In our previous Easin’ Along article we told readers about the first day we spent in Door County, WI where our plan was to explore the area, then return a second day to make sure we didn’t miss anything. We accomplished that with a wonderful time in wonderful weather so we wanted to take everyone back with us for day two.
We left early on the second morning of our stay in the Lighthouse at Rawley Point, a US Coast Guard facility, and pointed ourselves in the direction of Door County. Before we got there however, we decided to make a stop in Green Bay, WI for a tour of Lambeau Field, the home of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers. I am a huge football fan, and this opportunity was too great to pass up. Green Bay was about 45 miles from the lighthouse and only a slight detour from our route back to Door County.
When we arrived at the stadium we were met by a large crowd of fans arriving for a luncheon to celebrate the beginning of the 2016 season. Also arriving were the Packer players. Although I didn’t recognize any of them, I knew they were professional athletes because they were all driving high priced, luxury automobiles, and state of the art SUV’s and pickup trucks that were washed and waxed to a high gloss. It was quite a parade.
We purchased tickets for a tour and met up with Ray, our tour guide, plus several other tourists. Ray was an energetic person who had retired and needed something to keep him moving. I liked him immediately. He gave us a history of the Green Bay Packers in a way that would make anyone a fan instantly. Next, he took us on a tour of the stadium that included a visit to the plush skyboxes, where the well heeled escape the infamous cold of Green Bay weather. Our tour also took us to the ramp where players charge the field as they are announced before the games begin. While we waited for the doors to the field to open, Ray got us all pumped up then led us on a vigorous charge of Lambeau Field as if we were about to take on the Chicago Bears in a fight-to-the-death struggle. Instead, we were met only by the grounds crew. We took pictures of the perfectly mown field and a few other sights noteworthy to football fans before we gave Ray a round of applause and went back inside. It really was a delightful experience.
After a stop in the gift shop for a few souvenirs, and a quick pass through the stadium restaurant, we returned to the road for the drive back into Door County. We made three stops that we want to share here.
Bailey’s Harbor, WI
This charmingly serene village is located on the northeastern side of the Door County peninsula. We actually stopped in Bailey’s Harbor because we needed batteries for the camera that we use when we don’t want to lug a big camera around. We found a hardware store in the town that had exactly what we needed and then some. On the side of the hardware store someone had painted a huge mural of an outdoor scene that was skillfully done and so realistic looking that one had to look twice to verify that it actually was a painting. It was made to look even more realistic by painting over the conduit for electric lines to look like birch trees. The artist responsible for this work is to be complimented. I placed the new batteries in my camera and took the pictures shown here as well as a few more of the lovely harbor.
Sturgeon Bay, WI
Our travel itinerary led us through this town and we made a stop at Door County Traders, an antique and consignment store, to see if we might find Helen (adorable wife) another piece for her collection of Vaseline glass to go with the piece she purchased in International Falls. Normally, I’m not a much of a shopper, but I really love to browse through thrift shops and indoor flea markets, so persuading me to pull over required little or no effort. We ended up spending almost an hour working our way through both floors. In the end, I purchased an almost new Green Bay Packers sweatshirt in my size for $15 that was quite a bargain considering that a new one went for $75 at Lambeau Field. Helen found some glass bird figures that she couldn’t live without. We both left happy.
Parallel 44 Winery
We found this winery in a catalogue given to us by a friend from home and thought that we should make this our last stop on day two. As we drove throughout the area we passed several billboards proclaiming the awards won by the wine in various competitions which heightened our interest considerably.
The winery is south and east of Green Bay and the tasting shop is adjacent to the vineyard. Before we entered the store, we walked around the patio overlooking the vineyard (pictured above). As I have repeated often, this was a glorious day and the vineyard as well as the area around it appeared lush and green and well maintained. It felt good to stretch the legs, but I was here to taste wine so, in we went.
A young lady gave a well-spoken presentation of the wine selections before offering us the opportunity to taste them. I could have made my selection quickly, but because she was generous, I feigned great difficulty in making a decision in order to taste several of them more than once. Ultimately I chose one before I wore out my welcome completely. We picked up several bottles of La Crescent, a white wine, and a few bottles of Bubbler, a sparkling wine. For those who may have an interest in an award winning Wisconsin wine, I have posted a link here. Cheers!
The drive back to Rawley Point was as stunning as the drive into Door County and, even though both of us were looking forward to the next few days in Chicago, we also knew that the departure from our Lighthouse would be a bit difficult. We’ve had an outstanding visit here, but our retirement road trip through the Heartland continues onward and it’s time to be Easin’ Along.