Throw Back Thursday – Catch Up! 5/4/17

Personal Note:  SOOOO many faces in this one you’ll recognize if you’ve followed the blog for very long!

I’ll be back on Sunday with a pre-Alaska blog.  This time next Thursday we will be on the way to Fairbanks!

FIRST PUBLISHED JUNE 30, 2013

I’m getting a really late start writing tonight (because we had the most perfectly beautiful day you can possibly imagine on Mackinac, and Ted and I stayed outside and enjoyed it until hunger drove us in).  So, I’m going to just toss up some photos with captions and let that do for now.

We had some foggy days at the beginning of last week, and fog creates some strange illusions. Loved these "waves" of wisp

We had some foggy days at the beginning of last week, and fog creates some strange illusions. Loved these “waves” of wispy fog clouds between the break wall and the lighthouses.

We ate in the Chippewa one evening and watched the fog roll into the harbor . . .

Ted and I ate in the Chippewa one evening and watched the fog roll into the harbor.

When we stepped out onto Main Street to start home, the streetlights shining through the fog turned Main Street

When we stepped out of the hotel to start home, the streetlights shining through the fog gave downtown’s Main Street a rather haunting look . . .

. . . and the east end

. . . and the east end really looked eerie in front of Marquette Park.  Good night for the ghost tours!

Mike Forrester and his family rented kayaks from Great Turtle Kayak Tours and really enjoyed paddling around the marina. We need to go kayaking!

Mike Forrester and his family rented kayaks from Great Turtle Kayak Tours and really enjoyed paddling around the marina on their next-to-last-day on the Island.   Talk about a serene scene!  (Photo: Mike Forrester)

Ted and I met blog reader Jeff and his family - Camille, Lisa, Mia and Jake - at Sadie's Saturday for ice cream. Flavor #5 - Blueberry Cobbler (vanilla ice cream with blueberries AND pieces of cobbler crust)! Oh. My. Goodness. Another 10!

Ted and I met blog reader Jeff and his family – Camille, Lisa, Mia and Jake – at Sadie’s Saturday for ice cream. Flavor #5 – Blueberry Cobbler (vanilla ice cream with blueberries AND pieces of cobbler crust)! Oh. My. Goodness. Another 10!

On a walk the other day, we cut through the Trillium Heights neighborhood, which is about three hills further up Cadotte than we are. I really like this area though - lovely homes and nice folks living in them!

On a walk the other day we cut through the Trillium Heights neighborhood, which is about three hills further up Cadotte than we are. I really like this area – lovely homes and nice folks living in them!

Who, me? Uh-uh. Maddie did it.

“Who, me? Uh-uh. Maddie did it.”

Love this view from the East Bluff.

Have always loved this view from the East Bluff.

Jill - getting some puppy love!

Jill – getting some puppy love!

From a trip to Mac City - out-of-the-water sailboats at the marina.

From a trip to Mac City – out-of-the-water sailboats at the marina . . .

ggggg

. . . and the little park adjacent to the Shepler dock.

Pansies! Don't you just love pansies!

Pansies! Don’t you just love pansies!

One day this week we walked into town and met up with Chris Ann and Burton's family at Marquette Park. Two of the grandchildren fell in love with the Bearster.

One day this week we walked into town and met up with Chris Ann and Burton’s family at Marquette Park. Two of the grandchildren fell in love with the Bearster.

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We went over to visit our neighbor, Chief Duck Andress, this week and noticed a chipmunk running up and down the top of his fence. Duck went over and poured out some peanuts and told me to go stand right by the fence and not move. Sure enough, in just a minute or two, Mr. Chipmunk scurried right down to the treats. Chipmunk to himself: “Hmmmm . . . peanuts!”

"I think I'll try one . . .

“I think I’ll try one . . .

. . . or two, or seven, or twelve. Man, I wish I had bigger cheeks!"

. . . or two, or seven, or twelve. Man, I wish I had bigger cheeks!”

Mary Warner, a blog reader, and her entire family were staying at the Yacht Club this week. I biked down to meet her and husband Steve, their two sons and their wives and the three grandchildren. What a fun family!

