Friday, February 27, 2015

Door County Part 2

Day two in Door County started with us waking up, putting on our cold weather gear and exploring the grounds. The four cabins are nestled in a wooded area and trails were created around the property. We headed north from our cabin and quickly descended down a slippery hill to get to the pond behind our cabin. We found a bench along the path and my guy posed for a quick pic.

The pond was completely frozen over and snow covered but I wasn't about to venture out onto it. Look what happened to the poor duck! Just kidding - apparently the decoy stays out all year.

We posed for a quick selfie with the beautiful scenery behind us before venturing back up the steep hill.
We found a service road and walked down that to see where it led. It was a very peaceful and serene feeling being in the woods.
 This picture doesn't do it justice, but this tree was massive! And so perfectly proportioned!
The road ended up leading to the main Chanticleer building but we decided to do a loop and head back using the cabin main driveway. This lead us past the other cabins and all looked to be occupied this weekend. 
When we got back to our cabin, it was time to pick up breakfast. Breakfast is available from 8 - 10 am and we chose 9 am. My guy drove across the road to get the goodies and I cozied up to the fireplace and relaxed. 
He brought back a basket and we were both wondering what could be inside. I was expecting muffins or bagels inside with butter and 'schmear.'
But low and behold we were treated to a fabulous breakfast of pecan roll stuffed french toast and bananas and cream. This breakfast was out of this world and the picture doesn't nearly do it justice. The french toast was warm, gooey and spot on for flavor. I had never had bananas and cream before and I could tell the inn made the cream themselves. I loved every part of this breakfast, except that I couldn't have more! Trust me, the portions were plentiful but when you get something this delicious, you want to overindulge. It was definitely on the sweet side for a breakfast, but that worked for both my guy and I.
After breakfast we headed back into Sturgeon Bay to hit up a few more shops. We didn't find any great treasures this round, and decided to start heading north up the peninsula.

The first stop was the Door Peninsula Winery and I apologize that I was so engrossed in all things wine related, that I failed to take any pictures during this stop on our trip. We started by walking around the gift shop area on the winery side. (Door Peninsula also has a distillery and restaurant, however we didn't venture to those areas on this trip.) I found some great deals in the shop including a wine bottle holder for a house warming gift and a wine bottle freezer pack to keep my bottle chilled when traveling to friends' houses.
From Door Peninsula Winery's Website
We decided to each do the tasting in which we could get six tastings of our choice from all their wine varietals. My guy tends to like sweeter wines and I like drier. The tasting was excellent and the employee was very helpful in guiding us through their immense selection. I found a few that I really enjoyed including one I knew I was going to give as a gift. My guy found a few he liked as well. One of the perks of the $3 tasting is not only the six pours of wine, but also the $3 off any purchase coupon you receive, which we both put to use.

Also inside Door Peninsula Winery is another shop area that has local products to sample; salsas, dipping oils, cheeses, etc. My guy found a cherry salsa that he just loved and picked one up to take home.

Across the street from the winery is a row of shops that I was able to pick up Door County Coffee Co. K-Cups and Cherry De-Lites for my parents and a mint chocolate fudge sauce for my friend as a gift. I also picked up some wax tarts for myself from the Door County Candle Co. to use in a warmer I have at home. All in all, this part of our day was very fun!

We headed north to Fish Creek for lunch and we weren't really sure what we were in the mood for. In downtown Fish Creek, Hwy 42 takes a sharp right to continue up the peninsula. But for some reason we decided to see what was to the left. And to our amazement we found the White Gull Inn, another place that my friends told me I had to check out while in Door County.

