Wisconsin isn’t really that far.

And, on a recent trip there, I was surprised to find that it is actually a lot closer than I thought. To my heart, that is.

Driving through lush forests and green farm fields, I’d occasionally spot ribs of white limestone sticking up through the earth’s surface. It seemed a lot like another place I know quite well – the Bruce Peninsula, where my mom was raised and my grandmother lived. In her backyard, there were cherry trees. And cherries are so hot in Wisconsin’s Door County we ate them every day, in various forms, at least once.

Turns out, this bucolic back-to-the-lander’s paradise, edged as it is in historic fishing villages and spotted with a mix of lighthouses and inland art studios, is the western edge of the Niagara Escarpment, a stony arch that stretches from New York State, into Niagara (Niagara Falls is actually water dropping over it), through Ontario, along the Bruce Peninsula, Manitoulin Island, and the southern edge of Michigan’s U.P., before it drops down to create Door County. For all you visual learners (like me), here’s a picture.

Being there was a bit like going home and especially since I got to hang out with some great people, like my new friend Margo, who describes this perfect vacation retreat in a bit more depth.