Friday, July 5, 2013

Another Year, Another Frugal Summer Solstice Trip to Bayfield

Delayed, yet this is a delayed post.  We are past the 4th of July and a few weeks past the summer solstice.  But but late than never!

Once again our little family packed up our Honda Civic, and headed north.  Ever the money wise, I scheduled a 2pm meeting with clients who live in Hayward.  Why have a client meeting worked into the launch of a vacation: 1) making a meeting gave the entire family motivation to get up and get moving, we were out the door just before 8am (note, Bayfield is a 6 hour drive north); 2) the mileage to and back from Hayward became a tax deduction; and 3) when you are self-employed you take client meetings when they come...there is no such thing as a "weekend".  Frugally speaking, we set off on the right food.

We returned to the Ada O'Day condo for home base.  Remember, frugal does not mean cheap.  We pay a premium for the place, but it is worth every penny.  A full kitchen means we eat all meals (except one breakfast at The Egg Toss) at home.  There is a dinning room table as well as a deck overlooking Lake Superior.  And when I say a full kitchen, I mean a full kitchen.  Crockpot, pans, measuring spoons, just about anything you'd have at home.  With a home feel we enjoyed simply hanging out reading or watching videos.....which off-set the cold rainy weather that engulfed the town for most of our visit.  And an essential ingredient to a frugal condo, the washer/dryer.  It drastically cuts down on what you have to pack.  Saves space, saves on gas, saves on time.

This year we skipped our trek out to Madeline Island.  The forecast called for heavy rains, possible hail.  Not exactly where you want to be with kids not quite 5 and 3, in a State park.  Plus the ferry fee for the car adds to the trip....close to $50.  Instead we took the advice of locals and drove even further north to Little Sand Bay.  No admission, and pure stunning nature.  Armed with kitchen spoons from that stocked kitchen and some tupperw-ware, the kids dug and dug.  We watched the fog and contemplated what critter made the footprints we saw the on the beach (bear are as common up there as squirrels are in Madison).

Water also took us to the Bayfield recreation center.  For $16 the family could spend the day in its pool, along with a hot tub and steam room.  It was hear that we decided an annual trip is insufficient.  Stay tuned for a winter solstice trip to Bayfield.  Note: the center is open year round

The coup on this frugal trip was our visit to the Bayfield library.  We'd never been before, and upon leaving I launched into a serious discussion -- should we move to Bayfield.  This place is amazing.  Children's sections of libraries are something I have come to know well.  And form opinions of.  My favorite local one is Verona, but by far, Bayfield blows them away.  Warm, friendly, free colors and coloring books available.  Puppets, quality puppets to check out!  A doll-house, and the most friendly staff ever.  I swear we'd stumbled into a Garrison Keillor story.  When my husband discovered the free cookies and coffee next the the circulation desk, he too began wondering -- should we move here?

If a frugal vacation is what you want, consider Bayfield.  The camping is plentiful (one island was closed to camping because of bears).  Nature is free and entertaining.  Tourist trap shopping is minimal.   And the town is walkable (we use the car one time, to drive to Little Sand Bay).

Images will follow-another day.....home internet just went out, unable to upload and post images.  Now off to deal with Charter Cable.


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