Lilacs and Storms and Fun Galore! 6/15/17

So happy to be writing about Mackinac again!  I feel as though our two weeks in Alaska (and then two weeks spent writing about it) pulled me far away from the island, but our trip to Alaska is something I will remember and cherish forever. It was awesome, but now it’s time to switch back into my favorite gear and get caught up on what’s been happening up north!

The Mackinac Island Lilac Festival is in full swing!  As happens most years, the lilacs are blooming at exactly the right time, and thousands of visitors a day are walking off ferries into that enchanted “back in time”  land of lilacs, fudge, horses, beautiful homes and flower gardens.

This beautiful young lady is Amelia Balinski. I met her along with her mom (Theresa), dad, and brother Mike at Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor several years ago. The whole family had been reading Bree’s Blog for years, and it was a real treat to meet this wonderful group face to face. Amelia is spending her second (I think it’s her second) summer on Mackinac as a Dock Greeter for Mackinac State Historic Parks, and she also is a Ticket Agent and Tour Guide for Haunts of Mackinac. I just wanted to introduce you because many of the photos you’ll be seeing today are Amelia’s, and maybe if you’re on the island and spot her, you can say hello!

A close up of lilacs in two different shades. (Photo: Amelia Balinski)

I can just imagine what the air smells like along this white rail fence on Main Street near the Marina! (Photo: Sandi Steensma)

Along that same white fence  – lilacs bend in the breeze as a horse team pulls a shuttle toward Mission Point.  (Photo: Grace Reimer)

Lilacs, lighthouses, and lamp posts – beautifully framed by Katy Rise.

St. Anne’s – through the lilacs. (Photo: Dan Denardo)

Main Street is definitely playing a starring role in this year’s Lilac Festival! (Photo: Sandi Steensma)

Lilacs aren’t the only flowers blooming on Mackinac. These tulips are bright and happy at Mission Point Resort. (Photo: Amelia Balinski)

On Sunday, June 11, a storm hit Mackinac during the afternoon.  Thank goodness the damage it did was much less than it could have been.  The ferocity of this storm’s appearance was really terrifying, but except for one tree down and limbs breaking here and there, the island fared well.

This photograph was shown on WZZM-TV as a shelf cloud built over the Mackinac Bridge. . . .

. . . and Sandi Steensma captured the cloud just before the storm broke over the island.

Before the bridge was closed for a short time, this trailer, being pulled behind a truck, was tossed on its side.

HERE AND THERE AROUND MACKINAC

Beach flowers can find a way to bloom even through stone. This cheery yellow face appeared among the rocks on the island’s east side.  (Photo: Tom Chambers)

The Pearl Mist, a Great Lakes cruise ship, arrives on Wednesday morning. (Photo: Tom Chambers)

Runners pass through downtown during the Lilac Festival Race. (Photo: Katy Rise)

Grand Hotel continues to add wildflowers, lilacs and milkweed to their lawn in an effort to attract and sustain Monarch butterflies, whose numbers have decreased on the island in recent years. (Photo: Grand Hotel)

Jennifer Sorrentino spotted this baby owl on the island this week. How cute is that!

Friend Pam Day took this shot from the porch of her condo across from the Grand Golf Course one morning this week.   Ted and I will be in those same condos the middle of July, and I hope to join Pam for a cup of coffee!

A just for fun shot by Jill Sawatzki. Jill found a whole dolly full of Moomers Ice Cream containers sitting unattended near the Island Bookstore. Glad I wasn’t there, or we might have tempted each other into arranging for at least one of those containers to end up in the condo freezer!  FYI: All that goodness was on its way to the Good Day Café on Main Street!

Something hard to see and harder to get a close-up of on Mackinac – a baby bunny. (Photo: Amelia Balinski)

And the sun sets on another beautiful Mackinac day . . .

. . . both photos by Amelia Balinski.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

Happy Father’s Day in Heaven to my daddy, Leonard Sumner. He loved my mama . . .

. . . and me with a love that was unconditional and never ending. He gave me, his only child, the kind of childhood every little girl should have. I love you, daddy, and Imiss you every day. Till then . . .

See you back here soon for more Mackinac news and what’s happening at the beach!

