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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Family Ties 8/10/16

I don’t know how to put into words what a fun, strange, wacky, emotional and unbelievable 48 hours these have been – especially for Ted, but for me also.

A few months ago, when all the research and DNA testing came together and Ted realized he really did have living blood relatives beside Julie, Jordan and Matthew, those relatives all existed in a hazy, almost other-worldly place “out there” somewhere.  We knew Ted’s birth mother’s family on paper and then from phone visits, emails and texts, and finally from packages that began to arrive in the mail with photos and family records.

On Monday, that hazy other-worldly place turned into flesh and blood in the form of Linda and Mike – two very real, warm, laughing, chatting, and filled-with-stories first cousins (one by blood, one by marriage).  We’ve talked into the nights, laughed, and shed a few tears.  We’ve been amazed at similarities between Ted and Linda (and between Ted and other cousins – according to Linda).  In photographs we’ve seen of some of the Lachmann men (cousins and uncles), it’s like looking at photos of Ted – the resemblance is striking.

Besides talking about family histories, we also tried to show Linda and Mike some of “our” Mackinac.  They’d both been to the island before, but only on day trips.  We quickly learned they’d spent most of their island time downtown, so we set out to acquaint them with a little broader look at Mackinac.

While we were waiting to catch a carriage tour, we discovered that one of Linda and Mike's passions is geo-caching. They had loaded the coordinates of several caches before making the trip, and they found one just outside the Market Street Inn.

While we were waiting to catch a carriage tour, we discovered that one of Linda and Mike’s passions is geo-caching. They had loaded the coordinates of several caches into their phones before making the trip, and they found one just outside the Market Street Inn.

Mike and Linda writing in their geo-caching names before returning the papers back where they found them.

Mike and Linda writing in their geo-caching names before returning the papers back where they found them.

Cousins with Fort Mackinac in the background.

Cousins – with Fort Mackinac in the background.

We had a great private carriage tour set up by Joe Plaza (special thanks to Blake, our tour guide and driver). The tour included many special spots on Mackinac - like Fort Holmes . . .

We had a great private carriage tour set up by Joe Plaza (special thanks to Blake, our tour guide and driver). The tour included many special spots on Mackinac – like Fort Holmes . . .

. . . Lookout Point . . .

. . . Lookout Point (overlooking Sugar Loaf) . . .

the Village, the cemetaries, Skull Cave, and the East and West Bluffs.

the Village, the cemeteries, Skull Cave, and the East and West Bluffs.

We ended our tour at Grand Hotel for lunch, and for a little rest in the rocking chairs on their famous front porch!

We ended our tour at Grand Hotel for lunch, and for a little rest in the rocking chairs on their famous front porch!

Heading back to town for a much-needed nap!

Heading back to town and the condo for a little down time!

Wednesday morning came way too soon, and we were back at Shepler's . . . .

Wednesday morning came way too soon, and we were back at Shepler’s . . . .

. . . and waving goodbye.

. . . and waving goodbye.

We have more of this newly found family coming on a daytrip on Saturday and two more cousins coming for a visit in September.  Mike and Linda (and other family members) winter in Florida (on the west coast), so I’m sure there are going to be other family visits when we return home.

A very special and loving thank you, Linda and Mike, for your warm welcome of Ted and me into the Lachmann clan.  We can’t wait to spend more time with you (and other family members) in the future. Love and hugs coming your way!

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.

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.

Introducing . . . YOU! Part IV 4/17/16

I’m so PROUD of y’all!  The photos have continued to come in, and the number is at 58 as of today.  I’ll be posting the remaining 13 tonight, and this will be the last post I’ll use the title, “Introducing . . . YOU!”  BUT – if you keep sending me your photos, I will continue to integrate them into the blog posts.  So I really, really, really hope you don’t stop!

This has been such a fulfilling time for me as the writer of Bree’s Blog.  Getting to know those of you who decided to share your faces and your Mackinac stories has meant the world.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Here we go . . . .

