Wisconsin!

It gets quite cold at night but when I sit near the lake, the bugs don’t get me as much.

I’ve been in Fish Creek – Door County for 4 days now. Monday I arrived, Tuesday I settled in, Wednesday I settled back in and Thursday I started work. So let’s start from the beginning…

Monday
I checked out of my hostel in Chicago at 11am and waited outside to meet Megan, a woman who was picking me up to drive me the 4 hours from Illinois to Door County in Wisonsin. I was a bit nervous at first but I needn’t be- she was really nice and friendly. I spent a few hours with her as we went to pick up James and Sarah from Chicago airport. They were flying in from Ireland and we weren’t entirely sure which gate they’d come out of so we got a bit muddled. After we picked them up we drove onto Milwaukee where Danni and Caitlin (from England) were due to land and be picked up by other residents. Because there flight was delayed, we decided we’d pick them up instead and James and Sarah went with the locals. Me and Megan headed for ‘TJMaxx’ to get bedding and things for the housing. We finally got in touch with them and set off for Fish Creek. It was an incredibly long day. We made it to the cabins at 11pm- I was in the car for 12 hours!

When I saw the housing I was pretty gobsmacked. I know it was cheap but it was not even worth the £20 a week I was supposed to be paying. There were bugs everywhere. It was literally a cabin in the woods. Mosquitos flying in and out, spiders in the beds, June bugs hitting the windows. It was my idea of hell actually.. So I got my own room which I gave up in an instant so I could share with Sarah because I was that terrified of staying on my own, it was so creepy.

It was a very rough night. I was so tired but me and Sarah found ourselfs up until 2am planning how we could get home and away from the cabin lol there was a spider that almost fell on her head so it really was hard to fall asleep. Woke up the next day boiling to death because the heating was broken in our room. It made me need a shower and of course there was no hot water.

Tuesday
The first place we headed was Megans to get a shower. The cabin, which I didn’t know until I moved in, is actually in the middle of nowhere. It’s 3 miles from the nearest village and 6 miles from my work location in Fish Creek. That means relying on lifts all the time or cycling 12 miles a day which would include a huge hill.

So this day I went to my store to meet my employer and be shown around the shop. It’s a very nice store with really friendly staff which I was pleased with. It’s one of those American family businesses where everyone shops that you see on tv lol.

So after this I headed in the car with Sarah and James and a local that picked us up to take us to Walmart. Here I stocked up massively. Because i’m really low on money, I have no cash whatsoever and only had $60 on my card, I decided to get the credit card up so I could stock up until payday. Managed to spend $160 but got myself a lot of essentials for the summer and enough food to last me a week or so. (Plus a 1.5l bottle of vodka just incase)

And when I got back to the cabin the guys decided we should have a drinking session to get to know each other. It was here that I really started to feel homesick. Laura, a girl who hasn’t started yet but arrives on Friday, is the only one travelling on her own. The other guys are best friends and have come as 2 separate groups. It wasn’t fun feeling like the 5th wheel and so I left to goto bed only to majorly feel like I needed to come home. Having pictures of Stu and family on the wall didn’t help the matter either.

Wednesday
I did not feel good this day, I was pretty upset and tired and really not up for getting a car ride in at 7.30am when I didn’t start work until 11.30. So instead, I didn’t get up, I just stayed in bed and left the house myself at 10. I thought i’d try cycling in. The ride was an effort. The hill was the worst and i had to get off and push it. The heat was around 25 degrees and the bike was so big for me I could barely reach the pedals. I really wasn’t looking forward to spending the summer doing this twice a day.

Finally got to work for my first day – just a 4 hour shift. Mike (my boss) asked me how it was cycling and I told him I nearly died lol.

So the plan was to train 2 hours on the deli and 2 hours on the cash register at the front of the store. I’d prefer to be front of house because it’s a lot more interaction and the chance for me to meet new people. Pete another colleague of mine showed me the ropes. He was very helpful and we get along well.

After 2 hours Mike came back and I asked him if i’d be training in the deli. He said no. He said he liked what I’d done so far and wanted to keep me at the front of the house. He also said because i’m a little older than the others I could be trusted more on the cash register. Didn’t make me feel any older than I already do or anything..:/ lol (The others are 20). So I was really happy about that. Finally someone who recognises that I can actually work well and pick things up fast.

He asked me what he needed to ask Megan about and so I told him about the bike and requested a smaller one if I’m to make the journey all summer. After 10 minutes he came back and told me he had a surprise for me, he walked me down the street and I only presumed he was giving me my new bike. I was wrong.

He pointed to the cottage across the street and said, you’re moving. You’re going to live there now instead.

I was so over the moon to move it’s unbelievable. The rent is $25 more a week but it’d be worth it if it was $100 more. It’s less than 5 minutes to walk to work, opposite the beach and harbour, free wifi, free cable tv and all bills included and on top of that, no bugs and my own room! I was so happy about this and still am. I share with only one flatmate and she’s originally from Fish Creek but has a french accent after living there for 7 years. We get on well and she works nights I work days so we get a lot of the place to ourselves most of the time as well. It really is perfect.

Thursday
Today was my first proper day of work. It felt a lot better being able to get up at half 6, have a shower, watch tv, eat breakfast and just walk across the street. If I wasn’t living in Fish Creek i’d be getting up at 6am, having a freezing shower, killing some bugs then cycling 6 miles…awful. I’m not going to give up cycling though, i’ll do it as a leisure and not a chore so i’ve hired one for free for the summer in the height I need. I’ll cycle to Egg Harbour and Ephraim on my days off.

My first day went really well. Slow at times but they said it was a slow day for them. Apparently it can get incredibly busy during the summer, which I look forward to since i’m already alone up front taking care of the guests. I like that i’m already trusted to work independently on my first day.

The only thing about today was that I was very tired, I didn’t get to sleep until midnight last night after unpacking and so i’ve learnt from that. Tonight i’ll be heading to bed about half 10 instead. At the moment i’m sat by the waves. It sounds like the ocean but it’s actually a very big lake. Lake Michigan. I think i’ve found my favourite spot already, a bench in the woods that overlooks the lake and perfect for watching the sunset.

This summer will be a very quiet one I can tell, there won’t be much to do without a car and many people to hang out with but I like that I can relax before I start full time work in England. It’s very peaceful here and I bought a book for my days off. The less I spend though, the more I can save for travelling in September. Since I loved travelling in May and spent so much money I think I could use every penny I can get!

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