Throw Back Tuesday – Back Track and Forward March 4/11/17

Personal Note:  Loved reposting this blog today because of the many Mackinac friends – and blog readers – who happen to be in it!  Also, it was written at the end of the Lilac Festival that year and involves a parade!  Sweet memories.

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FIRST PUBLISHED JUNE, 18,2013

You will not BELIEVE all the photographs I have backlogged over the last few days!  I’ve been focusing mainly on Lilacs for a good two weeks now, and the Lilacs are still going strong, even though their “festival” ended yesterday. Tonight I want to catch up on a few other topics, throw in a few more flowers, and highlight some of the parade from yesterday. So, here we go . . .

THE PEOPLE WE MEET!

New lady on the corner! Walk down Main Street as far as Shepler's Ferry, look directly across the street on the corner of Main and Astor, and you will more than likely see - during daylight hours anyway - the brilliant smile of Mert. As the Corner Concierge, Mert helps visitors with all things "Mackinac" and does it so easily and with such friendliness that you just want to stay and chat a while longer. She'd love for you to stop by - to ask questions, to talk about Mackinac, or just to say hi! Oh, and tell her "Bree" sent you!

New lady on the corner! Walk down Main Street as far as Shepler’s Ferry, look directly across the street to the corner of Main and Astor, and you will more than likely see – during daylight hours anyway – the brilliant smile of Mert. As the Corner Concierge, Mert helps visitors with all things “Mackinac” and does it so easily and with such friendliness you just want to stay and chat a while longer! She’d love for you to stop by – to ask questions, to talk about the Island, or just to say hi!  You will love her!

This beautiful family, Theresa, Allen, Amelia and Michael - from Tecumseh MI, met me last week at Sadie's for ice cream. Theresa is a frequent commenter on Bree's Blog and follows us in Georgia during the winter also.

This beautiful family – Allen, Theresa, Amelia and Michael – from Tecumseh MI, met me last week at Sadie’s for ice cream.  While we were there, Amelia chose my 4th flavor to try – Caramel Turtle Cheesecake!  A T-E-N!

Loved hanging out with this great family, and while we were in Sadie's Amelia chose my 4th flavor to try - Caramel Turtle Cheesecake! A T-E-N!

Theresa is a frequent commenter on Bree’s Blog and follows the Lake Blackshear Blog in Georgia during the winter also.  Loved hanging out with this great family!

A couple of days later, I turned the corner down French Lane and spotted Theresa and Allen trying to find all the hidden treasurers in Jeff's garden. They didn't know I was anywhere around until after I snapped this. They left the island the day of the Lilac Parade and watched it on Theresa's iPad in the car going home. LOVE IT!

A couple of days later, I turned the corner down French Lane and spotted Theresa and Allen trying to find all the hidden treasurers in Jeff’s garden. They didn’t know I was anywhere around until after I snapped this. They left the island the day of the Lilac Parade and watched it on Theresa’s iPad in the car going home. LOVE IT!

Richard! This sweet gentleman used to live all summer on the Island, and Ted and I first met him several years ago. Now he returns for a few days here and there, and I happened to spot him downtown this week, resting on a bench in the sun. Always good to see Richard!

Richard! This sweet gentleman used to live all summer on the Island, and Ted and I first met him several years ago. Now he returns for a few days here and there, and I happened to spot him downtown this week, resting on a bench in the sun. Always good to see Richard, and he always asks about Bear and Ted . . . in that order.

On the way home a couple of days ago, right by the big barns on Cadotte, someone called "Bree?" I turned and met Ted (I'll remember that name for sure) and his wife Rebecca. They were married on Mackinac just last year and were up for a visit. This sweet couple is from Aurora, Ohio, and their love of the island was so evident, they reminded me of ME!

On the way home a couple of days ago, right by the big barns on Cadotte, someone called “Bree?” I turned and met Ted (I’ll remember that name for sure) and his wife Rebecca. They were married on Mackinac just last year, found Bree’s Blog when they returned home from their honeymoon, and were up for a visit. This sweet couple is from Aurora, Ohio, and their love of the island was so evident.  They reminded me of ME!

Evi is a blog fan from New Jersey, and we met up - finally, after several attempts - at the Island Bookstore one evening last week! Hope to see you again soon, Evi!

Evi is a blog fan from New Jersey, and we met up – finally, after several attempts – at the Island Bookstore one evening last week! Hope to see you again soon, Evi!

Tommy and Gerald - our two teenage young men who stayed with us Saturday night. They are part of an A Cappela Choir from Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, MI. We had a fun time with Tommy and Gerald, who challenged us to a game of Monopoly (who knew teenagers still played Monopoly). Three hours later, Ted was bankrupt, I was on the verge of bankruptcy, and Tommy was Donald Trump Jr.

