Weekly Update 4/26/2010

I cannot believe that three weeks from today (Monday) – good Lord willing – we will be arriving on Mackinac Island for the season.   In some ways it seems like we have been gone for years, and in other ways it seems as if we just left.  My trip back in February definitely helped get me through the winter, providing an island “fix” just when I needed it most. 

I wrote on my lake blog last week that the urgency to get back to the island is not quite as pressing as it was this time last spring.  I lay that to not only the February visit, but also the close ties I’ve had this winter to so many people who winter off the island AND to the people who live on the island year-round.  Through phone calls, email and Facebook, we have all stayed connected.  On the other side of that, I’ve grown closer this winter to friends at the lake.  Spending six months away from home has encouraged me to interact more with our lake family.  I guess it’s because I know there ISN’T going to be the whole year to visit and talk – there’s only six months.  When the quantity of time spent with friends becomes limited, the quality of that time takes on a whole new importance.  The time is fast approaching when the situation will reverse, and phone calls, email and Facebook will keep us connected with lake friends.  And hopefully, we’ll be seeing friends and family from this neck of the woods coming north this summer.

But am I getting excited?  Oh yeah.  These three weeks will whisk by in a flash, and soon we’ll be unloading luggage and boxes at the ferry dock and hitching a ride up the hill to the condo.  I’m getting more excited just having written that!

My good friend Jill was on the island for a day and night last week (the stinker).  She sent me some photos to post today, and I know you will be excited to see something current.  I’ll get to those a little later.  First – some other news items.


  • May 3 – Colonial Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City and Historic Mill Creek, just outside of Mackinaw City, open.
  • May 4 – Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island opens.
  • May 10 – Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City opens.
  • July 14 – Grand Opening of the Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum

Now is a great time to consider becoming an Associate of the Mackinac Island Historic State Parks.  For a listing of all the benefits received as an Associate, click here: http://www.mackinacparks.com/Userfiles/File/Benefits-Cost%20of%20Membership.pdf.  Also, the Grand Hotel has again offered Mackinac Associates special rates on rooms on selected days.  More info on this by calling Diane Dombroski at (231) 436-4100.

Mackinac Island State Historic Parks will once again rent the historic Matthew Geary House on Market Street for the season.  The well-maintained cottage is smoke-free and pet-friendly.  It contains a kitchen, living room, dining room, sunroom, and four bedrooms: one queen, two with one double, and one with two twin beds.  There are also laundry facilities, a deck, and a basement for storing bicycles.  June and July are already rented, but May is available for $3,000/month; August $5,000/month; September $4,000/month; and October $3,000/month.  Contact Sheryl Baxter at (906) 847-3328 for more information or to rent the home. 


  • The Arnold Ferry Line is already running from St. Ignace.  Ferry service from Mackinaw City on Arnold begins May 4.
  • Shepler Ferry Line service begins from Mackinaw City on April 30 and from St. Ignace on May 7.
  • Star Ferry Line service begins from St. Ignace on April 26 and from Mackinaw City on April 30.

All of the ferry lines offer specials online.  Some include parking and tickets to attractions on the island.


The Shepler Ferry Line Maintenance crew is hard at work getting ready for opening day April 30. The canopy is going up over the Luggage/Lighthouse Cruise Boarding area.

A great new shop on the island, SomeWear on Mackinac, opened April 23.  The shop is near the Gate House Restaurant, and has lots of new and cool things for the ladies.  Check it out!


The Cannonball Drive Inn

P.S.  SomeWear on Mackinac is owned and operated by the Jack Armstrong family – the same family who owns the Cannonball Drive Inn at British Landing (the BEST fried dill pickles you EVER put in your mouth!).  The Cannonball opens May 9!

Don’t forget the webcams!  Just in case you’ve lost these links, here’s where you can click to see the island anytime you like – day or night:  http://www.chippewahotel.com/web-cam.cfm or http://www.mackinaclive.com.


It’s almost time for Jill to move back to the island to work in the Island Bookstore.  She sent me some great photos of what was going on while she was there last week: 


The front porch at The Grand is getting a fresh coat of paint.


Horses are arriving on the island . . .


. . . and being led up the hill to the barns.

Mary Slevin at the Tourist Bureau took this shot of bicyles parked on Main Street.

I’ll be switching over to this blog  for the summer on Monday, May 10 – a few days before we head north.  I’m planning to do at least three posts per week from the island – maybe more – we’ll see!  The lake blog will shut down at that time.

I’ll close with this link to a Smilebox presentation sent by Alice, one of my readers.  Alice has a granddaughter who is a Mackinac Island taxi driver, and she visits her often.  She’s combined some of my pictures with many of her own and created a wonderful little Mackinac “show”, with beautiful music.  Enjoy, and I’ll see you back here next Monday, good Lord willing.  God bless. 



