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!

OUR FIRST TWO WEEKS IN PHOTOS

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!

INDULGE ME – PLEASE

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!

ONE MORE THING

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!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JILLSKI!!

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

Come Walk With Me! 9/17/16

Oh. My. Gosh! What beautiful weather we’re having on Mackinac this week!  All the humidity is gone, the temps are in the high 60’s during the day and low 50’s at night, and we’re beginning to see a red leaf here and there.  I can feel Fall standing just behind the curtains – waiting backstage for just the right moment to appear in all her glory!

With that thought in mind, I set out with my camera on a walk a couple of days ago.  I didn’t capture too much in the way of fall colors, but I sure had fun looking!  My photo idea for the walk was to focus on Mackinac fences, and I did that some, but it really just turned into one of my “happy walks”!

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Just past the new condos is this tall wooden fence.  There is one on both sides of the road here, and they hide some of Grand Hotel”s maintenance equipment.  The gates are seldom open, but if you happen by at the right (or wrong) time, you might spot someone leaving on a riding lawnmower!

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This open fencing borders the back side of the first nine holes of Grand Hotel’s Jewel Golf Course.  Since we’ve moved right across the street from the course, Ted has been “climbing the fence” after the flags are removed in the afternoon and trying to improve his golf game (yes, it’s ok to do that – I promise he won’t get in trouble).

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This beautiful team of horses came by while I was at the golf course fence.  Pretty sure they are Percherons.

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Looking across the golf course to Little Stone Church.

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This serpentine white picket fence surrounds the Michigan Governor’s Summer Residence.  Wonder where that bench on the dray was going?

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The Governor’s residence is to the right of this photo.  I’m standing at the summit of Fort Hill, looking out over the harbor – a fantastic vista!

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I turned left, walked up a small hill, and spotted a team of dray horses through the trees.

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Sometimes a fence can be a living thing – like this hedge at the back of Fort Mackinac.

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The North Sally Port entrance to the fort.  On July 17, 1812, American troops marched through this gate to surrender to the British.  This is not a public entrance but is used by State Park and Tea Room employees, tour groups with a State Park escort, and service vehicles.  And it’s handicap friendly.

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I cut through the open area beside the fort and passed several private residences on my way to. . . .

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. . . the Somewhere in Time gazebo, scene of dozens of island weddings each summer.

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The view from inside the gazebo.

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From the gazebo, it’s just a short walk over shaded dirt paths to Anne’s Tablet, where you can stand at that split rail fence and see . . .

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. . . the entire marina, the bay, Round and Bois Blanc Islands, and both lighthouses.

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There are many short trails that meander near Anne’s Tablet.  One takes you to . . .

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. . . the edge of a cliff that drops straight down.  Careful on that one!

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Another leads to a fence-bordered set of very steep stairs leading down to the back of Marquette Park in town, and one leads to . . .

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. . . . the East Bluff, where Victorian cottages reign over . . . .

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. . . what could possibly be the best of all views of town and the Straits of Mackinac.

I retraced my steps to the back side of the fort, then took a shortcut through the State Park Maintenance buildings area. Love this old building that has probably know many uses over the years . . .

I retraced my steps to the back side of the fort, then took a shortcut through the State Park Maintenance buildings area. Love this old building that has probably known many uses over the years . . .

. . . but right now is mostly used for storage.

. . . but right now seems to be mostly used for storage.

Beyond the maintenance area I come to this fork in the road I know so well.

Beyond the maintenance area I come to this well-known fork in the road.

Picking the road on the left and walking just a few steps, I come to the Cupid's pathway sign. Directly across from that sign is the shortcut path we would take through the woods going home to Surrey Hill.

Picking the road on the left and walking just a few steps, I come to the Cupid’s pathway sign (on the right). Directly across from that sign is the shortcut path we would take through the woods going home to Surrey Hill.

I've found myself avoiding this path all summer because it was one of the most frequently walked paths Bear and I. We'd choose it as the shortcut for one of our adventures and as the shortcut for our way home from anywhere.

I’ve found myself avoiding this path all summer because it was one of the most frequently walked paths for Bear and I. We’d choose it as the shortcut to one of our adventures and as the shortest way home from those adventures.  I knew what was going to happen, but I turned down the path anyway.  Just a few steps, and tears filled my eyes and rolled down my cheeks.

That tree up ahead (the one on the left and closest to the path) is the one I'd slip behind and hide while Ted, Maddie and Bear walked on ahead. As soon as Bear would look back and not see me, he'd fly down the path to find his lost mom.

That tree up ahead (the one on the left and closest to the path) is the one I’d slip behind and hide while Ted, Maddie and Bear walked on ahead. As soon as Bear would look back and not see me, he’d fly down the path to find his lost mom.  And then he’d dance happily all around, and sometimes . . . .

. . . many times that would be followed by one of his famous "Bear zooms" through the woods at full speed.

. . .  that would be followed by one of his famous “Bear zooms” through the woods at full speed.

My heart has been so heavy this summer without my sweet boy. I love this photo of us taken several years ago on a beautiful Fall day.

My heart has been heavy this summer without my sweet boy. I love this photo of us taken several years ago on a beautiful Fall day.  I’m praying for many years ahead on Mackinac, sharing this beautiful island, with Bear’s blessing, with Bodie.  Just the thought of Bodie makes me smile

That special path takes another fork toward the end. One way leads to the back of the carriage museum at Surrey Hill and the other, which I took, comes out behind the building which houses one of the island's fire trucks.

That special path takes another fork toward the end. One way leads to the back of the carriage museum at Surrey Hill and the other, which I took, comes out behind the building which houses one of the island’s fire trucks.

Behind the fire truck building, a walk across the area which houses the offices of the electricity company, out into the open in front of Grand Hotel Stable . . . . and I'm back to the condo!

