Family Fall Fun! 10/12/16

Imagine you’re six years old.  Imagine it’s your first Fall Break of 1st grade.  Imagine your mom tells you you’re going someplace “cold” on vacation, so you know you’re not going to the beach where BeBe and G-Daddy live.  Imagine you’re really bummed about that ’cause you’ve asked several times over the last few weeks, “when are we going to see BeBe and G-Daddy again?”

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So you settle into your plane seat in Atlanta, armed with electronic entertainment, and resign yourself to going somewhere the “grown-ups” want to go.  You change planes in Detroit, climb on a much smaller jet, and arrive at a really small airport.  You come through the door to the terminal, looking around at crazy stuff like bears, cougars and deer – stuff you don’t normally see in an airport.  And then, even though you imagine you see BeBe and G-Daddy standing right there in front of you, how can that be possible?

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But it is!

 

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And that’s how one little boy arrived on Mackinac Island Thursday afternoon – with Jason and mom Jennifer.  I told him on the ferry ride over we were going to a place where there were no cars.  His eyes got big.  Then I told him we’d catch a taxi to the condo.  Now he’s totally confused.

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That moment when Alex spots – in the street – what’s causing that amazing only-on-Mackinac aroma!

What a blast we had for four days with these three!  They were right about going someplace “cold” – we had highs in the low 50’s and low’s in the 30’s while they were here. But, they took our advice and brought layers, so everyone stayed warm outside.

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Through special arrangements with Grand Hotel we were able to go on a very special carriage tour on Friday, and Alex got to sit up front on the driver’s seat with Ben Mosley. for the entire tour.  He loved it!

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Thanks to neighbor and friend Pam Day for this shot of our entourage as we passed by Cedar Hill Condos.

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While on the tour, we saw most of the special places on Mackinac.  As you can see, fall foliage has definitely arrived on the island, and Point Lookout is one of the best places to view vast expanses of beautiful trees all dressed up for Autumn.

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Next stop was Fort Holmes.

We traveled through a lot of woods and trails flanked on both sides by trees just beginning to show their most brilliant colors.

We traveled on a lot of woods trails, flanked on both sides by trees just beginning to show their most brilliant colors.

Our last stop was the West Bluff . . .

Our last stop was the West Bluff . . .

. . . and our ride ended at Grand Hotel for lunch.

. . . and our ride ended at Grand Hotel for lunch!

Alex and G-Daddy, enjoying a stroll downtown . . .

Alex and G-Daddy, enjoying a stroll downtown . . .

. . . racing up Turkey Hill . . .

. . . racing up Turkey Hill . . .

. . . and cutting across the Jewel to look for golf balls.

. . . and cutting across the Jewel to look for golf balls.  They found some too!

On Sunday we biked halfway around the island and had lunch at British Landing.

On Sunday we biked halfway around the island and had lunch at the Cannonball at British Landing.

We decided to cut through the island on British Landing Road, enjoying lot of fall color along the way.

We decided to cut through the island on British Landing Road, enjoying lots of fall color along the way.

Stopping for a breather near Wawashkamo, where it seemed like a perfectly great idea to . . .

Stopping for a breather near Wawashkamo, where it seemed like a perfectly great idea to . . .

. . . to play 9 holes of golf on the course's last day of the season.

. . . stop and play 9 holes of golf on the course’s last day of the season.  Only the guys played – Jen and I watched, drove the carts and kept score.  Love this pic of Jason and Alex taking their practice shots.

Sunday night was also the last night Woods Restaurant was open this year, and thank goodness we'd made reservations! The place was packed with locals and a few island visitors also. Such a great way to finish up our time together.

Sunday night was also the last night Woods Restaurant was open this year, and thank goodness we’d made reservations! The place was packed with locals and a few island visitors also. Such a great way to finish up our time together.

Too soon it was Monday morning.  We drove them to Pellston to pick up a rental car, which they drove to Detroit to catch an afternoon flight.  We had such a great time with these three!  It was a little colder than expected, and that ride out to Woods Restaurant on Sunday evening on the taxi was pretty chilly.  But we wrapped up in the blankets the taxis carry, and Jason told Alex ghost stories all the way back in the dark . . . . ’cause that’s just what you do on a cold, dark night on a taxi in the woods on Mackinac Island.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but we’ll be leaving on the first ferry out Saturday morning. Before then – probably Friday night – I’ll get out one more blog post to wrap up our time here this year.  It’s gone by way too fast – as always!

