One Week! 5/9/2011

Final week of counting down! 

I’m writing this on Mother’s Day, and as I sit here in front of the laptop, with fingers flying over the keyboard, there are parts of my brain sorting clothes and assigning various necessities to different boxes and suitcases.  In other words, I should be packing – not writing!

From what I can collect from friends on the island and web sites I frequent, I think it’s safe to say that almost every hotel, restaurant, and shop is now open on Mackinac.  From watching the webcams, I know the streets are busier, the horses are more plentiful, and the sidewalks are filling with tourists.  The Grand Hotel officially opened this past Friday, and the cannon was fired for the first time from Fort Mackinac, opening that attraction for the season.

With my friend Jill’s arrival this week on the island (be sure and run by the Island Bookstore and say “hi”), I have some photos from her to share!

The tulips are up - but not blooming yet - at the Grand. It's always shocking to me to see these photos from the island in May. With everything here in Georgia already so green, it's hard to imagine that true Spring has yet to arrive on Mackinac. The trees are still bare, and the grass still brown - but the color that will come in the next few weeks will more than make up for these slow-to-warm-up weeks.


The drays are out in full force, delivering freight and supplies from the ferry docks to shops and restaurants.


The flower boxes in front of Doud's market are being replenished for the season . . .


. . . and these geraniums, sitting on carts at the beginning of last week, have been planted in the huge flowerboxes that rim the Grand Hotel's porch.


Jill rode all the way up to where the new Community Stable is being built to get this great shot. That girl has been BUSY since she hit the island!


Following tradition, this year's Lilac Festival Queen fired the first shot from Fort Mackinac's cannon to start the season. Thanks to Mackinac Historic State Parks for this photo.


I saw on the Mackinac Tourism Facebook page that the Mackinaw Breeze is out of wraps and in the water. Once Captain Bruce and his new first mate, Nino, get the boat "shipshape", they'll be ready to give those great water tours of Haldimand Bay - like these folks are enjoying from last season. Note to self: Take the tour and post pictures this year!

That’s it for this next-to-last-post before we hit the island!  We leave on Saturday, May 14, and plan to be on Mackinac on Monday, May 16 – good Lord willing.  We’re going to spend two nights on the road this year going up.  I’m hoping wireless service will be offered at the hotels where we stay, and if so, you’ll be hearing from me on the road this weekend.  After that . . . .  let the season begin!
P.S.  Happy Mother’s Day to all the readers out there who can claim this special day as theirs.  There’s nothing like being a mom – and I’m sure each of you would brag that YOUR mom is the best.  I know mine was!
Check back Saturday night or Sunday morning to see if I got to post from the road!  I’m so excited . . .  and I just can’t hide it . . .

25 thoughts on “One Week! 5/9/2011

    • You’d love the early morning ceremony at the Fort Cemetery on Memorial Day, Doris. If you’re on the island, try and get up there for that. Hope to see you soon!

  1. Beautiful pictures! Jill is also a great photographer like you are. Good luck packing and getting ready. I really enjoy your updates of the Island! Safe travels my friend!

  2. One more week!!! Holy Toledo! Safe travels and I too hope you have wireless while you’re on the road…

    Love the photos as always.. I think I’ll put a Mackinac Breeze adventure on my list of must dos….

    • The “Breeze” adventure is a must, Annie! Ted and I have gone out with Captain Bruce several times, and seeing the island close-up from the waterside is amazing. You can bring snacks and a cooler (and a jacket is a must if you take one of the evening cruises). You would love it!

  3. Hi Brenda,
    We were up on the island Sat night and Sunday. It was gorgeous weather, especially for early May. I even got a bit of a sun burn! Some stores and restaurants are still not open-lot of painting etc going on. The island was very busy yesterday with Sheplers loaded down in both directions! Hey, picked up my new bike and just love it. Thanks

    • I was on the island Saturday & Sunday also. Still jacket weather. The smell of fudge is not in the air yet. I hear almost all the Carriage Tour horses are on the island. Still waiting for one more team. Grand hill looks a little bare of trees. Golfers are on the greens. Went to Chuckwagon for breakfast. Tried me some Goodfellows wings. Very good. I’ll be back up in a couple weeks.