Mary, a blog reader, and her entire family were staying at the Yacht Club this week. I biked down to meet her and husband Steve, their two sons and their wives, and the three grandchildren. What a fun family!  And guess what, Lowell – Mary and her parents used to eat at the Carriage Lantern in the 50’s, Mary worked one summer for the Benjamin Photography Store, and (drum roll please) Mary, as an 8-year-old, ALSO walked across Arch Rock!  There seems to have been quite a bit of that going on in the 50’s.

 

I loved these t-shirts they were all wearing. Each date is the year that someone new in the family first visited Mackinac Island.

I loved these t-shirts they were all wearing. Each date is the year that someone new in the family first visited Mackinac Island.

Me - hurrying to the library last Friday to hear authors PJ Parrish (really two sisters

Me – hurrying to the library last Friday to hear author P.J. Parrish. (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

You'll remember that P.J. Parrish is actually two sisters, Kelly Nichols and Kristy Montee, and their latest book is Heart of Ice, set on Mackinac Island.

You’ll remember that P.J. Parrish is actually two sisters, Kelly Nichols and Kristy Montee, and their latest book is Heart of Ice, set on Mackinac Island.  These two sisters graciously mentioned Bree’s Blog in the Acknowledgement page as a source of some of their Mackinac Island information. 

The library was packed, and the sisters spoke for about an hour about their new book and what it's like to write together - one from Michigan and one from Florida. After the lecture there was a book signing, and the books were flying out of the library! It is SO good!

The library was packed, and the sisters spoke for about an hour about the new book and what it’s like to write together – one from Michigan and one from Florida. After the lecture there was a book signing.  Hope you’ve read Heart of Ice.   It is SO good!

We rode out to today and found a pony wash in progress.

We rode out today to the Mackinac Community Equestrian Center and found a pony wash in progress.

Friend Joan Barch was there with her grandson Jordan. Well, it seems there were no dirty ponies so sweet Blaze got to be "dirtied up" with finger paints . . .

Friend Joan Barch was there with her grandson Jordan. It seems there were no dirty ponies, so sweet Blaze volunteered to be “dirtied up” with finger paints . . .

. . . and Jordan had great fun leaving his fingerprints everywhere!

. . . and Jordan had great fun leaving his hand prints everywhere!

After they decorated Blaze in very patriotic red, white and blue paint, they, of course, washed it all off!

After they decorated Blaze in very patriotic red, white and blue paint, they then washed it all off!  That Blaze will put up with anything for these young horse lovers.

The article reporter Stephanie Fortino wrote on Lowell and Faye's visit to the Island appeared in this week's Town Crier!

The article that Stepanie Fortino wrote about Lowell and Faye’s visit to Mackinac was in this week’s Town Crier!

I have a funny story to tell you, and then I’m done for tonight.  The day that Lowell, Faye, Jill, reporter Stephanie, Ted and I had lunch at the Grand Hotel, we were all sitting and chatting, waiting for our food to arrive.  I totally forget what it was, but Ted said something sweet, and I reached out with my right hand – still chatting with someone down the table on my left – to give him a sweet pat and rub on his cheek.  As I patted and rubbed, I noticed everyone had stopped mid-sentence and they were all staring at me wide-eyed.  I heard Ted clear his throat and say, “Uh, Sweetie?”

That’s when I turned toward Ted and discovered that instead of patting and rubbing Ted’s cheek, I was patting and rubbing the arm of our server.

I put my head down on the table and about DIED! But the waiter thought it was funny (and so did everyone else), and he laughingly agreed to recreating the "scene" for this pic.

I put my head down on the table and about DIED! But the waiter thought it was funny (and so did everyone else), and he laughingly agreed to recreate the “scene” for this pic.  Oh, Lordy.

And that’s the last time I “pat and rub” without looking first!

We have another busy, busy week ahead, with lots of 4th of July activities, and on Tuesday we’re going sailing!  Really excited about that and will share that adventure later in the week, along with whatever other goodies pop up.  The weather is supposed to be stuck on PERFECT all week, so if there’s any way you can jump in a car or bus or train or plane and get up here, you won’t be disappointed!

Have a great week, and I’ll be back in a few days with more good stuff from Mackinac!  God bless.