Behind the fire truck building, it’s a short walk across the area which houses the offices of the electricity company, then out into the open in front of Grand Hotel Stable.  And I’m back to the condo!

Can’t tell you how excited we are to have dinner planned on Monday evening with a dozen or so blog readers.  Right now my reservations list includes Lowell & Faye, Kem & Ed, Yvonne & Tony, Hilde & Bud, Joleen & Bruce, Pam & Mike Day, and Jill.  If you’re a blog reader and going to be on the island Monday, Sept. 19, and want to join us at the Chippewa at 6:00 p.m., please email me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com so I can add you to the list!

God bless.

Through the Eyes of Fudgies – Part II 8/30/16

On Sunday you read about Kim and R.D.’s first-time visit to Mackinac.   Today it’s all about Debra and Glen!

Debra and Glen Phelps

As someone who came to the island for the first time over 15 years ago and has cried like a baby as I’ve left each year since then, I can recognize a total convert to Mackinac-ism in an instant.  Debra learned about the island from reading this blog and has wanted to come up here for years.  She came, she saw, she fell in love  – hook, line and sinker.  When she tried to book a room for next summer before they had even checked out from this visit, I knew I had a true-blue Mackinac fan on my hands!  Debra’s husband Glen is “almost” as Mackinac-in-love as Debra, and that will make for a very happy family over the coming year, as they plan their next trip.

Debra’s beautiful photographs have captured a vast segment of Mackinac’s beauty, and her words from her Facebook page tell the story of her island trip much better than I could.  From this point on, I’ll use Debra’s words:

Debra and Glen Phelps

Debra and Glen Phelps

"Mackinac Island is as beautiful and unique as I expected! It is like going back in time with the town, 'cottages', horses, carriages and bicycles (no cars allowed).

“Mackinac Island is as beautiful and unique as I expected! It is like going back in time . . .

. . . with the town, "cottages", horses, carriages and bicycles (no cars allowed)."

. . . with the town, “cottages”, horses, carriages and bicycles (no cars allowed).”

"The gardens and Lake Huron are gorgeous."

“The temperature today only reached a high of 70 degrees.”  (Spoken in amazement by a true Georgia girl!)

 

"And the temperature today only reached a high of 70 degrees." (Spoken in amazement by a true Georgia girl!)

“And the gardens and Lake Huron are gorgeous.”

"We toured the one and only opulent Grand Hotel today."

“We toured the one and only opulent Grand Hotel today.”

Many famous people have stayed hee since it opened in 1887. Somewhere in Time was filmed here. The pool is named after Esther Williams because she swam in their pool in a movie that was filmed here."

“Many famous people have stayed here since it opened in 1887. Somewhere in Time was filmed here. The pool is named after Esther Williams because she swam in their pool in a movie that was filmed here (This Time for Keeps).”

"The pictures don't do it justice. The porch is the longest in the world (660 feet). Glen liked the rocking chairs on the porch best."

“The pictures don’t do it justice. The porch is the longest in the world (660 feet). Glen liked the rocking chairs on the porch best.”

"More pictures of Mackinac Island . . . the cottages . . .

“More pictures of Mackinac Island . . . the cottages . . .

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. . . flowers . . .

. . . flowers . . .

. . . the Grand carriages . . .

. . . the Grand carriages . . .

. . . Lake Huron . . .

. . . Lake Huron . . .

. . . and the beautiful Arch Rock formation. Everything is truly beautiful."

. . . and the beautiful Arch Rock formation. Everything is truly beautiful.”

 

"Today the Hortons (who are in very good shape), the Harters (who can ride a tandem bike in total unison) and Glen and I (who are very out of shape) rode bikes on the 8.2 mile bike/horse road that completely circles the outer edge of Mackinac Island."

“Today the Hortons (who are in very good shape), the Harters (who can ride a tandem bike in total unison) and Glen and I (who are very out of shape) rode bikes on the 8.2 mile bike/horse road that completely circles the outer edge of Mackinac Island.”

"The sin was shining, the wind was blowing and the gorgeous lake waves were rolling in." We stopped for a photo at Devil's Kitchen."

“The sin was shining, the wind was blowing and the gorgeous lake waves were rolling in.  We stopped for a photo at Devil’s Kitchen.”

"Exercise is fun in this weather and when surrounded by such beauty."

“Exercise is fun in this weather and when surrounded by such beauty.”

"Yesterday we visited Grand Hotel where the movie Somewhere in Time was filmed. On the bike ride today, Ted showed us the tree from the scene where Elyse first saw Richard and she said, "Is it really you?" Here Glen and I are standing in front of that tree."

“Yesterday we visited Grand Hotel where the movie Somewhere in Time was filmed. On the bike ride today, Ted showed us the tree from the scene where Elyse first saw Richard and she said, ‘Is it you?’ Here Glen and I are standing in front of that tree.”

"Brenda took me to the staircase at Grand Hotel that Richard ran down to meet Elyse when she was calling him."

“Brenda took me to the staircase at Grand Hotel where Richard ran down to meet Elyse when she was calling him.”

"As I was walking Tessa this evening I noticed that the city building and churches are historic in keeping with all else on Mackinac Island. This is Little Stone Church where Brenda and Ted attend."

“As I was walking Tessa this evening I noticed the city buildings and churches are historic, in keeping with all else on Mackinac Island. This is Little Stone Church where Brenda and Ted attend.”

"Notice that even police and firefighters ride bikes!"

“Notice that even police ride bikes!”

"Today it rained on Mackinac. But it did not keep anyone from continuing to enjoy this paradise. Glen and I went on the "once a week" tour of the Governor's Cottage this morning. Because of the rain and the very steep hill that it sits on we took a taxi which is a horse drawn carriage."