12 thoughts on “Weekly Update 4/26/2010

  1. Awesome blog!! I so love reading it! I also can’t believe you will be back up there in only 3 short weeks! You will be getting more excited each passing day! I really appreciate when you blog from the island and keep us all updated. It is so nice of you to take the time and do that.

    My husband and I will be coming to the Island on June 27th and I am going to look for you and Jill! (Do I sound like a stalker?) LOL!

    Thanks again! Michelle

    • Michelle – please email and remind me you’re going to be on the island when it gets closer to your visit. Maybe we can grab a cup of coffee one morning. And no, you don’t sound like a stalker. I hope to meet a lot of my readers this summer!

  2. I’m getting excited for you Brenda! I can’t wait to start reading all about the island again. Winter sure did seem to go by alot faster since I’ve been reading your blogs.
    Don’t feel so bad Michelle, I will be looking for all the people that have been mentioned over time and just imagining their reaction when I say HI! LOL

  3. Love the pictures! I am excited for you!! The time will fly fast and then you will be on your way.
    My hubby and I like coming to the Island in the Fall at the end of September/First part of October – to celebrate our wedding anniversary which is Oct 4th. We just love the Fall colors and that it is less crowded. If you are still up there I would love to say Hi too

    • The plan is for us to be there at least through the end of October. Let me know for sure when you are on the way up – coffee, lunch, whatever – would love to put a face with your name!

  4. Loved the post today Brenda..3 weeks..wow where did the winter go?? But it’s fine with me..I am loving the spring days here in lower Michigan..lots of flowers blooming and the lilacs are ready to blossom in the next couple days..(ours are always ahead of the Island)..Glad you enjoyed the Smilebox photos..it was a lot of fun to make and easy..
    Alyssa still isn’t sure if she will be driving taxi this summer or working somewhere else..I keep waiting to hear but no news yet!! Fred and I will be coming up to the Island for sure but we don’t have the date pinned down yet!! Hope to see you when we do get there!! Thanks for all the hard work on the blogs..it’s been great keeping up with you all winter!! Blessings!

    • Thanks, Alice! Let us know when your plans are made. Would love to see you on the island. And thanks again for the Smilebox!

  5. Hard to believe in 3 weeks you’ll be on the island. That’s means in 4 months (Sept. 6th) we’ll be on the island. I’m looking forward to our walk on the bridge and then recovery on the island. Look forward to your blogs from there.

  6. Hello Bree! I have not written in a lonnnnnggg time! It’s been a tough winter. Last Aug. we made our yearly visit to the island – I walked as much as I could because I was feeling well (remember – I am the one that has the rare Lung disease PH and need a machine/pump to have the 24 hr IV med) The next day I woke up and could not feel my feet. I figured — well, I walked too much. Well – It went on to loosing my balance – numbness and by December I couldn’t move. I needed help getting up from the potty and out of bed and more! On Christmas Eve I went for an MRI. On Dec 28th the Dr called and said the MRI clearly revealed I had MS. They admitted me to the hospital for a week of steroids. I was able to regain alot of movement – I just need to hold onto someone as I walk. They wrote a script for a rolling walker yesterday – so I need to go and get it. Lexy takes me for a walk every day and uses Mackinac Island as my insentive to walk more and get stronger!
    If and when we get to to the ISLAND this summer my wish/hope is to take a carrage ride AROUND the entire island. I don’t know if they do that or not — but I plan to beg someone! I am practicing getting strong enough to climb into a carrage. We have a van that I have been using a step ladder to get in. My family is afraid for me to climb into a carrage – they think maybe the horses could move and I could fall. YOU know that kind of story right! Shhhhh don’t tell them!
    I think I will carry a sign that say’s “LOOKING FOR BREE”
    Hope you are doing well! I am looking forward to seeing the island again through your eyes! And praying my Birthday trip to Mackinac will happen! Love you BREE.

    • Hi Shannon! It’s so good to hear from you again! I have thought of you often over the winter. It sounds like the last few months have been filled with challenges for you, but you seem to still have that “I can do it” spirit”. Good for you! I will certainly put you back on my prayer list, as I know other readers will. Please let me know when you will be on the island. I would love to meet you. I don’t know exactly what all the options are about getting around the island on a carriage, but I will be glad to help you find a way. Just let me know when you are coming in plenty of time for me to work on it! We are getting so excited about getting there. Stay tuned! God bless. Brenda

      • awwweee so nice of you! I will let you know when we “plan” it… I would love to meet you! We drive the 4 hour trip up in the morning and head back home at night. We are not brave enough to pack all my medications for the little machine yet! It’s a good thing my Dad does not mind driving!

  7. Bree my face book is under Shannon Haven if you would like to get in touch – I would love to accept you as a “friend” on my FB. Our profile pic is Lexy laughing her head off at me. We look silly but I love her laugh! Ps 17:22 Laughter is good medicine!

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