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With the arrival of spring comes the exciting task of preparing the condo for visitors. As I dust off the furniture, many pictures highlighting our families’ Door County history catch my eye. These pictures are always a source of enjoyable discussions for our family and our frequent visitors. Early pictures feature our three children enjoying summers camping at Peninsula State Park, and more recent ones reflect a new generation of Heneghan’s, highlighting many of the same, barely changing backdrops as the earlier ones.
They also provide a perfect start for the stories I tell my grandchildren. They are always extremely interested in their parent’s adventures when they were “little”! Many of the pictures reflect our early camping vacations. Back then, our days began by walking from our campground down to the shore to enjoy our coffee, watch the seagulls, and perhaps see who could throw a rock the furthest. Later in the day, we would visit the beach, where Marc and Beth would create and name sand sculptures.
Peninsula State Park offered many adventures. Along with our camping gear, each year we found room in the car for our bikes. When he was younger, sending Marc to the camp store by bike would keep him busy for at least an hour. Later on, Marc and I would plan day trips around the park, often setting up destinations that involved food. One picture features older Marc, now a more “professional” cyclist, checking out some pictures from his trip.
Golfing was another constant. Sean and Beth loved to golf, and would try to land a spot for twilight golf at Peninsula. Mike would accompany them, and they often golfed till they couldn’t see the holes or greens anymore, usually past sunset! Mike won the early tournaments, but as the kids got older, imagine their delight when they were able to beat Dad at his favorite game. Beth went on to captain her High School golf team and Sean found his golfing talents very useful in the business world.
The kids are grown, and are now introducing a new crew to the area. Following the so called “circle of life”, we see a new set of adventurers, our grandchildren, swimming, biking, and taking part in the multiple activities the area has to offer. And, although the girls love the older stories, they can’t wait to talk about their own Door County adventures.
Remember when we went to the restaurant where the trains brought the food to us? We sat in the front row and took our food off of the train cars. There was also a playground where we drove a pedal car with Dad and Grandpa Mike.
Remember when Sydney gave McGruff a hug at the Nature Center? We saw a big Smokey the Bear there. Remember when Emma didn’t want to follow the path and made her own way past the Nature Center?
Remember the golfing at the pirate place? Teagan and Kelsey got to wear Pirate hats! Did Devyn get a hole in one?
Remember when Sydney and Emma painted birdhouses at the art place? Emma used so much paint it took two days for it to dry!
As a child, I shared many adventures with my siblings here. We enjoyed simple things like looking for firewood or spending the day at the beach. With our young family, my husband and I found it to be a very affordable and enjoyable vacation spot. As our children grew older, we ventured out from the campground, and found that the area offered many activities to keep our growing children interested in coming back: parasailing, boating, and golfing.
As I complete my dusting, I think about Door County and our many adventures here. What is it about the area that is so special? Why do we keep coming back? Why do we want to share it with others?
As we welcome our grandchildren to the area, I feel more than ready and capable to act as a Door County tour guide for the new generation. I can’t explain why Door County keeps calling me back, but I continue to gladly answer its call.
View the full June 2016 Newsletter here.
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