God bless.

A FEW MORE PICS

Alex among the pumpkins on the steps of The Cottage Inn on Market Street.

Alex among the pumpkins on the steps of The Cottage Inn on Market Street.

Gorgeous sunset over the big barn by neighbor and friend Eugenia Murray.

Gorgeous sunset over the big barn by neighbor and friend Eugenia Murray.

View from the Jewel Golf Course.

View across  the Jewel Golf Course at dusk.

That moment when Ben handed Alex the reins and let him "drive" for 2.5 seconds.

That moment when Ben handed Alex the reins and let him “drive” for 2.5 seconds.  Alex’s favorite part of the tour though was when he spotted a huge flock of geese on the open space of grass across the road behind the fort, and Ben drove the horses off the road and straight through them – sending them honking and flying!  Hmmm . . . I think that was my favorite part too!

 

 

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Happy 4th of July! 7/3/16

Hi Everyone!

Here in Beverly Beach we’ve been enjoying a week of hot days, afternoon thunderstorms (normal summer weather in Florida) . . . .

. . . and amazing sunsets. When they named our little neighborhood Sunset Inlet, they sure knew what they were doing, didn't they? (Photo: Neighbor Monika O'Connor)

. . . and amazing sunsets. When they named our little neighborhood Sunset Inlet, they sure knew what they were doing, didn’t they? (Photo: Neighbor Monika O’Connor)

On Mackinac Island, this Sunday afternoon before the 4th was busy with visitors by the thousands. . . .

. . . and every one of them arrived on one of these ferry lines -

. . . and every one of them arrived on one of these ferry lines – Shepler, Star, or Arnold!  This photo from Tom Chambers shows some of the action today as ferries came to the island and departed to Mackinaw City and St. Ignace.

Blog readers (and friends from Georgia) Dr. Karen Castleberry and her husband Raymond, were on Mackinac a few days recently and shared the next photos.

Blog readers (and friends from Georgia) Dr. Karen Castleberry and her husband Raymond were on Mackinac for a few days recently and shared this and the next four photos.

Beautiful clouds over Fort Holmes.

Wispy cloud strands over Fort Holmes.

Wildflowers on a shoreline beach.

Wildflowers on a shoreline beach.

A wonderful and delicious presentation at the new Sushi Grand.

A wonderful and delicious presentation at the new Sushi Grand.

An illuminated American flag on the West Bluff.

An illuminated American flag on the West Bluff. Thanks, Karen and Raymond, for sharing your memories!

One of my favorite times of the summer on Mackinac is right now - when the woods are a blanket of yellow. (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

One of my favorite times of the summer on Mackinac is right now – when Mother Nature rolls out her yellow carpet.  (Photo: Clark Bloswick)

Josh Carney (dock porter extraordinaire) captured Mackinac at night with this and the next two photos.

Josh Carney (dock porter extraordinaire) captured Mackinac at night with this and the next two photos.  I don’t even want to imagine how early this was in the morning for him to have found the streets empty!

Fort Mackinac

Fort Mackinac and Father Marquette – with floodlights.

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A path usually  teeming with visitors waiting to board carriage rides.  Thank you, Josh, for these three photos showing “life after everything closes” on Mackinac.

British Landing on an early, sunny morning - as seen by Alyssa Henes from her taxi. We've known Alyssa for years and years.

British Landing on an early, sunny morning – as seen by Alyssa Henes from her taxi. We’ve known Alyssa for years and years.

It might have been on that same early morning that Clark Bloswick and his faithful dog were creating long shadows at Fort Holmes.

It might have been on that same early morning that Clark Bloswick and his faithful dog were creating long shadows at Fort Holmes.

Island resident Larry Rickley made an amazing discovery in the woods last week and called Clark Bloswick to hurry over for a photograph. There are about seven deer on the island now, and this is the newest one!