Covering Mackinac Island 9/3/15

Living downtown in the Mission District has quite a few advantages over living “up the hill” past the Grand Hotel.  Here are a few:

  1. A bike ride to town and back does not include a prayer request for your brakes to not fail and many, MANY stops on the way back home to catch your breathe.
  2. If we forget to buy bread, the trip to Doud’s only takes 10 minutes (round-trip)!
  3. Being much closer to the water, we get the full sound affects from the harbor – freighters blowing salutes, ferries blowing at other ferries, and the buoy bell.
  4. And my personal favorite – being able to hear Taps played at 10:00 each night from the fort ramparts.  Priceless..

The disadvantages are:

  1. Cutting out that hill also cuts down on the daily exercise.  My big plan to ride around the island every day has so far – sadly- not happened.
  2. Being closer to town makes it a lot easier to opt out of cooking dinner.  With so many restaurants within a 10-minute walk or a five-minute bike ride, we find ourselves eating out more.  Add that to less exercise, and our waistlines are sure to suffer the consequences.
  3. We miss the Village and our friends up there!  We see many of them downtown every day, but it’s not the same as being “amongst” them!

But I AM NOT complaining!  We are so fortunate to have found a place for six weeks that allowed us to bring our pooches, and the only thing bothering us is that our stay is almost half-way over already.  Where the heck is the time going?!

Tonight I’m going to share a bunch of pics I’ve been collecting for the last few days as we’ve been here and there around the island.  And later this week (probably Sunday) I’ll be sharing photographs from the Grand Garden Show.  I can promise you those photos are going to make you want to get online or on the phone and book your reservations for next year’s show.  I know I’m going to be there again!

A LITTLE BIKE RIDE

Even though I haven't biked all the way around the island yet, I HAVE done half that ride. Ted and I biked out to Silver Birches one afternoon, hoping owner/friend Liz would be there. We were out of luck on that, but we did get a couple of photographs from outside the gates.

Even though I haven’t biked all the way around the island yet, I HAVE done half that ride. Ted and I biked out to Silver Birches one afternoon, hoping owner/friend Liz would be there. We were out of luck on that, but we did get a couple of photographs from outside the gates.

We've heard it will be the summer of 2017 when this property is open for guests, and when we saw the massive restoration going on, we could sure understand why it might take that long. All I can say is that once this property is completed, it will be one of the premier destination spots on Mackinac. Hoping to get a tour inside before we leave at the end of September!

We’ve heard it will be the summer of 2017 when this property is open for guests, and when we saw the massive restoration going on, we could sure understand why it might take that long. All I can say is that once this property is completed, it will be one of the premier destination spots on Mackinac. Hoping to get a tour inside before we leave at the end of September!

Instead of finishing the ride around the island, we chose to turn up British LandingRoad and stop at Croghan Water.

Instead of finishing the ride around the island, we chose to turn up British Landing Road and stop at Croghan Water, named after Colonel George Croghan, Commander of the American forces during the Battle of Mackinac Island on August 4, 1814.

Croghan Water is a natural drainage area for rain and meltwater from the surrounding fields and woods. It's not fed by a running stream or springs, so it goes through cycles of wet and dry periods.

Croghan Water is a natural drainage area for rain and meltwater from the surrounding fields and woods. It’s not fed by a running stream or springs, so it goes through cycles of wet and dry periods. Every spring the marsh is filled with life as it’s an excellent environment for animals, birds, and vegetation that thrive in cool, damp wetlands.  By autumn, the marsh is frequently dried up, leaving the bare stalks of cattails and rushes.

It always amazes me how nature finds a way to replenish herself. Even though this tree trunk was barely showing above the earth, new leaves were pushing out and skyward.

It always amazes me how nature finds a way to replenish itself. Even though this tree trunk was barely showing above the earth, new leaves were pushing out and skyward.

Looking down British Landing Road - where we'd just ridden . . .

Looking down British Landing Road – which we’d just ridden up . . . .

. . . and further up - where Ted

. . . and further up – where Ted is stopped next to the sign marking where American soldiers futilely attempted to drive the British from their hill in 1814.

That battlefield is now Wawashkamo Golf Club.

That battlefield is now Wawashkamo Golf Club, one of very few American courses laid out in a links style that remains substantially unaltered, and the only nine-hole course in America to be designated an American Historic Golf Landmark by Golf Digest.

Back in town. It was a great day to hang out in Marquette Park!

Back in town. It was a great day to hang out in Marquette Park . . .

. . . or sit on the corner and watch the world go by!

