A Nice Perk! 7/20/2011

Note:  I was unable to attend, but I’ve heard that the Mass at St. Anne’s for the two sailors who lost their lives this weekend to the storm in the Chicago to Mackinac Race was stunningly beautiful and  inspirational.  St. Anne’s was filled with families and friends who were on the island for the races, as well as island residents and visitors.  It was a wonderful tribute to Mark Morley and Suzanne Bickel.


Before I officially start the “perk” story, I just want to remind everyone the Mackinac Island Festival of the Horse begins Wednesday evening, July 20, and runs through Sunday morning, July 24.  The festival has been named one of the top five horse festivals in the world by Equitrekking and is one of only two in the United States to make the list.

The days are packed – and I do mean PACKED – full of exciting equestrian events.  If you are planning to be on the island during this time, please head up the hill toward the Grand Hotel to the Burroughs Lot (just below the Grand), where you’ll see the riding arena and tents set up near the island school.  Just for starters, there will be a Saddle Horse Parade, Pony Rides and Fun & Games for Children, a Carriage Parade, West Bluff Historic Stables Tours, the Breeds of Mackinac Show, and Musical Kurs by our very own Mackinac Island Friesian Force.  There will also be lectures on equestrian topics by nationally-known horse trainers and island experts, For a complete list of the festival events, please click here: http://www.maryanketourandtravel.com/MIFH/events.htm


Too bad I can’t run for Governor in Michigan.  Being a Georgia resident, I don’t qualify (I also don’t qualify because I know nothing about Michigan politics – or politics in general for that matter – but that’s a whole different story).

If anything could make me consider becoming politically-minded, it would be the Michigan Governor’s Summer Residence, which just has to be the absolute best “perk” of any job anywhere – my opinion, of course.

Cathy had never toured the residence, which is open from 9:30-11:30 a.m. each Wesnesday morning during the season.  Admission is free, and we were among the first in line.

Cathy and I left the condo, biked over to the residence and parked across the street.

As you know from a post I did last year, photographs aren't allowed inside the residence. Last year, when I visited with Blake, the weather was cloudy. Wednesday couldn't have been more beautiful, and I just wanted to show you the glorious views from the front porch of this beautiful home. Here, we're looking southwest over the Straits, and you can just make out the steeple of Little Stone Church.

Southeast is the harbor, the breakwater, and both Round Island lighthouses.

Scouts are stationed all along the porch (and outside on the street) and are always willing to snap photos of your group. They must earn badges in camera operation because I've never heard them ask how to work anyone's camera.

I wonder how many U.S. presidents have had their photograph taken on this porch? It's quite a popular spot for Presidents to visit - on invitation from the Governor, of course. The white structure in the distance is the Grand Hotel.

My favorite spot on the porch - this beautifully furnished, covered area with white wicker furniture. Loving that swing!

Oh yes! I'd love to be Governor of Michigan! And if I was, every Wednesday morning during the Mackinac Island season - if I happened to be visiting - I would come downstairs and greet each visitor to my home - just like new Michigan Governor Rick Snyder did two weeks ago when he was on the island!


We were eating out at the Gate House with Cathy and Charlie for lunch last Friday when a young man passed our table and then, doing a double-take, asked if I was “Bree”.  He and his whole family – including his mom, siblings, and their families – were visiting the island and eating out on the Gate House patio.  I had the opportunity to meet this delightful group, who come to Mackinac Island as often as possible.

Mike and Kathy Fillmore and their beautiful daughters, Danielle and Devin. They were visiting from Saline, MI.

I worked this morning at the Stuart House, and several Bree Blog fans stopped by.  Charlotte DeBroka and her husband Jim came in, and I apologize profusely, Charlotte, for not getting a photograph.  My brain had obviously not started functioning this morning while ya’ll were visiting.  I did post this wonderful couple’s photo last year when they visited, so maybe Charlotte will forgive me.  They were staying at Small Point Inn, just below Robinson’s Folly, and Charlotte shared that there were some trees down across the road out there after the big storm on Sunday evening.  Before arriving on the island, they visited the U.P. and had their copy of South of Superior signed by author Ellen Airgood, who works in a diner in Grand Marais.  It’s on everyone’s “got to read it” list up here this summer and is getting rave reviews!

