Day Two in Door County was wonderful. (Here's Day One.) The weather was unusually warm for early fall. The sky was filled with sunshine. One boy couldn't wait to get up and go and the other boy didn't want to leave the swimming pool behind. It was quite a day.
We started by having breakfast in the lobby. Danny wanted cereal and Alex wanted waffles. Well, the lobby was quite crowded, so Danny got his cereal way before Alex was able to get a waffle. But they were actually so well behaved that I received a beaming compliment from a woman who informed me that I was doing a terrific job of raising my two boys. I didn't bother mentioning that I'm their grandmother. Cheryl joined us for breakfast and by that time, Danny wanted a waffle, too. The couple at the next table graciously gave up their place in the waffle line to allow me to go next. I didn't get their names, but they said that they had five boys of their own, so they understood.
Once breakfast was over, it was off to the Door County Maritime Museum and the Door County Fireboat Cruise. For some reason, Danny didn't want to take a ride in the fireboat, but Alex was just thrilled.
On our way to the museum, I was pulled over for speeding. The one thing you have to watch in Door County is your speed. The whole of Sturgeon Bay is 25 MPH. Pretty hard to maintain when you're going down a steep hill. I saw the nice policeman make a u-turn and turn on his lights, so I quickly pulled over. Cheryl said, "Why are we stopping here?" Then Danny said, "Yeah, Nana, why are we stopping here?" To which I answered, "Because the police are pulling us over."
I put the car in park, rolled down the driver's window and turned off the engine. Then I looked in my rearview mirror and saw Danny had his hands up above his head. "Danny, what are you doing?"
"Nana, the cops are coming! The cops are coming!" Danny yelled at me. Cheryl and I exchanged some laughter and I told him to put his hands down, just as the nice officer appeared in my window.
Now, it has been a very long time since I've been pulled over. I haven't had a speeding ticket in over seven years. I do make it a habit to drive carefully. But the last time I was pulled over, I don't remember the officer introducing himself and asking me how my day was going. I can't remember this Door County officer's name, but he has to be the nicest policeman I've ever met. And that's not just because he let me off with a warning. I've been pulled over and given a warning before, but this guy was just extremely nice. I imagine that is how an officer has to be in a tourist town.
Danny still didn't want to go to see the fireboat. (I should've left him with the officer.) Before we went into the boat, I called my dad to tell him about the incident and I mentioned that we were seeing the fireboat. Well, Danny wanted to talk to Grandpa Totsch, who told him about the fireboat he'd ridden in Texas, and an amazing thing happened: reluctant Danny suddenly wanted to ride the fireboat. Imagine that.
We purchased our tickets – $20.00 each for Cheryl and me, while the boys rode free. The cruise took an hour and a half was and just terrific. There's narration to tell you what you're seeing, and I loved every minute of it.
We started the cruise sitting in chairs, but that didn't last long. Alex was the first to start running everywhere and checking everything out as the boat cruised around Sturgeon Bay.
An interesting item on the tour was passing the Arthur M. Anderson. In the picture, it is the ship on the right. The Arthur M. Anderson was the last ship to have contact with the SS Edmund Fitzgerald on that fateful night in 1975. For those of you who don't know, the Fitzgerald sent a signal that they were holding their own but then sunk in a horrible storm on Lake Superior. All 29 hands were lost. Not only was the Anderson the last ship with contact, she searched for the Fitzgerald, as well.
Another item of note: according to legend, the lighthouse seen in this picture is haunted. It is now being used as a relaxation area for the US Coast Guard. There are reports that the wife of one of the men who worked in the lighthouse now haunts it.
I think the best part of the whole cruise was toward the end, when they bring out one of the fire hoses and let the kids on board shoot water off the side. Well, as you can imagine, the boys were more than a little thrilled to play with the fire hose. There were three other children on board and they each took a turn, but Danny and Alex seemed even more interested because they waited out other children and went right back for more. The man aboard was more than happy to let them do so.
If you're traveling to Door County, with or without children, I highly recommend the Fireboat cruise. I think it was the most fun we had the whole trip.
After the cruise, we toured the interesting Maritime Museum, which has a lot of interactive exhibits and a few hands-on ones. Danny enjoyed being able to guide a ship using a computer mouse. I think he thought that was the best part. Alex had fun asking me what kind of ship each of the models represented. I'd say the name and the type and he would repeat them back to me.
All of that brings me to lunch. When we had been at the Pudgy Seagull the day before, our waitress recommended that we head to PC Junction for lunch the next day. She had overheard Alex say he liked trains and she didn't steer us wrong.
If you're going to the PC Junction for lunch, keep this in mind: if you want to sit by the train, there's going to be a wait. This is not a place where you just pluck yourself down for a quick lunch. There's a playground for the kids. In fact, the whole place is designed with kids – even us big ones – in mind.
The train comes through and serves your drinks, lunch, and even bubbles. The boys loved it. I loved the huge selection of sodas. I'm not a beer drinker, so having more to choose for soda than Pepsi or Coke makes me pretty happy. The meals were good and the way they serve food off the back of a toy train is amazingly efficient. After lunch, the boys enjoyed a little romping in the playground.
Then we traveled back to Paul David's Jewelry to pick up all of our rings. There's something wonderful about a cleaned and buffed ring, it makes it look brand new. We walked through a couple of shops and then the boys reached their limit. It was time to head back to Jack, my Chevy Cobalt. We went back to the hotel for some well-deserved swimming.