. . . or sit on the corner and watch the world go by!

 HANGING OUT AT GRAND HOTEL

I can always count on getting some pretty good photos just by going and hanging out at Grand Hotel . . and this day was no different. Sadie's Ice Cream Parlor

I can always count on getting some pretty good photos just by going and hanging out at Grand Hotel, and this day was no different. Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor is surrounded by flowers on the outside and filled with frozen yumminess on the inside!

The Michigan Governor's Summer Residence - as seen from the porch at the Grand.

The Michigan Governor’s Summer Residence – as seen from the porch at the Grand.

The western portico and its fabulous view over the Straits of Mackinac.

The western portico and its fabulous view over the Straits of Mackinac.

The Grand omnibus approaching the entrance to pick up guests going downtown.

A Grand omnibus approaching the entrance to pick up guests going downtown.

The Grand Rose Garden - through the trees.

The Grand Rose Garden – through the trees.

FRIENDS

It’s been great fun to connect with readers and friends over the last few days!

Patty and Buz, our condo neighbors at Surrey Ride, as well as Cindy and Steve, who bought our condo. We had lunch together at Gatehouse after church Sunday.

Patty and Buz, our condo neighbors at Surrey Ridge (from Oklahoma), as well as Cindy and Steve, who bought our condo (from Atlanta). We all had lunch together at Gatehouse after church Sunday.

Katie, her husband Kevin, and little Claire - blog readers from Clarkston, MI who stopped us on a recent dog walk. Loved meeting y'all, and give your mom a big hug for me!

Katie, her husband Kevin, and precious little Claire – blog readers from Clarkston, MI who stopped us on a recent dog walk. Loved meeting y’all, and give your mom a big hug for me!

Girl friends Patty and Sue. Sue spent two nights with us on the island, and the three of us had a blast

Girl friends Patty and Sue. Sue spent two nights with us on the island, and the three of us had a blast “doing” the show!

Others have been Hilde and Bud (why didn’t I get a photo?), Paul and Elaine (same question), Stu Stuart (same question), Joleen and her husband (who I never saw, but they saw Jill), and two ladies at the Garden Show who introduced themselves as readers (I didn’t get their photos and I can’t remember their names, but I think they both started with a “J” – how far off am I, ladies?).  One thing, sweet readers – don’t EVER hesitate to introduce yourselves – no matter what I might be doing.  I LOVE meeting all of you!

RANDOMNESS

Wedding photos in the Mission Point intersection below our condo.

Wedding photos in the Mission Point intersection below our condo.

One of my favorite curves on M-85.

One of my favorite curves on M-85.

Yes, there is a young person who rides this bike filled with soft drinks up and down Grand Hotel porch. Don't you just love that?!

Yes, there is a young person who rides this bike filled with soft drinks up and down Grand Hotel porch. Don’t you just love that?!

Mission Point Resort from Robinson's Folly.

Mission Point Resort from Robinson’s Folly.

Island friend Mary Jane Barnwell at her recent book signing at Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island.

Island friend and owner of the Island Bookstore, Mary Jane Barnwell, at her recent book signing at Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island.

The book, Goodnight, Mackinac Island was written by Mary Jane and illustrated by wonderful Mackinac artist Lily Porter. A wonderful souvenir of the island that you'll read over and over again to the children and grandchildren!

The book, Goodnight, Mackinac Island – A Vacation Journal, was written by Mary Jane and illustrated by wonderful Mackinac artist Lily Porter. This is the first Mackinac Island board book for toddlers!!

A FEW FLOWERS TO GET YOU READY FOR THE NEXT BLOG ABOUT THE GARDEN SHOW!

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Grand Hotel garden flower.

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And – as a real tease – one of the gardens you’ll be seeing from the perspective of the cottage owner – not as a visitor to the island . . .

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Whew!  I told you I’ve been busy!!

Hope everyone is doing great and getting ready for an awesome weekend!  And I hope you’ll join me back here on Sunday for the garden tour to end all garden tours!!

God bless.

Mackinac Island Winter Update – Vol. 7 1/11/2012

Hi Everyone!  This will be a short and sweet update tonight.  I haven’t heard a lot of news from the island this week, but I do have some photos to share.  I just took a look at the island weather report for the next seven days, and it looks as though they will have some significant snow coming in on Thursday and Friday – how much depends on how charged up the lake effect snow becomes.  Here’s hoping they get lots and lots of the white stuff – they need it!