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This beautiful family is Melissa and Travis Flegel and their precious children Charleigh and Griffin – from St. Johns MI.  Melissa worked on Mackinac her first summer of college (1998), fell in love with the island, and has visited every summer since.  Travis proposed to her there in 2009 on a cold, rainy day.  Later that night they stopped by the Pink Pony and met  – guess who? – Ted.  Later on, when Melissa found the blog, she showed Travis Ted’s pic and said, “Look! We met him!”  So funny the number of folks who have met my Ted in the Pink Pony over the years!

Mary Jane McNeill and her fabulous family, while vacationing in Alaska last August. M.J. is from Thomasville GA and found the blog following the Island Bookstore Facebook page. Yeah, Jill! She's been a reader for about four years and couldn't believe that we lived at Lake Blackshear at the time - about 100 miles north of Thomasville. MJ has visited the island I think twice since beginning to read the blog. Correct me, M.J., if I'm wrong on that.

Mary Jane McNeill and her fabulous family – while vacationing in Alaska last August. MJ is from Thomasville GA and found the blog following the Island Bookstore Facebook page. Yeah, Jill! She’s been a reader for about four years and couldn’t believe that we lived at Lake Blackshear at the time – about 100 miles north of Thomasville. I think MJ has visited the island twice since beginning to read the blog. Correct me, MJ, if I’m wrong on that.  Photo above is son Archer, husband Arch, son Noah, daughter Rachel, son Patrick and Mary Jane.

This is Diane Boszko and her late husband Jeff at the Butterfly House on Mackinac. Diane and Jeff first visited Mackinac in 2007 and bought the best souvenir ever - an island condo. They fell in love with it that much on the first visit. Diane said, "I know it might seem strange for me to send in this photo of me with Jeff, but whenever I'm on the island I still feel as though he is right there with me - and I always visit the Butterfly House." Thank you Diane for sharing such a personal and poignant story. Ted and I can certainly relate to how much magic Mackinac can work with just one visit. Hugs.

This is Diane Boszko  (Chicago IL) and her late husband Jeff – at the Butterfly House behind St. Anne’s on Mackinac. Diane and Jeff first visited Mackinac in 2007 and bought the best souvenir ever – an island condo.  They fell in love with the island that much on the first visit!  Shortly after they bought the condo she read about the blog in The Town Crier.  Diane said, “I know it might seem strange for me to send in this photo of me with Jeff, but whenever I’m on the island I still feel as though he is right there with me – and I always visit the Butterfly House.”  Thank you Diane for sharing such a personal and poignant story. Ted and I can certainly relate to how much magic Mackinac can work with just one visit. Hugs, and I hope to meet you on the island soon.

 

Meet Roger and Barbara Blem from Perrysburg OH. They've been visiting a relative's cabin on Mullet Lake for years and often travel on up to the island. Barbara is that rare individual who, as a Freshman, attended the short-lived Mackinac College. She was good friends while there (and still is) with Irene Cowley, a loyal reader who began the Mackinac College web site (Barbara was one of the first adminsitrators of the site). Irene told Barbara about the blog almost at the very beginning.

Meet Roger and Barbara Blem from Perrysburg OH. They’ve been visiting a relative’s cabin on Mullet Lake for years and often travel on up to the island. Barbara is that rare individual who, as a Freshman, attended the short-lived Mackinac College. She is good friends with Irene Cowley, another Mackinac College alum and loyal blog reader.  Irene began the Mackinac College web site, and Barbara was one of the first administrators of the site. Irene told Barbara about the blog almost at the very beginning.  Barbara says, “We visit every couple of years and love it every time we’re there.  And I cry every time I leave.”  Me too, Barbara.

Meet Missy and Jason Howard and their darling children Brady and Holly - Fort Wayne IN. This photo is from Fort Holmes in 2011. She found the blog researching for this trip and went back to read everything, "not wanting to miss anything."

Meet Missy and Jason Howard and their darling children Brady and Holly – Fort Wayne IN. This photo is from Fort Holmes in 2011. Missy  found the blog researching for this trip and went back to read all the posts, “because I didn’t want to miss anything!”