Also stopping by (after my brain “clicked” on):

Georgette and Larry Ryan, who read the blog from Chicago (Larry took the photo).

This is part of my sweet friend Alyssa's family. Alyssa drove for Carriage Tours when I first met her and now works at Doud's Market. Since she didn't make it home in December, her whole family showed up to have Christmas in July. This is only four of them - Mom and Dad, Lori and Bill Henes, from Lambertville, MI and Alice and Fred, Alyssa's grandmother and granddaddy.

I loved, loved, loved seeing all of you!

More tomorrow on Cathy and Charlie’s visit.  See you then.


16 thoughts on “A Nice Perk! 7/20/2011

  1. You would make a great governor! Wait, that means you probably would not have as much visiting time and blog posts. Never mind, I don’t think you would be a good governor and would have to start a smear campaign against you to keep you doing what you are now. Plus do you REALLY want to see the behind workings of what those in office have to deal with? A few cause their own issues, but the rest always have those uphill battles. There have I talked you out of it?

    That was too bad about the ones lost in the race. We pray that they were in peace and pray for the close ones still here. The straights area has been rough this last year. Just with what I know that has been 4 lives just this year already. Such a beautiful area, but certainly not immune to those things that can happen.

    • LOL, Steve. You didn’t have to talk me out of it. I want NO part of politics – well, except for that porch overlooking the Straits.

  2. Well Steve I agree with you that Brenda should not be running for governor BUT I have to agree with Brenda that it sure would be absolutely glorious to live in that house! I can just imagine having breakfast on that front porch and seeing that view every morning. SIGH! How cool was it that the governor was there that one morning to greet all of the visitors, very nice.

    Once again I will have to live the horse festival through your great stories, so I can’t wait to see all those wonderful horse pictures. 🙂

  3. Brenda,

    Steve’s right. There should be no being governor in your future. Maybe you could rent some time on that porch when the govenor is not there. Then again, I guess you could just be thankful you are on the Island in the summer. Oh wait, you already are, so I can stop that little sermon in it’s tracks. It’s not needed.

    I’m looking forward to your blog about the horse festival. Make sure your camera is in good working order. Always love your photography.

    Also looking forward to more on Charlie and Cathy’s visit.

    By the way, I’m so glad you trashed that rule about 1 picture a day.

  4. I am so jealous! I have wanted to tour the governor’s summer “cottage” for the past several years but everytime I come to the island it is not on a Wednesday. Thanks for the porch picture, it is so lovely.

  5. I think Maddie would be a great governor and Bear can be the lieutenant! That way you can stay in the summer residence without the stress of having the job….. I’d love to have a porch with a view like that and I’d be out there every morning too!

    • Annie, that sounds like a great idea. Maddie & Bear could probably do a better job than the politicians anyway. Oh, sorry, it’s just so hard to stay off my soap box.

  6. I’m glad you got to tour the summer “cottage”. Both times my hubby and I have been up there we were not there on a Wed so we just saw the outside on our walks. Happy Wednesday!!

  7. The Filmores are friends of mine, and I was so excited to hear that they got to meet you, I really enjoy reading your blog! How fun!

  8. Thanks for pictures from the governor’s residence. The views from the porch are just spectacular! It was raining when my sister and I were there last month for the tour. We were not allowed on the porch, so they let us go through the kitchen instead!

  9. Beautiful views from the governers mansion! You would be a great governor! I hope I see you when I am on the Island in August because I would like my picture taken with you also! Have a great day!

    • If all else fails, Michelle, you can always catch me on Tuesdays at the Stuart House Museum on Market St. downtown. I’m there from 10-2. Hope to see you during your visit!

  10. It was great being on the Island with Alyssa and meeting you Brenda! We had a great “Christmas in July” I just wish we could have stayed longer. We ended up having 26 (including Alyssa) people together at Goodfellows for our celebration. We also visited Jill at the Bookstore and she told us “Merry Christmas”! Great trip…thanks for visiting with us and for watching over our daughter 🙂

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