Back in My Happy Place 7/27/17

Hi Everyone!

We’ve been on the island now for almost two weeks, and I think we’re about settled in.  I’m a little surprised that the first week was harder than usual for me – physically I mean.  I knew I hadn’t been exercising much in Florida since it had gotten so hot (short walks with Bodie just don’t equal “in shape” on Mackinac).  The first walk up the hill to our condo left me breathing hard and thinking, “Geez, what the heck is this?”  But, it’s amazing how fast that climb got easier each time I did it, and yesterday Bodie and I covered over two miles of trails – up and down hill – and came back to the condo feeling great.  It makes me feel better that Bodie is having to get in shape too, but for some reason, I think he’s having a lot more fun than I am during the process.

Weather – what can I say?  We came from over 100 degrees heat index in Florida to here where the temps haven’t gotten out of the 70’s for highs since we arrived.  Shorts and t-shirts during the day, a jacket at night for the last dog walk, and a lap blanket out on the porch in the mornings while we have coffee.  We’ve had a couple of days of rain, but that’s ok.  We’re on the island.  We just pull on the rain gear and keep on truckin’.

Bodie has amazed us by how well he’s taking the island busyness in stride. From the time he stepped off the ferry . . .

. . . and jumped right into the taxi, he’s handled it all with a maturity I really didn’t think he possessed yet. He’s been surrounded by horses, carriages and people and is amazingly calm about all of it.  Maybe Maddie’s “so what” attitude has rubbed off on him!  Still very excited though when he meets new folks one-on-one.  We continue to work on that!

The island is beautiful in July, and we were so excited when we got to the condos to find all the landscaping done, flowers blooming, and butterflies floating from bush to bush.

And, we’re excited that we’ll be right here in this same place until we leave mid-October!


We celebrated our first evening on Mackinac with dinner at the Chippewa (a tradition). The second night we went out with friends Buz and Patty from Oklahoma. They’re here until the middle of September, and we’re so excited we’ll be seeing lots more of them before they leave. I think it was the third night we finally ate at the condo, and then walked down to Sadie’s for ice cream.

One of those stormy days. It’s amazing how quickly I forgot how dirty a golden retriever can get on the wet streets of Mackinac Island! (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

One thing all that rain produces are lush gardens all over the island, like this one of the west bluff.

As I was leaving the reunion, one of Ted’s newly-found cousins, Diane Caruso, gave us this wonderful pillow she had made because she knew of our love for little Maddie. It’s wonderful to have something “homemade” in the Mackinac condo, and when we leave we’ll take it to Florida, and it will find a home there.

You all know Ted and I have a morning coffee ritual – wherever we are. Maddie in Ted’s lap . . .

and Bodie guarding the front porch seems to be the theme for this summer.

One of cousin Dave and Diane’s sons, Scott, and his wife Tina and their boys spent the day on the island the week we arrived. They stopped by to say hello and added another “personal” item to the condo . . .

. . . . this great candid shot of their family on vacation!

Ran into artist Mary Lou Peters in Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island this week. Love this sweet lady!

Backtracking some now – I know most of you saw this on Facebook, but just in case you didn’t, Ted and I stopped in to see Lowell and Faye for a few moments as we passed through Olivet. It was storming and we had to leave the pups in the car, so we didn’t get to visit nearly long enough!

And one day while we were at Dave and Diane’s, I met Mary Saul and Frankie Thill in downtown Spring Lake for a girls chat session. So happy to see these two sweet friends.

I dropped by Mackinac Mud Pottery this afternoon and was just in time to watch owner Jay Barch creating at the wheel. Love this shop filled with original items. Ted and I use coffee mugs from Jay’s shop on Mackinac and in Florida.

Heading down Fort Hill this afternoon. There it is – that Michigan blue water and sky!

Pretty zinnias at the Grand!

Fort Mackinac on a gorgeous July day!


You’re just going to have to indulge me now for this section.  I’ve taken about 352 photos of Bodie since we arrived, and if left up to me I’d force you to look at each and every one. But I’m going to take pity and try and just put up a few of the best ones.  I promise, promise, promise I will NOT do this in every blog this summer, but for this one . . . well, please indulge me.

Mackinac, as seen through Bodie’s eyes his first week:

First of all, the cars here are pulled by animals called horses. Horses are much bigger than me, so I leave them alone. I don’t even bark at them. I have to admit riding around in a carriage is pretty cool stuff!  Would you believe there are people here who sweep up after the horses when they poop in the street.  I sure am glad, cause I don’t think they make poop bags big enough for horse poop!

Out my window I get to see horses in a corral. Seriously, I do.

Mackinac has woods, and being in the woods means I can be off-lead. That makes me very, very happy!

Mom makes me practice my Sit/Stay command all the time here (so she can take photos of me).

Mom said we didn’t have room in the truck for both my crate AND my bed. I’d rather she brought my bed. Maddie shares hers sometimes, but it’s not quite as big as mine.

