Hmmm. There’s a little nip in the air. It warms up nicely by two or three o’clock (“nicely” being low 70’s, not mid-80’s), but then the thermometer mercury begins sliding back down the tube. Friday and Saturday were very windy, and although I don’t think Fall is quite ready to declare “I’ve arrived!”, it’s certainly lurking out there somewhere – throwing us a few more sunny, warm days to pamper us, before beginning to turn green leaves into gold and warm breezes into chilly winds.
To be frank, I’m ready for Labor Day. As big as our crowds on the Island have been all summer, it seems for the last two weeks they’ve been even bigger! Because of the crowds, I haven’t been downtown as much this summer; but at the same time, I’ve been thanking the good Lord for all the business for the shops, hotels, and restaurants. The economic numbers have begun to come in, and Mackinac Island is coming back strong.
When I drew the shades up Saturday morning, I knew I just couldn’t stay home. The sun was shining, the air was cool, it was breezy, and the sky and water were matching shades of blue. Perfect! Jill and I had been trying to get together for weeks, and Saturday we finally both were free at the same time!
Jill met me at the condo, and we took the long way downtown, walking down Fort Street. The weeping willow tree shows just how windy it was!
We ate outside at J.L. Beanery, moving to the dock, and sitting at tables in the sun. From there we could see the marina, the lighthouses, and the Straits. I called Ted at the Visitors Center and asked him to walk out on the back deck. From there he could turn in our direction and see us waving at him. I think he was a little jealous he was working, and we were playing.
When we left the Beanery, we noticed a wedding party across the street at the Island House . . .
. . . . where a very handsome Marine and his beautiful bride were posing for wedding photographs. Just before this pose, he had swept her up in his arms, and she had taken off his hat and put it on her head – as in the final scene in “An Officer and a Gentleman”. SO romantic . . . and I didn’t have my camera ready!
I needed a baby gift for my Georgia friend Dawn’s about-to-be-born grandson, so I shopped in Little Luxuries, while Jill ran in the bookstore to put her “left-over” sandwich in the frig. She was working the late shift on Saturday, so that would become her dinner. Then we crossed the street to visit Anne at Ella & Ivy’s. Both places were crowded with customers, and little Ella (Anne’s Maltese) was getting plenty of pampering by everyone who walked in. We said “Hello!” to Loretta in Martha’s Sweet Shop, but she was so busy she couldn’t break away even for a second. We all decided after Labor Day we had to have a Girl’s Lunch to celebrate a great season!
Jill had books to return to the library. I never tire of walking in that beautiful building. On Saturday, the back doors were open, and we could look straight through to the lighthouse. We enjoyed looking at the beautiful art of the Mackinac Seven, a group of local artists who display their work in the library each August.
I browsed through the Used Book section (Hardbacks-$2, Softbacks-$1) and through the DVD and VHS rentals. I thought of all the old movies I had stacked up at home and made plans in my head to ship them to the Island library when we return to Georgia. As you can tell, the wind was kicking up a little more by now, and the waves and whitecaps were becoming more numerous.
Outside the library, I met Jane from Kalamazoo, MI, a fan of Bree’s Blog, with her precious daughter (hope I remembered that name correctly). Good grief, look at my hair! Well, I said it was a windy day!
The boardwalk, on the west end of Main Street, was lined with visitors – all enjoying their day on the Island.
Even the sidewalk on Cadotte was crowded . . .
. . . and many visitors stopped to watch a few innings of the vintage baseball game, played every Saturday in the open space below the Grand Hotel.
Saturday night Ted and I headed back downtown for date night. We had drinks at the Pony, then walked down the street to Mary’s Bistro for dinner (their signature dish is the spit-fired chicken with mashed potatoes). I get it every time we go there – yummy!
We tend to favor restaurants on the water, and Mary’s fills that bill. We usually eat outside on the deck at lunch, but at night inside is more cozy.
Saturday was a great day – spending time with a good friend, visiting other good friends, and capping it off with a sweet date with Ted. Blessed – so blessed.
Random Pics from the Weekend
Blog reader Yvonne Pitsch and her husband Tony (from Iowa) were on the Island this week, and we made plans to meet up on Friday morning as I walked with Bear down to the ferry (grooming day in Cheboygan).
Bear loved meeting ANOTHER Bear – their German Shepard/Collie mix. What a sweet dog! Tony and Yvonne were staying at the dog-friendly Harbor View Suites downtown. So good to see you again, Yvonne, and to meet Tony and Bear!
Bear on the ferry Friday morning. With the wind like it was, it was going to be a bumpy ride both ways, so we headed to the lower deck. There were a few brave folks who opted to “try it out” up top, but by five minutes into the ride, they were downstairs – not because of the ride, but because of the spray off the water.
The Tale of the Skirt
This morning I decided I would try something new – riding my bike to church, wearing a skirt. Ted had gone down ahead of me, so I finished dressing, took Maddie and Bear out one more time (in case we decided to eat lunch downtown), locked up and got on my bike. I was very conscious of trying to ride “ladylike” and also keep the skirt (mid-calf length and full) from getting into gears and bike chain and sprockets. I was doing a darn good job too . . . until I reached the Grand. Suddenly, instead of the whir of bike wheels, I heard the “click, click, click” of something wrong. I was going VERY slowly and had time to stop the bike before it stopped on its own. I was right next to a stopped carriage, and the driver looked over and said, “Uh, oh!” My skirt was totally wrapped in the back gears. Because it was long and full, I was able to get off the bike. There was nothing to do but rip the material out of the gear (the wheel would no longer turn), leaving about an inch of the skirt in the gear. I couldn’t see the damage, but I asked the driver his opinion. “Ah, you can’t even tell it’s torn,” he said. “Just be thankful you didn’t fall.” Well, I was, but I also had a feeling the damage was a little greater than what he was letting on.
I ripped the rest of my skirt out of the gears and walked the bike around the corner to Margaret’s Garden Shop at the Grand. Parking the bike, I walked inside, explained my problem, and asked if they had some sharp scissors. “Just do the best you can,” I said. They cut out the ragged edge, straightening the line as best they could, and swearing that because the skirt had an underskirt, it looked right in fashion. I thanked them and walked the bike the rest of the way to church.
They missed a couple of ragged tears . . .
. . . but like they said, with the underskirt, it doesn’t look really, really bad. Maybe I’ll just cut the other side the same way!
Lesson learned: Don’t try the skirt thing on a bike again.
Favorite Photos from the Weekend
Sunrise this weekend from Mackinaw City. (Photo: Patrick Conlon, Shepler’s Ferry Line)
One of the most gorgeous dawn photos I’ve ever seen. Wow and double Wow. (Photo: Abby Holstrom)
Another busy week ahead – working on Monday, friends possibly coming on Tuesday, lunch with Frankie on Wednesday, Ted in golf tournament for Medical Center on Thursday, with accompanying dinner at the Woods for wives that evening, and off-island for appointments on Friday.
Have I mentioned it’s been a busy summer?!
See you on Wednesday with the full report. Have a great week!