Tommy and Gerald – our two teenage young men who stayed with us Saturday night. They are part of an a cappella choir from Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, MI. We had a fun time with Tommy and Gerald, who challenged us to a game of Monopoly (who knew teenagers still played Monopoly) after returning from singing for their supper at the Seabiscuit restaurant. Three hours later, Ted was bankrupt, I was on the verge of bankruptcy, and Tommy was Donald Trump Jr.  During that Monopoly game, they also put away two large bottles of juice, a huge bowl of popcorn, a whole bag of tortillas, a jar or salsa and a jar of cheese dip – with a little fudge as dessert .  LOL – they SO reminded me of Jason and Blake at that age!  We enjoyed having Tommy and Gerald with us – they were smart, well-mannered, and fun – a tribute to their families.

The choir group after church on Sunday.

The choir group after church on Sunday.

Blog readers Traci and Bill stopped by the Stuart House this morning while Mike Forrester was visiting, so Mike became our photographer. Traci and Bill are from Pulaski, Tennessee, and it was so nice to hear a Southern accent! It was a spur-of-the-moment visit for them (the best kind). They drove 13 hours to get here and plan just to relax and "do Mackinac" with no real set agenda (the best way). Have fun, you two!

Blog readers Traci and Bill stopped by the Stuart House this morning while Mike Forrester was visiting, so Mike became our photographer. Traci and Bill are from Pulaski, Tennessee, and it was so nice to hear a Southern accent! It was a spur-of-the-moment visit for them (the best kind). They drove 13 hours to get here and plan just to relax and “do Mackinac” with no real set agenda (the best way). Have fun, you two!

FOUR-LEGGED CRITTERS

Out snapping Lilac photos the other day near The Gate House, I ran across this sweet puppy, obviously tied out while mom and dad lunched on the patio just a few feet away. The Gate House provides water dishes for pets! A cutie-pie!

Out snapping Lilac photos the other day near the Gate House, I ran across this sweet puppy, tied out while mom and dad lunched on the patio just a few feet away. The Gate House provides water dishes for pets! A cutie-pie!

This precious baby was enjoying the shade at Park Place Suites, which is pet-friendly!

This precious pooch was enjoying the shade at Park Place Suites, which is pet-friendly!

Back to front Grand Hotel omnibuses, the first driven by Shelby and the second by new driver Caleb (I hope, I hope I'm right on that name).

Back to front Grand Hotel omnibuses, the first driven by Shelby and the second by new driver Caleb (I hope, I hope I’m right on that name).

New neighborhood pooch, Charlie!

New neighborhood puppy, Charlie . . .

. . . and our condo neighbor, Judy, is back for the summer with her sweet Buddy.

. . . and our condo neighbor, Judy, is back for the summer with her sweet Buddy.

It's not often you can wake up with two Budweiser Clydesdale in your front yard, but it happened this week! These two, Duke and Jack, were here with four of their team-mates for the Lilac Parade! That's Kyle on Duke's back.

It’s not often you can wake up with two Budweiser Clydesdales in your front yard, but it happened this weekend! These two, Duke and Jack, were here with four of their team-mates for the Lilac Parade! That’s Kyle on Duke’s back.

A FEW MORE FLOWERS

Only had to walk down Cadotte to find this big clump of Lady Slippers - near where the old Grand stable once stood.

I only had to walk down Cadotte to find this big clump of Lady Slippers – near where the old Grand stable once stood.

Lilacs!

Dark Lilacs . . .

. . . and light Lilacs!

. . . and light Lilacs!

A friendly group of Pansies . . .

A friendly group of Pansies . . .

, , , and one loner.

. . . and one loner.

A very, very small section of Jeff's garden on French Lane.

A very, very small section of Jeff’s garden on French Lane.

The always-charming Cloghaun B & B, with its luscious gardens in full bloom.

The always-charming Cloghaun B & B – surrounded by Lilacs.

A curve on Cadotte . . .

A curve on Cadotte . . .

. . . . and Mahoney Avenue.

. . . . and Mahoney Street.

THE PARADE!  THE PARADE!

The mighty Clydesdales!

The mighty Clydesdales!

FFFF

Do not try this at home – at least not if you are MY age!

This couple had a choice spot to watch the parade - right in the shade - and sweet smell - of beautiful Lilacs!

This couple had a choice spot to watch the parade – right in the shade – and sweet smell – of beautiful Lilacs!

We had serious bands . . .

We had serious bands . . .

. . . and not so serious bands.

. . . and not so serious bands.

We had beautiful performing horses . . .

We had beautiful performing horses . . .

. . . and

. . . horses performing beautifully . . .

. . . and a couple of silly horses!

. . . and a couple of silly horses!

vvvv

We had musical marching groups . . .

. . . and patriotic marching groups.

. . . and patriotic marching groups.

We had clowns in groups . . .

We had clowns who came in groups . . .

. . . and some alone.

. . . and some who came alone.

We had celebrity local dogs, like Chloe and Bella, who represented Wheels of Mackinac . . .

We had celebrity local dogs, like Chloe and Bella, who represented Wheels of Mackinac . . .

. . . and dogs whose names we'll never know - but who will grow up to be service dogs all over the country.

. . . and dogs whose names we’ll never know – who will grow up to be service dogs all over the country.

We had beauty queens who rode in carriages . . .

We had small beauty queens, teenage beauty queens .  .

. . . and some who walked.

. . . and grown-up beauty queens.

