A Week in the Life

My daughter flew into town last week (July 25th) for some fun at the lake. She had two goals on her list that she wanted to accomplish during her vacation visit. One was fishing with her dad … a first. And two was blueberry picking with her mom (me), another first.

During her visit to northern Wisconsin last year, she arrived at the end of the blueberry season which she found a little disappointing. So, she made sure to schedule this trip with the blueberry season in mind and she wasn’t disappointed.

blueberry picking in northern Wisconsin

Where to go blueberry picking.

Bayfield, Wisconsin, is famously known as the Gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, but it’s also considered the Berry Capital of the state. Bayfield’s local agriculture produces some of the largest crops of blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries in the Midwest. The rolling hills, lush vegetation, and beautiful Lake Superior shoreline make visiting this part of northern Wisconsin well worth the out of the way drive.

a hand picking blueberries

Mid-week, Ashton and I hopped in the truck and took the hour and a half drive up to Bayfield for a morning of blueberry picking. I took her to my favorite fruit farm; Blue Vista Farm. I’m in love with this property and barn and try to visit at least a couple of times each summer.

Blue Vista Farm, Bayfield, Wisconsin

The weather was gorgeous and the bushes were covered in berries and ripe for the picking. We picked lots of blueberries. Quite frankly, more than I’d have room for in the RV. Thank goodness my sister-in-law has an extra freezer for us to use. However, Ashton was quick to check with me that I’d have plenty of room in my little RV freezer to haul her five pounds of freshly picked berries back to Phoenix on our return this fall. I assured her that my Tetris skills were such that that wouldn’t be a problem.

young gal fishing on a pristine lake

Fishing with her dad

Ashton bought a four-day fishing license and certainly made the most of it. She and Al along with Al’s brother-in-law had their fishing poles in the water regularly. There were some successes and some failures, but enjoyable moments for sure. Ashton had a great time fishing and already looks forward to doing it again. However, she’d prefer daddy to handle any fish she catches 😎🐟🎣 They feel slimy, ya know!

During the middle of the day when the weather was too warm for fishing, we’d take the boat out for a ride and sometimes pull up to an island and splash in the water.

Other times, we were in the mood to paddle. Al and I will occasionally take the canoe out … something he and I hadn’t done in many, many years. This year, I kayaked for the first time and immediately fell in love with it. Hmm, do you think I can talk him into getting kayaks when we’re back in Phoenix?

Me in the kayak and Ashton on the SUP

Wildlife sightings!

In addition to all the fun activities we did during the week, Ashton also saw some wildlife. Of course, while visiting this part of the country, my favorite sightings and sounds are the Loons. I haven’t been able to capture any nice photos of them this year, but I was thrilled, as were Ashton and Al, with seeing this Loon family.

We’ve also seen two nesting bald eagle families at opposite ends of the lake. All I can say is those juvenile eagles sure do squawk a lot. And I thought a colicky baby was bad πŸ₯΄

Mama eagle didn’t like us paddling in her territory. She had some fishing to do considering baby eagle kept squawking and wanted to be fed.

We also saw a deer swim, a coyote swim, an otter with a fish in its mouth swim by the boat along with several Great Blue Heron sightings.

Great Blue Heron in flight

It was a fun week … over way too soon. We lucked out with fantastic weather during Ashton’s visit and another first for her was taking a boat to go out to dinner. One of the resorts on the lake serves up a great burger and onion rings. Why take the truck out to dinner when you can take the boat?

We drove Ashton back to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport yesterday and bid her farewell. We already miss her. And now it’s back to lake life as usual.

Despite all the restrictions, I hope you’re enjoying your summer as much as we are and that you’re able to spend a little time with family. We all need moments with our loved ones, especially these days.

 

76 thoughts on “A Week in the Life

  1. I’m just catching up on your posts now, Ingrid, and though you’re probably headed back to Phoenix soon I’m loving all the water photos and lush vegetation. We just might have to return to that part of the country next summer! Hope you all continue to stay safe and enjoy the remaining time up north.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re planning on stay north a little longer this season (into October) so I might be able to capture some beautiful fall colors. However, my thin blood may have us moving sooner if it gets too cold 🀣 Hopefully, next summer there will be a sense of normalcy in the world and exploring won’t be as challenging.

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    1. Thank you! This is our second summer returning to the Midwest and we’re really enjoying it. It feels like coming home after living in the west for 25+ years. Great place to visit but wouldn’t want to live here 🀣

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  2. Love the wildlife. We have been trying to spot an otter here in Wyoming/Montana but have had no luck so far. We are also hot to see a moose – maybe this next week in Glacier NP.