God bless.

 

Through the Eyes of Fudgies – Part II 8/30/16

On Sunday you read about Kim and R.D.’s first-time visit to Mackinac.   Today it’s all about Debra and Glen!

Debra and Glen Phelps

As someone who came to the island for the first time over 15 years ago and has cried like a baby as I’ve left each year since then, I can recognize a total convert to Mackinac-ism in an instant.  Debra learned about the island from reading this blog and has wanted to come up here for years.  She came, she saw, she fell in love  – hook, line and sinker.  When she tried to book a room for next summer before they had even checked out from this visit, I knew I had a true-blue Mackinac fan on my hands!  Debra’s husband Glen is “almost” as Mackinac-in-love as Debra, and that will make for a very happy family over the coming year, as they plan their next trip.

Debra’s beautiful photographs have captured a vast segment of Mackinac’s beauty, and her words from her Facebook page tell the story of her island trip much better than I could.  From this point on, I’ll use Debra’s words:

Debra and Glen Phelps

Debra and Glen Phelps

"Mackinac Island is as beautiful and unique as I expected! It is like going back in time with the town, 'cottages', horses, carriages and bicycles (no cars allowed).

“Mackinac Island is as beautiful and unique as I expected! It is like going back in time . . .

. . . with the town, "cottages", horses, carriages and bicycles (no cars allowed)."

. . . with the town, “cottages”, horses, carriages and bicycles (no cars allowed).”

"The gardens and Lake Huron are gorgeous."

“The temperature today only reached a high of 70 degrees.”  (Spoken in amazement by a true Georgia girl!)

 

"And the temperature today only reached a high of 70 degrees." (Spoken in amazement by a true Georgia girl!)

“And the gardens and Lake Huron are gorgeous.”

"We toured the one and only opulent Grand Hotel today."

“We toured the one and only opulent Grand Hotel today.”

Many famous people have stayed hee since it opened in 1887. Somewhere in Time was filmed here. The pool is named after Esther Williams because she swam in their pool in a movie that was filmed here."

“Many famous people have stayed here since it opened in 1887. Somewhere in Time was filmed here. The pool is named after Esther Williams because she swam in their pool in a movie that was filmed here (This Time for Keeps).”

"The pictures don't do it justice. The porch is the longest in the world (660 feet). Glen liked the rocking chairs on the porch best."

“The pictures don’t do it justice. The porch is the longest in the world (660 feet). Glen liked the rocking chairs on the porch best.”

"More pictures of Mackinac Island . . . the cottages . . .

“More pictures of Mackinac Island . . . the cottages . . .

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. . . flowers . . .

. . . flowers . . .

. . . the Grand carriages . . .

. . . the Grand carriages . . .

. . . Lake Huron . . .

. . . Lake Huron . . .

. . . and the beautiful Arch Rock formation. Everything is truly beautiful."

. . . and the beautiful Arch Rock formation. Everything is truly beautiful.”

 

"Today the Hortons (who are in very good shape), the Harters (who can ride a tandem bike in total unison) and Glen and I (who are very out of shape) rode bikes on the 8.2 mile bike/horse road that completely circles the outer edge of Mackinac Island."

“Today the Hortons (who are in very good shape), the Harters (who can ride a tandem bike in total unison) and Glen and I (who are very out of shape) rode bikes on the 8.2 mile bike/horse road that completely circles the outer edge of Mackinac Island.”

"The sin was shining, the wind was blowing and the gorgeous lake waves were rolling in." We stopped for a photo at Devil's Kitchen."

“The sin was shining, the wind was blowing and the gorgeous lake waves were rolling in.  We stopped for a photo at Devil’s Kitchen.”

"Exercise is fun in this weather and when surrounded by such beauty."

“Exercise is fun in this weather and when surrounded by such beauty.”

"Yesterday we visited Grand Hotel where the movie Somewhere in Time was filmed. On the bike ride today, Ted showed us the tree from the scene where Elyse first saw Richard and she said, "Is it really you?" Here Glen and I are standing in front of that tree."