There are several photos from Heather May I want to share tonight.  Heather is such a great photographer, and she lives on the Island year-round.  She’s also a teacher at the Island school.

Lots of snowmobiles lined Main Street at the time of this photo. As you can see, the Christmas lights were still up also. This was taken around Jan. 3 or 4.

Heather was in the right place at the right time to catch George in the winter taxi, turning the corner at Cadotte and Market.

Heather made her way up to Fort Mackinac for this shot. The last boat of the day for both Arnold and Shepler Ferries were leaving the Island for St. Ignace.

Heather added some special effect magic to this beautiful scene of Marquette Park and the marina.

A friend of Heather's risked climbing part of the way up Sugar Loaf! No way would I do that - klutz that I am!

Last pic for this time by Heather May. The West Bluff stairway.

This sunset takes my breath! (Photo: Robert McGreevy)

Both Arnold and Shepler Ferry companies are still running and will continue to do so until ice builds in Lake Huron to the point that travel by ferry would be too dangerous or not possible at all.  Shepler’s was running their “fast boat” – the Felicity – up until a couple of weeks ago and then began running the Sacre Bleu.  Since the Sacre Bleu is a freight boat, not a passenger boat, the problem arose of how to keep passengers warm on the trip across since the work ferry had no passenger cabin.  Ingenuity took over, and now a brand new service is offered by Shepler’s . . . . . . take a BUS to the Island!

When you pull into the Shepler parking lot at St. Ignace, one of their shuttle buses picks you up at your car, and your luggage, groceries, etc. are loaded onto the shuttle. Then . . . . .

. . . the bus is driven onto the Sacre Bleu and remains running the whole way across to the Island - heater going, and passengers all warm and comfy. I love it!

Swans off the Shepler dock in St. Ignace.

I wish I had more tonight, but hopefully by the next update there will be lots of news and pics to post.  I’ll be skipping a week, so the next Winter Update will be Wednesday, January 25.  Next Tuesday night, when I’d normally be sitting down to write this blog, Ted and I will be at the Beaver Creek Ski Resort in Vail. CO.  We’re flying out on Saturday (Jan. 14) to see Blake, and I can’t even begin to tell you how excited we are!  We return on Thursday night, Jan. 19.  Two weeks is a long time to go without blogging about the Island, but I will be posting this Friday (Jan. 13) AND on Monday (Jan. 23) on the Lake Blackshear Blog.  Tune in there for Colorado stories and photos.

See you back here on January 25.  Till then – be safe, stay healthy, and God bless   

P.S.  Safe travel prayers would be much appreciated.

Mackinac Island Winter Update – Volume 3 11/30/2011

Hi everyone, and happy “Week after Thanksgiving”!  Ted and I enjoyed the most wonderful holiday with all the children and grandchildren at the Georgia lake house – except Blake, who spent Thanksgiving with friends in Denver, CO.  He’ll be home for Christmas though – can’t wait!

What better way to start this week’s update than with our first newsletter from Greg Main!  Thanks so much, Greg, for allowing me to share your wonderful words about life on the island during the winter months!

     “As we near the end of November, with the winter months just around the corner, there are changes in store for those of us still on Mackinac other than the weather.  Actually, these changes will also affect those of you who will be returning. 

     So far, we’ve experienced little in the way of winter-to-come, with only a few flurries in the air one afternoon and temperatures falling a few nights into the upper 20’s.  Typically, gray days, cool temps and rain forecasted every few days is a November we expect. 

     An expected change – one which was generally not wanted among this community – is the destruction of McNally Cottage.  Gone for good is yet another of the island’s historic structures.

     Another expected change, this one scenic in nature, was the removal of all the remaining mature maples lining both sides of Cadotte Avenue.  Their spindly replacements will take some time to get used to, as will the ‘new’ view looking up and down that street.  Hopefully, a few decades from now, future generations will be able to enjoy the same canopy-covered, photogenic street many of us will fondly remember.  One drawback (personal opinion, here) to the new plantings was the placement of one tree directly in front of Little Stone Church, making it impossible to get an unobstructed photograph of the church head-on.  However, it was the same way with the old trees.

