Just Perfect 7/11/2013

I love Mackinac Island.  It doesn’t matter to me if it’s warm or cold, clear or cloudy, dry or raining – I just love it.  Occasionally though, you get a day so perfect you feel as if God just decided to laugh out loud and declare, “Today on Mackinac Island, the weather will be P E R F E C T.”

And today it was.  No clouds in a sky so beautifully hued if it were a paint color, its name would have to be “Michigan Blue”.  Low 70’s.  A tad of a breeze.  Low, very low humidity.  As I said . . . perfect.

As if that wasn’t good enough, my Georgia cousins on my mom’s side, Angela and Larry, just happened to pick yesterday to arrive on the Island.  They flew from Atlanta to Flint, rented a car and drove up, arriving just in time to hurry into the Grand Hotel (Angela loves the whole Somewhere in Time magic of the Grand and has had it on her bucket list for quite a while), dress for dinner and enjoy a special evening of great food, strolls around the grounds, and rocking chair peacefulness on the Grand porch.

This morning, Angela and Larry awoke to our perfect island day.  They walked up to our condo, and from there we covered seeing quite a few of Mackinac’s treasures.

Our first official stop was Lookout Point overlooking Sugar Loaf.  We walked there after passing the three island cemeteries and turning right up Fort Holmes Road.  We promised them after we reached Fort Holmes, everything else would be downhill.

Our first official stop was Lookout Point overlooking Sugar Loaf. We walked there after passing the three island cemeteries and turning right up Fort Holmes Road. We promised them after we reached Fort Holmes, everything else would be downhill.

As with almost everyone who visits for the first time, they couldn't get over the blueness and clarity of the Lake Huron water.  "It looks like the Caribbean," they said several times.

As with almost everyone who visits for the first time, they couldn’t get over the blueness and clarity of the Lake Huron water. “It looks like the Caribbean,” they said several times.

A couple more hills . . .

A couple more hills . . .

. . . brought us to Fort Holmes, and Ted got to talk all about the history of what happened there.

. . . brought us to Fort Holmes, and Ted got to talk all about the history of this spot.

From the top of the Island we could barely make out the red of a parasail drifting over the Straits.

From the top of the Island we could barely make out the red of a parasail drifting over the Straits.

Since it was on the way, we stopped by Skull Cave . . .

Since it was on the way, we stopped by Skull Cave . . .

. . . then had lunch at Fort Mackinac's Tea Room.

. . . then had lunch at Fort Mackinac’s Tea Room.

We parted company after lunch, leaving Larry and Angela with a chance to explore on their own.  They plan to spend two more nights on the Island at the Chippewa downtown.  We hope you’re enjoying your island adventure as much as we’re enjoying you being here!

THE WEEK IN PHOTOGRAPHS

Loved seeing blog reader Joyce and her husband Al on Monday.  They stopped by the Stuart House to say hello!

Loved seeing blog reader Joyce and her husband Al on Monday. They stopped by the Stuart House to say hello!

While visiting the Fort Cemetery today, we noticed coins had been placed on nearly every stone marker.  Does  anyone know why?  It seems I read about this somewhere, but now I can't remember what I read.  Help!

While visiting the Fort Cemetery today, we noticed coins had been placed on nearly every stone marker. Does anyone know why? It seems I read about this somewhere, but now I can’t remember what I read. Help!

Today we ate up on the deck at the Tea Room that is above the level where the yellow umbrellas are.  Our first time to eat up there - we liked it!

Today we ate on the deck at the Tea Room that is above the level where the yellow umbrellas are. Our first time to eat up there – and we liked it a lot!  You can see we had a Great Lakes cruise ship in the harbor today.

A beautiful sunset shot of two Shepler boats by Shepler Captain Pat Springate.

A beautiful sunset shot of two Shepler boats by Shepler Captain Pat Springate.

The Cottage Inn's Joe Joe Cocker.

The Cottage Inn’s Joe Joe Cocker.

Flowers on the outside patio at Mary's Bistro.

Flowers on the outside patio at Mary’s Bistro.

Breathtaking Windermere Hotel gardens.  I could just stand and look at this all day.

Breathtaking Windermere Hotel gardens. I could just stand and look at this all day.

Did you notice that every balcony

Did you notice that every balcony in the two hotels behind the Grand Hotel omnibus has its own hanging basket?

More Hawkweed.  It's everywhere, it's everywhere!