This is the oldest Inn in Door County and the inside was quaint and cute. The cherry themed dishes in the restaurant are a really nice touch!
The restaurant was buzzing for lunch but they were able to seat us at a table by the fireplace, so wonderfully warm on a chilly afternoon. The menu looked amazing and it was hard to decide. I finally chose the Open Doorwich (An open faced sandwich featuring shaved grilled ham on rye, topped with melted Wisconsin Brie, slices of Door County apples, and a honey dijon sauce) but swapped the honey dijon sauce for apple cider mayo, and I ordered a cup of the butternut squash soup as my side. 
My guy went with the Closed Doorwich (Oven roasted turkey, caramelized apple and mozzarella cheese, grilled on dark rye, served with a side of apple cider mayonnaise). He chose the potato salad and a cup of the Tortilla soup as well. 
Both of us absolutely loved our sandwiches. The brie cheese on my sandwich was nice and creamy over the warm ham and the apple cider mayo was a nice dip for it all. The butternut squash soup was very delicious as well. My guy's sandwich was yummy with melty cheese over the turkey. But both of us raved about the potato salad. I don't know what they put in it but it was amazing. I kept wanting to steal more bites of it but I let my guy enjoy. What's the secret White Gull Inn?

After lunch we drove through part of Fish Creek but ultimately decided to head back to the cabin and relax a bit. After all, isn't that what vacation is for?

We watched some TV by the fire and then decided to eat our pretzel rods we picked up the day before. These were very crumbly to eat, but sooooo good. If you can't tell, my guy and I both have sweettooths and all this chocolate and M&M goodness was amazing.

We played a few rounds of cribbage, my guy's card game of choice, and I think he beat me two out of three games. But then I showed him Speed and took the advantage in the first rounds of that - he is a quick learner. We also played Crazy 8s and a few other games to pass some time.
Then it was time for dinner. We decided to stay in and eat some of the leftover pizza in addition to some cherry brats we picked up at one of the markets on Hwy. 42. We had a grill on the deck of our cabin, so we heated it up and got a nice char on the brats. Though we could see large pieces of cherry in the brat, the flavor didn't really come through too much. The brats were filled with other seasonings that were zesty and wonderful and we ate them as is, no bun or condiments (especially mustard!). I took the chill out of the pizza in the microwave with a quick zap, but brought the crisp back to the crust with a little stove top pan action. We were stuffed and happy after this meal and still had pizza and brats leftover to take home.
After dinner, we decided to check out the local bar scene and found a Irish bar called Kitty O'Reilly's not too far from us. We walked in and the place was really crowded. I wandered up to the bar to see what they had for a beer selection while we waited for a table or bar stools to open up, and a bartender told us if we waited just a few minutes, she could get us a table. I was surprised that we didn't have to wait longer, but found out there was a large party of 28 about to be sat and that's why the bar was so full.
I ordered us some beers while we waited for the table to be cleared and enjoyed the atmosphere. The bar area walls are covered with dollar bills from patrons and flags hand on the ceiling. This seems to be a place that all ages enjoy coming for drinks and eats. Though we had a pretty big dinner, the mahi mahi bites just sounded too good to pass up so we put in an order.
We were pleasantly surprised with how many pieces came on this appetizer. The breading was fantastic and didn't take away from the amazing fish flavor and the tartar was top notch as well. We ordered two more drinks and enjoyed the atmosphere a bit longer before heading back to the cabin. 
Sunday morning we awoke to light snow falling. We were aware that the Milwaukee area was under an advisory and knew the ride home was going to be a challenge. We got our things together pretty early, but not before picking up our great breakfast.
My guy again drove over to the Inn and brought back fresh scrambled eggs with Parmesan cheese and berries and cream. Again this breakfast surpassed our expectations and was scrumptious.
Shortly after breakfast, we returned our dishes and checked out of the Chanticleer. It was sad to leave but we knew we had to get back to reality sometime.
Before leaving Sturgeon Bay, I wanted to get a picture with these large ships. And even my picture doesn't do it justice. These boats are so massive and a local told us that one of the ships even hit a bridge recently, only doing cosmetic damage. But the ship needs to stay until they figure out another option for it to leave without causing more damage.
The snow was coming down lightly as we were leaving the peninsula and I just had to take a picture of this gigantic gnome at the edge of Door County.
The snow and wind became more intense as we drove south. This picture is of the massive Accuity flag just off the highway that is barely visible. Honestly it was white-knuckle driving for my guy and I am so proud of him for getting us back safely. We took a lunch break in Sheboygan and upon exiting the vehicle, we couldn't believe how strong the wind was whipping. 
We made it home safely and already miss the Chanticleer Inn and Door County. We know we will return and couldn't think of a better place to stay for our first getaway together.

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