And we had bicycles in all sizes and shapes.

And we had bicycles in all sizes and shapes.

Grand Marshall of the parade was our neighbor Donald "Duck" Andress. Duck rode in a carriage this year instead of on horseback, but his son

Grand Marshall of the parade was our neighbor Donald “Duck” Andress. Duck rode in a carriage this year, but his son Jamie – seen behind him in the white headdress – continues the tradition of their family by riding on horseback.

Are you asleep yet?

I think that catches us up to today in photos.  As you can see, it’s been a busy time on the Island, and today the Island was taking a great big breath and relaxing after a tremendously successful Lilac Festival.

God bless.

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Wednesday, Thursday . . . Happy Days! 6/13/2013

This week has been awesome!

Weather: Beautiful!

Lilacs:  Gorgeous!

Smell in the air:  Sweet!

Activities:  Everywhere!

Opportunities for photography:  Boundless!

Therefore:  It’s PHOTO NIGHT!

Good friend Bonnie dropped by the condo this week while she was visiting Mackinac for a few days!  See you back again soon, Bonnie!

While she was visiting Mackinac for a few days, good friend Bonnie dropped by the condo with Jill.  Come back again soon, Bonnie!

Bear:  "This is me - playing dead."

Bear:   This is me playing dead.  As soon as Mom gets all worried . . . .

Bear:  "Fooled you, didn't I?  I LOVE doing that!"

. . . . I roll around and laugh. “I fooled you again, didn’t I?!”   I LOVE doing that!

We rode up past the airport yesterday for lunch with Steve & Orietta.  That's one end of the airport runway - just beyond that second fence.

We rode up past the airport yesterday to have lunch with Steve & Orietta.  Just beyond that second fence is one end of the Mackinac Island Airport runway.

Later that afternoon we took a long walk in the cool woods, where the ground cover is about to be covered in flowers.  On the right side is Lily-of-the-Valley.  On the left will be tiny, perfect purple flowers.  Anyone know that those are?

Later that afternoon we took Maddie and Bear on a long walk in the cool woods, where the green ground cover is about to be flowering ground cover. On the left side is Lily-of-the-Valley (if you look closely, you can already see little white specks). On the right will be tiny, perfect purple flowers.  Anyone know what those are?

I can't seem to get away from the woods this week.  I've missed being out there the first four weeks we were here, and I guess I'm trying to make up for it now.

I can’t seem to get away from the woods this week. I missed being out there the first four weeks we were here because of the weather, and I guess I’m trying to make up for it now.

The Lady Slippers are out . . .

The Lady Slippers are out . . .

. . . and perfectly beautiful.

. . . and perfectly beautiful.  Can’t you just see magical fairies slipping these on their feet at night?

Found beside the road.

Found beside the road.

Dandelion close-up.

Up close with a dandelion.  Have I mentioned have much I love my new camera?

Today (Thursday) we took the pups on a walk along Pontiac Trail.

Today (Thursday) we took the pups on an outing toward the West Bluff and followed the road behind the bluff houses.  Isn’t it amazing what a few days of warm temps and sunshine can do to the landscape?!

This fire hydrant is almost hidden in the lush vegetation.

This fire hydrant is almost hidden in the lush vegetation.

Looking between the summer cottages to Lake Huron.

Looking across the back yards and between the summer cottages to Lake Huron.

A shady place to read a book.

A shady place to read a book or just sit and watch your garden grow.

One of my favorite "viewing spots".

One of my favorite “viewing spots” – framed by trees and surrounded with a white picket fence.

View from Pontiac Trail today - the first time I've been up there this year.

View from Pontiac Trail today – the first time I’ve been up there this year.

A recently

A recently renovated West Bluff cottage –  almost hidden by Lilac trees which must be decades and decades old.

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Love this shade of purple!

A cottage against the blue sky . . .

The top floor of a cottage against the blue sky . . .

. . . and Honeysuckle against blue water.

. . . and Honeysuckle against blue water.

A curve in Pontiac's Trail . . . bordered with wild flowers.

A curve in Pontiac Trail . . . bordered with wild flowers.

"Somebody threw a potato chip in here.  I can smell it!"

“Somebody threw a potato chip in here. I can smell it!”

One of Michelle's Friesians.

One of Michelle’s Friesians.

A thick hedge of lacy white flowers.

A thick hedge of lacy white flowers.

OTHER GOODIES!

Things you don't see everyday on Mackinac . . . three semi-trucks on your street, turning into the  Arrowhead Livery.

Things you don’t see everyday on Mackinac . . . three semi-trucks on our street, turning into the Arrowhead stables.  What is it?  Who is it?

What can you see inside the open door of Shepler's Sacre Bleu - their freight boat?

A little clue . . .can you see inside the open door of that semi sitting on the deck of Shepler’s Sacre Bleu – their freight boat?  Those semis were rolled off the boat at British Landing and, with special permission from the City Council, driven to Arrowhead, where . . . .

. . . the Budweiser Clydesdales were unloaded!