  4. Have a safe trip to Mackinac! I think we’re all getting excited just thinking about it. Can’t wait to see those first pictures of you all getting off the ferry. I know Jill will be there waiting for ya. (Hi Jill). I’d like to say that I hope this week goes by fast but I kinda hope not. My baby girl just got home from college yesterday, and she will be leaving for a summer internship in Kentucky the same day you arrive on the island. So for you…let it zoom by 😉

    • Awww – Hilde. They just never stay home long enough once they’re grown, do they? Hope the week turns into a snail crawl for you.

  5. Have a safe trip up and we look forward to more posts once you reach the Island. Hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day!

  6. Safe travels! I know the trip will be pretty. The crabapples and redbud are out up here, and the lilacs may be, too, by next weekend. Our little town smells like Mackinac in the spring – lots of lilacs! So excited for you!

  7. Beautiful pictures as usual. You and Jill make quite a pair. Safe travels and we will be waiting for your adventures. Don’t forget your CPAC friend. Hope all is going well with it. Have you had trouble getting into “mackinaclive” web cams? Thanks for all you do.

  8. WooHoo!!!!! Can’t wait to see you on Monday!! Give me a call when you are in Mac City. I want to be at the dock with Jill to greet you!!

  9. Safe travels! I’ve been pretty absent from your winter blogging (lurking though!), but can’t wait to follow your adventures this summer. Wish we could make it to the Island this summer, but it just isn’t going to happen…I will enjoy it through your wonderful words and beautiful photos! Spring is finally making her arrival here in southeastern Michigan! Yay!!

  10. We will just miss each other. I will be on the island the 15th and leaving around noon on the 16th. I will be back in September for the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conf.

  11. We just got back last night from Mackinac Island and had a wonderful time. The weather was fabulous!!! I could not believe it – high 50’s Saturday and Sunday with sun – we walked and walked and walked!! Stayed at Main Street Inn again and love that place…immaculate, and they take good care of us. The smell of fudge drew us in – unfortunately! But it was great. Safe travels to you!

  12. Hi Bree. You know the island better than anyone I know…so I have a question for you. Where is the best place to buy fudge this early in the season??? We will be on the island this Friday with my sons 3rd grade class. We need to bring several slices of fudge home for gifts. We ususally don’t buy much fudge on the island…we get it in the city that way we don’t have to carry it. We are hoping the forcast is wrong & it doesn’t rain. Have a safe trip up. :o)

    • Ohhhhhh – you put me in a delicate position, Lori. I don’t like promoting one fudge shop over another, and I truly believe that if every person sampled fudge from every shop, we’d end up with a tie between all the shops. Most people try to find the fudge that most tastes like what they remember from childhood. If I do that, I’d have to choose Joanne’s. I personally just like the taste and texture of that particular fudge. If you do choose to go there, there are two Joanne’s on Main Street, so if one if really crowded, try the other one. The fudge is all the same at both places. I wrote a blog about fudge my first summer on the island. If you’d like to read it, click here: It just happens to be about Joanne’s, but I promise that’s not why I chose their fudge :)! And, hands down, my favorite fudge is dark chocolate with pecans. OMG, my tummy is rumbling just thinking about it! Have fun on the island, and I hope the weather is good. From what I hear though from friends already there – bring some warm clothes!

  13. Have a safe, wonderful trip to the island!! Wish I could be up there to greet you, Ted and the great doggies you have!!!

  14. Spent Mothers’ Day weekend at The Grand – what a fabulous experience and I highly recommend it – at least once in your life, a stay at The Grand is a must! Though it could indeed be costly for regular visits, watch for their promotions (like we did) and you’ll find it surprisingly affordable (four of us – $180 each – included breakfasts and dinners for all four of us, two opening receptions, a round of golf AND the Grand Buffet Luncheon – and of course, a comfy room for two nights). Bree – I thought of you as I wandered the island, thinking how lucky you were to be able to enjoy island living for a portion of the year; though it would be a different lifestyle (planning and lists a MUST for off-island shopping excursions), I think it would be a wonderful way to live. It’s nice to sit back & people watch; one can pick out the locals and the tourists (like me). Enjoy your stay back in paradise – and thanks again for sharing your experiences with all of us! Bon voyage.

    • Ahhhh – thank you, Deborah! I’m so glad you enjoyed your “Grand” stay – what a place! And you are right, we are so, so blessed to be able to spend a few months in this island paradise. We never take it for granted. Back to packing . . . .

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