In the Spotlight . . . . 9/16/2011

We have a winner for the Mystery Spot Contest.  She is Joan Asoklis from Shelby Township, MI.  Please see end of post for the answer!

As I was looking through my photos a couple of days ago, trying to decide what to publish for Random Photo Day, I received an email from two of my most loyal blog readers, Steve and Tami Fridley from Indiana.  Steve and Tami visit the Island as much as possible, and Steve always takes the most amazing photographs while he’s here.  He sent me a link to a few from their last visit a couple of weeks ago, and they are so stunning I decided to forego my own random shots, and put up Steve’s instead (with his permission, of course).  They are all so, so good – but his sunrise shots just blew me away.

Steve and Tami stayed at the Cottage Inn while they were on the Island, and Steve had to get up mighty early for some of these shots!

A freighter slips through the Straits on a dead calm day.

Can we ever have enough photos of Round Island Light? This one is really sharp, and the blues are beautiful. I also like how the two small red buildings off to the left show up so well against the blue.

The Marina at dawn. The buildings you can see (from left to right) are: The Richard and Jane Manoogian Art Museum (formerly the Indian Dormitory), Anne's Cottage, Brigadoon Cottage, the Yacht Club, and the Island House, ablaze with lights. You can also see that a few East Bluff cottages have not yet been closed for the winter.

Just before sunrise . . .

. . . and a few moments later.

Kites in every shape and color fly over Windermere Point . . .

Backing off for a longer view, Steve captured the beautiful Iroquois Hotel.

I love this end of Market Street. The hustle and bustle slowly ebb away as you walk down the shady sidewalk to the water.

If I was a betting woman, I would say Steve took this photo of the Cottage Inn right after he sleepily stumbled outside to photograph the next three shots.

Downtown in the wee, small hours of the morning. The street washers have already been by, and everything is fresh and ready for a new day.

The Marina just before daybreak.

This one should definitely be a calendar entry. I love it, and I don't think I've ever seen Marquette Park in this early morning light. The grass, the street lamps, the sky, and St. Anne's steeple. Unbelievably beautiful.

Thanks so much, Steve, for allowing me to spotlight your photographs.  Hope to see you and Tami when you’re here in October!


Thinking Out Loud

I’ve already begun trying to think of ways to improve the blog for next summer, and two of my ideas so far are these:

1)  One day a week publish YOUR Mackinac Island vacation photos.  Now we’d have to be very sensible about this.  You couldn’t send me hundreds of photos and ask me to choose the best one to publish.  Oh no!  YOU would have to choose your best shot and send it in.

2)  Maybe once a month I’d like to publish one of YOUR stories about the Island.  Maybe it would be a favorite vacation story – something romantic, or silly, or dramatic, or . . .  whatever.  Or maybe it would be what made you fall in love with the Island and want to come here year after year.

Drop me a comment and let me know what you think of these ideas . . . or offer your own suggestions!


The object of the Mystery Spot  is to be the first to identify where the object is located. When you think you have the answer, email me at I’ll check my email several times a day, and as soon as we have a winner, I’ll post the winner’s name at the top of this blog so you can stop guessing, AND I’ll post the full photo of the mystery spot at the bottom of the blog with the answer. Is there a prize for the winner – yes there is; but the prize is secret, and the only ones who will know what it is are the winners. To be fair, I’m asking residents of Mackinac Island to please NOT guess. This is just for readers who don’t live here . . . but would like to!  Also – don’t forget – you can only win once per season.

This Mystery Spot is a little different.  There might be several of these same images around the island, but the one I’m looking for is the one you’ve seen nearly every week this summer on the blog in at least one of my photos.  And the Mystery Spot is . .

Where is it?

Don’t forget to email your answer to me at  Please do not answer in the comment section.
Things are winding down a little now, but soon the fall colors will be big news, and I’ll have lots to report.  While things are quiet, I’m going to take the weekend off except for posting the Mystery Spot winner.
I’ll be back on Monday with lots of good things – like photos from last week’s race around the island AND the story of how a leaky dishwasher turned into a brand new floor in our condo.  The work is done, and I can’t wait to show you the results!

