These are the words uttered by my husband when I told him where we were staying for our vacation in the Apostle Islands. At the time, all I could tell him was, “I don’t know. Somewhere over by Bayfield.” Seriously, I had no idea. I thought it was fairly close to Bayfield but on our way up, we soon discovered it was actually another 20 miles past. Long drive gets longer when you have no idea where you are going. It looked close on the Google map, but that didn’t seem to fill Dave with confidence.
Sorry, honey. My Vacation Planning OCD failed and it was the end of June before I realized our 30th anniversary was almost upon us and I still had not looked for a place to stay. By the time I found the Siskiwit Bay Lodge in Cornucopia, I would have booked it if it were a smelly old tent next to a raccoon infested dumpster. Thankfully, the photos showed beautiful shots of Lake Superior and a cozy suite with a kitchen and private seating area. It even had a separate bedroom with a queen sleigh bed and a corner jetted tub that looked over the lake.
None of the photos showed a single rabid raccoon or ax wielding maniac, but I was leery. We had been burned by pretty photographs before (and ended up with crappy accommodations although no mouth-foaming wildlife or serial killers so far. But it’s still early).
Plus it was a bed and breakfast. Eating with strangers every morning seemed like a recipe for a Sue Disaster.
You know, what if I spilled food down my chest, or snort laughed coffee out of my nose, or stuck my foot in my mouth instead of my fork or just acted like such a complete dork that nobody (not even Dave) wanted to sit by me during breakfast? All of my friends are seriously nodding their heads right now because I have done and will again do ALL OF THESE THINGS. The struggle is real.
As it turned out, our hosts – Bruce and Sandy – were wonderful, and the grounds and room were actually better in person than they were in the photos. Vibrant sunsets and blooming flowers and comfy adirondack chairs. There weren’t even any mosquitoes. And all of the other guests were wonderful, too. And the breakfasts were homemade and delicious! And tiny singing birds and little chattering squirrels dressed me each morning while I broke out into song and twirled on the deck.
Okay, maybe not that last part. But I did have coffee on our private deck each morning while listening to the blue jays and red squirrels argue in the pine trees and getting visits from hummingbirds on their way to the flower gardens. All in view of Siskiwit Bay and Lake Superior. I gotta say – it was pretty awesome.
Another highlight of our trip was our cruise out to the mainland sea caves with Captain Mike of Good Earth Outfitters. We decided not to do the kayak thing seeing neither of us wanted to work that hard, and Bruce and Sandy highly recommended Captain Mike as an alternative. We are really glad we took them up on it.
Because of the rough waters that evening, our cruise out to the caves meant engaging both 200-horse motors, resulting in whipping hair and water spray and grinning from ear to ear. I draped my hand over the side to feel the water smack against it, and giggled like a little kid. It brought back a lot of memories of boating with my family and my Dad going wide open while we all hung on and laughed.
I yelled to Dave then – “I FORGOT HOW MUCH I LOVE A GOOD BOAT RIDE!” and he yelled back – “DOES THIS MEAN I HAVE TO BUY YOU A BOAT NOW?”. Hmmmmm..
Captain Mike’s real expertise and years of nautical experience growing up on Lake Superior came into play as he maneuvered the boat right in to some of the caves, despite the high waves. His knowledge and obvious love of the area made him the perfect spokesman as he described the formation of the rock by the passing glacier, and the caves by the relentless pounding of Lake Superior.
(The caves were stunning and my photos don’t do them justice.)
Although Cornucopia is small, and off the beaten path a little bit, we found ourselves gently swaying to the music of this small seaside community. Of course we did the touristy Bayfield trip and took the boat cruise and checked out the souvenir shops and ate at a restaurant that required a reservation. But I think our best memories will be from little Cornucopia.
By our last day, we were tapped into the slower drum beat that comes with unplugging. Evenings spent with our toes dangling in the sand of Corny beach, mornings on the deck, hiking to Lost Creek Falls and sloshing thru Siskiwit River, sunsets spent side by side in the chairs at the lodge, plunging under Lake Superior to rise gasping and laughing (and freezing!), digging thru the sand for rocks and stones and driftwood. Not saying a lot – mostly just BEING. Being present. Being together.
30 years is a long time. But it doesn’t seem like near enough with this man. I hope we get 30 more.
PS. I did not ONCE spill food down my shirt at breakfast, nor did I burp out loud, pass gas, or say anything inappropriate. Truly a magical week.