. . . out stepped the Budweiser Clydesdales!  (This photo and one above:  Jill Sawatzki).  At 9:00 p.m. I’m typing this blog post and glancing out the window every two minutes.  Last year they walked the Clydesdales over to our yard to exercise them.   So far no horses have appeared.

A huge crowd turned out today for the annual Lilac Festival "A Taste of Mackinac".  Restaurants served up their best fare for those lucky enough to have one of the limited number of tickets for the event.

A big crowd turned out today for the annual Lilac Festival “A Taste of Mackinac”. Restaurants served up their best fare for those lucky enough to have one of the limited number of tickets for the event.

The Lilac Tree Inn & Suites is all decked out in lilac lights for the festival!

The Lilac Tree Hotel is all decked out in lilac lights for the festival!  Very pretty!

French Lane on Wednesday.  (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

French Lane on Wednesday. (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

MORE TO COME!

So much excitement coming over the weekend!

Blog reader Theresa is on the island with her family, and we’re going to try and meet up on Friday at Sadie’s.  I’ve promised her children they can pick my 4th flavor to taste!  After that I’m going to try to get down to the Blessing of the Animals with Maddie and Bear at Little Barn in the Mission.

Little Stone Church is hosting a high school A Cappella Choir from Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, MI, and they’ll be performing at our church service on Sunday.  Ted and I will have two young men from this group staying with us Saturday night, and we are so looking forward to that.  One little glitch . . . we are to pick them up at the ferry dock at the same time as the Pet Parade on Saturday, so I’ll need to beg and borrow someone else’s photos of that event this year.

Of course, Sunday is the big day – the Lilac Festival Grand Parade!

Hoping to post all the weekend fun on Sunday evening, unless I’m just too tuckered out.  If nothing shows up Sunday night, check back on Monday!

Have a great weekend.  God bless.

It’s All About the Lilacs 6/11/2013

Mackinac Island is expanding as the ferries lower their gangplanks and discharge thousands of visitors – here this week for one thing – the Lilac Festival.  Each day of the Festival is filled with activities, and there is guaranteed to be something of interest for everyone.  As you walk the sidewalks downtown you’ll notice groups here and there listening attentively as they follow experts assigned to discuss the history of our Mackinac Lilacs.  After you know everything there possibly is to learn about Lilacs, you’ll have many, many choices on how to spend your time the rest of the week.  You can:

  • Go to a concert in Marquette Park
  • Take an Architectural Walking Tour
  • Watch a Street Hockey Tournament at Windermere Point
  • Go to the Movies at Mission Point Resort
  • Attend a Grand Hotel History Lecture
  • Attend an Author Luncheon at Hotel Iroquois’ Carriage House Dining Room
  • Walk along on a Nature Tour
  • Play Lion’s Club Bingo at the Community Hall
  • Listen in on Jazz Night at the Gate House
  • Tour the Governor’s Summer Residence
  • Take a Harbor Cruise on the Ugly Anne
  • Learn some Irish Dance steps at Windermere Point
  • Attend “A Taste of Mackinac” at Harbour View Inn
  • Sample the fruit of the vine at a Wine Tasting at Hotel Iroquois’ Carriage House Dining Room
  • Attend the Feast of Epona Blessing of the Animals at Little Barn at Mission Hill.
  • Go on a Cannonball BBQ Hayride to British Landing
  • Attend the Market Street Art Walk
  • Go to a Pooch Party at Mary’s Bistro
  • Watch the Pet Parade from the Public School to Windermere Point
  • Attend the Dog & Pony Show at Windermere Point
  • Cruise around the Island with the Star Line Ferry
  • Become a Captain for a Day at the Shepler Ferry Dock
  • Attend the Lilac Festival Parade in downtown Mackinac Island

Each day this week the crowds get a little larger, and as we approach Sunday, June 15, and the culminating event –  the Lilac Festival Grand Parade at 4 p.m. – our little island is rocking with happy visitors enjoying the beauty and scent of the Lilacs, the taste and aroma of freshly made fudge, and the unique and historic excitement of touring Mackinac at one of the Island’s prettiest times of year.

Monday morning I walked downtown past Carriage Tour wagons bringing visitors up toward Surrey Hill and opened the Stuart House Museum.

Monday morning I walked downtown past Carriage Tour wagons bringing visitors up toward Surrey Hill.  As I said, the crowds are growing!

Blog reader Yvonne, her husband Tony and their nieces and nephews dropped by from Iowa.  I met Tony and Yvonne last year (with their dog Bear), but this year they left Bear behind and brought these lucky young folks instead.  What an awesome aunt and uncle they are!

It wasn’t long after the Stuart House Museum opened that blog reader Yvonne, her husband Tony, and their nieces and nephews dropped by from Iowa. I met Tony and Yvonne last year (with their dog Bear), but this year they left Bear at home and brought these lucky young folks instead. They’re staying at Park Place Suites on Market Street and loving it!

Another blog reader, Joan from Shelby Township, dropped by also, but I forgot to get my camera out.  She’ll be back later in the summer though – I’ll take some photos then!

My friend Frankie and sweet Chocolate Lab Hershey were visiting for a few days, and I dog-sat Hershey while Frankie went to lunch.  She was staying just across the street at the Lilac House, so she dropped Hershey off and walked over to Main Street.