“Today it rained on Mackinac. But it did not keep anyone from continuing to enjoy this paradise. Glen and I went on the “once a week” tour of the Governor’s Cottage this morning. Because of the rain and the very steep hill that it sits on, we took a taxi which is a horse drawn carriage.  Glen and I are standing on the porch of the Governor’s Cottage, which has been used by Michigan governors and their dignitary and presidential friends for many years.”

"Later in the day when the rain broke, I walked up and down "our street" and took some more pics. This is the rental horse stable, 'Cindy's'".

“Later in the day, when the rain broke, I walked up and down ‘our street’ and took some more pics. This is the rental horse stable, ‘Cindy’s'”.

"When we got back to Park Place Suites, Tessa and I were sitting in our courtyard and the 'garbagemen' came in a horse drawn dray! I do love this place!"

“When we got back to Park Place Suites, Tessa and I were sitting in our courtyard and the ‘garbagemen’ came in a horse drawn dray! I do love this place!”

"Tonight's walk took me to the end of our street that runs into Lake uron and gave me the opportunity to admire the Mackinac Bridge at night."

“Tonight’s walk took me to the end of our street that runs into Lake uron and gave me the opportunity to admire the Mackinac Bridge at night.”

"Then off I went to get some delicious Moomer's Ice Cream (at the No Name Café), followed by Taps at the fort.

“Then off I went to get some delicious Moomer’s Ice Cream (at the No Name Café), followed by Taps at the fort.

"Today Ted, Glen and I visited Fort Mackinac that overlooks beautiful Marquette Park where I let Tessa play."

“Today Ted, Glen and I visited Fort Mackinac that overlooks beautiful Marquette Park, where I let Tessa play.”

"I feared that it would just be old buildings. I was wrong! The many buikdings were filled with period furnishings, historical information and activities for children."

“I feared that it would just be old buildings. I was wrong! The many buildings were filled with period furnishings, historical information and activities for children.”

"There were also gun and cannon demonstrations. And there was an outdoor restaurant with the best view in town!"

“There were also gun and cannon demonstrations. And there was an outdoor restaurant with the best view in town!”

"After the fort, Ted took Glen and me for a walk on Anne's Tablet Trail (one of many trails) through a beautiful wooded area. The tablet seen on the trail honors the memory of a local author from years ago."

“After the fort, Ted took Glen and me for a walk on Anne’s Tablet Trail (one of many trails) through a beautiful wooded area. The tablet seen on the trail honors the memory of a local author from years ago.”

"Ted led us through the woods to the East Bluff where more pretty vintage cottages were lined up with million dollar views and beautiful flower gardens."

“Ted led us through the woods to the East Bluff where more pretty vintage cottages were lined up, with million dollar views and beautiful flower gardens.”

"I loved our walk so much that I immediately went a second time showing it to Tessa!"

“I loved our walk so much that I immediately went a second time, showing it to Tessa!”

"Bittersweet picture of Shepler's Ferry that took us away from the island."

“Bittersweet picture of Shepler’s Ferry that took us away from the island.”

"I am leaving a piece of my heart here and am sad to leave. But how blessed I am to have experienced this paradise! Glen and I love Mackinac Island so much that we plan to visit again next year. I hope all of you who have followed this trip with me will visit the island too."

“I am leaving a piece of my heart here and am sad to leave. But how blessed I am to have experienced this paradise! Glen and I love Mackinac Island so much that we plan to visit again next year. I hope all of you who have followed this trip with me will visit the island too.”

A few more of Debra’s photographs. . . .

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Ted and I had a blast showing Kim, R.D., Debra, and Glen Mackinac Island.  To paraphrase the slogan from the former Atlanta Journal, “We covered Mackinac like the dew.”  We tried our best to wear them out each day, but they were real troopers and just kept on going – even in the rain!

Hope you’ve enjoyed the island through the eyes of these four fudgies!

God bless.

 

Fun With the Grands! 7/31/16

How much fun can you pack into a Friday and Saturday on Mackinac Island with two teenagers?  I think we set the record!

FRIDAY

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We started Friday with a bike ride up to Fort Holmes, with stops along the way near Anne’s Tablet to look out across the Jewel Golf Course to the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge.

I guess I should state right about here that the four of us were on bikes, but there were several stretches when BeBe (that’s me) bailed off the bike and walked up the steepest parts (like Mission Hill, the East Bluff, and Fort Holmes Road).  I was the only one who had to do that, but I’m proud to say I stuck with them for most of the way!

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It was another gorgeous Mackinac summer day – in the 70’s, with a little breeze.  The view from Lookout Point down on Sugar Loaf was a sea of green leading to a brilliant blue Lake Huron.

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Inside the restored Fort Holmes structure, Matthew and Jordan were amazed and astounded by all the history G-Daddy knew about the War of 1812.  LOL!

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On Fort Holmes ramparts. Through the open stockade door, you can see the lake.

 

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The new structure from the edge of the hill.

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After a burger at Mission Point Resort’s Bistro on the Green, we challenged each other to a game of puttputt – girls against guys.

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The girls won, BUT Matthew got a hole-in-one on the last hole!

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After dinner, we headed downtown for ice cream from the No Name Café (loving their Moomers Ice Cream) . . .

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. . . then stopped in to see Jill at the Island Bookstore.  Right next door is Great Turtle Toys, where Jordan and Matthew tried to teach G-Daddy Kendama tricks.

Ted and I have been pretty amused at how early Jordan and Matthew are ready for bed each night AND the fact that they slip in a nap or two during the day.  Of course, so do we!

SATURDAY

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Saturday morning found me back volunteering at the Stuart House Museum  The kids stopped by during the morning, and Matthew came back by with half a pound of fudge for me to have for lunch at my desk.  Thank you, Matthew!