Meet Gail and Karl Richter from Wisconsin. This photo is from ten years ago when they attended a Somewhere In Time Weekend at Grand Hotel, and they come back every year for that special event. Now this is REALLY cool - Gail made her suit (she makes most of her suits and dresses for the Somewhere in Time weekends), and although she didn't make Karl's suit in this photo, she HAS made many of the suits he wears on these occasions. She occasionally has a vintage pattern to copy, but mostly just sees a photograph and designs the clothese from the photo. Now THAT is a real gift!

This is Gail and Karl Richter from Wisconsin. The photo is from ten years ago at one of the many Somewhere In Time Weekends they’ve attended at Grand Hotel.  Now this is REALLY cool – Gail made her suit (she makes most of her suits and dresses for the Somewhere in Time weekends), and although she didn’t make Karl’s suit in this photo, she HAS made many of the suits he wears on these occasions. She occasionally has a vintage pattern to copy, but mostly just happens upon an antique Edwardian era photograph and designs the clothes from the photo. Now THAT is a real gift!  Oh, Gail worked at the Lakeview Hotel as a chambermaid during her college years.

You met Kem and Ed Green a couple of posts ago, but this is Kem and her mom Arlene - Hampton Iowa. Kem told her mom about the blog when I mentioned she and Ed the first time in 2013, and she's been a reader ever since. Arlene has never visited the island, but she and Kem's daddy drove across the Mackinac Bridge on their honeymoon in 1958. Hugs, Arlene - I just love that daughter of yours!

You met Kem and Ed Green a couple of posts ago, but this is Kem and her mom Arlene – Hampton Iowa. Kem told her mom about the blog when I mentioned her and Ed the first time in 2013, and she’s been a reader ever since. Arlene has never visited the island, but she and Kem’s daddy drove across the Mackinac Bridge on their honeymoon in 1958. Hugs, Arlene – I just love that daughter of yours and her sweet husband!

Meet Jennifer Herko, her daughter Sarah, and her mom and dad. They hail from Warren OH. This photo is in front of The Island House in 2012, and that's when she became a reader. Jennifer says, "If I could, I'd trade in my vehicle for a bike and snowmobile and go live on Mackinac!" That's a dream a lot of folks have, Jennifer!

Meet Jennifer Herko, her daughter Sarah, and her mom and dad. They hail from Warren OH. This photo is in front of The Island House in 2012, and that’s when she became a reader. Jennifer says, “If I could, I’d trade in my vehicle for a bike and snowmobile and go live on Mackinac!” That’s a dream a lot of folks have, Jennifer!

This is Darcy Cole, who splits her time between Dallas TX and Cheboygan MI on Twin Lakes. Darcy's grandparents were from Cheboygan and Mackinaw City, so she grew up visiting both places frequently. I was immediately jealous when I saw where Darcy was standing in this photo - on Round Island! She was lucky enough to get a tour of the Round Island Lighthouse last summer (yes, that's Grand Hotel in the background). Darcy's been a blog reader since she retired in 2011and found it on Facebook. She and her husband's have a goal of wintering in Florida and summering in Michigan. Go for it, Darcy!

This is Darcy Cole, who splits her time between Dallas TX and Cheboygan MI on Twin Lakes. Darcy’s grandparents were from Cheboygan and Mackinaw City, so she grew up visiting both places frequently. I was immediately jealous when I saw where Darcy was standing in this photo – on Round Island! She was lucky enough to get a tour of the Round Island Lighthouse last summer. Darcy’s been a blog reader since she retired in 2011 and found it on Facebook. She and her husband have a goal of wintering in Florida and summering in Michigan.  I highly recommend it, Darcy!

This is Joan and Roland Asoklis from Shelby Township MI. Ted and I have met this great couple on the island. They are part of a group of friends who visit every year in August. She says, "I've found many island treasurer from your blog posts - like Anne's Tablet!" Oh - very important fact. Joan two cats, Abby and Benny are paw pals with Bear and Maddie!