Hershey watched Frankie leave . . .

Hershey watched Frankie leave . . .

. . . then took up her vigil by the door until she returned.

. . . then took up her vigil by the door until she returned.  She sure got lots of loving by visitors to the Museum while she waited for Frankie!

Frankie was leaving the Island today, so a few of us met at the Chuckwagon this morning for breakfast to see her off.  We wanted to sit at the back table so we could chat, so we waited outside – sitting on the steps of the Haunted Mansion – until the table emptied, and we could run inside and grab it.  There’s always a crowd at the Chuckwagon – because the food is ALWAYS good!

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Frankie, Bonnie, Judy, me, and Jill.  Frankie and Hershey left on the 12:30 boat, going home to Grand Rapids.  See you again soon, Frankie!

LILACS, LILACS EVERYWHERE!

Even with the crazy Spring we’ve had here on Mackinac, it looks as though the Lilacs are right on schedule and will be in full bloom this week and next.  There is no way we could have planned for that to happen, but it sure is nice when it works out like that for the Festival!

vvvvv

Different varieties are blossoming at different times, but this year I think every Lilac bush and tree will be in full blooming splendor by the weekend.  This was taken from the porch of the Lilac House, where Frankie was staying.

Over near the Marina, we found this horse tie-up nearly covered in Lilac blossoms.

Over near the Marina, we found this horse tie-up nearly covered in Lilac blossoms.

These next few photos are of he same bush.  We unofficially named it "the most beautiful Lilac bush on the Island" - at least for today.

These next few photos are of the same bush. Jill and I unofficially named it “the most beautiful Lilac bush on the Island” – at least for today.  I think these blooms are as dark a purple as I’ve ever seen on a Lilac.

14

15

Sorry, I just couldn't get enough of it.

Sorry, I just couldn’t get enough of it.

vvvvvv

Lilacs in Marquette Park . . .

. . .

. . . and hanging baskets contrasted with the white of the Jane & Richard Manoogian Art Museum.

Lilac/lavender/purple just seems to look good anywhere, doesn't it!

Lilac, lavender and purple just seem to look good anywhere, don’t they!  This flowery bathtub sits in the yard of the Lilac House.

FOGGY HARBOR

nnnnnn

The fog didn’t burn off until shortly after noon today, turning freighters into ghost ships – passing nearly unseen through the Straits.

Moored sailboats

Moored sailboats in the marina, as the fog began to slip away.

As the fog cleared,

As the fog cleared, the Iroquois Hotel appeared, and people began to be seated at their beautiful waterside tables . . .

. . . and soon

. . . and soon the entire east side of town was visible.  First the fort, then Anne’s Cottage, Brigadoon, the Yacht Club and the Island House.

There’s lots more to come this week, and I’ll be back in a day or two with more news.  In the meantime, if you’re in Michigan, why not think about hopping up to the Island for the rest of the week – or at least the weekend.  The fun has just begun!

Festival Week 6.14.2012

The annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival brings thousands of visitors to the Island, and this week has been no exception.  I admit to hanging pretty close to home this week, to avoid the crowds downtown (funny, when we were here for only two weeks in years past, I usually wanted to be where all the action was).  I was downtown on Monday, when I was working at the Stuart House, and it was wonderful to see people really enjoying themselves and all the special festival activities in full swing!

One of my week’s highlights was getting to meet a fellow-blogger I follow from waaay up in the Upper Peninsula – Kathy Drue.  I was drawn to Kathy’s blog(s) a few years ago when she was writing “Opening the Door, Walking Outside” – a 365-day commitment (Dec. 22,2008-Dec. 21, 2009) to spend time each day in the great outdoors.  Kathy is a wonderful photographer, and I love her writing style.  When you read her posts, it’s as though you’re two old friends, walking through the woods together, sharing your thoughts and ideas and dreams.

Kathy was visiting friends and family in the area and came over to spend a little time on Mackinac Island, which she had not visited in 20 years. I met her on the ferry dock at 8 a.m., and we had a great breakfast/chat session on the upstairs outdoor deck of the Chippewa’s Harbor View Restaurant.

After I went to work at ten, Kathy hopped a Carriage Tour, visited the fort, and played “fudgie” until she met me back at the Stuart House at two.  With a three-hour drive north ahead of her, she caught the next ferry and was on her way back home.  Don’t you love it when folks you meet on-line turn out to be friends you wish you could hang out with more often!  I highly recommend Kathy’s current blog http://upwoods.wordpress.com and going back to read her 365-day “outdoor” posts at http://centria.wordpress.com.

I’ve met several blog fans in the last two weeks, and you know how much I love that.  Walking downtown one day, a group of folks sitting on the benches behind the school called, “Bree?” as I walked by.  Nancy Applegate and her mom and dad, Virginia and Stan were on the Island from Ohio.  We had great fun chatting about their trip to the Island.  And while working at the Stuart House Monday, two more blog fans came by to saw hello – Pam from Kalamazoo, MI and Jennifer from Indiana.  Loved meeting all of you!