     One of the unexpected changes is the change in management of the Village Inn.  After 28 years, Ron and Mary Dufina will no longer be leasing the building, as owner Dennis Cawthorne decided to let the Grand Hotel give it a go.  The new name, as I’m told, is something like ‘Cawthorne’s Village Inn, a Grand Hotel restaurant’,  but don’t officially hold me to that name. All of the kitchen equipment was removed a couple weeks ago for remodeling, and a lot of painting and other remodeling has been taking place in the bar and restaurant areas since the first of this month, with a December 1st re-opening still being anticipated.

     For the first couple weeks this month, the noxious odor of hot asphalt wafted downhill from the airport, intermittently invading the olfactory senses of anyone outside in the downtown area.  With that aspect of the airport job now nearly finished, the runway is once again open, although only for daytime flights until the new lighting installation is completed. 

     Our town Christmas tree was set up on Main Street, donated by Rosie Charnes from her property in the village.  This tree is strikingly different from the norm, it being much larger in height and girth.  It is a great looking tree, and we’re all looking forward to the official lighting.

     Just as we’ve been getting used to the continued running of Arnold Transit’s fast ferry, the announcement was posted today that the Chippewa, or ‘the slow boat’ to many of us, will be put into service beginning Saturday.  Shepler’s ferry is still running also, per the ferry ordinance, but there have been more empty or near-empty ferries coming and going every day between here and St. Ignace this Fall than I have ever seen before. 

     Mackinac Island’s first annual ‘Turkey Trot’, a 5k/3.1mile run/walk/ dog/walk/ bike/ whatever will take place Thanksgiving morning at 11 o‘clock, beginning at Doud’s Market, route unknown to me at this time.  It’s a just-for-fun event, untimed, unsanctioned.  Perhaps a good way to work off some calories before packing them back on later in the day.  

     Freighters remain an everyday sighting in the Straits.  It seems busier this November than most that I recall.  Maybe this is a sign of good things to come, economically.

     I’m getting started with these missives a bit later than usual this year as most of my week has been tied up with working.  It’s rehab time at the Island House Hotel, and every room is gone through, painted, patched and primped.  Five days per week there leaves little time for me to wander about, gathering ideas, mustering opinions or to chat with people in order to sit at this keyboard on a semi-regular basis and pass along things I might deem interesting . . .hopefully.

     It is that time of year when quiet returns.  The daily parade of dump trucks loaded with McNally site excavation dirt and gravel rumbling through town notwithstanding, traversing the bluffs, east and west, the Annex roads, interior trails and even circling State highway are a welcome contrast to the noise and hubbub of the all-too-brief summer season.  It isn’t so much that island wildlife is more abundant or noisy at this time of year, it’s the lack of human distractions which enable one to pause now and then, noticing an interesting architectural feature on a cottage, listen to the distinct, myriad warbles and trills of those non-migratory (or procrastinating) birds or to simply walk or bike slowly, taking in the newly-created vastness of the masses-free areas all over the rock.  It’s a good time to be here if you like the transition phases of Mackinac living.  We quickly fall into daily routines which, themselves, change little as winter approaches, sets in for a spell, then melts away a few months from now.  It can be a busy time for some, a relaxing time for others.  For those of us who like being busy with a day now and then to relax, it is, again, a good time to be here.

     This first offering will be rather short until I get myself into a routine sometime after the holidays, after which I can ‘settle in’ to hopefully have more to write each time along with new photos as often as possible.  Until the next time, I hope all is well with everyone wherever you are.”  Greg Main

As I’ve mentioned before, November is a slow month on the Island, with a lot of men off hunting.  November is also the month when many store owners are off the Island traveling to “market” and purchasing all the goodies we’ll want to buy next summer!

The St. Ignace News is a winter source for a lot of what I learn about the Island in the off-season, and this week’s issue was brimming with information.