Speaking of fudge, you would not BELIEVE how much fudge these two can consume.  They make a fudge run every single day, and it is all gone by bedtime.  Amazing!  Matthew is also a pickle lover.  The second day they were here he bought a big jar of dill pickles at Doud’s and ate the ENTIRE jar in one sitting (we weren’t aware he was doing that, by the way).  Then he followed it with a 1/2 lb. box of fudge.  I don’t even want to think about what would happen to me if I did that, but he was perfectly fine – ate a huge dinner and went to bed without a problem.  Ahhh, youth!

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On Saturday afternoon, while BeBe and G-Daddy rested, Matthew and Jordan took their island map and rode out to find the Crack in the Island and the Cave in the Woods.  They then rode back to the cave where they’d gone geo-caching with Ted and their parents near Robinson’s Folly back in 2012 (where they’d been with Ted on Wednesday). They found the geo-cache again and opened it to find the note they had written four years ago.  How cool is that!

We had tacos for dinner, then Jordan and I stayed up to watch Somewhere In Time.  It was Jordan’s first time to see the movie, and I’m embarrassed to tell you how many times I’ve watched it.  I cried  . . . . again.

Here it is Sunday night (I’ll tell you about Sunday on another day), and we can’t believe we only have one more full day left with the kids before they leave on Tuesday.  This week has gone way too fast!

The view from the window above our bed at dusk.

The view from the window above our bed at dusk.

God bless.

Introducing . . . YOU! Part III 4/14/16

WooHoo!  Another great week of opening emails and seeing smiling faces!  As of now, I’ve received 51 photographs. Tonight I’ll post another 15, taking the number posted up to 45, and leaving only six.  BUT – I’m hoping by Sunday I’ll have enough to post another 15!  Regardless, I’ll post the remaining ones on Sunday.

As I said, you keep sending them in, and I’ll keep on posting them.  No deadline on this!  I’ll just place them into the blog as I receive them!  Include your name, a photo as an attachment, where you’re from, and how and when you discovered Bree’s Blog.  Easy!

Ok . . . here we go!

paul wright

Meet Paul Wright and his lovely wife Bette Ann from Lathrup Village MI.  Paul and Bette Ann have been visiting the island since 1975, and I know you’ve already figured out this photo was taken on Grand Hotel’s front porch!

Mary Hughes

Meet Mary Hughes from Marion OH.  Mary found the blog two years ago on the Mackinac Island News & Views Facebook page and has read every post!  I’m in awe that some of you do that!

jamie, melody, nathan, Evan James

This great family is Melody James, her husband Jamie, and sons Nathan & Evan.  They hail from Zeeland MI and found the blog link from a Mackinac Island business website in 2010.  I met Melody for the first time in 2011 when she stopped by the Stuart House to say hi.

This smiling face belongs to Deborah Crawford from Midland Ontario, Canada. Deborah has been reading for 6-7 years after finding the blog link on Google. The photo is from a Memorial Day weekend at Colonial Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City, and the handsome gentleman in the photo is a re-enactor portraying Deborah's 6 X great-grandfather, Ezekiel Solomon!

This smiling face belongs to Deborah Crawford from Midland Ontario, Canada. Deborah has been reading for 6-7 years, after finding the blog link on Google. The photo is from a Memorial Day Pageant weekend in 2008 at Colonial Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City.  The handsome gentleman in the photo is a reenactor portraying Deborah’s 6 X great-grandfather, Ezekiel Solomon.  Ezekiel’s trading post was one of the first structures studied by archaeologists at the fort site, and it has now been completely reconstructed.

Ezekiel was also Michigan's first Jewish settler, and this marker

Ezekiel was also Michigan’s first Jewish settler, and this marker at the fort tells his amazing story.  How cool is that!

Meet Marlena and Larry Black from Kansas City MO. Marlena had wanted to visit Mackinac since she first saw the movie Somewhere in Time. She was researching for their first trip in 2012 and discovered the blog. She said, "I've laughed with you, cried with you, and prayed for and with you." Bless you, Marlena, my friend - and thank you.

Meet Marlena and Larry Black from Kansas City MO. Marlena had wanted to visit Mackinac since she first saw the movie Somewhere in Time. She was researching for their first trip in 2012 and discovered the blog. She said, “I’ve laughed with you, cried with you, and prayed for and with you.” Bless you, Marlena, my friend – and thank you.

Meet Anita Henry from Sandusky MI. Anita has been a blog reader since 2009.

Meet Anita Henry from Sandusky MI. Anita has been a blog reader since 2009.

Two dear friends from Albany GA - Marty Harris, who passed away in February, 2014, and Betty Hester.

Two dear friends from Albany GA – Marty Harris, who passed away in February, 2014, and Betty Hester.  Betty has read Bree’s Blog for many years.  Marty is the awesome lady who peaked my interest in getting Bear and I certified as a Pet Therapy team, and she and Betty supported and encouraged me every step of the way.  The beautiful plaque behind them is of Marty and her loyal therapy dog, Hero.  April 30th is National Therapy Animal Day, created by Pet Partners to “recognize the exceptional therapy animals who partner with their human companions to bring comfort and healing to those in need”.  Bear and I both miss being involved in this fulfilling work.  Betty, you REALLY need to come visit us on Mackinac!

Meet Susan and Lee Stahl from Lakeside MI. they'd been coming to Mackinac Island for 38 years as "boating fudgies", anchoring their boat at the island marina each year. In 2012 their boat wasn't ready, and they decided to drive up. They spent a week at the Grand Hotel and "we finally felt like we were locals", says Susan. "I can still hear 'clop, clop, clopping outside our bedroom window. It was the best vacation ever." Susan found the blog that year on their way home by Googling "why they chopped down the trees on the way to the Grand". Up came the blog, and she's been reading ever since. They were on the island when they were filming Somewhere in Time with their teenage daughters, who are both now in their 50's. Susan says, "The island is always in my heart." Yes, Susan, I know that feeling well.