There’s a New Shop in Town!

Remember me mentioning a few weeks ago that a friend I met through this blog was returning to the Island to open a shop?  Well, she’s been back and forth from Florida for the last several weeks, stocking the store.  And today Ella & Ivy opened its doors!

The shop is located inside the Horse Corral Mall on Main Street. You walk into the mall entrance right by Martha’s Sweet Shop and head toward the shop at the back (looks out on the water) on the right.

Ella & Ivy is packed with great home decor items, gifts, and really cute dog accessories.

Owner Anne Stanard and her friend Diana, who was a huge help to Anne with merchandise and decorating the store.  Ann worked on Mackinac in the 70’s when she was in college and has always wanted to return to open a shop.  She’s retiring at the end of June to follow that dream, and until she arrives full-time, friends will be running the store for her.  You will LOVE her shop!!

My Photo of the Week

A Grand Hotel vintage carriage, driven by Ben Mosley, pulled by two Hackneys, and carrying a couple of Grand VIP’s, stops below our condo to admire the lilacs.

Readers’ Photographs

Since we missed showing these on Wednesday, I thought we’d do them tonight.  The Mystery Spot will be back next Wednesday, along with more Reader Photographs!

Brenda Bergin – Hammond, Indiana. “Horses on East Bluff”.  Brenda was on a private tour last September when her driver stopped to allow riders to get out and take pictures. Another private carriage pulled up and stopped also. Brenda said standing there looking at the carriages, with the beautiful Victorian homes behind them, she could almost imagine she had stepped back in time.

Rob and Deb Elliott – Fort Wayne, Indiana. “White Lilacs at Grand”. Rob and Deb snapped these lilacs on May 25 this spring. They’ve been coming to the Island annually since 1994.

Dave Wewers – Shawnee, Kansas. “Mission Point Gazebo” – dressed up for an evening wedding.

Susan Miller – Phoenix, Arizona. “A New Day Awaits”. Susan had been to the island in the 1950’s as a child with her parents and always dreamed of returning. When her father passed away, and then her mom in 2009, Susan and her husband returned to the Island in 2010 in her parents’ memory. Susan said she “spent three days walking through her childhood memories and making new memories together.” She went on, “Mackinac Island is a magical place. It healed my heart after the loss of my mother. I shed many tears as we drove across the bridge to St. Ignace the day before getting to the Island. I could just see my parents in Heaven smiling and saying, ‘She made it back’.”

Just as I was about to wrap up writing for the night, Ted called from the deck, “Hey, babe, better come out here and see this!””  I walked out in time to see three men leading three H.U.G.E Clydesdale horses across the front lawn.  We knew they were on the Island because while we were eating supper we heard something that is very foreign to our ears here – truck motors!  Looking out the window, we watched as three very long horse trailers, towed by three very large pickup trucks, rolled down the street next to our condo and turned into Arrowhead Stables just across the street from us.  These horses, as well as many more, will be coming in for the next two days to participate in the Lilac Festival Parade on Sunday.  The trucks and trailers are brought over to British Landing on freight boats, unloaded, and then the trucks bring them up through the middle of the island to where they’ll be stabled until Sunday.

The horses were being brought out – three at a time – to be exercised after a long trailer ride.

Clydesdales stand 16.2 – 18 hands tall.

This big guy was a roan – which I’d never seen in a Clydesdale. Usually they are bay or brown.

Anna, our condo neighbor Janice’s daughter, and her cousin Sophie were thrilled to be allowed to pet one of the big horses.

Long, silky feathering on the lower legs are a Clydesdale feature everyone recognizes.

The Clydesdales will be featured in the parade on Sunday, pulling a very large red wagon.

Beautiful!

That’s a wrap for tonight.  Join me back here on Monday (or Sunday night) for all the fun from the final weekend of the Lilac Festival.  It’s going to be a VERY busy three days, and if you can’t be here, I’ll try to make you feel like you were!

God bless.

A Dog & Pony Show – Literally! 6/22/2010

For the first time this summer, my readership hit 1,000+ yesterday, and when does that happen?  When BEAR writes the blog!  I’m getting a serious complex here!

Of course, I’m kidding!  I love that my readers are animal lovers, so I hope you’ll enjoy one more post this week that focuses on the furry faces we care about so much. 

A wonderful part of the Lilac Festival is the annual Dog & Pony Show.  Locals show up with their pets, tourists who have brought their animals to the island get involved, and then there are the people who come to the island just for the Dog & Pony Show – planning costumes a year in advance.  Usually the pet owners are dressed in costume to compliment their dogs.  It is really a big deal!

Our two furry faces didn’t attend the event because I couldn’t handle a camera and two dogs on leashes, and Ted was working in the Visitor’s Center that afternoon.  But Jill and I had a ball watching owners getting their “babies” dressed and then marching single file in front of the judges’ stand.  Great fun!

Some dogs didn't seem to mind at all getting all dressed up - even posing for photographs . . .

. . . some, like this longhaired dachshund, weren't too thrilled about it at all . . .

. . . and some were just bored silly.

