Whew! Suddenly it is summertime on Mackinac Island. We have been experiencing a very rare HOT, HUMID airmass over the upper peninsula the last two days. I hesitate to even mention that, especially to my south Georgia friends, because if I say 80 is HOT, I am going to get lots of “oh, poor you” comments – and I will deserve every one of them since they are struggling with temps in the 100’s. I think it feels so warm because we went from fleece jackets a week ago to shorts and sleeveless shirts this week. And for my south Georgia friends, you know as well as I do that when the temperature down there hits 80 and the humidity cranks up, we turn on the air conditioning. There is NO air conditioning to turn on in our condo. The window fans are going full blast right now, and they help – but believe me, if there was AC available, I would have it on. We only had two days like this the whole summer last year, and those were in July. Those of you who know me well know that I cannot tolerate heat. I am not one of those Southern Belles who “glisten” when it is warm – I “pour”. But things are looking up – a cold front is coming in tonight, and hopefully we will be back to normal by tomorrow afternoon.
Have I told you that Ted is “pumping iron” this summer. He’s getting so buffed up that I had to do something to keep up with him. We had bought a membership in The Grand Hotel Club, mainly so when we have guests we can use the pool. It also gives us access to the weight room. So Monday I decided to bike down to The Grand and work on my disgustingly flabby arms. I think I have talked enough about the famous “hill” that you know I am not worried about my legs. Believe me, I have calves of steel (wish my thighs would catch up). Anyway, it’s the arms that need work. So I ride down the hill and turn into this lush, shaded garden that surrounds the pool and tennis courts of The Grand. I started to just forget the arms, lay my bike over in the dirt, go sit down in the shade, and dissolve into a puddle of contentment. You can wind your way through all these wooded paths of ferns, old bent-over trees (by the heavy snow in the winter?), and cool green foliage.
Couldn’t you just sit right there on that bench all day with a good book? But, I had other fish to fry (and arms to tighten), so I rode on to the weight room, did my exercises for my biceps and triceps and other “ceps” that I probably don’t know I have, then started back up the hill. As I came out onto the street again, I spotted a Grand Hotel shuttle, and the driver was already out of his coat and down to just a shirt and vest. I knew then it was going to be a warm day.
I followed a tourist carriage up the hill, and nearly fell off my bike trying to get a picture of this lady and her hamburger hat. When I rode by, I saw that she was at least in her 70’s, and sitting between who I assumed to be her daughter and grandson. On Mackinac Island, you can be a child whatever your age, and look good doing it!
After lunch, while I was still in my “gung-ho” mode, I suggested a short bike ride. Now I should explain something about Ted here. He is very competitive about everything, and with him there is no such thing as a “short” bike ride or a “short” walk. In fact he has started wearing this pedometer, so at the end of the day he has a record of how many steps he has taken. He will say, “Today I walked 12, 932 steps, which is the same as 6.340 miles.” What am I supposed to do – applaud? Throw flowers?
Anyway, he suggests riding out to Stonecliffe, which is only a mile so I should have known there would be more to it than that. When we got there, he suggested we hike up to Sunset Rock. OK. Sunset Rock is an out-of-the-way spot high up on a bluff. It is also supposed to be one of the most romantic places on the island. To get there you park your bike, walk around to the back of the Stonecliffe mansion, go across the lawn, follow the path to the apple orchard, walk through the apple orchard, make a right, then a left, and you are there. Well, let me tell you, by the time we arrived, I was the most unromantic looking woman in Michigan.
The view was worth the effort though, and we have got to go back up there at sunset because it has to be unbelievable. What we got that day though was the clear blue water of the Straits washing up against the rocky shore. In the third picture, you can just make out the road that circles the island right at the shoreline.
We walked back to the bikes, rode home, and took the pups for a walk – a “short” walk, I might add. It was a great day – a little warm and muggy – but great.
I want to thank those of you who helped pray Blake home safety yesterday and today. He arrived on time in Atlanta Wednesday evening, spent an hour going through customs, and had just started waiting for his brother at the front gates of the airport when Jason came screeching to a halt outside to pick him up. Jason had gotten caught in traffic in Atlanta (imagine that), and was running late. When Blake called me he was yawning a lot and ready to get to Jason and Blair’s to sleep off some jet lag – right after his brother fulfilled his first American soil wish – a stop at Chic-Fil-A’s! Welcome home Blake!
P.S. The Lady Slippers in today’s blog header are for you Cathie! I finally spotted some today, although I have heard for the last few days that they are blooming everywhere on the island right now. I’ll look for some more Friday. Will be off island Thursday having Bear groomed – thank goodness!