This is Joan and Roland Asoklis from Shelby Township MI (shown here before a ride out of Cindy’s Stables on Mackinac). Ted and I have met this great couple on the island. They are part of a group of friends who visit every year in August. Joan says, “I’ve found many island treasures from your blog posts – like Anne’s Tablet!” Oh – very important fact – Joan’s two cats, Abby and Benny, are paw pals with Bear and Maddie!

These beautiful faces belong to Abby Barber, her daughter Sloane and son Berkeley - Minneapolis MN. Abby, her husband Jason, and Berkeley visited the island for the first time in June of 2014, although she had been a couple of times as a child herself. When she returned home she had that same feeling a lot of us do after our first visits and searched the Internet for anything that would keep her connected - and she found Bree's Blog! They're going back this August, and I hope we run into them during their visit!

These beautiful faces belong to Abby Barber, her daughter Sloane and son Berkeley – Minneapolis MN. Abby, her husband Jason, and Berkeley visited the island for the first time in June of 2014, and Abby had been a couple of times as a child. When she returned home she had that same feeling a lot of us do after our first visits and searched the Internet for anything that would keep her connected.  That’s when she found Bree’s Blog! They’re going back this August, and I hope we run into them during their visit!

Meet Bobbie and Tommy Gaye, sweet friends from my hometown of Sylvester GA (they've lived in Albany GA since 1992. Bobbie's been reading the blog for about five years.

Meet Bobbie and Tommy Gaye, sweet friends from my hometown of Sylvester GA (they’ve lived in Albany GA since 1992). Bobbie’s been reading the blog for about five years.

This is Sally and Scott Kiekintveld from Holland MI, and I love Scott's story. His father and grandfather participated in the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk the second year after the walk was created. Scott joined them the next year, and they've continued that tradition for 56 consecutive years, and now his wife, their sons and their wives, children and grandchildren all do the walks together. Scott learned about the blog from a friend about five years ago. They usually include a visit to Mackinac either before or after the walk, Scott says, "It's so fun to watch the grandkids' faces when they step off the boat and see the horses and bikes!""

This is Sally and Scott Kiekintveld from Holland MI, and I love Scott’s story. His father and grandfather participated in the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk the second year after the walk was created. Scott joined them the next year, and they’ve continued that tradition for 56 consecutive years.  Now his wife, their sons and their wives, children, and grandchildren all do the walks together. Scott learned about the blog from a friend about five years ago. They usually include a visit to Mackinac either before or after the walk, Scott says, “It’s so fun to watch the grandkids’ faces when they step off the boat and see the horses and bikes!””

And there you are – 58 blog readers and a little taste of their Mackinac stories.  Just makes me want to hear from more of you!  Keep ’em coming please to brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com

Oh, IF you’ve sent in a photo and story, and I haven’t posted it, PLEASE let me know at my email.  Some of your emails have gone to my spam filter, but I’ve tried to check there on a regular basis.  If I’ve missed one, please let me know – or resend!

Not much has been happening since we chatted on Thursday, so I’ll just save up what I have from Mackinac and the beach for the next post.  Hoping all of you have a great upcoming week!

Hugs all around – and again THANK YOU for reading and being part of this blogging family we’ve created.

God bless.

Introducing . . . . You! 4/7/16

Wow!  I have LOVED opening my email inbox this week!  Your photos are pouring in, and I’m hoping that will continue over the next few days.  I know some of you may be bashful about appearing on a blog, but I’m hoping – after this first set of pics – you change your mind and decide to “personally” introduce yourself (and your family, if you’d like) to me and the other blog readers.

Oh – here’s something interesting.  At least half of the photos I’ve received so far have been from my “silent readers”.  Oh my gosh, how I am loving that!  But . . . that doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear from those of you who comment often, or who I’ve met in person on the island.  I mean, just because I’ve met you doesn’t mean other readers have.  And this is an equal opportunity project!  Everybody gets to meet everybody!