Have a great weekend, and God bless.


The horse and buggy image I was looking for is on the Lilac House Bed & Breakfast, which is so often seen in the photos taken of my blog readers when they visit me at the Stuart House. Here I'm with Paul and Elaine Williams of Yale, MI (earlier in the summer).

34 thoughts on “In the Spotlight . . . . 9/16/2011

  1. Hello there!

    You have such a great blog! Very interesting articles.

    I went to Michigan and Mackinac Island for the first time last summer and loved it. So beautiful! I traveled with my Dad and his girlfriend Anne, who has a lovely cabin up there. I took some great photos and would love to share them with you. What’s the best way to submit?

    Thanks and I hope all is well,

    Lexi Stout : )

    • So glad you like the “share the photos” idea, Lexi, but remember – this is for NEXT summer. When I get up and running next spring, I’ll give you all the information about submitting your photos. But please – only one or two of your BEST! I know it will be hard for you to choose, but it would be IMPOSSIBLE for me to do it. Thanks!

  2. Brenda, I love both your ideas and can’t wait to read other people’s love story of Mackinac Island and view their photos. Those are awesome ideas, thanks for always thinking of ways to keep us involved and entertained. You rock!

  3. Hi Brenda!
    I get to be first. I love Steve’s photos! He did an excellent job of capturing the island at a time when most people would never see it.
    I have a few pictures I could share and a couple of funny stories that made me love the island and want to return. One when I was 9, the summer before the bridge was finished, and one from the fall Dave and I became engaged.

  4. I just have to say WOW!!!!!! Steve, I love those photos. I agree with Brenda the one of Marquette Park does belong in a calendar as well as all the rest. I also love the picture of downtown before everyone wakes up. Thank you, Steve for allowing Brenda to share these wonderful pictures.

  5. I have to double that WOW!WOW!. Beautiful pictures Steve. I LOVE the dark/early morning shots. Those are my favorite kind of pictures of the island. While we were there the last time, we tried taking several shots at night and NONE of them came out. Very dissapointed. Now I have yours to look at. THANK YOU! 🙂

  6. Love the pics. Something about low-light pics and night pics have always interested me. I have several great night shots of the island from over the years. Bree, it sounds like your ideas would be great for next year. You would probably get a lot of interesting stories and pictures.

  7. All of the pictures are just gorgeous but that photo of the marina at dawn is just breathtaking. Thanks, Steve for sharing with all of us. Amazing work… And, Bree-I love the idea of having a reader photo or story day! Great idea!

  8. Just loved all the photos today! I’ve always said I would get up early and do the same, but never have….now I see what I’ve been missing! Where they all taken the same month?? Just gorgeous! I think your ideas of posting some readers photos and stories is great! I’m sure everyone has a cute or interesting story to tell. Enjoy the weekend!

  9. I was searching to find a picture to save on my computer desktop & went to the website to use a “professional” picture but wasn’t having any luck finding something I really liked so then it hit me to use a picture from your blog so I have been doing that for the past few weeks. Brenda, your pictures are every bit as good if not better than “professional” pictures. Now I will use one of Steve’s pictures.

  10. I forgot to put this on my previous comment but I have stayed at many hotels, inn, b&Bs on the island and over Labor day weekend I stayed at Harbour View bed & breakfast. It was formally LaChance B&b. Anyway, it was very nice. All the rooms are remodeled & have private baths. (If you don’t like stairs though, pick the first floor because you still have a few stairs). This was very nice if any of your bloggers are curious.

    • Writing and verbalizing it is her strong talent, which I will never have. I would much rather take photos to tell my story then try and tackle the “smart” and harder aspect of it by telling the story with words. I’m more of a pictorial or audio book reader and I bet she gets thru a novel at breakfast. She has nothing to fear from me 🙂

      • Hmmmm . . . we could go “halfies” . . . you photograph, I write. My “job” would be count in half! But you and Tami and McKenzie have to move to the island first!

  11. I think the idea of letting readers share their stories is a great idea Bree! I love your blog…. it makes me long for my favorite place on earth on a daily basis!

