Mackinac Island Spring Update – Vol. 4 – 4/18/2012

25 days and counting.  I can’t believe it.  The winter that never was (in the South at least) slipped by in the bat of an eye, and in a week or so the suitcases will come out of the closets, and Maddie and Bear will begin to wonder, “Where we going?”

As always when this time of year comes around, I find myself looking back over the last six months and hoping they’ve been productive.  The blogs have kept me busy, Bear and I have enjoyed our Pet Partners work, and Ted’s been faithful in driving veterans for hospital and doctor visits.  We’ve had great times with friends, we’ve traveled more than usual, and – as we say every year – we haven’t had nearly enough time with the kids and grandkids.  But we know they’re all planning on trips to the Island this summer, and once they’re there we can pretty much hold them captive for awhile!  How great it is they love Mackinac almost as much as we do!

I don’t have a lot of news from the Island today, but I have some totally awesome photos I’ll get to shortly.  Friends on the Island let me know that just when the weather seemed to be warming to the point that lilacs might be in jeopardy of blooming really early, Mother Nature intervened with  . . . . . . .

. . .Snow! Mary McGuire from the Tourist Bureau took this photo early today (Wednesday), and she's hoping that this reversal back to colder weather will send the lilac buds back into hiding. For the next two weeks it looks like the highs will be holding in the low 50's, so we'll just have to wait and see if the Lilac Festival in June arrives during or after the lilacs bloom.

I loved the message Doud’s Market posted today on FacebookSpring is here!! The staff at Doud’s Market is busy getting the store ready for a bustling summer season!  Doud’s Deli reopened this past week.  You can grab a slice of pizza to go or order a pizza to take home with you.  (Spring hours vary, so call ahead before placing an order, 906.847.3444)  We have delicious homemade soups, freshly-made salads and sandwiches to go and a wonderful meat selection to choose from.  We will be adding some new items to our deli menu this season as well.  Stay in touch as we stock the Market with new items and new delicious deli items!  Our hours are currently 7:30AM-7:00PM, Monday-Saturday; 10AM-5PM, Sunday. Hours will be changing in the next few weeks to extended hours.”  Can’t wait to visit Andrew and all the workers at Doud’s!

Since 1967 the Michigan Recreation & Parks Association (MRPA) has offered travelers ages 50 and over a unique opportunity to stay at the Grand Hotel at a significantly reduced rate during the off-season.  The program offers an all inclusive package including ferry, taxi, hotel stay, breakfast and five course dinner, all tax and gratuities, carriage tour, Fort Mackinac visit, golf chipping and putting competitions, bocce competition, crafts, dancing, carriage tours and more! Each fall over 1400 seniors participate in the various dates offered (Sept. 25-28; Oct. 8-11; Oct. 14-16; and Oct. 21-24). If you’d like more information about this opportunity, you may call Karen Aune at 517-485-9888.

MRPA has graciously allowed me to publish winners in the photo contest offered participants in 2011’s Grand Experience.  I found these photographs to be fresh, exciting, and so very original.  As I’ve said so many times, we all see Mackinac through different eyes, and our cameras capture moments in time we will turn back to remember over and over again when we think of our journeys there.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

A totally different vision of the Grand Hotel's Tea Garden. Third Place - Scenery/Architecture Category. "Glorious" by Van Weimer

The entrance to one of Mackinac's most beautiful homes. Second Place - Scenery/Architecture Category. "Gate" by Carl Sturgeon

A butterfly greets visitors to the Island. First Place - Scenery/Architecture Category. "Welcome to the Island" by Dolores Surletta

Touring the Island in the fall. Third Place - People/Activities Category. "Fall Carriage Ride" by Linda Stephas

A perfect cup of tea. Second Place - People/Activities Category. "Tea Time" by Peter (Pat) Koloff

Awesome black & white photo! First Place - People/Activities Category. "Taxi" by Phyllis Neumann

Only one porch like this one in the whole world! Third Place - View of the Grand Category. "My Dream of a Porch" by Marcie Steidmann

Simple touches mean so much. Second Place - View of the Grand Category. "Awareness" by Caroline Medwith

Ahhh . . . the Herb Garden. First Place - View of the Grand Category. "Quiet Moments in a Quaint Garden" by Linda Meyer.