Here are the first 15 photos – in no particular order!

gail and ray kalnajs

Meet Gail and Ray Kalnajs from Chicago, IL!  Here they are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary at The Inn at Stonecliffe last summer (they decided on the Inn after reading my Stonecliffe blogs last June). Gail found Bree’s Blog while surfing the Internet on a day she was “longing for Mackinac” and has been a reader for 4-5 years.  P.S.  They LOVED Stonecliffe and plan to return.

 

traci and bill rackley

Traci and Bill Rackley from Palaski TN.  Photo on Mackinac Island in June, 2013 (they came by the Stuart House while on this trip to say hello).  Traci found Bree’s Blog 5-6 years ago while Googling “Mackinac”.

Jayne and Ken Murdoch - Cedar Lake MI. Jayne and Ken have been visiting Mackinac at least once a year since 1975. She found the blog in 2010 while researching a coming trip to the Island. They met Ted in the Pink Pony one night (imagine that) a few years ago and were his partners in Trivia Pursuit game. Too funny!

Jayne and Ken Murdoch – Cedar Lake IN. Jayne and Ken have been visiting Mackinac at least once a year since 1975. She found the blog in 2010 while researching a future trip to the Island. They met Ted in the Pink Pony one night (imagine that) a few years ago and were his partners in a Trivia Pursuit game. Too funny!  Hoping I get to meet them too this summer!

Ann M. is from Kentucky, but originally from Michigan. She says she was bored at work one day and was Googling Up North and Mackinac Island, and she landed on Bree's Blog. That was 5-6 years ago.

Ann M. is from Kentucky, but originally from Michigan. She says she was bored at work one day, Googled “Up North” and “Mackinac Island”, and landed on Bree’s Blog. That was 5-6 years ago.  Glad you’re still aboard, Ann!

Meet Jason and Sirena Bergeron from San Antonio TX. Jason found Sirena were married on the island, but he found the blog 4-5 years ago while stationed in Afghanistan. Jason and Sirena are huge fans of the island and hope to visit again soon.

Meet Jason and Sirena Bergeron from San Antonio TX. Jason and Sirena were married on the island, and he found the blog 4-5 years ago while stationed in Afghanistan. Jason and Sirena are huge fans of Mackinac and hope to visit again soon.  Wow!  Only 4-5 years?  It seems as though I’ve been corresponding with Jason for a lot longer than that.  Jason was in charge of all the  working dogs serving in Afghanistan for several years.  He’s back in the states now, and I know Sirena is happy about that!  And so are all of us who prayed for his safe return.

Arnie and Karen Strasz - Red Wing MN. This photo is from Mackinac where they were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary last June (looks like during the Lilac Festival)! They found the blog after their 2015 trip. Arnie and Karen honeymooned on the island in 1965 and have been back 8 times over the last 10 years.

Arnie and Karen Strasz – Red Wing MN. This photo is from Mackinac, where they were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary last June (looks like it was during the Lilac Festival)! They found the blog after their 2015 trip. Arnie and Karen honeymooned on the island in 1965 and have been back 8 times over the last 10 years.

James H. (husband of blog reader Cheryl) and their beloved Tiki, who they lost last October. They've from Plainfield IL and found the blog 4-5 years ago while researching the island after their first visit.

James H. (husband of blog reader Cheryl) and their beloved Tiki, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge last October. They’ve from Plainfield IL and found the blog 4-5 years ago, while researching the island after their first visit.

Hilde and Bud DaVanon from Minooka IL and who I love, love, love! Hilde's been a reader since 2010 when she Googled "Mackinac Island" and I popped up. They visited the island the first time in 2008, missed in 2009, but haven't missed a year since. Ted and I have spent some really special times with this sweet couple enjoying "our" island together.

Hilde and Bud DaVanon from Minooka IL.  I love, love, love me some Hilde and Bud! Hilde’s been a reader since 2010 when she Googled “Mackinac Island”, and Bree’s Blog popped up. They visited the island the first time in 2008, missed in 2009, but haven’t missed a year since. Ted and I have spent some really special times with this sweet couple enjoying “our” island together.  I think the bench they’re sitting on is right outside the Chippewa Hotel – or maybe the Pink Pony!  Looking forward to seeing you guys during your September trip to Mackinac!