It really wasn't necessary for your dog or horse to be in costume for the parade, and some owners just brought their beautiful pets "au naturel", like Bucky, this gorgeous Great Pyrenees . . .

. . . and this perfectly matched pair of horses.

This sweet little fella arrived in his own personal "fan-cooled" burley.

Jackie, our neighbor in the Village and wife of Dennis, Mackinac Island's Fire Chief, dressed their dog Elvis up as a Junior Fireman.

 

These sleek, rescued greyhounds had obviously been to Hawaii before landing on OUR island.

Marge, who with husband Rich run the Cottage Inn, brought their Cocker Spaniel, Joe Cocker. This baby is lucky to be with us this summer, after being bitten by a rattlesnake in Arizona in March.

Two chic little pampered pets are always better than one!

By the time the parade started at 1 p.m., a huge crowd had gathered around the judges' stand in front of the library.

Not every parade is blessed with location like this one - on the boardwalk just off the shores of Lake Huron, beautiful blue sky, cool lake breeze, and the Mackinac Bridge in the background.

 

Well, it IS called a Dog & Pony Show - so what could be better than a dog riding a pony!

A furry Leprechaun!

These two in-training Leader Dogs for the Blind . . .

. . . were followed by this second group. Leader Dogs for the Blind is based in Rochester Hills, MI, and these volunteers have taken puppies - and some adult dogs - to raise in their homes for approximately one year, in preparation for their lives as dog guides. These raisers will teach the dogs house manners, basic obedience and will socialize the dog by taking it into the community on a regular basis. Participating in the Mackinac Island Dog & Pony Show is part of their socialization training.

Three "Age of Aquarius" Boston Terriers.

Peace.

 “A dog is one of the remaining reasons why some people can be persuaded to go for a walk.” . . . O.A. Battista

The Scent of Lilacs 5/26/2010

Lilacs blooming on our "short cut" hill next to the horse corral. The awesome white birch trees offer a perfect backdrop.

Oh, how I wish there were some way I could capture for you the glorious scent of the lilacs and press it into this page.  With all the windows open this morning, the light, sweet fragrance of the blossoming Mackinac Island lilac bushes and trees is reaching into the far corners of the condo, and I know soon I will be lured outside with my camera.

The lilacs here at Surrey Hill are not blooming yet – except for a few down by the horse corral.  I mentioned last year the bushes in front of the condo are “late bloomers”,  so we will have those to look forward to after others on the island have faded. 

It seems everyone is mowing this morning in the Village, and as I sit here writing, I’m transported back to my hometown of Sylvester, Georgia on a summer morning of my childhood.  On hot Saturdays in June, July, and August, my daddy would begin mowing our yard early, so the task would be finished before the heat became oppressive.  I’d awake on a Saturday morning with a breeze blowing the thin curtains out into my bedroom, the sound of the mower outside the window, and the smell of the newly cut grass wafting through the air.  I probably wrote practically these same words last year about this time, and if I did, please forgive me for repeating it.  That little snippet from my childhood is so dear to me that it only takes an open window and the sound of a lawnmower to conjure it up.

We had the best time downtown yesterday.  We walked the dogs down there just because they hadn’t had a good walk all day, and Ted and I both had errands to run.  We had turned the corner at Fort Hill and Market Street and were just in front of The Cottage Inn when a couple approaching us stopped and said, “Is that Maddie and Bear?”  We said “yes”, and it turned out they were from Fort Huron and read the blog daily.  The gentleman said, “I  just said to my wife that the white building over there is the Geary House that was on Bree’s blog the other day.  Then I looked up, and the four of you were coming around the corner.”  We had a great chat.  I love it when that happens.  Jill had already told me that she had three different couples come in the Island Bookstore Monday and recognize her from the blog.  So fun!

While we were standing in front of the Cottage Inn (where Dawn, Mike Forrester, Jill and I stayed during Winter Festival in February), Marge (she and husband Rich are the innkeepers) came out to say hello.  Then Katie from the State Park saw us and stopped to talk.  This is just one of the reasons I love this place. A trip downtown on errands can turn into an hour or two of visiting.  Without vehicles to jump in and out of, people hail each other from the streets or sidewalks.  Then you stop and chat. I love it!

Katie, Ted and Marge in front of The Cottage Inn

Jill and Tamara at the Island Bookstore always have treats for Bear and Maddie . . .

 

. . . Maddie just can't quite reach the countertop for her's.

 The rest of yesterday and today in photos, with captions:

A Grand Hotel omnibus, on the way to the ferry docks. That's the Governor of Michigan's summer residence at the top of the hill in the center. The fort is on the right.

 

More lilacs.

Out the bay window of our condo.

I've never seen this yellow private buggy before. So, it's either new to the island, or an old buggy has been given a fresh coat of paint. Beautiful horses too!

"Is that Dad coming up the hill?"

 

"No, Fur Face, if that was Dad, he'd be pedaling a lot faster than that!"

"Oh, right."

Tomorrow, I have a photo of something you just don’t see every day – even on Mackinac Island.  See you then!

