"If you miss this light, I'm going to kill you," I threatened my mother in Green Bay.
We'd been driving for hours - having forsaken the very idea of a flight - and traveling steadily north before taking a little detour on our way Lake-Michigan-ward.
"There it is," I noted, pointing at the football stadium as we peered out the windows. "It looks fairly new - did they rebuild it?"
"I don't know," Mom said. We looked at each other, shrugged, then sat through every flipping traffic light in the city to get back to the interstate.
She gave me a look - that long-suffering maternal one - as we merged back on 43N. "I asked if you wanted to stop and you said you didn't care."
"I was trying to be a good travel companion!" I cried. "I didn't know we'd go upwards of an hour out of the way to look at a stupid stadium that looks like any other big building! And then only stop at ShopKo to look at t-shirts! They probably have Packers t-shirts at the ShopKo at home! And you only bought bottles of water anyway!"
That has been, however, our only squabble thus far.
I giggled almost incessantly on our ferry ride to Washington Island. Mom white-knuckled it through, trying to keep the large boat from rocking in the rough waters by sheer force of will. I held her hand and tried to talk to her but continued to laugh each time she'd jump and glare out the windows.
We had coffee and shared a scone and cinnamon roll in Gilles Bay. We're sharing a room in Egg Harbor - on that overlooks the water from its perch on a bluff.
"It's freezing in here," Mom decided when we arrived so I dutifully turned up the heat until the room was suitably toasty. In the meantime, I sat on our balcony with my laptop - revising documents and basking in the cool breeze and lingering sunshine.
When we returned from dinner - at the place that has goats on the roof in the summertime - the room was breathtakingly hot. I opened the balcony door, sleeping about a foot from the opening to catch as much fresh air as possible.
I awakened from a fitful sleep to find Mom throwing open the doors as much as possible. "It's so hot in here," she muttered, shuffling back to bed and I murmured my agreement, finally relaxing as the room cooled.
"It's so pretty," I repeated when we stood on the beach covered with stones.
And it is - the two-lane roads and brilliantly-changing leaves and the water that cuddles the land at every corner.
We stood together in the place where she and Daddy visited a couple of years ago, leaning to smooth the rocks with our thumbs before replacing them on the beach as we stood for another moment in the cold rain.
We waddled back across the beach, losing our balance on the slippery stones a couple of times, and returned to the car once again.
"I'm tired," I decided as I drove from the parking lot and back on to one of the island's roads. "Where's Main Road?" I asked and grinned as Mom smiled back at me.
She soon grew somber though, knowing we had to battle another boat ride. But we held hands, giggled and distracted each other until that, too, had passed.