“What do you mean you don’t have anything red, white and blue?” Jill asked incredulously through my cellphone on Monday morning. “You HAVE to wear red, white and blue. It’s the 4th of July, for Pete’s sake!”
Geez! I went through my closet one last time, knowing full well what I would find are the blacks, browns, tans, and khakis that make up my “slightly” dull wardrobe. Yes, I had white. Yes, I had a couple of “blues” – but not navy blue. Red? Forget it!
I was already dressed in stone colored shorts, a black tank top, and a white sleeveless blouse. Dull, but coordinated. Then Ted walked out in a t-shirt with a flag on the front he said he’d been saving for this holiday. Geez!
Patty and Buz were meeting us outside in 10 minutes to go downtown for the stone-skipping contest at Windermere Point. What to do? What to do? I took Bear out to potty and glanced at our back door as I sailed through. Hmmmmm . . . . . A few strategically placed safety pins later, and I was ready for the 4th!
When all else fails - wear your backdoor decoration! Jane, my friend from Georgia who summers on the island, was all decked out for the 4th also. She actually had her outfit in her closet - she didn't wear her door.
First stop - Windermere Point for the International Stone Skipping Tournament.
This event is taken VERY seriously. From 10 am to noon, amateurs tried their luck, and 1st, 2nd & 3rd place trophies were awarded. Then it was time for the Professional Stone Skippers!
One pro even brought his own fan club and cheering section. I mean, this group was intense!
The pros all demonstrated their different throwing/hurling/skipping techniques.
As each contestant gave it his best effort, the judges were crouched right beside them - counting skips.
Then one judge holds up a number - this "two" was followed by three fingers, indicating 23 skips. How in this world they count how many times that stone "skips" as it flies across the water is beyond me, but these are professional judges, and they know their business!
The winner, with 26 skips, was Todd "Mussels" Callewaert who received a fist full of money and bragging rights 'til next year.
We decided to try and grab an outside table at the Hotel Iroquois for lunch, and we got lucky.
From our table we could watch a biplane share the sky with brightly-colored kites . . .
. . . and children attempting to climb a greased pole to grab $20 bills from the top.
Some actually made it!
After lunch, Patty bought a t-shirt . . .
. . . and Jill got her face painted.
It was just an unbelievably perfect day . . . and it was only half over.
We got back to the condo around 3:30, then headed back out again at 5:30 with Patty and Buz on our bikes. We were on our way to the fort and the Red, White and Blue Picnic, sponsored by the Grand Hotel. The fort's parade ground was full of tables, and if you wanted to have "dinner on the ground", the Grand provided a table full of red-checkered tablecloths to spread out in a spot of your choosing.
Almost 850 people had pre-bought tickets to the picnic, and at least half that many again bought tickets at the gate. The Grand sure knows how to throw a party!
We sat overlooking Marquette Park. Brett and Claire, two wonderful interpreters from the fort, strolled by to say hello.
If I ever go to the fort and don't take photos of the view from up there, you will know that I forgot my camera. From where we were sitting, we could look across the Jewel Golf Course to the Straits of Mackinac . . . .
. . . and down to Marquette Park and the Marina.
I don't think I've ever seen a pontoon boat on the Straits, but we spotted this one putt-putting out of the marina. It sure looked tiny against all the other boats.
After dinner - and barely able to move - we watched the interpreters engage the crowd in several dances. This one was the Rose Dance. One person had to give a rose to one of two other people. The person who DIDN'T get the rose got to sashay down the aisle created by the dancers. This little girl chose her granddaddy over a cute little boy. How sweet is that!
With dusk approaching, we started home along back trails. The woods are filled now with blankets of yellow hawkweed . . .
. . . that seem to go on for acres and acres. A beautiful time of the year on Mackinac!
We ended the day watching fireworks from our condo balcony . . .
. . . a spectacular finish to a spectacular holiday weekend!