Summer Has Arrived – Part II 7/6/2011

“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!


26 thoughts on “Summer Has Arrived – Part II 7/6/2011

  1. Looks like it was a wonderful 4th. I wish that I could have been there, but seeing your pictures will have to do. Thank you so much for sharing them with us, Brenda.

    I’m glad everyone had a wonderful time.

  2. It sounds like a perfect day, and a perfect way to celebrate the Fourth! Love the photo of the bike and the bridge!
    Question: Where were the fireworks held? At Windemere Point? At what time? Did the Grand have some, too? I watched the sun go down and the lights come on and everyone riding/walking to the west, but wasn’t sure where the fireworks were held. Of course, I only had the view from the webcam on the yacht club overlooking the marina!
    BTW, our fireworks were held below Ft. Meigs, a sister fort from the War of 1812. And yes, we went!

    • The fireworks go off from a barge offshore between Windermere Point and the Grand Hotel, and no – the Grand Hotel didn’t have separate fireworks that night. Their guests sure had a front row seat from the porch though! It doesn’t get dark until so late up here, and the fireworks didn’t start until close to 10:30. Last boats were leaving the island at 11 that night, and I hear they were packed!

      • Thank you! Them we DID see the island’s fireworks – just from far, far away!

  3. Beautiful pictures of a beautiful day! I love to see your pics of the stone skipping because my friend is a judge and you always get a shot of him. He’s the one holding up two fingers. No place like Michigan in the summer time!

  4. Wow! What a great day! Looked just like mine ……… well minus the stone skipping, picnic at the fort, ride in the woods, wearing outdoor decor, etc. Was still a great day though!

  5. Brenda,

    Well, I’ll have to admit, you make the best looking back door I’ve seen. And Jill, what a great idea for a beauty spot. Very becoming.

    What a great day that must have been and you just made it come alive for us.

  6. What an excellent day you had! Love the kite photos-my husband and I have been involved with kiting for years and we know the guy who did the original design for the one you’ve pictured. He’s from Germany and calls them ‘Ghost Deltas’. The first ones were made out of white fabric and were made specifically to fly during fireworks displays at the European kite festivals. It’s quite a sight to see 10-15 kites with their tails flowing and reflecting all of the colors of the sky. Thanks for posting the photo and reminding me of my friend Frankie!

  7. All I can say is WOW, that looks like so much fun..every bit of it! Love Jill’s haircut and new tatoo, love your backdoor look, love, love.. love it all! Almost felt like I was a part of it. 🙂

  8. You look great in your Independence Day outfit..what a great idea, very original!! I also like Jane’s shirt, have not seen one like it. Thanks for the many lovely photos, and for sharing your week end with us. Nice face art on Jill’s cheek, love her earrings!

  9. That was us in the pontoon boat, but they would not let us park (too small), so we rode all the way back home. LOL

  10. Thanks for the pix of the fireworks….last year I got on the live cam and watched them! Nothing like being there in person though.

  11. Brenda,

    I love your patriotic bow, you must have been a Girl Scout to have come up with that idea in short notice. You would never know its a door decoration, too cute!

    Pat Steele
    Vernon, MI

  12. Looked like a perfect day! 🙂
    We are trying to find where we want to stay in Sept., have you ever stayed at the Cottage Inn?

    • Hi Deanna! I stayed at the Cottage Inn two winters ago when I came up with some friends and didn’t want to open the condo for just a few days’ stay. We loved it! Rich and Marge are the innkeepers, and they are awesome. You can’t go wrong staying there!

      • I will give a very high second recommendation, well really confirming what was already said. Unless they are full thats where we stay each time. Don’t get me wrong the other places were ok, just didn’t feel the same as Cottage Inn.

  13. Hi Bree! I sure love your backdoor decoration! That was a great idea!! The pictures are wonderful as usual. You sure have a talent for it. I also have been meaning to tell you that I love your hair!!! It looks great longer on you. I am a hairdresser and I own my own salon in a small town. Have a great day!

    • Ahhhhh – thank you, Michelle! Wish you had been here to “fix” it after two trips across on the ferry today – riding on the top deck!

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