Lilacs and Storms and Fun Galore! 6/15/17

So happy to be writing about Mackinac again!  I feel as though our two weeks in Alaska (and then two weeks spent writing about it) pulled me far away from the island, but our trip to Alaska is something I will remember and cherish forever. It was awesome, but now it’s time to switch back into my favorite gear and get caught up on what’s been happening up north!

The Mackinac Island Lilac Festival is in full swing!  As happens most years, the lilacs are blooming at exactly the right time, and thousands of visitors a day are walking off ferries into that enchanted “back in time”  land of lilacs, fudge, horses, beautiful homes and flower gardens.

This beautiful young lady is Amelia Balinski. I met her along with her mom (Theresa), dad, and brother Mike at Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor several years ago. The whole family had been reading Bree’s Blog for years, and it was a real treat to meet this wonderful group face to face. Amelia is spending her second (I think it’s her second) summer on Mackinac as a Dock Greeter for Mackinac State Historic Parks, and she also is a Ticket Agent and Tour Guide for Haunts of Mackinac. I just wanted to introduce you because many of the photos you’ll be seeing today are Amelia’s, and maybe if you’re on the island and spot her, you can say hello!
A close up of lilacs in two different shades. (Photo: Amelia Balinski)
I can just imagine what the air smells like along this white rail fence on Main Street near the Marina! (Photo: Sandi Steensma)
Along that same white fence  – lilacs bend in the breeze as a horse team pulls a shuttle toward Mission Point.  (Photo: Grace Reimer)
Lilacs, lighthouses, and lamp posts – beautifully framed by Katy Rise.
St. Anne’s – through the lilacs. (Photo: Dan Denardo)
Main Street is definitely playing a starring role in this year’s Lilac Festival! (Photo: Sandi Steensma)
Lilacs aren’t the only flowers blooming on Mackinac. These tulips are bright and happy at Mission Point Resort. (Photo: Amelia Balinski)

On Sunday, June 11, a storm hit Mackinac during the afternoon.  Thank goodness the damage it did was much less than it could have been.  The ferocity of this storm’s appearance was really terrifying, but except for one tree down and limbs breaking here and there, the island fared well.

This photograph was shown on WZZM-TV as a shelf cloud built over the Mackinac Bridge. . . .
. . . and Sandi Steensma captured the cloud just before the storm broke over the island.
Before the bridge was closed for a short time, this trailer, being pulled behind a truck, was tossed on its side.


Beach flowers can find a way to bloom even through stone. This cheery yellow face appeared among the rocks on the island’s east side.  (Photo: Tom Chambers)
The Pearl Mist, a Great Lakes cruise ship, arrives on Wednesday morning. (Photo: Tom Chambers)
Runners pass through downtown during the Lilac Festival Race. (Photo: Katy Rise)
Grand Hotel continues to add wildflowers, lilacs and milkweed to their lawn in an effort to attract and sustain Monarch butterflies, whose numbers have decreased on the island in recent years. (Photo: Grand Hotel)
Jennifer Sorrentino spotted this baby owl on the island this week. How cute is that!
Friend Pam Day took this shot from the porch of her condo across from the Grand Golf Course one morning this week.   Ted and I will be in those same condos the middle of July, and I hope to join Pam for a cup of coffee!
A just for fun shot by Jill Sawatzki. Jill found a whole dolly full of Moomers Ice Cream containers sitting unattended near the Island Bookstore. Glad I wasn’t there, or we might have tempted each other into arranging for at least one of those containers to end up in the condo freezer!  FYI: All that goodness was on its way to the Good Day Café on Main Street!
Something hard to see and harder to get a close-up of on Mackinac – a baby bunny. (Photo: Amelia Balinski)
And the sun sets on another beautiful Mackinac day . . .
. . . both photos by Amelia Balinski.


Happy Father’s Day in Heaven to my daddy, Leonard Sumner. He loved my mama . . .
. . . and me with a love that was unconditional and never ending. He gave me, his only child, the kind of childhood every little girl should have. I love you, daddy, and Imiss you every day. Till then . . .

See you back here soon for more Mackinac news and what’s happening at the beach!

God bless.


27 thoughts on “Lilacs and Storms and Fun Galore! 6/15/17

  1. Another enjoyable read and fantastic pictures. The Pearl Mist stops here a few times throughout the summer as well – as a matter of fact I think it was here today (there are several that do the Great Lakes tour and include stops here and in St. Ignace, Mackinac Island, etc). I keep forgetting to go into town when it’s here; one of these days I’ll remember and post some pictures!

  2. Thanks for the update on our island!! We’ll be there next week to celebrate our 52nd anniversary. Can’t wait to check out some of the places and people you’ve written about this year. Even after being there the last 10 years, you’ve shown me there’s more to explore!

    Karen and Arnie Strusz
    Red Wing MN

  3. Such wonderful and amazing pictures. We experienced the shelf cloud here also during our storms. The lilacs are gorgeous. I’m leaving Saturday for the island. I will try and send you some pictures. I can’t wait to see the parade.

    • Oh my gosh, Karen, you’re going to have a blast! The parade is great! Go early to get a good place to watch, like along the stone wall at Marquette Park.

      • Brenda — Karen and I met in the bookstore, and Jill has a picture to prove it! You’re sharing brings more people together than you know. btw, it threatened, but didn’t rain on the parade. Just as the Clown Band passed by (I LOVE that group!) the skies cleared and the sun came out in full force.

  4. the lilacs are spectacular this year! Can’t wait to see them. Roger’s idea for Father’s Day was a trip to the island! So, since we’ll be at the cottage, we’re going up for the day , and staying for dinner and a late ferry home. And we get to see the parade!!! Haven’t seen it for probably 15 years, so it’s a good gift for me, too. So excited!

  5. Your Mom and Dad were so gorgeous Brenda! I was up North this past week but wasn’t able to get to the Island. I am so sad I wasn’t able to see those beautiful Lilacs.

    • Sorry you missed them, Lora. I just told Ted yesterday how I’m missing being there right now when they are so beautiful. Just having to settle for photos – but thankful for those.

  6. I came home this past Tuesday and it was a perfect time to see the lilacs. It was my sisters first trip and she loved it! We had so much fun and the lilacs smelled so awesome. I was soooo tempted to cut a few to take back to the room but I really didn’t want to spend my vacation behind bars! Lol!

    I love the pic of your parents and the pic of u as a little girl. Very semential!

    Hugs from Iowa!

  7. I haven’t been to the Island in a few years and this summer I must return! It’s just a short haul from Gaylord but sometimes it’s hard to tear myself away from the lake. I was there for lilacs years ago and it’s so beautiful and so fragrant! Seeing your photos brought it all back!

  8. Love, love those photos! You have a calendar full in this post. Thanks for sharing your Alaskan trip with us too! ❤

  9. Excellent post and update. Loved all the pictures. The weather looks so much nicer there than where I am in NC right now. Miserable heat/humidity and then downpours. Then after the downpour……it’s a sauna…….

    B…….I thought you said I’d like it out here!!! LOL!

    • Jason, however bad it is in NC, it’s three times worse in Florida. Even southern Michigan is sweltering already. Wondering if it’s not going to be hot on Mackinac by the time we get up there.

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