    Sounds like you had a lovely visit with your daughter. Will there be blueberry pie or tarts in your future?

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    1. The kitchen counter has a plate loaded with blueberry coffee cake and blueberry muffins. Breakfast was blueberry pancakes. I think I need to go blueberry picking again at this rate. πŸ˜†
      If you want to see moose, consider visiting Grand Lake, Colorado (west end of Rocky Mountain National Park). Although, Jackson Hole isn’t a bad spot either. Enjoy your visit to Glacier.

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  3. I’m so jealous of your mother/daughter time for a whole week!! What fun to have a nice long drive and bluberry picking together to hold you til you get back to AZ. You were brave to have Ashton visit. We haven’t seen either of our kids since the virus. We have cancelled our reservations twice (and I’ll be cancelling the third time next week) to fly back east to visit Jessica and family. We just aren’t brave enough to expose ourselves. Our son won’t come visit either. He said he is last person we should be around with his being in a different plane, airport, and captain everytime he flies. Even though he wears a mask all the time and has been tested by Delta (both antibody and virus) and is negative, he won’t come yet. So we enjoy our phone conversations almost every day. Enjoy your blueberries and don’t get carried away and eat Ashton’s…haha! Take care and stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We had such a great visit with Ashton. Up until just a few days before her Delta flight, none of us were sure she/we wouldn’t cancel. We all need to find our comfort level navigating life these days. My SIL works for the local health dept. and is in the thick of the pandemic. Unfortunately, the indications are that we’re in for a rough winter. Hope the experts are wrong! Safe travels to you and I’ll probably return to Bayfield for some more blueberry picking before I’m tempted to dive into Ashton’s 🀫

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  4. I just love all your photos and the eagles look amazing! How fun your daughter spent time with you and Al. I may fly out there to pick blueberries with you, Ingrid πŸ˜‰ I started my blogging break by heading to Mammoth Lakes for a long weekend with my daughter, her boyfriend, my brother and his partner. We also visited the various lakes and paddled on my inflatable SUP. I hadn’t seen my family since Christmas. I was supposed to join them in San Diego this week to attend my mom’s delayed memorial, but Hans has to have eye surgery tomorrow. I have a lot to do at home so it’s all good. Got a lot of new photos of Mono Lake and I’m keeping up on Instagram. Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Terri. We had such an enjoyable low-key visit with Ashton. Family is so important! Sorry to hear about Hans’s eye surgery. Hope he is doing well and that you’re enjoying your little break from the blogosphere. I loved your pic from Mono Lake … a place I’ve always wanted to visit. Enjoy the rest of the summer!

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  5. What a wonderful week together, Ingrid! I’m glad all of you had such a lovely time and that the weather was cooperative. Lots of firsts for Ashton, yay! I guess you can freeze her berries in your sister-in-law’s fridge and pack them into the RV whenever you leave.

    All the photos look fabulous – good times. Until recently, I’d never had fun at a lake before, but now that I have experienced hanging out with friends lakeshore for a few days in a row and cooling off in the water when hot, I’m starting to see the positives about vacationing at a lake. πŸ™‚

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    1. We lucked out with great weather during Ashton’s visit along with engaging in some fun activities. Yep, her blueberries are in my SIL’s freezer and then I’ll make room in my little RV freezer when it’s time to return to Phoenix.

      Having grown up in the Midwest, I’m a huge fan of lakes and rivers, and not so much a fan of the ocean. I guess it’s all about one’s comfort zone and familiarity. Hope you’re enjoying your summer!

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    1. Thank you ML. Life is most definitely challenging these days and we weren’t sure if Ashton’s trip wasn’t going to get canceled at the last minute either by her, us, or the airline. So glad it all worked out. Hope you are enjoying your new home and hope to visit again this fall.

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  6. Good Morning Ingrid…
    I am so happy your daughter got to come out and have such a wonderful time with you! 😊
    Lovely weather, blueberries, water fun and that gorgeous area around that Barn! It’s beautiful!
    Fun times and memories created!
    Happy Tuesday my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You and sweet man would love the Bayfield area … gosh, we love it, and if it weren’t so far removed and get so darn cold, I would want a home here. Guess I’ll stick with Phoenix and settle for summer visits to northern WI, and since I’ve been baking up a storm with those blueberries, I think I’ll enlist the help of Al and go pick more. Ah, just another excuse to hang out in Bayfield again 😊

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  7. Sounds like a great visit especially when it includes two firsts. Our kids have often planned a visit around our blueberries. Great shot of the eagle and I always enjoy seeing swimming wildlife.