Island resident Larry Rickley made an amazing discovery in the woods last week and called Clark Bloswick to hurry over for a photograph. There are about seven deer on the island now, and this is the newest one!

A gorgeous sunset from Captain Pat Springate off the back of a Shepler ferry.

A gorgeous sunrise from Captain Pat Springate off the back of a Shepler ferry.

Friend Sandi Steensma took this photo of the Straits from near her home in downtown Mackinac.

Friend Sandi Steensma took this photo of the Straits from near her home in downtown Mackinac.  Looks like a painting doesn’t it?

One more from Sandi. The crystal clear blue waters of Lake Huron, framed by Arch Rock. The brightly colored kayaks just pop against that water!

One more from Sandi. The crystal clear blue waters of Lake Huron, framed by Arch Rock. Love the brightly colored kayaks against that water!

We’re counting down the days until we head to Mackinac (10-11 more days, depending on when we leave).  I’m going to take a little break from the computer until just before we head north, so I’ll be back around July 12 or 13 (after our bags are packed, but before we hit the road).  Lots to do between now and then as we’ll be preparing the house to leave it during hurricane season – more on that later. I can’t wait until we’re on the island, and I’m sharing personal photographs and stories with all of you during our three-month stay.

See you in about 10 days! Have a great and safe 4th of July holiday!!

See you in about 10 days! Have a great and safe 4th of July holiday!!

God bless.

An Awesome Day! 8/23/2011

It’s been a grand day!  Begging off from work is not something I make a habit of doing, but it was one of my wiser moves for the week.  Ted, Blake and I enjoyed spending the whole day outside together!

Even though we got a late start – leaving the condo around 11 – we made the most of every minute after that.  A brief stop downtown at the bank and the post office, then we headed east around the island.  We only made to the Bistro on the Green at Mission Point Resort before we decided we might as well have lunch – we needed nourishment for what was ahead!

You’ll notice we’re “layered” today. It was 49 in the Village this morning, and the winds were kicking up pretty good.

Irene – I put this in just for you because I haven’t gotten your Mystery Spot prize in the mail yet. I thought you’d forgive me if you got a new pic of Small Point Inn.

Blake, riding around in the field across from Small Point Inn.

Arch Rock. Ted and I both snapped photos, but I liked this one of Ted’s the best.

This is one of the cliffs just past Robinson’s Folly. I mostly took it to contrast against that blue Michigan sky!

The lavender flowers seemed to tinge the sky and water lavender also.  Am I the only one who can see that?

Ted took this one of Blake and I coming around a curve. He surprised me!

I’ve always loved how the trees form an arch at this particular spot in the road.

So blessed.

Almost-gone Black-Eyed Susans – along the road.  Today we felt the first nip of Fall in the air.

We turned off the highway at British Landing and stopped at Friendship Altar because Blake had never been there.

Two goofs!

At the bottom of the steps to the Lookout Tower at Friendship Altar.

Ted and Blake checking out the view.

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We stopped in at the Community Stable (another new spot for Blake), then rode home.  The guys took naps, and I wrote this much of the blog so I wouldn’t have so much to do tonight.  We’re going downtown for dinner.  See you back here later.

9:32 p.m.  Back at the laptop.  Dinner in the dining room at the Chippewa was awesome – Blake and I had fish, and Ted – of course – had a steak.

There just isn’t a bad seat in the house at the Chippewa!

We picked up some candy at Joann’s Fudge, then boarded a taxi home. The driver made a stop “around back” at the Grand to have a guest’s luggage removed, and while that was happening, I hopped off and ran around to the front. Beautiful sunset tonight, and the Grand is always dressed for dinner.

I just can’t believe I’ll be driving Blake to the airport on Tuesday.  These seven days have gone by way too fast, but what an awesome week it has been!

P.S.  Please send healing prayers up for my good friend Jill.  She has bronchitis and really feels bad.  She got some meds from Medical Center today, but they will take a while to work.  Love you, Jill – get better fast!

The Rest of the Story 9/30/2010

I’m sitting down to write at 10:15 Wednesday night.  Just got back home from a girls’ “movie night” at a friend’s house – 14 women watching “Mamma Mia” – so, so much fun!  I promised to share the rest of our ride with you tonight, so here goes . . .

