was so excited! (Sophie loves “mo mo shows,” as she calls marshmallows!)

Sweet Soren boy. He loved riding around in our LILLEbaby carrier! (I wrote a blog post about ours back when Sophie was this size, and we still love it!)

Next, we visited the Washington Island Stavkirke – built to reflect the island’s Scandinavian heritage! Very cool (especially since my husband is very Scandinavian!). I believe that tourists used to be allowed inside, too – just not currently.

Then, after getting lunch at one of the many restaurants on the island, we hopped back on the ferry (and got the minivan on the boat, too!) and headed back to the mainland.

The kids love each other so much! That’s why Bjorn and I are the only ones looking at the camera here. πŸ™‚

The photo above is from PC Junction, a fun family restaurant where a little train brings your food to your table! πŸ™‚ (You can ask to be seated at the counter area where the train goes by.) We’ve done a restaurant like this before, in the Wisconsin Dells, and Sophie and Bjorn got such a kick out of it. We knew we had to do another train restaurant when we heard that there was one in Door County as well! (We’re posing with Sophie’s favorite train figurines of the day – Elsa, a triceratops, and an upside-down minion. πŸ™‚ )

On a different day of our trip, we spent the evening swimming in Lake Michigan! It was a really special night. Sophie absolutely loved the waves (there were still some big ones!) and playing in the sand. And Soren enjoyed splashing in the water and…trying to eat the sand. πŸ™‚

After swimming, we got everyone dried off and changed, and walked around the town of Sister Bay. We found some delicious gelato at the Creamery – I got a flavor called Roasted Almond & Fig, and it was amazing!

Soren looks so serious here because he discovered he can kick the back of Sophie’s head. Good thing she’s a good sport! πŸ™‚
What a gorgeous view! This is in Sister Bay, WI.

We’d also heard about Al Johnson’s, otherwise known as “the restaurant with the goats on the roof,” and knew we had to head there! They serve a great breakfast – I had a Scandinavian breakfast there, because it’s a very Scandinavian restaurant and I wanted to jump right in! I even had lingonberry juice!

Sophie just loved seeing the goats grazing on the roof. Bjorn and I got stuffed goats for the kids, and Sophie named them “Chocolate” and “Butter.” πŸ™‚

We spent some time that morning after breakfast just walking around by the lake. It was gray and peaceful, and eventually started raining on us so we sprinted with the stroller back to the van and we all got wet! Special memories. πŸ™‚

Sophie and Soren did really well on the 7 hour drive back home, although we were all done with being in the car by the time we were an hour away! πŸ™‚

We sure fit in a lot of fun adventures and memories during those several days! I’m so glad we found the opportunity to get away for a little bit. Thanks for coming along with us as I shared these photos today!

For more day-to-day updates or peeks at our life, be sure to follow me on Instagram: @hannahbeeolson.

One Comment

Comments are closed.