“Vacation” Day 2

Posted by Karen in Travel.
Sunday, April 6th, 2008 at 9:31 pm

20080406190654_pict0005.jpgSo here we are, post-massages, post- wine and cheese plate, feeling fine, fine, fine.  My massage was good, I mean I think she did a good job and all, but I had been working for like 2 or 3 hours right before it, so all I could think about the whole time was work stuff.  I totally couldn’t let it go no matter how hard I tried and couldn’t really relax, which has basically been my life for the past few weeks, so afterwards I just felt kind of sad and frustrated.  I know, boo freaking hoo.  Poor me and my sucky wine and cheese and massage filled day.  

Ok so anyway.  We missed the early ferry to Madeline Island because it was around the same time as breakfast here at the World’s Greatest Inn, and because of our serious need to catch up on the sleep we haven’t gotten for the past couple of months, and because of the aforementioned most comfortable bed we’ve ever experienced.  If we had taken the next ferry we wouldn’t have gotten back in time for our massages, so we opted instead for a nice, relaxing day in Bayfield. 

There were some shops and a restaurant/coffee shop I had found 20080406190607_pict0003.jpgon travelgreenwisconsin.com, so we started off by getting some coffee and a scone at Burt & Francie’s and checking out the connected store, Inspire.  It turns out that Inspire carries a whole bunch of Global Mamas clothes, this awesome company we learned about while visiting my brother Steve in Ghana.  They are a fair trade organization, providing living wages and business development assistance to women in Ghana.  The owner told us that they are the biggest buyer of Global Mama20080406190549_pict0002.jpgs products in all of the US!  The tag on each garment tells you who made that specific piece, and he also told us that you can go to the company’s website and see photos, read the story and send an email to that woman.  Whoa.  What a great way to make you think about how the thing you bought actually came to be. 

Then we (and by we I mean I) went to check out some jewelry at a store called Water Music Jewelry and Art, which sells jewelry from local and regional artists, as well as their own handmade pieces.  These two ladies who were also staying at Pinehurst and who we met at breakfast this morning had participated in this arts & crafts workshop thingy this weekend, and their jewelry-making session was taught by the owner of this store.  Then20080406190747_pict0007.jpg it was back to Burt & Francie’s for a delicious lunch and some Farkel, our new favorite game.  We made sure to tell all of the people working at these stores that we found them through travelgreenwisconsin.com, because as Rick pointed out when we were eating lunch at a little diner in some little town in northern Minnesota where we went to see great grey owls a few years ago, if businesses know what brought their customers to them, they will hopefully care more about those things. 

We then headed back to the inn, where I did some work and Nate read by the fire.  We were also given a great tour by one 20080406190628_pict0004.jpgof the owners, Steve. In the garage he showed us their biodiesel production system, and explained how the solar panels on the roof heat it with radiant heat in the floors.  Another huge set of solar panels heat all the water for the Garden House, the newer sustainably built building that houses a few guest rooms, a common room, and the massage room.  The wastewater from this building goes to an aerobic treatment tank, which saved them from having to install another septic tank, and leaves the water clean enough that it can go right into their drain field, which they didn’t have to expand.  Inside, they used sustainably harvested oak, no or low VOC paint, and had a high efficiency boiler, among many, many other things.  Nate then went to get his massage, and Steve and I headed outside, where we watched rain and snowmelt running off the roof of the building into a water garden featuring native water plants, ooh, me likey.  Drain tiles underground take water to another garden, and then off to another part of the yard, preventing all that water from just running off down the sidewalk into the street, and carrying all sorts of crap with it i20080406190711_pict0006.jpgnto our beautiful wonder of the world, Lake Superior.  Oooooh, me really likey!  Now he was really speaking my language.  Steve pointed out some of the other gardens around the grounds, all featuring native plants.  One garden was apparently planted 70 or 80 years ago.  When he and his wife Nancy bought the place it was overrun with weeds, so they dug up all the good things they wanted to keep, tilled the heck out of it, and replanted them, and it has been golden ever since. 

Tomorrow we leave this amazing little slice of heaven and head to the U.P. der hey.  Visits to several brewpubs will hopefully help dull the shock that will surely hit us when we arrive at tomorrow night’s lodging, a freaking Travelodge.

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4 Responses to ““Vacation” Day 2”

  1. JP Says:

    Very happy to read that you both enjoyed your mini-vacation along the South Shore of The Big Lake. I’m envious of the ferry ride out and back to Madeline Island. Batteries should be fully recharged upon your return.

  2. Rick Says:

    Wow, you guys are doing a “Green Routes” vacation! I love the places you visited and the info about them and the web links. And I was glad to hear that you told them what you were doing and that you were using the travelgreen site to find them! Fun and green and social justice all wrapped into a great trip.

  3. Eric Says:

    Hm my folks took us up to Marquette a few times I think that old thing in the harbor is for mining ships… Yes the internet has confirmed its an old ore dock … http://www.andylphoto.com/trains/trestle/

    Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  4. Doug Says:

    Thanks for the kind words about my shop (Inspire). You guys made an impression. Nancy (from the Inn) and I were very impressed that you actually planned your travel stops based on Travel Green! Great job on the website. Do stop in again if you are ever in Bayfield!