Saturday, August 25, 2012

Off to Beautiful Door County

I was so excited to finally make the long drive up to Door County.  The place is absolutely fantastic!  Door County is divided up by bays - Sturgeon, Egg Harbor, Sisters, Ellison, Ephraim, Fish Creek,  Rowleys, and Baileys Harbor, with some facing Green Bay and others on the Lake Michigan side. 

There is nothing that I didn't like about Door County!  I highly recommend a visit to the "Cape Cod of the Midwest".  It must be spectacular in the fall. 

 Best ice cream ever!

I have lots more to share with y'all about Door County tomorrow.  In the meantime, start making your plans for a visit, you won't be disappointed!


Friday, August 24, 2012


That's right, Ethel got herself carted off to the big house!  Well, actually the big house is our little garage. 

                                         Yes, that is a piano and a portable dishwasher!
Are you asking yourself, what did she possibly do?  Nothing!  Who knew that a cute vintage camper wasn't allowed on City of Chicago streets - hehe.

I tried pleading her case to Officer Friendly - Isn't she cute?...  She's actually smaller than some of the big pick ups on the block.....  The neighbors lover her! ..... The kids have their breakfast in her. 
It didn't work, but luckily she didn't get a ticket.

Getting the old gal in the garage wasn't easy.  Poor B-man was up on a crate pushing the garage door up as far as it could go while we pushed and I mean pushed her in. 

Remember the portable dishwasher?  Well, sweetie moved it out to make some room and forgot to put her back in.  A couple of hours later when we realized our Craigslist wannabe was left in the alley, he ran out to find her gone!  Maybe I should check Craigslist to see what the asking price is....

Friday, August 17, 2012

On the Road Again

We're heading to the Illini State Park in Marseilles.  This campground is a little bit different as we don't have the wooded site as we did at Starved Rock.   You have a grassy site that sits on the Illinois River. 
We really enjoyed this campground!  It was great to watch the boats and coal barges go down the river.  There are wooded areas for hiking, fishing and a boat launch.  We found this campground to be filled with a lot of regulars from the western suburbs.  They refer to it as their "go to place".  I think it may become our go to place also.

Did I mention yet that the state parks only charge $20-$25 a night?  This includes electric, water, and about 1,000 stars in the sky. 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Extreme Heat Hiking

We had some extreme heat and even though there are trees galore, it was still HOT!  The trails and bluffs are beautiful.  They also have a lodge with a beautiful banquet hall, rooms to rent and pool.

Ugh!  We have to break camp and get out because we can only stay one night.  Starved Rock was booked to the max for the weekend.  Wake up Ethel, it's time to hit the road...


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Visit from Rocky Raccoon

There are plenty of warnings about furry friends that may come to visit your site, but I really thought they would make their way in the middle of the night when we wouldn't see them.  Well, the Starved Rock raccoons are a little on the bold side.  While eating our very first campfire dinner which was fantastic - burgers, corn on the cob, and cheesy veggies wrapped in foil (thank you pinterest), our cooler was invaded!  Our city slicker pup, whose tail was going a mile a minute, had no idea that Rocky Raccoon probably would have taken a bite out of him if he didn't get his teeth on our entire bag of Butterfingers.  That raccoon managed to lift up the lid of the cooler and swipe our bag of candy bars, the nerve of him! 

Because his eyes had a minute or two to see what else was in the cooler, he came back for the Reese's in the middle of the night!  I didn't hear him but Pic Man said he was scratching like a dog burying his bone.  We were way more prepared this time and put the other cooler that had all the beer, wine, and juice boxes on top.  No way was he getting our Reese's!

I end each night, sort of like the Walton's -
This is So Tinsel!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I'm all about a Bathroom

Now that you have seen the inside of Aunt Ethel, did you notice anything?  If you're a guy my guess would be no, if you're a gal you noticed from the get go.  You got it - no potty!  How I love my Aunt Ethel but I didn't realize how much I would like a bathroom.  So, here we are on our first trip and the first thing I'm looking for is the bathroom!  I have to admit that they weren't too bad.  The shower house must have just been cleaned and I was pleasantly surprised.  They also had porta-potties much closer to our site that must have been emptied that day! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Her Maiden Voyage

After cleaning, painting both inside and out, and shopping for everything one would need to glamp.  Yes, that means going down aisles at Walmart that us city slickers have never been down for every gadget known to the camping world because you never know when you will need tie wraps, bungees in every size and color or plastic doohickies to hang lights.

Well, with all the work going on to get her ready for a trip somewhere, we had no idea it is so difficult to secure a reservation.  With luck, Neighbor Joe, who has probably camped for 30 some years gave great advice: 
The first time out, ONLY go about an hour from home because if you have troubles you can get back home quickly.
He suggested Starved Rock State Park  and Illini State Park, both of which are close to home and I'm sure there had to be a Walmart nearby!

Wow, there are a lot of glampers out there because Starved Rock had one site with electric on a first come, first served basis.  I was determined to get that site because I know this is strange to hear, but I have never been there! 

We packed Ethel and the new used car with the hitch with everything you can imagine and headed west.  The further west we got the more clouds appeared along with lightening, thunder and then the rain.  Are you kidding me, we're in a drought!

We finally arrive, the rain stops and we actually get the spot that is open, which happens to be next to the friendliest bunch of Amish I have ever seen.  Just as we got everything out where we wanted the storm hit again!  All I have to say is thank goodnes for a roof and a solid floor.  I really don't know how tenters manage in the rain.  Of course Pic Man and Paddy Boy were thrilled for the storm because that meant nap time for them.  Yes, P-boy loves Aunt Ethel!

Welcome to nature, a crackling fire heating our dinner, the smell of pine, and B-man sitting with the I-Pad!