Meet Karen Snyder from Niles MI. Karen had a hard time finding a photo of herself because she's always BEHIND the camera. I can sure relate to that, Karen! She discovered the blog in 2010 from ANOTHER Mackinac Island blog written by our good friend, Mike Forrester, from Atlanta. After she found the blog she spent the rest of the winter going back and reading every post from the very beginning!

Meet Karen Snyder from Niles MI. Karen had a hard time finding a photo of herself because she’s always BEHIND the camera. I can sure relate to that, Karen! She discovered the blog in 2010 from ANOTHER Mackinac Island blog written by our Atlanta good friend, Mike Forrester. After she found Bree’s Blog she spent the rest of the winter going back and reading every post from the very beginning!  Wow – back in 2010 that would have been 400+ blog posts!  FYI – THIS is the 798th post to Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog!

Sweet friends Kem and Ed Green from Des Moines IA. Hey! I recognize that window behind you guys! Kem discovered the blog in 2011 and is another one who went back and read from the beginning. We love getting together with these two when they're on the island, which is at least once a summer. See y'all in September!

Sweet friends Kem and Ed Green from Des Moines IA. I recognize that window behind you guys! Kem discovered the blog in 2011 and is another reader who went back and read from the beginning. We love getting together with these two when they’re on the island, which is at least once a summer. See y’all when you’re up in September!

Mike and Pam Day - Ohio. AKA Nana and Poppy! I love these two, who Ted and I see almost every summer on Mackinac. Friend and artist Mary Lou Peters told Pam about the blog in 2011, and she's been a reader ever since.

Mike and Pam Day – Ohio – aka Nana and Poppy! I love these two, and Ted and I see them almost every summer on Mackinac. Friend and artist Mary Lou Peters told Pam about the blog in 2011, and she’s been a reader ever since.  See y’all this summer!  P.S.  Frequent readers may recognize that wicker bike basket between Pam and Mike.  Yep – I cropped my tired, sweaty, windblown self right out of this photo.  LOL. Sorry, Pam!

Two of my favorite people ever - DeAna and her son Trace, who just became a fireman (like his dad) in their homem of Commerce Township MI.

Two of my favorite people ever – DeAna and her son Trace, who just became a fireman like his dad.  They all live in Commerce Township MI.  DeAna found the blog through Facebook about 6 years ago.  The whole family came by to meet me at the Stuart House several years ago (before Trace even had his driver’s license)!  They toured the Mackinac Island fire station that day – if I’m remembering correctly.  DeAna prayed me through some scary hours when Blake was in Turkey – her heart reaching out to mine as only another mother could.  Love you, my sweet friend!

Sterling Slaven and his beautiful family - Glenpool OK.

Sterling Slaven and his beautiful family – Glenpool OK.  This photo was taken at Sterling and wife Tina’s daughter’s wedding last year.  Children are Savannah, Sawyer, Sumner, and Sadie (in age order).  The family visited Mackinac for the first time in 2012, and the kids said, “This is the best place ever!”  Sterling has been a blog reader for several years, and I have to share this: Sterling said he and the family spend a week or two each year at the beach, and they love it.  For their anniversary he borrowed my idea for a “beach sand garden”, made one himself, and presented it to Tina!

Had to share it! Great job, Sterling!

Had to share it! Great job, Sterling!

Monica Stafford (Parma MI)and her precious Ginny, a miniature dachshund. Ginny was 14 when she crossed the Rainbow Bridge in July. Monica found the blog on Google over 5 years ago. She visit the island as often as possible.

Monica Stafford (Parma MI)and her precious Ginny, a miniature dachshund. Ginny was 14 when she crossed the Rainbow Bridge last July. Monica found the blog on Google over 5 years ago. She visits the island as often as possible.

Beth Loesch in her unbelievable garden in Britton MI (I asked Beth if she used Mackinac Island horse poop to grow a garden like that. She laughed and said, "No, but it got some help from our sheep"). Beth tells me we met on a Shepler's Ferry three years ago, and we struck up a conversation (imagine that - me, talking to someone!). I told her about the blog, and she looked it up as soon as she got home. She's been a reader ever since. She's visited Mackinac for many years and tries to go each August.