More Hawkweed. It’s everywhere, it’s everywhere!

In a few days, the Mackinac Island Marina will be alive with sails in rainbow colors.  The

In a few days, the Mackinac Island Marina will be alive with Crayola Crayon-colored sails. The Chicago to Mackinac Yacht Race begins Friday, July 12 for the Cruising Division boats, and the remaining divisions start toward the Island on Saturday, July 13.  By Monday this harbor will be teeming with activity, and the Island hotels, restaurants and bars will be wall-to-wall people.  Let the races begin!

The Trinity Episcopal Church steeple cross, as seen from Fort Mackinac.

The Trinity Episcopal Church steeple cross, as seen from Fort Mackinac.

This crow had a bird's eye view of everything today after he found a perch on the end of the flagpole at the Tea Room.

After he found a perch on the end of the flag pole at the Tea Room, this crow had a bird’s eye view of everything!

Buzz and Patty's sweet Bailey.

Buzz and Patty’s sweet Bailey.

A huge freighter slips past the lighthouses . . .

A huge freighter slips past the lighthouses . . .

. . . and continues west toward the Mackinac Bridge.

. . . and continues west toward the Mackinac Bridge.

Sweet friend Bonnie has been on the Island for a few days, and today we spotted her on a front porch on the boardwalk.  It was good to visit with her for a while!

Sweet friend Bonnie has been on the Island for a few days, and today we spotted her relaxing on a front porch on the boardwalk. It was good to visit with her for a while!

A seagull comes in for a landing on his own shadow.

A seagull comes in for a landing on his own shadow.

On the way home this afternoon, we walked through the Grand Hotel Rose Garden for the first time this summer.  Always beautiful!

On the way home this afternoon, we walked through the Grand Hotel Rose Garden for the first time this summer. Always beautiful!

Just one more thing.  Friends Steve and Orietta Humphrey, who are in Washington DC going through orientation before leaving for their year-long medical mission trip to Tanzania with the Peace Corps, will be blogging about their experiences there.  If any of you would like to subscribe to their blog, you can click the link below and then click on the “follow” button.  They’re posted once already.  I know this is going to be an exciting and very busy year for them, and I look forward to hearing about the work they will be doing:   www.daktari2013.wordpress.com

Steve and Orietta - from a previous trip to Africa

Steve and Orietta – from a previous trip to Africa

Advertisements

41 thoughts on “Just Perfect 7/11/2013

  1. Wow! The Island looks so amazing. Can’t wait to see all the beautiful flowers next week. Hope the weather the nice weather continues. Thanks Brenda for all the great pictures.

  2. wow!!! That’s a bunch of Flowers!!! We’ve never been on the island this time of year. So, Thank you so much for sharing the photos 🙂

    Tony in Middle GA

  3. Found this online, very interesting, I didn’t know of this either.

    Beautiful day on the Island, we had the Tall Ships come into town today, and the weather was fantastic. Love seeing you’re pictures. The seagull with the shadow, excellent.

    While visiting some cemeteries you may notice that headstones marking certain graves have coins on them, left by previous visitors to the grave.

    These coins have distinct meanings when left on the headstones of those who gave their life while serving in America’s military, and these meanings vary depending on the denomination of coin.

    A coin left on a tombstone or at the grave site is meant as a message to the deceased soldier’s family that someone else has visited the grave to pay respect.

    Leaving a penny at the grave means simply that you visited.

    A nickel indicates that you and the deceased trained at boot camp together,while a dime means you served with him in some capacity.

    By leaving a quarter at the grave, you are telling the family that you were with the solider when he was killed.

    According to tradition, the money left at graves in national cemeteries and state veterans cemeteries is eventually collected, and the funds are put toward maintaining the cemetery or paying burial costs for indigent veterans.

    In the United States, this practice became common during the Vietnam war, due to the political divide in the country over the war; leaving a coin was seen as a more practical way to communicate that you had visited the grave than contacting the soldier’s family, which could devolve into an uncomfortable argument over politics relating to the war.

    Some Vietnam veterans would leave coins as a “down payment” to buy their fallen comrades a beer or play a hand of cards when they would finally be reunited.

    The tradition of leaving coins on the headstones of military men and women can be traced to as far back as the Roman Empire.

    • Thank you, Mary, for this interesting and valuable information. I have always wondered about the significance of the coins other than acknowledging the deceased and paying respect to the deceased and his/her family. Do you think stones left on headstones/graves hold the same meaning?