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    1. I can see why your kids would plan visits around blueberry season. I think my daughter may do the same. It was a fun time. However, with all the baking I’ve been doing with those blueberries, my waistline doesn’t think it’s such a good idea 🀣

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  8. So nice Ashton was able to come for a visit. Our blueberry picking wasn’t as good as a our strawberry picking, but 4, quart-size bags are in the freezer. Now we’ve got fresh peaches in the house. We debated canoe vs kayak, don’t remember why we chose the canoe but it’s staying here when we head to TX, along with the bikes since I don’t want them to get rusted. We’re hoping a used pontoon boat comes up for sale before we leave, it certainly would help make the time go by quicker.

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    1. Al and I were just talking about you guys and your canoe. I think after paddling kayaks, we aren’t as interested in canoeing. The kayaks are just so much easier. Guess it all depends on the purpose of the watercraft. If I keep picking fruit, I may have to get another freezer πŸ˜†. Enjoy those peaches!

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  9. What a great week you two had with Ashton. I bet she was glad to get out of the AZ heat for a week too! So glad to hear you were able to get teh RV repaired – what a ordeal that use have been.
    Stay Safe and Hi to Al.

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    1. We really lucked out with mostly fantastic weather during her visit allowing us to get in plenty of fun activities. And yes, she was thrilled to escape the record-breaking high temps in Phoenix.

      It feels good to get some of these RV projects behind us. We have a few more to tackle, but as you well know, it’s kind of never-ending. Something always needs attention. Hope you’re enjoying life on the water!

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  10. What a great week you two had with Ashton. I bet she was glad to get out of the AZ heat for a week too! So glad to hear you were able to get teh RV repaired – what a ordeal that use have been.
    Stay Safe and Hi to Al.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That’s wonderful that you were able to spend time with your daughter. These days getting together with loved ones takes on a whole new meaning and importance. We are very fortunate to have our children and grandchildren near by. I am grateful every day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree … spending time with loved ones is more important than ever and you are fortunate to have family nearby. My SIL is a nurse with the county health dept and is very involved with the latest happenings surrounding the pandemic. So we all discussed Ashton’s travels and protocol before giving the thumbs up. Strange times and grateful for creating new summer memories.

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    1. I’m thinking I need to return to that farm and pick more or I might tap into Ashton’s blueberries and I know that won’t make her happy πŸ˜† I should have a couple more weeks of picking available!

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    1. I’ve been enjoying the sights and sounds of nature this summer without picking up the camera frequently. And surprisingly, I’m ok with that. So, I’ve definitely missed some great shots but have enjoyed witnessing the beauty.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Family time and talk about some R&R too πŸ™‚ Love your captures – I want to go find a chair and relax outside right about now. We are continuing our venture into FL gardening and are working with a few blueberry, raspberry and blackberry plants. Also, the lime tree is producing beautiful limes with plenty more blossoms popping up. Happy Day – Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Renee. Yep, lots of R&R going on this summer. Sure there are the RV maintenance projects which seem to be never-ending, but we’re focused on enjoying being in the present. A lime tree? How fantastic. One of Al’s sister’s moved to AZ last spring and is talking about planting a lime tree. Fresh limes are the best. Enjoy!
      Hope you’re holding up ok. My SIL here is going nuts and is exhausted with this darn pandemic. She works for the local health dept 😡

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  13. Where do you go boating. Are you on the Flowwage? I do miss that area..We vacationed there every summer growing up.. The last time we were there was about 5 years ago…Boy, has it changed! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I grew up spending summer vacations on the Flowage and have the fondest of memories. Char and her husband live on a smallish lake about 15 minutes away from the Flowage. The guys will take the boat and go over there for a day of fishing from time to time but mostly we just stay here on their lake. We’re so grateful that we have such a beautiful place to spend our summer and enjoy time with family. Treasured memories!

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  14. Really enjoy your blog. Am vicariously traveling with you while we’re spending the summer in Maggie Valley, NC. We winter in Arizona (Palm Creek in Casa Grande) and love it.
    dunngone.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Obviously, like most folks this summer, we aren’t doing too much exploring, but rather staying close to ‘home’. We’re fortunate to have family with a beautiful property with room for us to park the RV. We spend our winters at the north end of the Phoenix valley and have several friends who prefer Casa Grande … great place during the winter!