Beth Loesch in her unbelievable garden in Britton MI (I asked Beth if she used Mackinac Island horse poop to grow a garden like that. She laughed and said, “No, but it got some help from our sheep.”) Beth tells me we met on a Shepler’s Ferry three years ago, and we struck up a conversation (imagine that – me, talking to someone!). I told her about the blog, she looked it up as soon as she got home, and she’s been a reader ever since. She’s visited Mackinac for many years and tries to go each August.

And there you go – the first 15!   Right now I have 15 more ready to post on Sunday, and I’m hoping everyone gets busy and sends me TONS more photos.  Come on – I want this to break the record we set with the “Places You Live” posts (there were 63 of those).  I will continue to post them for as long as you send them in!

I LOVE MY READERS!!!

God bless.

 

Snow Globe Days on Mackinac Island 1/21/16

Turning on my laptop every morning to see who has shared photographs of Mackinac has been a highlight of each day this week.  Even though the cold and snowy weather was a little late arriving in northern Michigan, it is definitely Winter there now, and photographers are having a great time capturing it all for those of us not lucky enough to be there.

Clark Bloswick is one of my favorite photographers, and these next five photos are his:

From high

From high above Fort Street and Trinity Church, Mackinac resembles an icy snow globe.

Someone called a taxi!

Someone called a taxi!

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Lots of ice on the island this week – creating beautiful icy art everywhere!

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It’s the end of the day, and horses that have worked pulling drays since morning are heading to the barn for some oats, some hay, and a nice night’s rest.

Fort Holmes, surrounded by trees so filled with ice they look as though they're covered in the most delicate of laces.

Fort Holmes, surrounded by trees so filled with ice they look as though they’re covered in the most delicate of laces.

From the Mackinac Island Public Library (I'm guessing Anne St. Onge is behind the camera) . . .

From the Mackinac Island Public Library (I’m guessing Anne St. Onge is behind the camera).

. . . and inside that library, there's a fire burning most every day now. Winter hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and you can check out books or participate in all kinds of fun winter activities - like the adult coloring classes!

Inside the library there’s a fire burning most every day now. Winter hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  You can check out books or participate in all kinds of fun winter activities – like the adult coloring classes!

Thanks to Tom Chambers for these next three photos!

Looking across the Grand Golf Course to town - more lacy trees!

Looking across the Grand Golf Course to town – more lacy trees!

A view of Fort Mackinac and Grand Hotel.

A view of Fort Mackinac and Grand Hotel – visions in white.

The east side of town - so beautiful it makes my eyes ache.

The east side of town – so beautiful it makes my eyes ache.

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A panoramic view of Chambers Corner from Heather May.

Bobby Lee captured hundreds of ducks lifting off as the Mighty Huron approached the island one morning this week.

Bobby Lee captured hundreds of ducks lifting off as the Mighty Huron approached the island one morning this week.  As you can see, there is beginning to be more and more ice in the water.

A spectacular photograph of this morning's sunrise by Tony Boom.

A spectacular photograph of this morning’s sunrise by Tony Boom.

 I just had to share these next three photos with you.  Tracy and Gabe Cowell and three of their gorgeous children- Ella, Matthew, and Kaylee – were neighbors of ours in the Village on Mackinac.  On December 31, Tracy gave birth to two more gorgeous Cowell babies, Olivia and Nova!

Precious twins!

Precious twins!

Now the twins are almost three weeks old, and it was time to leave the island for a doctor’s appointment this week.  How do you do that on Mackinac in the winter?

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Simple! Tuck them both into a sleigh pulled behind a snowmobile . . .

. . . and catch the first ferry off the island! I just bet these two were surrounded by

. . . and catch the first ferry off the island! Like their brothers and sisters, Olivia and Nova will most likely attend the Mackinac Public School from Kindergarten through their Senior year.  Just imagine growing up on Mackinac Island!  We love this family!