Mom and I go on long, long walks – usually twice a day, and I’m really getting a full tour of Mackinac. Mom LOVES to take my photo at the different places we visit. Like the gazebo for Somewhere in Time . . .

. . .this place called Anne’s Tablet . . .

. . . . and in the Grand Hotel gardens!

Today we were in Turtle Park and this guy was kicking a soccer ball around. I figured he needed help.

I ran out to help him with the ball, and he stopped what he was doing and gave me great pets!  I thought that was pretty cool, but since he didn’t have treats in his pockets, I ran back to mom when she called.

This is absolutely the best place I’ve ever been so far in my life. It’s summertime, but it’s cool. There are miles and miles of trails to run on. Just about every person I meet wants to pet me. Everyone of you should seriously pack up all your pets and bring them to Mackinac!  They will thank you forever!


Jill and I sat downtown at Marquette Park this afternoon people-watching and drinking our Arnold Palmer Lite Ice Tea (99 cents at Doud’s).  I have it on good authority that Friday, July 28, is Jill’s birthday, so everyone feel free to wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY right here!  Yes, she’s going to kill me for doing that, but that’s the way it is with good friends.  We can get away with stuff!


See you back here in a few days!  God bless.

23 thoughts on “Back in My Happy Place 7/27/17

  1. Happy Birthday (a day early) Jill!!!!! Luv ya!!
    Ok, I am so wanting to be on the island NOW!
    Can’t wait to meet Bodie!
    Have already made plans to see Lowell and Faye on our way to the island. Can’t wait to see y’all πŸ™‚

  2. I will try this again. First – to Jill – Happy Birthday! Wishing you a fabulous day tomorrow. Now – from Danny-dog to Bodie: Glad to see that you’re sitting in Bear’s paw-prints as resident canine reporter! So happy that you’re enjoying all the island has to offer – I can’t imagine how exciting it must be! I’ve only seen horses once or twice – one time, I thought it would be fun to chase one – but it chased me back! I ran so fast…………..Anyway – I do hope that my humans can bring me to the island one day (oh, and sister Miss Cocoa) and we can meet in person! From me – I bet Bodie is so accepting of the new sights, smells, sounds etc because he’s watching Maddie’s reactions to it all. I notice that with Cocoa – if she’s uncertain about a situation, she watches to see how Danny handles it. If all is well with him, she’s cool. Enjoy the island life! Hi to Ted, and a wag o’ the tail from these two to your two. Take care.

  3. So happy for you and Ted, Bodie and Maddie to be home on the island until October. One of these days I will be there to enjoy everything in your island paradise. God Bless You and Yours and Happy Birthday to Jill. She sounds like someone I would enjoy being around.

    • Jill is the best in every way. Best Mackinac Island ambassador anywhere and sweet, dear friend. Love that girl!

  4. Love love all the photos. I saw mention of Jill’s b day in the Town Crier. Happy bday! Bodie seems like he’s adjusting well to island life. The pillow of Maddie is just too cute!

  5. So glad to see island pics. We will be arriving for a 6 night stay next Saturday, and can’t wait. Bodie is a beautiful dog and looks to be well trained already!

    Happy birthday to Jill

  6. What a wonderful time you’re having this year making sweet memories of Bodie’s first visit on the island! It just makes my heart smile (and my face,too!). Happy Birthday to your good friend Jill!

  7. oh, I so wish I was there. Since that’s not possible, I cherish your writing and photos. Please tell Jill that Tony and I wish her a great birthday.

  8. I know there was a reason we only made it 2/3rds of the way to Mackinac in June because of illness . We are planning to come the last week of September so I hope we can connect for a chat. We stay at the Chippewa. Your blogs have been such a wonderful way for me to connect with my “happy place”!! Karen Strusz- Red Wing, MN

  9. Happy Birthday Jill !!! Thank you so much for showing me where to find the Beaver Dam when I was on the Island for a conference 2 years ago. Your kindness helped me leave the Island that day with a joyful smile on my face instead of tears of sadness in my eyes!

  10. Happy Birthday to Jill, a lovely lady! Always stop at the bookstore, but now we look for Jill, too.
    Nice to see that Bodie has a paw for writing. So glad you’re having such a good time on ‘our’ island! Can’t wait for September and our visit.

  11. Stormy day photo is just FABULOUS! And so is Bodie. I understand the request for indulging. I have to ask that at times for photos of Lizzie!

    So glad you made it to the Island. I’m hoping to get there later in August or the Sunday before Labor Day when I get Rick from DALMAC up in Mackinaw City. It’s been a few years! Keep enjoying and sharing. (Your blog follower in Gaylord!)

  12. Hope you are having a GREAT birthday, Jill! One day to celebrate a birthday is just too short of time, so celebrate for at least a week!! Brenda, enjoyed Bodie’s view of the Island! Thanks very much for sharing!

  13. Thank you so very much Brenda and Sweet Bodie for the lovely post!!


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