Meet Susan and Lee Stahl from Lakeside MI. They’d been coming to Mackinac Island for 38 years as “boating fudgies”, anchoring their boat at the island marina each year. In 2012 their boat wasn’t ready, and they decided to drive up. They spent a week at Grand Hotel and, “We finally felt like we were locals”, says Susan. “I can still hear clop, clop, clopping outside our bedroom window. It was the best vacation ever.” Susan found the blog that same year – on their way home – by Googling “why they chopped down the trees on the way to the Grand”. Up came the blog, and she’s been reading ever since. They were on the island when they were filming Somewhere in Time with their teenage daughters, who are both now in their 50’s. Susan says, “The island is always in my heart.” I know that feeling well, Susan.

This is Jeani and Jerry Gabor from Sun Prairie WI. Jeani is a frequent commenter and found the blog four years ago on the Mackinac Island web site.

This is Jeani and Jerry Gabor from Sun Prairie WI. Jeani is a frequent commenter and found the blog four years ago on the Mackinac Island web site.

Meet Cindy Cislak from Indianapolis IN - and her beautiful granddaughter Kira. Cindy and her husband started coming to Mackinac in 1985 with their two children, and they've come every year since. There are now 10 coming each year - including their childrens' spouses and four grandchildren. Cindy has followed the blog since the beginning, and she's come by several times to say hello at the Stuart House. In fact, Cindy may be the very first reader who came by and introduced herself to me there. Cindy says, "Even after all these years, Mackinac is still magical!" Amen, Cindy.

Meet Cindy Cislak from Indianapolis IN – and her beautiful granddaughter Kira. Cindy and her husband started coming to Mackinac in 1985 with their two children, and they’ve come every year since. There are now 10 visiting each year – including their childrens’ spouses and four grandchildren (the two granddaughters – four and seven years of age – are already planning Macknac weddings). Cindy has followed the blog since the beginning, and she’s come by several times to say hello at the Stuart House. In fact, Cindy may be the very first reader who came by and introduced herself to me there. Cindy says, “Even after all these years, Mackinac is still magical!” Amen, Cindy. This photo is from the Carriage House at the Iroquois Hotel.

Meet Lisa Foose from Medina OH. She found the blog five years ago on Google.

Meet Lisa Foose from Medina OH. She found the blog five years ago on Google.

This is Kathy and George Strukel with two of their darling grandchildren. They've just moved to Tampa FL, and they've been coming to the island since they were married in 1985 - first with kids, then grandkids, and now with their precious little furbaby, Sophie. I have a photo of all of us together on the Stuart House steps in 2010. Kathy found the blog on Google years ago.

This is Kathy and George Strukel, with two of their darling grandchildren. They’ve just moved to Tampa FL, and they’ve been coming to the island since they were married in 1985 – first with kids, then grandkids, and now with their precious little furbaby, Sophie. I have a photo of all of us together on the Stuart House steps in 2010. Kathy found the blog on Google years ago.

This is Megan Murray from Frankfort KY, where she's a 4th grade reading and writing teacher. Megan is Ann M.'s sister (Ann was in the first installment of Introducing . . . You!, and she was the one who told Megan about the blog). The sisters' grandparents had a cabin on Carp Lake, and they vacationed there for two weeks each summer. Megan says, "I've been reading the blog for 5-6 years and have very found memories of Carp Lake, Mackinaw City, and Mackinac Island."

Meet Megan Murray from Frankfort KY, where she’s a 4th grade reading and writing teacher. Megan is Ann M.’s sister (Ann was in the first installment of Introducing . . . You!, and she was the one who told Megan about the blog). The sisters’ grandparents had a cabin on Carp Lake, and they vacationed there for two weeks each summer. Megan says, “I’ve been reading the blog for 5-6 years and have very fond memories of Carp Lake, Mackinaw City, and Mackinac Island.”

I love this pic! This is Jay Rupprecht, and that charming creature next to him is Louie the Loon, the mascot of the Class A farm team for the L.A. Dodgers who play in Midland MI.

I love this pic! This is Jay Rupprecht, and that charming creature next to him is Louie the Loon, the mascot of the Class A farm team for the LA Dodgers, who play in Midland MI where Jay works.  Jay and wife Peggy live in Frankenmuth MI (another favorite town of ours) and have been blog readers for about five years.  They were married on the island in 2004 in the Mission Point gazebo.  Jay says, “We love the island, and my wife says it’s the only place on earth where I calm down and can actually relax some.”  Their long-term goal is to become full-time Mackinac Island residents!  Hold on to that dream, Jay and Peggy!

This is Kathleen and Jim Tilson, enjoying a sweet treat at Sadie's in 2014. They hail from Indianapolis IN. Jim first went to the island with his grandparents back in 1953 and has returned many times. He and Kathleen honeymooned there in 1973. Jim says, We've been there at all times of the year - including December. Each time we go we say 'it's the perfect time to visit.'"

This is Kathleen and Jim Tilson, enjoying a sweet treat at Sadie’s in 2014. They hail from Indianapolis IN. Jim first visited the island with his grandparents back in 1953 and has returned many times. He and Kathleen honeymooned there in 1973. Jim says, “We’ve been there at all times of the year – including December. Each time we go we say ‘it’s the perfect time to visit.'”

And that’s your next 15!

Keep ’em coming, y’all!

WHAT’S HAPPENING ON MACKINAC!

It's hard to believe this is an April 10 photo! (Photo: Carolyn May)

It’s hard to believe this is an April 10 photo! Carolyn May captured the conditions on Cadotte Avenue from her snowmobile.