First Day Back 5/19/2010

Oh good grief – ya’ll know I can’t stay away from the laptop when I’m on this island!  Everything I see I want to share with you, so needless to say, you’re getting more than one photo today!

I had to make a deal with myself though:  Unpack – write a little, take a walk – write a little, unpack some more – write a little more, go downtown – write.  It worked out pretty well.

Here are a few notes and pics from our first day back, or maybe I should start with Monday right after we arrived – the bad stuff first.

I give my husband an A+ in loading a taxi!

You remember last year when we got to the condo and didn’t have any hot water?  Guess what.  Repeat!  Only this time, instead of the element being burned out, we had water standing under the hot water heater where a drip pan overflowed.  When our caretaker turned on the hot water a few day ago, he noticed a small leak and placed a catch-pan under it, thinking it would be fine until we got here on Monday.  It wasn’t fine.  So just like last year, our first call was to our plumber friend, Jerry.  Jerry was here first thing this morning checking it out and fixing the leak.  Ted has already decided we need to replace the whole thing because it is original with the condo (1989), but he is hoping to wait until winter.  We’ll see.

This morning we sat out on the porch drinking coffee and watching the Carriage Tour wagons come up the hill.  I cannot tell you the feeling I got in my heart watching that daily routine for the first time in six months.  The sound of horses’ hooves clip-clopping over pavement is one of the most soothing sounds in the world to me.  But – today I had lots to do, so I couldn’t sit around long.  I unpacked one suitcase, then got ready to walk downtown.

So far, this is the only lilac tree I've seen blooming.

I wanted to go with Jill at 10 a.m. to meet other friends who were arriving on the ferry this morning.  Nothing makes you feel more special when you dock than to see smiling faces waiting for you, and it’s an island tradition to meet friends when they arrive and see them off when they leave.  As I was walking across the hill by the horse corral, I noticed one lilac tree about to be in full bloom.  Don’t panic if you are planning to be here for the Lilac Festival.  That was the only one I saw – no clue why it is so far ahead of the others.

Jill met me at the bottom of Turkey Hill, and we walked into town together.  Our friends who were arriving at ten called to say they were running late and wouldn’t get here until 12:30.  I knew I couldn’t stay downtown that long, so we just ran some errands.  I stopped in at the Arnold Ferry office to purchase commuter tickets for the season and ran into one of my favorite people on the island – Richard, who Ted and I met several years ago.  Richard lives on the island during the summer and spends most of the day either in the corner park across from Doud’s or on the Arnold dock.  Richard is retired and is an avid “people watcher”.  We exchange Christmas cards every year and either Ted or I (or both of us) see him just about every day downtown.  Richard is a character, and I mean that in only the fondest of ways.

Our friend, Richard.

I’ve been hearing about the “school bus” for a couple of years now, but have never seen it until today.  We’ve been on the island this early before, but I guess we were never in the right spot at the right time.  The “bus” is actually a Carriage Tour buggy, filled with novice carriage drivers.  The carriage is driven by a veteran tour guide and the “students” ride the same route over and over, learning the history of the streets they will soon be driving on themselves.  There is a script they follow, but the really good guides always throw in tidbits that they have researched for themselves, along with cute stories about island life.

A bus-full of fledgling carriage tour drivers.

Several chapters of the Red Hat Society were staying at the Grand this week, and the group below was waiting for Carriage Tour tickets.  The Red Hat Society was founded by artist Ellen Cooper, who gave a friend a 55th birthday gift consisting of a red fedora purchased at a thrift shop.  She also gave her friend a copy of Jenny Joseph’s poem “Warning” which opens with the lines, “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple.  With a red hat that doesn’t go and doesn’t fit me.”  Cooper repeated the gift several times on request and eventually several of the women bought purple outfits and held a tea party.  Now there are 70,000 members and almost 24,000 chapters in the U.S. and 25 other countries.  It is the largest women’s social group in the world.

Jill took this great shot of the Red Hat ladies.

We visited several shops and said “hello” to the owners we knew.  Last year when I arrived on the island I knew practically no one.  Today, I spent the morning visiting friends all around town.  Amazing!

Me with Nicole, who owns Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island. I could do some serious damage to my debit card in Nicole's shop!

After all the errands were run, including stopping at the post office and dropping by Doud's to get something for lunch, Jill walked with me halfway home. We met Joan Barch coming down Cadotte with her grandbaby. Joan was the census taker for the island this year. She visited every island resident on her snowmobile.

Spotted this dray full of plants headed for the Grand - maybe to the greenhouse?

What can I say? The tulips are blooming at the Grand.

This beautiful dove was strolling past tulips growing along a white picket fence in a yard on Cadotte.

Anna's back! I saw her as I passed the Grand. Anna is a poop scooper, and she has turned that position into a public relations career. If anyone smiles bigger than Anna when they are working, I want to meet them. Love that Anna!

I can’t promise this much for the rest of the week, but we’ll see.  Since I wrote the paragraph above about the hot water heater, it has begun to leak again, and Ted has ordered a new one.  Enough with hoses running from the third floor to the second floor sink, draining water out of that tank – Ted wants it fixed!  Me too – I am not a fan of cold showers!