It's a four and a half hour ride from my friends' house in Door County, Wisconsin, when you go the regular way. I left at nine this morning and took the long way around. So I just got home. It's five o'clock. I took a few side trips to look at the harbors and to find a cherry pie, but I never did, since the bakeries don't seem to be open on Mondays. But I did find cherry jam, and dried cherries, and I drank a 32 ounce bottle of cherry juice. Wisconsin may be known for its cheese, but cherries are right up there with the Packers in some counties.
After my disastrous underwater-sounding audio entry, recorded on the edge of Lake Michigan, in a telecommunications void known as a cedar forest, I tried to upload a real entry on Sunday -- the regular kind, typed and everything. It wouldn't load and I couldn't save it -- although I realize now I could have printed it so I could try again. Meanwhile, that final audio entry was so pathetic that I didn't try to do another one.
While I didn't have luck with my cell phone, what I did have were four beautiful, sunny days with temperatures hovering around 75 degrees, along with a nice breeze off the lake, totally cloud free, clear blue skies, and a dog that looks like a cross between a German wire haired pointer, a bloodhound and a St. Bernard to entertain me. Oh yes, and wonderful food and conversation thanks to my longtime friends who cook with tagteam precision and tell stories with the skills of raconteurs.
He's an attorney and former judge who has had a lifelong passion for big game hunting and fishing. She's a conservationist who has worked for years in species preservation. Together, they're sort of Save the Whales meets African Safari. And it somehow they make it work. Ironically I knew both of them for years and they managed to meet without my help. Probably just as well.
Have I mentioned how nice it was to have a fire in the big stone fireplace one morning at the hundred year old cabin I stayed in? My friends use it as a guest house. The logs are hand hewn. There are stuffed animals everywhere. Not the cute kind from FAO Schwartz, the dead kind. Also snowshoes, a toboggan, and three black bear rugs. The main room of the cabin is so large they look like bathmats. And the claws are hazardous. You don't want to step on them in the middle of the night. Like I did last time I visited. Or like another guest who had to make a trip to the hospital. Dead animals have a way of getting their revenge.
The cabin's kitchen and bathroom are modern, thank you very much. I don't do outhouses. There's a wonderful screened in porch, lovely for enjoying a morning glass of juice and an English muffin.
Which brings me back to the most important stuff -- food. Where was I? Oh yes, slabs of thick sliced bacon, the best rice I've ever had -- Lundberg's organic -- the use of a fascinating battery powered pepper mill with headlights and a tasty mixture of four different kinds of pepper -- green, white, black and pink. Also perfectly grilled petit filets, Copper River Salmon, giant, sweet, homegrown tomatoes, fresh lettuce picked just outside the back door, tender green beans from the farmers' market, and my favorite of all -- real FRESH EGGS.
I love eggs that have been plucked from the nest that morning. Instead of sitting around in styrofoam containers for weeks and weeks. The difference in taste is just like Martha promised -- they taste like, well, EGGS.
Oh, and Ollie, the hundred pound, very mellow dog who can leap off the ground with all four legs simultaneously, is a spinone, which is an Italian pointer. I can't ever remember the name of the breed, so I just call him a spumoni.
I took pictures of the buffalo I saw on the way up, the giant flag I mentioned in one of my audible audio entries, and some other stuff I'll share eventually.
I actually stopped at a Walgreen's to get some of the prints made before I got home.Maybe tonight I get them posted. Then again, maybe I'll be eating the rest of the dried cherries and get to it tomorrow