I believe this was actually a few days before the middle of April snow storm began. A beautiful shot of Anne's Tablet and the town below. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

I believe this was actually a few days before the middle of April snow storm began. A beautiful shot of Anne’s Tablet and the town below. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

This robin seemed to be considering heading back a little south as it contemplated its reflection in the icy puddle. (Photo: Robert McGreevy)

As it contemplated its reflection in an icy puddle, this robin seemed to be considering heading back south.  (Photo: Robert McGreevy)

 

A downtown scene - after it'd been snowing for 24 hours straight. (Photo: Tom Chambers)

A downtown scene – after it’d been snowing for 24 hours straight. (Photo: Tom Chambers)

Not your typical April photograph! (Photo: Greg Main)

Not your typical April photograph! (Photo: Greg Main)

April 11, and the snow is still falling. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

April 11, and the snow is still falling. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

The same day, and through the snow workers make their way up the hill past Grand Hotel. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

The same day, and through the snow workers, residents, taxis and drays make their way down the hill past Grand Hotel. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

Island friend Kay Berke was returning home from Europe and was able to spot the island from thousands of feet overhead! What a photo catch, Kay!

Island friend Kay Berke was returning home to Illinois from Europe and was able to spot the island from thousands of feet overhead! What a photo catch, Kay!

Cutest. Photo. Ever. Andrew Doud (owner of Doud's Market) patiently shows his oldest son, Louie, how to stock shelves. Generation to generation. And that's how it's done on Mackinac.

Cutest. Photo. Ever. Andrew Doud (owner of Doud’s Market) patiently shows his oldest son, Louie, how to stock shelves. Generation to generation – that’s how it’s done on Mackinac.

Although the temps have risen this week into the 40’s, Mackinac is really blustery right now, with wind chills in the 30’s.  Everyone is hoping the snow will melt soon, and that before long the Grand Hotel tulips (which are already breaking above the ground) will be basking in a glorious, warm Mackinac Spring!

FLORIDA NEWS

Nothing that even resembles snow here in Sunset Inlet. A different view of our neighborhood from Cat Brooks - a neighbor "across the way". That's her husband Eddie in the kayak.

Nothing that even resembles snow here in Sunset Inlet. A different view of our neighborhood from friend Cat Brooks – a neighbor “across the way”. That’s her husband Eddie in the kayak.

We were so excited to see Mike, Jeanine and Siena Forrester a couple of weeks ago. They drove down for dinner with us from St. Augustine, where they were enjoying Spring Break. Dinner at the Funky Pelican and a tour of the Flagler Beach pier! Love these folks!

We were so excited to see Mike, Jeanine and Siena Forrester a couple of weeks ago. They drove down for dinner with us from St. Augustine, where they were enjoying Spring Break. Dinner at the Funky Pelican and a tour of the Flagler Beach pier! Love these folks!

I pulled over on the side of the road last Thursday morning on the way to volunteer to capture the sun rise.

I pulled over on the side of the road last Thursday morning on the way to volunteer to capture this sunrise.

A day of shopping, lunch, and more shopping ended in a furniture store - trying out couches. I think the owners thought we were going to all take naps before we moved on to our next stop.

A day of shopping, lunch, and more shopping ended in a furniture store – trying out couches. I think the store owners were afraid we were going to all take naps before we moved on to our next stop because they sure moved us quickly away from the mattress display!  Love these ladies – all Sunset Inlet neighbors – Lisa, Sue, Jennifer and Sharon.

You never know what will be waiting where Hwy. 100 runs into the ocean in Flagler Beach!

You never know what will be waiting where Hwy. 100 runs into A1A in Flagler Beach.I love this intersection – especially since the specialty kite store has opened just across the street!

angelique2

Another sunrise – this one captured by friend and neighbor Angelique Delage. I love that our little house is in this one!

Ok – I think that catches us up!!

Have a great weekend and keep those photos coming in!  Love y’all!

God bless.

Mackinac Island Winter Update – Vol. 4 12/13/2011

Hello everyone!  I’m hoping you’re all a lot more prepared for Christmas than I am, but today I’m going to stop fretting about everything I haven’t done and talk about what’s happening on Mackinac Island . . . you know – the little island in Lake Huron that should at this time of year be covered in snow, all sparkling and white.  Not!

Heather May captured what little bit of snow fell a few days ago - not even enough to think about cranking up the snowmobiles. The Christmas decorations sure look festive though!

The annual Christmas Bazaar was a great success last weekend.  According to Jeannette Doud’s column in The Town Crier (our Christmas edition arrived on Monday), “the doors to the Community Hall opened on Friday, and at 1 p.m. sirens could be heard in the distance as Santa arrived on the new Fire Department ladder truck.  He came into the hall and wished everyone a Merry Christmas.  Santa then went over to the fire hall, where he heard the wishes of the little children, who were so excited.  Santa told them all to be good and then left for the North Pole.  He will return Christmas Eve.”

Santa didn't let a little rain stop his arrival! (Photo: Jennifer King)

I’ve received so many great photographs from island friends – and blog readers who have been to the island in the last couple of weeks.  I couldn’t wait to share them today!

Rainy weather didn't stop shoppers either when the doors to the Community Hall opened for Christmas Bazaar. (Photo: The Island Bookstore)

The entire Community Hall was filled with items like these. Some could be purchased outright, some went at silent auctions, and there was also a spirited auction for some major items, led by friend Mike Carley as auctioneer. (Photo: The Island Bookstore)

Wow! I would have loved to have been there to Christmas shop! (Photo: The Island Bookstore)

A little Christmas magic from the good folks at the Chippewa Hotel. And . . . .

. . . not to be outdone, right across the street from the Chip, Doud's windows and flowerboxes are aglow with twinkling lights.

The Lilac Tree has garlands of lights, and they'll be open for New Year's Eve! And did you notice the window in the lower right-hand corner? That's Nicole Doud's Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island.

Since Nicole lives year-round on the island, she can open the store anytime she wants during the winter season! (Photo: Nicole Doud)

Shepler's Christmas tree on their St. Ignace dock.

Sue and Andrew (blog readers we met last summer on the Island) from Vicksburg, MI were on the Island for Christmas Bazaar and emailed some great shots to me last week.

