This week – starting last Saturday night – has been outrageous! First was the Saturday Tweet-Up. On Monday, the Harlem Globetrotters arrived on the Island, and today the Globetrotters presented three preview shows at the Island school. I’ve almost filled up an empty 2GM camera card, and you don’t even want to know how many photos that means I’ve snapped in 4 days! Well, maybe you do want to know – it’s over a thousand! Blake arrives on Friday . . . . yeahhhh!!
Ok – one day at a time.
The Shepler Ferry Tweet-Up
This year the Tweet-Up, a fairly new but now annual event, was held aboard a ferry as it cruised the Straits of Mackinac. Excellent idea! More people than ever attended, and the speakers had a captive audience!
The top deck was packed as we departed the Mackinaw City Shepler Ferry dock. I see friend Chris Ann Nelson and her hubby Burton standing in the back!
Jill, taking a photo with her IPad of Jane Winston and her friend Nancy, who had just arrived from Florida. Seriously, Nancy went directly from the airport in Pellston to the ferry dock to the Tweet-Up boat. If there had been a prize for the one who traveled the farthest to attend the Tweet-Up, Nancy would have won!
It’s hard to get complacent about something as majestic as the Mackinac Bridge. But I have to confess we see it so often that sometimes it gets a little “ho-hum”. Until you get up close . . .
. . . and it instantly turns majestic once more.
With no support columns showing, you get a true feeling of “suspension” bridge. Captain Chris Shepler shared with us that the bridge is undergoing a process that will remove all of the lead paint from its surface. Among other things, this will lessen the weight of the bridge.
A barely visible moon glows through the suspension cables.
Right underneath. We learned that night two of the bridge’s four lanes are grated to allow rain and snow to flow through, rather than pooling on the bridge.
Shepler’s Misty Martincheck shared with us how social media – specifically Facebook and Twitter – has positively impacted their business . . .
. . . as did Kelli Lawrence from the Grand Hotel.
Yours truly talked about blogging in general and Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog in particular . . .
. . . and Lori Libka from Bronner’s Christmas Store in Frankenmuth, MI spent time on one of the newest social media ideas – Pinterest!
The keynote speaker was Kelsey Schnell, Public Relations & Marketing Officer for Mackinac State Historic Parks. This is not Kelsey speaking – this is Kelsey driving the ferry – and he did both very well! The Mackinac Parks system uses many forms of social media, and Kelsey shared they are soon adding a blog. Can’t wait for that!
Big Foot . . . . Feet. This is not a zoomed shot – we were this close.
Waaayyyy off in the distance we spotted this freighter . . .
. . . . and Captain Chris decided we should sail along beside them for a while.
So we did.
The Alpena was riding high in the water because she had just been unloaded.
Jane – getting in some time in the pilot house of the ferry.
As we sailed back to Mackinaw City, the sun began it’s slow slide into the lake . . .
. . . and by the time we boarded our ferry back to the Island, it had disappeared entirely, leaving the west end of the Island bathed in warm pinks and blues.
The Tweet-Up was such a success I believe Shepler’s will continue to hold them aboard ferries – might have to get larger ones though – in the future. It certainly was a fun evening, filled with good information and the magic on being on Lake Huron in the early evening. Hope you’ll join us next year if you’re up this way – probably the last Saturday in July (watch for announcements next summer on the Shepler Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/sheplersferry!
See you on Friday with all the story and pics from my day hanging out with the Harlem Globetrotters. What a blast! Here’s a little preview . . .