Princess for a Day – Mackinac Style 6/28/2010

On Saturday, Siena Forrester turned 4 years old.  After almost a month in the Geary House, in the heart of downtown Mackinac Island, Jeanine and Mike thought a Mackinac-style birthday party was in order – and what could be more “Mackinac” than a hayride!

Mike’s sister and her husband (Holly and Travis) and their daughter Lauren and her boyfriend Bryan had been on the island for the three days leading up to Saturday.  This group – and some island friends – met at the Geary House late Saturday afternoon for Island Slice pizza, Martha’s Sweet Shop birthday cake, and ice cream from Doud’s.  By the way, have I mentioned that any island birthday party should include a home-baked birthday cake from Martha’s?  Oh my gosh!  Ted is still talking about the cake they made for Matthew’s birthday last summer!

Ok – I have to leave the birthday for a moment and throw in here another example of how like a “small town” the island is.  Loretta and Tony live next door to the Geary House, so they have gotten to know the Forrester’s over the last month (in Mackinac Island terms, “next door” means they share a fence and lean across that fence to chat during the day).  Loretta owns Martha’s Sweet Shop.  Working in Martha’s is Miranda, who made the cake served at the birthday party.  Miranda also babysat Siena while the Forrester’s went out to eat at the Grand one night.  Then there is Lily Porter, who also babysat for the Forrester’s this month.  Lily is one of Phil and Valerie Porter’s daughters, all of whom grew up living in . . . the Geary House.  I love this place!  Back to the birthday. . . .

Parents of the birthday girl, Jeanine and Mike.

Siena blew out all her candles. Don't tell, but her secret wish was to be a princess. I don't think the "secret wish fairy" will have any problem making that one come true!

The deck of the Geary House is the perfect place for a party.

One of Siena's favorite gifts was an Ariel (The Little Mermaid) necklace. When she pressed the necklace pendant, Ariel's song would play, and Aunt Holly would always sing along. Siena thought this was sooo funny.

Siena wins a race with her Uncle Travis up the hill behind the house. By the way, that's the Governor's Summer Residence on the left at the top of the hill.

Soon it was time to gather out front to await the arrival of Princess Siena’s chariot.

Somehow Siena managed to put on two party hats AND a crown!

The chariot and Prince Charming (who happened to be finishing his Lasagna dinner) arrived right on time.

The princess on her throne!

We climbed aboard . . .

. . . found a comfy spot . . .

. . . and away we went!

Now here is another “Mackinaw-ism”.  All along the streets and roads, we passed crowds and crowds of people.  They would take one look at our merry little band, see Siena planted on the top haystack with her birthday crowd on, and everyone would yell, “Happy Birthday!”  Siena, of course, thought it had all been planned just for her. 

After riding down Main Street, we turned right to pass by the Mustang, then turned left onto Market Street. At the Mustang, four bridesmaids on the sidewalk shouted Happy Birthday to Siena.


Up the hill by the Grand.

We passed the Grand, turned in front of the horse barns, rode by the Jewel Golf Course, turned to ride by the Fort, then stopped on the East Bluff to enjoy the view and rest the horses.

Blue water, blue sky, and sailboats.

After a ride down Mission Hill (I've never gone down that hill in a wagon, carriage OR taxi before - it is STEEP!), we headed back toward St. Anne's and town.

Passing the Mackinac Island Marina.

Making the corner turn by Doud's up Fort Hill - only a block now from the Geary House.

A tired little birthday princess.

I look back now and think how wonderful it would have been for our children to have memories of Mackinac from their early years.  I know Siena won’t remember every detail of her 4th birthday, but I think she will recall . . . a singing necklace, a pink Princess castle, chocolate cake with white icing three inches thick, running around a huge backyard with her uncle, climbing on bales of hay in a wagon just for her, riding through town with well-wishers shouting and waving . . . and hay sticking to her leotards until her 5th birthday!

What a beautiful, sweet little princess you are, Siena.  We will miss you and your family next week.  Hurry back with your mom and dad to Mackinac!

Note:  Thanks to Jill for the pics I’m in (including the header) and the pic of Siena on her “throne”.


13 thoughts on “Princess for a Day – Mackinac Style 6/28/2010

  1. What a party you had Siena. That’s the kind of party I would like to have. It might look strange to take me on a hayride since I’ll be a lot older than 4. What a lucky little Princess! Thanks for sharing your day with us.

  2. What a treat, for everyone! And don’t worry, Siena will remember! I know from experience, even after almost 60 years!

  3. I want an island birthday party just like Siena’s!! Hum, maybe I could have an early birthday when we get to Mackinac 😉 I’m sure Siena enjoyed every minute of it and will remember it for some time to come. Thanks for sharing it with us. Oh and by the way, that cake looks delicious! 🙂

  4. Even though I’m a little late – Happy Birthday Siena.

    Isn’t it wonderful to have Island memories. They’re some of the greatest.

  5. Brenda, what a lovely write up of a lovely birthday party. It was such fun to share it all with you and Ted, and of course, Siena!

  6. Here’s hoping that she can do the same someday for her daughter and granddaughter! What better birthday for a 5 year old – princesses and horses! All the best to this lovely family, and their great friends.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your island blog and the wonderful birthday. Although I don’t love a birthday as much as a 5 year old, I do look forward to spending my birthday in two weeks on the island.
    We come every year and it is always perfect. You beautifully capture the magic in your blog. Oh, What type of cake from Martha’s should I get???

  8. What a beautiful day for a “princess’s party”! Thanks for sharing. Looks like everyone had a wonderful time!!

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