After we visited the Cave in the Woods and the Crack in the Island, we walked our bikes back out to State Road and continued on toward British Landing. About five minutes later, Ted noticed what appeared to be a sinkhole in the woods over on the right side of the road, so we stopped to investigate. We realized then that we were riding along the Wawashkamo Golf Course.

The sinkhole looked like a natural depression, and tree limbs and some tree trunks filled part of the sunken space. We walked through the narrow strip of woods and came out at the third tee of Wawashkamo . . .

. . . where this lovely little "rest shelter" stood. It had been donated to the golf course by the Bankard family in 2007. We are always amazed when we find something like this that we had no clue existed.

The shelter has to be wonderful for golfers who know it is there and get caught in bad weather. The cart path runs right up to the opening of the shelter.

Once again, so many contrasts - fall leaves, the stark white of a dead tree, blue sky, and deep green foliage shaded from the sun.

Back on State Road again . . .

. . . where we passed areas of woods that opened to Lake Huron.

State Road eventually runs into British Landing Road . . .

. . . a few hundred yards north of the Cannonball Drive Inn.

While Ted rode on down to the Cannonball to visit with owner Jack Armstrong, I parked my bike and walked back in the other direction, where two log cabin-type homes were nestled in the woods.

From one of the log cabins, this calico cat wandered down from the porch where she was napping and eyed me like, "Who are you, and why are you invading my space?"

After a few minutes of coaxing, she walked over to weave herself around my legs, purring and enjoying a good ear scratch. Beautiful kitty.

Jack suggested apple cider and fresh, hot donuts as a snack after our long ride - great idea, and yummy!

If you've never visited the Cannonball, this is not just a "snack" shop. Their menu is huge and features everything from hamburgers and hotdogs - to nachos, to chicken tenders, to chili cheese fries, to BBQ sandwiches - and don't EVER leave there without trying their famous deep fried pickles.

As you move all that food over to sit under the trees at the picnic tables - well, you sure can't beat the view!

We walked across the road and parked our bikes on the beach. Looking toward town (a little less than four miles away), we could see the boats of home owners who live nearby. It was on this beach on a June night in 1812 that a small force of British regulars and several hundred voyageurs and Indian allies from St. Joseph Island landed. They marched across the island, occupied what is now called Ft. Holmes - the highest point on the island - and demanded the surrender of Fort Mackinac. Only 57 American soldiers occupied the fort at that time and did not even know that a war had been declared. The fort surrended without a fight.

Brilliant blue, perfectly clear water . . .

. . . gently lapping against the rock-lined shore.

We took the "long way" back into town - a little over 4 miles - so we would come back through Mission Point. I wanted to check out the tree color there. On the way back into town, we passed the Silver Birches Lodge and cabins. The cabins can be rented now, and the lodge is being renovated for future use.

There was very little fall color on that side of the island or at Mission Point. A reader had asked for pictures of The Inn on Mackinac, so I stopped off there to take a few photos, while Ted rode on ahead to Mackinac Wheels to check on a fender we had ordered for my bike (my back fender was damaged when another bike fell against it).

This is definitely the most "colorful" place to stay on the island. The owner has merrily used several pastel shades to make The Inn on Mackinac stand out on Main Street.

The flower gardens around the inn are amazingly still in bloom.

Two of my favorite features - the four story turret on one corner . . .

. . . and the large, painted carousel horse which stands on the patio.

Our three hour trip to British Landing ended with a fast stop at Doud’s, the post office, and the Island Bookstore (where Ted took full advantage of their huge end-of-the-season sale and bought five books). 

This morning was my last day to work at the Stuart House Museum for this season.  I’ve almost come to expect at least one blogging buddy to come in to say hi each Wednesday, and I wasn’t disappointed today. 

Tom and Terri Jozwiak stopped in from Ypsilanti, MI. They visit the island as often as possible, but this was the first time they had actually stayed on the island overnight.

I am going to miss working at the museum and miss the opportunity it gave me to be somewhere downtown once a week where readers could drop in.  I’ve had so much fun meeting several of you over the summer.  Please keep coming by next summer – today I was officially “rehired” for next year!

See you tomorrow for Random Photo Day!