Andrew thought I might want to see what Anne's Tablet looks like without leaves on the trees. I've never seen it in the winter. Sure looks cold though!

They pretended to be locals and attended a basketball game at the Island school.

Andrew and Sue loved this "wreathed" horse at Chambers Corner (the corner of Market and Cadotte). I love him too - in fact, at the very first Festival of the Horse, Jill took a photo of me sitting on him (he was wearing a saddle then).

Oh my gosh! They've come a long way on the new Grand Stable being built up near our place! It's supposed to be ready by the time the Grand opens in April.

The brightly lit Christmas tree in the middle of Main Street. The beautiful tree is very tall and very well-shaped. It came from the yard of Rosie Charnes, a neighbor of ours up in the Village. I love the Manger scene that is always there at the entrance to the Arnold dock. Thanks so much Andrew and Sue for these great shots.

More Christmas Tree Photos

Even on a rainy day, that tree is pretty darn majestic. (Photo: Mackinac Mommy, who also has a Mackinac Island blog at http://mackinacmommy.blogspot.com)

A view of the tree from the Chippewa Hotel web site.

The gathering for Christmas carols, just after the lighting of the tree - quite a crowd!

Before I close for this week, I just wanted to remind everyone – if you still need to order books for someone on your Christmas list – or anytime AFTER Christmas – please consider supporting an independent bookseller – The Island Bookstore.   They offer discounts too – just like the big guys!  Check them out at http://www.islandbookstore.com.

Michael Forrester shared this great painting of Round Island Light on his Facebook page this week, and I just had to share it with you.  It was painted by Virginia Souza and was featured on the cover of the December, 2010 issue of Lighthouse Digest.  I love it!  The picture is available for purchase (Mike has one) at http://www.shop.foghornpublishing.com/product.sc?productId=217&categoryId=27.

See you back here next Wednesday when it will almost be Christmas!!  Have a wonderful week, and let’s all hope up some snow for Mackinac Island.  God bless.


Here, There, and Everywhere 7/21/2011

One thing is for sure – while Cathy and Charlie were with us last week, we covered just about every foot of this island.  On Wednesday, after the visit to the Governor’s Summer Residence, we met Ted and Charlie at the Bistro on the Green at Mission Point Resort for lunch.

While the boys got us a table, Cathy and I walked up to the shops. The flowers are unbelievable this year at Mission Point - someone's been working hard!

The entrance to the lodge is surrounded by eye-popping color in the lush gardens. We would have tarried there a while, but instead we took a quick look in the shops, then hurried back to find Charlie and Ted. Lunch was waiting!

Bistro on the Green is an all open-air eatery and is also dog-friendly. It's a lovely spot surrounded by a putt-putt golf course and looking out over the Straits.

On the water side of the putt-putt course is a bike and walking trail that hugs the shoreline. It's just an amazing little spot that we don't visit nearly enough.

It was after we finished lunch here and were headed back to town that Cathy had her biking accident.  I’m still waiting on some permissions to use that story, and I’ll post it as soon as possible.

The next day, Cathy and I walked over to the Annex.  Charlie wanted to “scooter” over to check out Arch Rock and explore more of downtown, so he took off on his own.

Everyone's flower beds are in full bloom now!

Day Lillies to the max! What an awesome bed!

Beautiful mystery bush spotted on Pontiac Trail. Jeff? What is it?

Bear and a West Bluff horse give nose kisses through the fence of his corral.

We headed back to the condo, and even though Cathy insisted she was fine, I put my foot down (LOL) and said she had to eat lunch and rest before we took off again (it was really me needing the lunch and rest).  After a couple of hours, we hit the trails again – this time toward Anne’s Tablet and the East Bluff.

Anne's Tablet is on Cathy's "must-visit" list every summer. She and I share a real love for this special spot on the island.

A few weeks ago Ted and I walked by this spot, and an older man was sitting on one of the benches, sketching the harbor below. We started chatting, and he shared he had lost his wife this past winter, and he was spending his summer visiting all their favorite places. They loved Mackinac Island, and Anne's Tablet was a special memory for him. I was so touched by this gentleman and his odyssey to go back and relive - and capture on paper - all the magical places he and his wife had visited during their time together. What a special, heart-warming way to honor a loved one.

As on the West Bluff, the East Bluff cottages are all dressed in their best summer dresses - the yards are manicured down to the last blade of grass . . .

. . . and the flowers are blooming so brightly you almost need sunglasses to look at them.

One of my favorite spots on the East Bluff is this lookout. Most visitors miss it because they usually reach the bluff on the west end, then walk in front of the cottages to Mission Hill, where they go down into the Mission District. If you walk past Mission Hill and continue on the East Bluff Road, you will come to this - the highest point of the road. It overlooks Mission Point Resort, and the view through the trees is picture-perfect. Another selling point is that it is always shady. A wonderful spot to rest - quiet and serene.

By the time we walked into town, visited a few shops and climbed Cadotte to the Grand, the garden shop was closed. That didn’t stop Cathy from climbing over the rope to check out what was inside!

OTHER GOOD STUFF

Folks from home on Molly's carriage! We ran into Kathryn Pierce-McAllister and her husband Lee, who were combining their 10th wedding anniversary celebration and a booksigning at the Grand Hotel. I worked with Kathryn's daddy in Albany, GA and have known her a long time. She has written a wonderful cookbook entitled "The Divine Dixie Diva's Supper Time in the South". Kathryn was all decked out in her "Southern Belle" dress, complete with parasol. So good to see ya'll, Kathryn! Molly got a huge kick out of Kathryn and I trying to outdo each other with our Southern accents.

It's HOT! We're at the northern edge of the heat wave that is enveloping the country right now, and it's been in the high 80's the last two days. I know all that's relative, and it's over 100 at home in Georgia, so I shouldn't complain at all. BUT . . . at home there is air conditioning! We all have our own personal fans - including the Maddie and Bear - and at night we have three - count them, three - fans blowing directly on the bed. By Saturday we're supposed to be back in the 70's again. Yeahhhh!!