    • I knew it was all in fun … wanted to make it clear though that I am not the writing type. May have to take her up on the offer to take more photos though. Even with Gods grace may be many years before we would move though.

  12. It was so great to meet you, Ted, Bear and Maddie. Wish we could have stayed forever, but our month was up. I’m glad that your dreams came true. I feel the same way about Mackinac. It feels like home to me and I cry every time we leave. However, for us, it doesn’t look like our dream will not come true. But, we can still visit every year as long as we are able to travel.

    Hope to see you next year.

    • Oh Cathy, do not EVER give up on your dreams! It was wonderful having you here on the Island for a month, and we all hope you come back next year – for even longer!

  13. Bree –
    I’ve enjoyed your blog so much! We’re from Ann Arbor and my son plays guitar at the Grand Hotel. We’ve been on the island many times in the last couple of years since he’s worked there. It’s one of my favorite places in the world, and I envy your summers there. I love your dog pictures…we have a 4-month old golden named Abbey who visited the island over Labor Day with us and did NOT like the horses! If you’re ever at the Jockey Club between 6 and 9 p.m. (most days) stop and say hello to Jeff (sitting next to the statue of the jockey) playing some smooth oldies.

    Keep on writing and snapping those beautiful pictures of a beautiful island!

    • Oh my gosh, Christine – I think I saw you – or at least Abbey! Is she the same color as Bear? I just remember over that weekend seeing a beautiful young golden downtown (blonde). So glad you like reading the blog, and we will definitely see if we can check out Jeff at the Jockey Club before the Grand closes down!

    • Christine,
      We enjoyed your sons talent throughout our dinner there on Sept. 8th. The guitar music was such a nice touch. They used to have a piano player inside but we like sitting out on the terrace and it was beautiful.


      Bree, I was on the island for 3 nights and I think I passed you as you were walking down the hill from the Grand on Thursday but I was huffing up the hill and was a little shy to say hello. I did see Ted too, on his bike. Next time I will get up enough nerve to say hello. It is silly of me I know.
      Enjoy the beauty of fall.

  14. Hi Bree,

    Elaine called me to the computer to ask me if I recognized the mystery photo….I thought it looked familiar, but of course I didn’t have clue of the location. I was quite surprised when the “location photo” showed up and there we were! We had a wonderful time visiting with you during our August trip and we are now looking forward to an October trip.

    Love your ideas for next year. We have lots of pictures and lots of stories…but we won’t send ALL of them. In fact, I’ve decided not to bring my camera anymore. I’ll just copy and paste your pictures (and now Steve’s wonderful pictures) to our albums. You all take such fantastic pics.

    We surely enjoy every issue of your blog. And after meeting and talking with you and Ted and Jill and Frankie and others during our visits, we feel even closer to the island that we dearly love.

    Hope to see you in October, and if not, then next year!

    Paul and Elaine

  15. Yes, Abbey is the same color as bear, so you may have seen us! She’s our second blonde golden. Jeff’s not sure how long he’ll be playing up there; it depends on how busy the Grand is during the fall. But reading your blog and looking at the photos makes me feel closer to Jeff. (Although I think Jeff misses Abbey more than he misses us!)

  16. I think this is a great idea! I read your blog all year round and get a great sense of being on Mackinac Island or on Lake Blackshear! I used to visit Mackinac Island and northern Michigan as a child with my family which insipired me to get married on the island almost one year ago!

  17. Hi Bree,
    After many years visiting the Island as a child and in my youth and working there through college summers, I’ve seen subtle changes, but still my pictures are more about the changes in people than location. My children worked there for their college summer and now I go when I can with them and their children. Over 60 years of Mackinac and still I love it. Clearly I’m not alone. It’s a magic place. I’d love to share any of my pictures and enjoy your blog very much. I always wished to be able to summer there as you are doing, so I live vicariously through your stories and pictures from my Virginia home. Let me know if you’d like to look at any pictures. Thanks so much, Carole

    • Hi Carole! Sharing readers’ stories and photos is something I’m planning on the blog for our 2012 summer on Mackinac. Hold on to those, and I will definitely be wanting to see your favorites next summer!

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