  • In a story by Matt Mikus:  The skeletal remains of at least four humans found at the excavation site of the demolished McNally Cottage (believed by Cecil Pavlat, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians repatriation specialist, to be of Native American origin) may be reinterred in a memorial burial mound on the Island.  Pavlat stated at the Mackinac City Council Meeting on Nov. 16 that this would be a culturally acceptable means of repatriation and would help bring awareness to Native American history on the Island.  Pavlat plans to contact the Mackinac Island State Park Commission to find a possible location for the burial and the monument.  If the state park commission is unable to fulfill the request, there is also the possibility of a private landowner donating a plot of land.  In response to a question my council member Anneke Myers, Pavlat said the 400 yards of earth removed from the site could probably be contained and interpreted on a plot of land 200 feet square.
  • From Jeannette Doud’s Mackinac Island column:  1)  Folks are getting anxious about the lack of snow – snowmobiles are ready to go, but first that white stuff has to fall from the sky!  2)  The Island hosted its first Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day.  It was a 5K, 3.1 mile walk, run, or bicycle ride, and dogs were allowed.  The race wasn’t timed or sanctioned – it was just for fun.  3)  Christmas Bazaar December 3-5.  4)  Christmas tree lighting Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. (you can watch on the Island web cams at http://www.mackinaclive.com!)

Shepler’s “fast” ferry will continue to run through December 2 – and possibly longer, depending on weather conditions.  The Felicity is pulling the extra duty, with other Shepler fast ferries out of the water for the winter months. Although all the ferry companies now run only from St. Ignace, the Mackinac City Shepler Dock is decorated for Christmas.

Thanks to all the readers who “snagged” a photo off the webcams of the Christmas Tree going up in the middle of Main Street and emailed them to me.  The two I’m posting are from Smi Horn, who lives year-round on Mackinac and got a great shot from a different angle than the webcams –  and a shot at sunset tonight, Nov. 29, from Nicole Doud of Little Luxuries.

As Greg mentioned in his newsletter, this is a really BIG tree. Can't wait to see it glowing with lights this Friday night!

Nicole added this sunset shot of the unlit tree to her Little Luxuries Facebook page just tonight.

The Mackinac Island Tourist Bureau has a new site where Island videos are being posted.  This is the one I chose to highlight (about horses, of course, and with some great music), but once you’re there you can click on all the others.  Thanks to Mary Slevin for this snazzy new resource!  http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xmm40d_mackinac-island-horses_animals

I’ll close with a few more photos from Steve Fridley . . . . . .

Mission Church on the east end of Main Street, before you get to Mission Point. If you've never been inside, please make a point to drop by on your next trip to the Island. Its peaceful simplicity will draw you in and bring a moment of calm to a busy day.

Marquette Park. Street lights. Full moon. Peek-a-boo clouds. Sigh.

A quiet fall evening downtown.

Fort Mackinac - with fall color!

Can’t believe when we talk next Wednesday it will be December, and we’ll all be in the middle of the Christmas hustle and bustle.  Let’s not forget, during all that craziness, to celebrate the true meaning of the season – the birth of the baby Jesus.  Love to you all!

God bless.

Shared by a friend - too, too cute!

In the Spotlight . . . . 9/16/2011

We have a winner for the Mystery Spot Contest.  She is Joan Asoklis from Shelby Township, MI.  Please see end of post for the answer!

As I was looking through my photos a couple of days ago, trying to decide what to publish for Random Photo Day, I received an email from two of my most loyal blog readers, Steve and Tami Fridley from Indiana.  Steve and Tami visit the Island as much as possible, and Steve always takes the most amazing photographs while he’s here.  He sent me a link to a few from their last visit a couple of weeks ago, and they are so stunning I decided to forego my own random shots, and put up Steve’s instead (with his permission, of course).  They are all so, so good – but his sunrise shots just blew me away.

Steve and Tami stayed at the Cottage Inn while they were on the Island, and Steve had to get up mighty early for some of these shots!

A freighter slips through the Straits on a dead calm day.

Can we ever have enough photos of Round Island Light? This one is really sharp, and the blues are beautiful. I also like how the two small red buildings off to the left show up so well against the blue.

The Marina at dawn. The buildings you can see (from left to right) are: The Richard and Jane Manoogian Art Museum (formerly the Indian Dormitory), Anne's Cottage, Brigadoon Cottage, the Yacht Club, and the Island House, ablaze with lights. You can also see that a few East Bluff cottages have not yet been closed for the winter.

Just before sunrise . . .

. . . and a few moments later.

Kites in every shape and color fly over Windermere Point . . .

Backing off for a longer view, Steve captured the beautiful Iroquois Hotel.