One more news item about the Grand Hotel.  This summer the Grand will celebrate its 125th anniversary, and nobody celebrates quite like the Grand.  On July 10th a 125′ cake will be wheeled onto the Grand porch for hotel guests to enjoy, and during the weekend of July 13-15 there will be receptions, fireworks, presentations, concerts, and tournaments.  Bill Semion of wrote a wonderful article about this birthday party, and you can read it here:

Here’s a few more photos Island friends have shared this week:

Getting ready for the season and the big celebration, the Grand is getting a fresh coat of paint. (Photo by: the Grand Hotel)

A beautiful early morning view of a freighter slipping through the pass. (Photo: Jeri-Lynn Bailey)

Here come the tulips! (Photo: Mission Point Resort)

The Seabiscuit opened for the season this week. (Photo: Sonnet Quinn)

Jeri-Lynn Bailey snapped this photo during Spring Break in Florida, but wouldn't that just be the perfect Mackinac Island lawn mower!

Friend Maryanke Alexander and her beautiful Jetske, who she thinks (our fingers are crossed) is in foal. Jetske will be on the Island this summer with Maryanke.

Easter morning at Windermere Point. (Photo: Doud's Market)

While I was going through some of Ted’s photos from last fall, I found this one of the condo.  There it sits, on Surrey Ridge, empty for six-and-a-half months.  If buildings could talk, I like to think this one might be saying . . . “They’ll be here soon.  My doors will be unlocked, my windows will be flung open, and the breeze will rush through my rooms.  Rugs and mats will once again cover my bare floors; sheets and blankets and pillows will be placed on my beds.  Groceries will come up the hill, and happy dogs will settle on my deck and watch the season unfold from their favorite perch.  They’ll be here soon.  They’ll be here soon!”

See you next Wednesday!  God bless.

36 thoughts on “Mackinac Island Spring Update – Vol. 4 – 4/18/2012

  1. Great photos! And thanks for the tip about the off-season rates at the Grand for people 50+. Fall is a wonderful time on the island.

  2. Love the pictures, especially the one of Maryanke and Jetske. What a beautiful horse! I would love to see them in person when we come. I can almost feel your excitement at the thought of how soon you will be there. I bet Bear and Maddie are getting anxious too. 🙂

  3. Beautiful pictures! I am also counting the days until I return to the Island in June. Thanks for the tip about the senior discount at the Grand. I hate being considered a senior at 50y/o, but will gladly accept the discount. I guess there are some benefits to getting older. Hope Bear is feeling better.

    • Thanks, Lora. Bear’s had a rough couple of days. He had a bad reaction to his meds, and we’re trying to work through that.

      • Sending positive thoughts and energy to Bear and his family. Hope he’s feeling better soon, it’s so hard to see our pets not feeling their best. Take care!

  4. Brenda,

    You wonder if you and Ted have had a productive past six months? You are joking, right? When I think of just what you have posted on the Lake Blackshear Blog, I don’t have to wonder at all. You have accomplished far more than I could even think of doing, and that includes the two blogs with which you have blessed us.

    And speaking of blogs, this one is (fill in whichever adjectives you would like; they’ll be correct). And the pictures are the best. My favorites are: The Tea Garden, The Monarch Butterfly & Bluebells Behind The Chippewa, The Autumn Carriage Ride, The Grand Bus, Quiet Moments In A Quaint Garden, Jetske & Maryanke Alexander, and of course the view across the lawns toward your condo.

    Productive? Nothing to worry about there!

    • How could I possibly forget Bear. You tell him I’m thinking of him every day and praying for him to be well and back to his old self.

  5. Hi there! Don’t know if you remember but we stopped by your place and met you when we were visiting Mackinac Island. I just wanted to let you know that your blog was posted on the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau’s Facebook page(if you didn’t already know). Too cool! I have enjoyed your posts since we met.

    We are planning another visit again this year. Emma & Ava are excited and would love to see Maddie & Bear again if y’all are available.

    • Hi Karen! Of course we remember ya’ll! I did know that Mary posted the blog tonight on the Tourism facebook page. She is so sweet to do that. When are ya’ll coming this year? Whenever it is, just let us know, and plan to come by to see us – or we’ll meet you somewhere, whatever is easiest for you. Please tell Emma and Ava hello from us AND from Maddie and Bear. See you this summer!

      • We plan to be there the last week of June. I’ll keep you posted. We are so excited! 🙂

  6. So….are you leaving in 25 days or arriving in 25 days…which I figure is Saturday or Sunday the 13th. We are going to the island for 4 or 5 days arriving on Friday the 11th. There’s nothing we’d love better than to welcome you on our arrival on the dock….that would be so cool !!