      • Stones are left on the stones at Jewish graves as a sign that you have visited to pay respect. That is a very simplified explanation, I am sure someone more familiar with the practice could do better. I first saw this in a movie – at the end of Schindler’s List, and I have since noticed this done in some local cemeteries.

  4. Mary that is so interesting about the coins…thanks for sharing that!
    Awesome pictures as always Brenda, I can never get enough. The count down has begun, 6 more weeks before we leave for Michigan. Hopefully things here at home will have returned to normal before we go….

  5. LOVE your new color–Mackinac Blue! I’ll add it to my watercolor palette when it becomes a reality. Oh, wait! It’s already there–a mixture of every blue I already have. I’ll have to ask God for the correct ratio for mixing!

    • When you figure it out, Mary Lou, and if we ever get that beach house, I want to paint all my porch ceilings that color!

      Sent from my iPhone

  6. Thank you Brenda! we’re missing the island and friends already but read your blog will keep us close to home.

  7. Brenda,
    Your magnificant writing makes me feel like I’m right there enjoying the pristine blue waters. Thanks for painting the picture in my mind. Love your blog!

  8. When I was at the Post Cemetery on July 5 I noticed the coins there as well. I had to immediately Google the significance. Very interesting! 🙂

  9. I was on the island for the day Thursday and it couldn’t have been anymore perfect! It was just beautiful! A wonderful day! I love reading your blog!

  10. Beautiful pics. Very interesting about the coins, had never seen that or heard of it. 4 wks. from today will be arriving on the island for 6 nights, our longest stay ever. Cannot wait! Hope the beautiful weather continues, we’ve had a rainy summer here in NE Ohio.

  11. As always, a wonderful blog Brenda. The information on the coins left on headstones is very interesting,
    I have seen the “Mackinac Blue” sky and that describes it perfectly.
    We were staying at the Windermere and watching the staff plant those gardens the first week in June, they have grown georgeous!

    Pat Steele
    Vernon, MI

  12. Great pics, love the flowers. Brenda, what kind of dog is Bailey? And do you know how old Bailey is? Such a cutie! Thanks for any info.

  13. Interesting info. on the coins. Love the seagull photo also! Beautiful weather here too….you have to love it!

  14. Brenda,

    If Angela & Larry were treated anything like you & Ted treated Faye & me, they couldn’t help but have a wonderful time on the Island. Following your words and pictures, I was there again. Thank you.

    Other than the pictures of you and them, my favorites this time were the Windermere Hotel Gardens, the hanging baskets on Main Street and Shepler’s Ferries with the sunset.

    • LOL, Lowell! It will be a very, very long time before anyone gets as special a visit as you and Faye did! That was kinda the visit to end all visits!😃

      Sent from my iPhone

      • It sure was. We’re still telling everyone about it. I just talked an arm and a leg off one of Faye’s cousin’s yesterday. Of course, I guess you know that wasn’t too difficult for me to do.

  15. Brenda,
    My family and I just returned to Baton Rouge from visiting the island and cannot wait to return. We arrived last Tuesday afternoon where there was a sea fog covering the island, which blocked most of the view of the harbor. We could barely make out the lighthouses. Once into the harbor the visibility was much better, and we had felt we passed through time. It was so beautiful and my 8 yr old daughter said to me “Dad I think we found what lies at the end of rainbows”. Our first stop was the park in front of the fort. We laid in the grass for about an hour just soaking in the scenery. We were very excited about laying in grass where you didn’t have to worry about Fire Ants (big problem where we live). Anyhow we were there Thursday and you’re right we could not have ordered better weather. I loved looking at your photos and cannot believe we missed the lookout location above Sugarloaf. We stayed on the island 2 1/2 days and nice to know there is more for us to see and do during our next visit. I do have a request for you and/or your readers A buddy of mine who has been to the island several times has asked me if I saw the new Harley Davidson shop on the island and if I had a picture of store front. I visited the store and checked my 500+ pics, but no luck. Anybody have one they can post? Thanks!

  16. Beautiful pictures! I find it very interesting that those who have plans to come to the island all have the “count down” going on!! A very special place for a lot of us. I have a few things to find when we come in October that we haven’t discovered yet. Keep the ideas coming! Glad to read Lowell’s comments – it sounds like he is back to feeling very well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s