Tomorrow I’ll finish up Cathy and Charlie’s visit and post the Mystery Spot for this week.  I can’t believe it’s already Thursday!  Lots of good stuff coming up – the Festival of the Horse began today, another yacht race this weekend – the island is hopping with visitors having fun.  What can I say – you need to be here!

Let the Lilac Festival Begin! 6/13/2011

This past Friday (June 10) marked the beginning of the 62nd Annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival, which runs through June 19.  Practically every minute is filled with some kind of activity for the 10 days of the festival, which began in 1949 as a conversation between Evangeline “Ling” Horn, Nurse Stella King and Carriage Tours veterinarian Dr. Bill Chambers.  The three long-time island residents wanted to bring people to the island to enjoy a great horse drawn parade amidst the lilacs that fragrance the island each June.  The parade idea has expanded over the years into the signature event of the island season.

There was a BBQ and hayride at the Cannonball Restaurant Friday evening, but Ted and I missed that (hayrides going on all summer so we can catch another one) to go the opening ceremony for the Mackinac Island Community Stable.  Oh my gosh – it is awesome.  No, it isn’t fully finished, but the 4-H horses are in residence, and I just know they think they have died and gone to horsey Heaven.  The facility is truly, truly beautiful, and I’ve never seen anything go up so fast in my life. 

Where last fall there was an open field, now a stable stands.

 
 

There's a bit of work still to be done on the outside of the caretakers' cottage, but inside it's ready to go. The Mackinac Island Horsemen's Association is accepting donations of furniture and household goods to complete the house, which was brought to British Landing on the freight boat - in two pieces

 
 

The caretakers will be college students working on internships in equestrian science. There will be someone at the stable facility around the clock to ensure the care and safety of the horses.

 
 

The consruction crew had been working hard to have part of the stable ready in time for Friday's "First Look" party.

 
 

So while half of the stable is unfinished . . . .

 
 

. . . . all of the materials are in place, and soon the unfinished half . . .

 
 

. . . will look like this . . .

 
 

. . . . and this. Amazing!

 
 

There are long porches that run the length of both the front and back of the stable. From the back porch, you can see down to the turn-outs and the arena. As funds are available, the temporary turn-out enclosures will become wood fences . . .

 
 

. . . like the one surrounding the arena, where Candy Bar was hanging out.

 
 

Yes, there is much left to do, but hardy congratulations are in order for the dedicated and loyal members of the Mackinac Island Horsemen's Association and for the island supporters who have helped this vision become a reality.

 
 

On Saturday, it rained. But on Mackinac Island, the carriages roll whether the weather cooperates or not. Visitors still want to see the island (and the Carriage Museum), and the covered comfort of the Carriage Tour wagons make that a lot easier.

 
 

Another thing a little rain doesn't stop on the island is a yard sale. We had two going on simultaneously in our condo complex on Saturday. Word spread through the grapevine, and soon members of the Horsemen's Association showed up to select items for the caretaker's cottage. It was taken piece by piece out to the end of the boardwalk . . .

 
 

. . . the services of a dray were arranged . . .

 
 

. . . and soon the furniture was on the way up to the community stable. By the way, that's our black TV stand being loaded on the dray. We bought a great entertainment center at one of the sales and could add our old one to the items for the caretakers.

 
Sunday has been a beautiful, beautiful day!  We attended Little Stone Church this morning, then went to the Gate House for lunch.  We walked into town after lunch, picked up Ted’s Sunday newspaper and a couple of sweet treats at Martha’s Sweet Shop, then hiked up Fort Hill on what Ted likes to call “the short cut home”. 
 

One of Bree's Blog readers requested some pics of Metivier Inn, so when we walked into town today after lunch, I stopped to take a couple of photos.

 
 

Hope these help with your planting project!

 
 

Before we turned up Fort Hill, we ran into the Visitor's Center, and I took this photo of Fort Mackinac standing sentry over Marquette Park.

 
 

There were a LOT of people visiting today. Bike racks were full all over town as people parked and walked the streets, sunbathed in Marquette Park, and sat on benches at the marina - just enjoying being here.

 
 

Starting up the hill gave me a chance to photograph the lilacs of Marquette Park once again. If you walk into that stand of trees at the top right of this photo and wander a ways back toward the East Bluff, you will find one of the most peaceful spots on the island - Anne's Tablet.

 
 

A bed of bleeding heart flowers near Trinity Church.

 
After a restful afternoon, we “dressed up” and walked back downtown to attend a reception for Richard Wolfgang at the Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Island Art Museum.  It was great to see Helen and Richard, and the reception was packed with friends of the couple and island art lovers. 
 

The island seems to be teeming with more bunnies than usual this year, and a lot of them seem almost tame. This little guy was sitting in the grass near the bottom of Turkey Hill as we walked into town, and I was actually this close to him when I took the photo. No zoom lens here.

 
 

The art museum is directly across from the marina, and as we were leaving the reception, a freighter was easing through the cut. What a sight!

 
 

After pizza at Goodfellows for dinner, we took the lazy way and called for a taxi home.

 
What a weekend, and what a week to come!  On Tuesday our first guests of the season arrive, and we’re so excited to be seeing someone from home.  A daughter, son-in-law, and grandson of one of our Georgia neighbors at the lake are stopping off here for two nights before going on to their summer home in Canada.  Lots of Lilac Festival events to attend this week, so come Friday, I should have lots more to report. 
 
Oh – the article that was written from the interview last week has been posted, and if you’d like to read it, you can click here: http://www.mackinac-island-insider-tips.com/brees-blog.html.  Please make sure you surf around this website once you’re there.  SO MUCH Mackinac Island info – you will love it!
 
Have a wonderful week, and God bless.