    • LOL Paul! Good Lord willing, we’ll get to the Island on Monday, the 14th. Have no idea what time, but knowing Ted we will probably be there by early afternoon. How cool that ya’ll will be there!

      • Check in at the Island Bookstore for Brenda, Ted, Maddie & Bear’s arrival time (they MAY keep me posted)!!!?

      • SNEAK past ME????? Yeah, right…I’ll be camped out waiting for y’all on the dock.

      • I’ve got to calm down and remember it’s 3 1/2 more weeks before we leave – too early to get tooooo excited. Oh, heck, I don’t care – I’m excited.

  7. It is so fun to see you get so excited about returning to the island. My husband and I are born & raised in our little town of 2,000 and most people know that we are huge fans of Mackinac Island. In fact my husband wears a fleece coat almost daily in the spring that says Mackinac Island. While at our local grocery store last week a couple of vistors walked up to him and asked him if he had been to Mackinac. He explained that we have visited several times over the past 10 years and the couple were shocked how many times we have went. They were from Michigan and had only been there a couple of times. After talking to my husband, they seemed eager to schedule a trip to the island. We love to spread our fascination with the island, even to Michigan people!

  8. Love all the pictures. I do though have to say the black & white is my favorite with the bicycle lawn mower coming in 2nd. Ha, ha, ha. I don’t know who ever came up with that idea, but I love it.

  9. When we are leaving the island on our last day for the year, we start counting the days until the next year’s visit. Never get enough!

  10. THE most awesome pictures! Thanks for info on the “Grand”. Can’t wait for you to return to the Island. Be Safe!

  11. I love the “Gate” photo. I have a shot of that same gate that my husband took but done at night. I’m looking at it right now-what a difference the light makes!
    Good luck with the packing-I’m sure thenext 25 days will go by very, very quickly..

  12. OMG! What great photos. Love the black and white photo especially. Hard to believe you are so close to heading back. You and Ted are so lucky!

  13. Thanks for keeping us informed about this wonderful place.last visited October 2011, next visit ,who knows,but we will be back. Lynne and Allan,

    • Lynne and Allan,
      So happy you enjoyed our magical island and hoping you’ll come back again soon. You picked a beautiful time to visit last year – October . Maybe next time you could try summer, when all the flowers are blooming their hearts out, or spring when everything is coming to life, and the pace is slower. Thanks so much for writing!

      • We were the couple at the grand dressed in Titanic outfits ,I think you commented about us then ,on the porch.
        Wondered if you managed to open my photo taken on main street showing round house lighthouse,one of our best pics we think,.
        Have a great stay this summer,see you around.
        Lynne and Al Busst. UK.

  14. I am excited for you!!!! I don’t know if we will make it back this year – 2 other trips planned! Thanks for the great pictures – I love the black and white one! Actually I love them all, but that one stands out. Have a safe trip on your way! Lilacs are blooming here in southern Wisconsin – it is crazy!!!!

  15. I so cannot wait to get up there summer, my sister has moved her from Texas and this is one of are adventures on are list. So glad to see all your pictures and want you to know I’ve been following you all winter. You’ve been a blessing to me Brenda. It’s been a rough but busy one for myself. I see your counting down already,lol,my wish is that I don’t miss you this year. have save journeys, D

  16. Hi Bree! Thanks for the lovely blog and photos! They are sooo beautiful!!! I was wondering, is Douds Market open in the winter also? I hope to see you when we are on the Island in August! Michelle

  17. I hope you snap lots of pictures this year! I have postponed my vacation from May to September so I will need lots to tide me over til then!

    • Kathy, thanks so much, my friend! Come on down and let me show you the island. We can chat about blogs and Michigan, and how much we love to write!

      • What day, exactly, will you be there? I am really thinking of a trip downstate in mid-May. Do the boats run that early? The last time I visited the island with two kids under five was in (one moment please) 1986. It would be so fun to stop and come & meet you and talk about blogging and our love of writing. Yes…oh yes, we would have fun!

      • Good Lord willing, Kathy, we will arrive Monday, May 14. I’ll need a few days to settle in, but after that will be open to most anything. Yes, the boats are running now. Let me know your plans when you’ve made them ( Looking forward to meeting you!

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