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.
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.
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!