When I talked to Ted this morning, it was a cold, rainy day at the lake. It was cold here also, but the snow was white, the sun was shining (for a minute anyway), and we were determined to stay outside as much as possible to enjoy every minute.
Friday was an “extra” day for us. The Winter Festival activities don’t start until Saturday at noon, so Jill, Dawn, Mike and I spent the day roaming around downtown taking photos. Mike was officially “on business” for this trip, shooting video for The Cottage Inn and background footage for his ever increasing video achives on the island.
If you read this blog last summer, you know that Ted and I stayed at the Chippewa Hotel every year we came to Mackinac until we bought our condo. We love the Chip! Now I have another place I can personally recommend – The Cottage Inn, a bed & breakfast on Market Street. The rooms are all beautiful and decorated in different styles. We are staying in the Victorian Turret Room, which has a queen bed, a sofa sleeper, flat screen TV, private bath, and pillow-top mattresses. Marge and Rich Lind are the innkeepers, and as soon as you walk in the door you become their most important guest.
Dawn and I wore our pj’s downstairs for breakfast this morning and found a breakfast casserole, fruit and yogurt, assorted breakfast breads, cereals, hard-boiled eggs, coffee and four different juices. Everything was delicious!
A great way to start a day on Mackinac Island - good food and good friends!
Here’s the rest of the day in photographs – with captions. Pictures tell the story so well when you are on the island.
The first stop of the day was our 11 a.m. appearance on the web cam. So many people watched and sent comments - or called! Mary, one of my readers, sent this photo she had "captured" off her computer screen.
And here we all are waving to the camera. That's Dawn, Mike, Jill, and Joan (an island resident).
Main Street on a winter day. We were so excited to see this much white stuff. Everyone keeps saying, "We're so sorry there's not a lot of snow." And Dawn and I kept saying, "But, to us, this IS a lot of snow!"
Jill, Dawn and I standing in front of The Cottage Inn.
Around noon everyday, the island residents arrive at the post office to pick up their mail.
The Geary House is located across the street from The Cottage Inn. Mike and his family will be renting it this summer. It is available for rental through the Mackinac Island State Park - monthly rentals only.
We walked down Market Street to the water, stopping in front of this beautiful cottage - still decorated for Christmas.
As soon as we walked across the street to the boardwalk, away from the shelter of the houses, the wind hit us full force. Suddenly, it was much colder. Round Island Lighthouse stands a lonely watch over water half-frozen in the Straits.
There is a lot of ice at the edge of the lake. We spent quite some time trying to talk Dawn into taking the "plunge", but she kept saying, "Maybe later."
We stopped in at the library to check out some artwork by Tim Leeper and other local artists.
Dawn spent some time back in the Used Books sections, where paperbacks are $1, and most hardcover books are $2.
Can you believe all three have cellphones attached to their ears!
I kept saying these were snow clouds, but I guess the clouds weren't listening.
Dawn - all bundled up to roam around in the snow.
A bundled -up Jill with her camera.
Rich, who with his wife Marge are the innkeepers at The Cottage Inn, looks out the door as we head out again into the snow.
As we left, Marge and the Cottage Inn mascot, Joe Cocker, were coming back from a walk.
Mike - filming snowmobiles.
Walking down toward the Mission district, where the traffic is less, there was even more snow on the road. The path on the right is kept clear for walkers.
Leanne had promised us a sleigh ride, and when we arrived at the 4-H barn, she was harnessing Blaze, a small Haflinger.
Jill put Gingersnap into the barn, so she wouldn't get upset seeing Blaze leave.
Blaze is harnessed and hitched almost exactly the same as the big Belgian horses who pull the taxis in the summer.
One horse plus one sleigh equals a sleigh ride!
While Blaze was being hitched to the sleigh, we were visited by Max, Major and Lily - three Shetland Sheepdogs from up the road.
Blaze and Lily have a little mutual admiration society going on.
Dawn, Leanne, and I leaving the stable.
Riding behind Blaze
Leanne and Jill arriving back at The Cottage Inn.
Liz, from The Quilted Turtle blog - who teaches on the island - was going out to dinner with us. She offered to take me on a snowmobile ride, but first had to help me get my hood on straight. I think I heard her say something along the lines of, "You Southern girls don't know how to dress for cold weather." But we're trying, Liz!
Liz drove me up to the Mission District, then went into a house to get something. When she came back outside, she said, "Do you want to drive?" Are you kidding me!!! She let me drive from in front of St. Anne's back to The Cottage Inn. Oh my gosh! I loved it!
We headed for the Mustang for dinner - Jill, Mike and I walking - Dawn getting a ride from Liz.
Dinner at the Mustang.
Another fabulous day on the island. Tomorrow, the Winter Festival begins. As I finish writing tonight, I am sitting by a window in our room, and outside I can hear the wind whistling around the corner of the inn. A cold front is coming in tonight from Canada, and tomorrow night the forecast low is 7 degrees – and that’s without the wind chill factored in. We might not have tons of snow, but I think tomorrow we will get plenty of COLD! See you then!
Jill snapped this beautiful photo while she was out in the sleigh this afternoon.
Bravo,you brave folks. I am green with envy!!Now you really can understand why I miss my ice covered beach and the wild animals that stop by to look into our windows.Thanks for the GREAT posts good luck on the votes.
Great pictures that show just how much fun you are all having. Waved back when you were on the camera yesterday. Wishing all the time that I was there. Stay warm today.
It’s usual with me that I don’t want your blogs to come to an end, but that was especially true with this one. It would be impossible for me to walk around the island (summer or winter) if it were not for your wonderful pictures and you cannot imagine how thankful I am to you. Please, don’t ever let it enter your head to stop this blog.
I’m sure you will continue having a wonderful time while you are on The Island. But then, how could you do otherwise?
What a fun day you all had yesterday. Loved watching everyone on the camera yesterday. The pictures of the island covered in white is so very pretty. Thanks for sharing. Try and stay warm today. It’s really blowing down state right now.
I don’t think those smiles are going to be wiped off of your faces for a long time! What fun! Stay warm and keep posting those amazing pictures.
All the things you are doing…..
Did you know you were going to be able to have a sleigh ride? Even in the middle of winter you meet the most marvelous people. And horses. And dogs. It all looks like such fun.
Say a prayer for our Saints tomorrow. If Katrina was the worst thing to ever happen to New Orleans, the Saints in the Super Bowl is the best.
Keep warm and keep those wonderful pictures coming.
Having Jill (the Communicator) along always helps, Cathie. She knows EVERYONE!
today I know you’re REALLY appreciating the $’s you spent on those cold weather clothes!!! am enjoying “being there” with you, and remembering OUR first winter on the island. there really isn’t any comparison to any other experience in this day and age. HAVE FUN!!
Beautiful pictures! have a wonderful time!
I know the locals don’t have traditional mail boxes, but I’m sort of confused about how they recieve thier regular mail, UPS or FedEx. Can you give more info?
is the noon whistle STILL blown even though they have no tourists during the winter?
Michael, yes. The noon whistle blows year-round!