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    1. And what are you doing with your blueberries? I’ve been making blueberry coffee cake, muffins, and pancakes. We’re loving it, but our waistline isn’t πŸ˜‹

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  15. Neither Blueberry picking nor fishing is anything for me: I don’t have enough patience. πŸ˜€
    I love that barn. It looks so great. And thx for the other beautiful pictures, too.
    Have a great week, and stay healthy,
    Pit

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    1. Thank you Pit. I thought for sure my daughter would’ve been bored after 15 minutes of picking blueberries. Much to my surprise, I was the one who got bored. My daughter works in a very stressful industry which is why I think she enjoyed fishing, blueberry picking, and gentle paddling as much as she did. She was able to chill and relax.

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    1. Oh, how fun to have a blueberry farm near your home. My biggest problem is I like to make treats with blueberries … coffee cake, pancakes, scones, etc. Not good for the waistline 😏 I need to start thinking oatmeal topped with blueberries. It was a super fun week with our daughter – I’m fortunate.

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    1. Since they were using artificial lures, she didn’t need to bait her hook. Yes, kayaking is fun. After I wrote/posted this, I remembered, I did kayak once before but in an inflatable kayak which I didn’t enjoy. This was my first time in a hard shell and I loved it. I have paddle boarded before but not this summer … yet and we’ve been floating in the lake on the really warm days. Lake life is grand!

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  16. Family time at the lake is the BEST! The heartwarming joy of sharing time and treasured activities with adult children who actually enjoy being with their folks is like no other. So happy to know that Ashton’s visit involved lovely weather, wildlife, adventures on the water and all of those blueberries. It sounds like a wonderfully perfect family get-together at the lake. Good for all of you!

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    1. You are so right – ‘family time at the lake is the best’! We are so fortunate to have adult children that enjoy hanging out with us. It was a great get-together and we can’t wait to do it again.

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  17. Ingrid, Your daughter has wonderful values. Family and food. πŸ™‚ For some reason blueberries seem to be growing well everywhere this year. All of your photos are exceptionally beautiful! An amazing capture of the eagle. Thank you for sharing a beautiful and enjoyable post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Family, food, and fun!!! Now there’s a title for a blog post 😏 Thank you for your kind words. The blueberries are definitely plentiful this year. I’m already thinking about returning to the farm for more picking, but I’m not sure my waistline can handle more of my baking. I guess I could focus on healthy blueberry recipes, but for some reason, the blueberries I pick scream to be baked into treats πŸ˜†

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    1. I totally agree! I don’t even want to get back in the canoe. It’s a little cold, windy, and overcast today, but once the lake calms down, I’ll be back in the kayak paddling.

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    1. Thanks John. Yeah, I love that barn. Actually, the whole property is stunning … from the perennial flower beds to the fruit orchards to the naturally wooded forest, it’s a treat to visit.

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  18. Ingrid,
    I’ve only experienced one trip to Wisconsin, and Bayfield was the highlight of the entire trip. We ate dinner at a lovely little diner called the Fat Radish and toured the Apostle Islands the next day. If Helen had visited during Blueberry season, we would still be there. Have a great week…looking forward to more of your summer. Joe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You two would love Blue Vista Farms and you’d have a hard time pulling Helen away from the orchards. They just listed the on-site house on Airbnb. I’m not a member of Harvest Hosts, but this would be an awesome place to overnight in the RV. I should’ve asked the manager last summer when I ran into her. There’s something about Bayfield that resonates with me. Perhaps it’s the quaintness and its location along the shores of Lake Superior that appeal to me. It’s a Wisconsin gem!

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    1. It’s beautiful up here. If I were younger and still into tent camping, I’d be overnighting on one of the Apostle Islands, but these days, having family with lakefront property to enjoy is pretty darn special. Loons and eagles … interesting fact … Due to the ever-increasing eagle population, the loon population is teetering on the endangered range.

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  19. What a lot of fun you all had. Lucky Ashton. Fantastic photos. I really like the eagle and heron photos. Laurie wants a kayak and paddle broad after watching the people floating down the Rio Grande. I used to do a lot of canoeing. I don’t have much interest these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tim! We had a great week. Ya know, when you get to a certain age, our interests change. Or maybe it’s a “been there, done that, bought the T-shirt” scenario and we don’t feel a need to do certain things. I’m getting that way with travel explorations. Perhaps it’s burnout or things all start to look alike after awhile 🀣

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