I love this end of Market Street. The hustle and bustle slowly ebb away as you walk down the shady sidewalk to the water.

If I was a betting woman, I would say Steve took this photo of the Cottage Inn right after he sleepily stumbled outside to photograph the next three shots.

Downtown in the wee, small hours of the morning. The street washers have already been by, and everything is fresh and ready for a new day.

The Marina just before daybreak.

This one should definitely be a calendar entry. I love it, and I don't think I've ever seen Marquette Park in this early morning light. The grass, the street lamps, the sky, and St. Anne's steeple. Unbelievably beautiful.

Thanks so much, Steve, for allowing me to spotlight your photographs.  Hope to see you and Tami when you’re here in October!

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Thinking Out Loud

I’ve already begun trying to think of ways to improve the blog for next summer, and two of my ideas so far are these:

1)  One day a week publish YOUR Mackinac Island vacation photos.  Now we’d have to be very sensible about this.  You couldn’t send me hundreds of photos and ask me to choose the best one to publish.  Oh no!  YOU would have to choose your best shot and send it in.

2)  Maybe once a month I’d like to publish one of YOUR stories about the Island.  Maybe it would be a favorite vacation story – something romantic, or silly, or dramatic, or . . .  whatever.  Or maybe it would be what made you fall in love with the Island and want to come here year after year.

Drop me a comment and let me know what you think of these ideas . . . or offer your own suggestions!

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THE MYSTERY SPOT
The object of the Mystery Spot  is to be the first to identify where the object is located. When you think you have the answer, email me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com. I’ll check my email several times a day, and as soon as we have a winner, I’ll post the winner’s name at the top of this blog so you can stop guessing, AND I’ll post the full photo of the mystery spot at the bottom of the blog with the answer. Is there a prize for the winner – yes there is; but the prize is secret, and the only ones who will know what it is are the winners. To be fair, I’m asking residents of Mackinac Island to please NOT guess. This is just for readers who don’t live here . . . but would like to!  Also – don’t forget – you can only win once per season.

This Mystery Spot is a little different.  There might be several of these same images around the island, but the one I’m looking for is the one you’ve seen nearly every week this summer on the blog in at least one of my photos.  And the Mystery Spot is . .

Where is it?

Don’t forget to email your answer to me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.  Please do not answer in the comment section.
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Things are winding down a little now, but soon the fall colors will be big news, and I’ll have lots to report.  While things are quiet, I’m going to take the weekend off except for posting the Mystery Spot winner.
I’ll be back on Monday with lots of good things – like photos from last week’s race around the island AND the story of how a leaky dishwasher turned into a brand new floor in our condo.  The work is done, and I can’t wait to show you the results!

Have a great weekend, and God bless.

MYSTERY SPOT ANSWER

The horse and buggy image I was looking for is on the Lilac House Bed & Breakfast, which is so often seen in the photos taken of my blog readers when they visit me at the Stuart House. Here I'm with Paul and Elaine Williams of Yale, MI (earlier in the summer).


Let the Lilac Festival Begin! 6/13/2011

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

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

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

. . . will look like this . . .

 
 

. . . . and this. Amazing!

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

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

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

 
 

Hope these help with your planting project!

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

A bed of bleeding heart flowers near Trinity Church.

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

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

 
 

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

 
 

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

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

Random Mackinac Beauty 6/9/2011

No matter where I turn this week, something beautiful catches my eye.  Spring and summer have merged into an explosion of color on the island, and if I could sustain the pace, I would be pressing the shutter of my camera almost constantly.  You would think by now my senses would be almost numb to it all.  Instead I find my senses sharpened.  Every sight, every smell, every sound is amplified, and Mackinac is alive with magic.

Looking across Marquette Park through the cross atop the replica of a Jesuit missionary bark chapel.

 
 

A crabapple tree celebrates summer on Fort Hill.

 
 
 

The sun scatters its warmth through the glass walls of the Grand Hotel's greenhouse.

 
 
 

In any other place, this would be a nursery. On Mackinac, it is simply an array of flowers waiting to take their place in the gardens of the Grand.

 
 
 

Purple on blue, with green in between.

 
 

And between two of Mackinac's most famous pups . . . a little lovin'.

 
See you tomorrow with all the week’s news AND a new “mystery spot”!  This one is going to be SO EASY you will know it instantly!