“Yesterday we visited Grand Hotel where the movie Somewhere in Time was filmed. On the bike ride today, Ted showed us the tree from the scene where Elyse first saw Richard and she said, ‘Is it you?’ Here Glen and I are standing in front of that tree.”

"Brenda took me to the staircase at Grand Hotel that Richard ran down to meet Elyse when she was calling him."

“Brenda took me to the staircase at Grand Hotel where Richard ran down to meet Elyse when she was calling him.”

"As I was walking Tessa this evening I noticed that the city building and churches are historic in keeping with all else on Mackinac Island. This is Little Stone Church where Brenda and Ted attend."

“As I was walking Tessa this evening I noticed the city buildings and churches are historic, in keeping with all else on Mackinac Island. This is Little Stone Church where Brenda and Ted attend.”

"Notice that even police and firefighters ride bikes!"

“Notice that even police ride bikes!”

"Today it rained on Mackinac. But it did not keep anyone from continuing to enjoy this paradise. Glen and I went on the "once a week" tour of the Governor's Cottage this morning. Because of the rain and the very steep hill that it sits on we took a taxi which is a horse drawn carriage."

“Today it rained on Mackinac. But it did not keep anyone from continuing to enjoy this paradise. Glen and I went on the “once a week” tour of the Governor’s Cottage this morning. Because of the rain and the very steep hill that it sits on, we took a taxi which is a horse drawn carriage.  Glen and I are standing on the porch of the Governor’s Cottage, which has been used by Michigan governors and their dignitary and presidential friends for many years.”

"Later in the day when the rain broke, I walked up and down "our street" and took some more pics. This is the rental horse stable, 'Cindy's'".

“Later in the day, when the rain broke, I walked up and down ‘our street’ and took some more pics. This is the rental horse stable, ‘Cindy’s'”.

"When we got back to Park Place Suites, Tessa and I were sitting in our courtyard and the 'garbagemen' came in a horse drawn dray! I do love this place!"

“When we got back to Park Place Suites, Tessa and I were sitting in our courtyard and the ‘garbagemen’ came in a horse drawn dray! I do love this place!”

"Tonight's walk took me to the end of our street that runs into Lake uron and gave me the opportunity to admire the Mackinac Bridge at night."

“Tonight’s walk took me to the end of our street that runs into Lake uron and gave me the opportunity to admire the Mackinac Bridge at night.”

"Then off I went to get some delicious Moomer's Ice Cream (at the No Name Café), followed by Taps at the fort.

“Then off I went to get some delicious Moomer’s Ice Cream (at the No Name Café), followed by Taps at the fort.

"Today Ted, Glen and I visited Fort Mackinac that overlooks beautiful Marquette Park where I let Tessa play."

“Today Ted, Glen and I visited Fort Mackinac that overlooks beautiful Marquette Park, where I let Tessa play.”

"I feared that it would just be old buildings. I was wrong! The many buikdings were filled with period furnishings, historical information and activities for children."

“I feared that it would just be old buildings. I was wrong! The many buildings were filled with period furnishings, historical information and activities for children.”

"There were also gun and cannon demonstrations. And there was an outdoor restaurant with the best view in town!"

“There were also gun and cannon demonstrations. And there was an outdoor restaurant with the best view in town!”

"After the fort, Ted took Glen and me for a walk on Anne's Tablet Trail (one of many trails) through a beautiful wooded area. The tablet seen on the trail honors the memory of a local author from years ago."

“After the fort, Ted took Glen and me for a walk on Anne’s Tablet Trail (one of many trails) through a beautiful wooded area. The tablet seen on the trail honors the memory of a local author from years ago.”

"Ted led us through the woods to the East Bluff where more pretty vintage cottages were lined up with million dollar views and beautiful flower gardens."

“Ted led us through the woods to the East Bluff where more pretty vintage cottages were lined up, with million dollar views and beautiful flower gardens.”

"I loved our walk so much that I immediately went a second time showing it to Tessa!"

“I loved our walk so much that I immediately went a second time, showing it to Tessa!”

"Bittersweet picture of Shepler's Ferry that took us away from the island."

“Bittersweet picture of Shepler’s Ferry that took us away from the island.”

"I am leaving a piece of my heart here and am sad to leave. But how blessed I am to have experienced this paradise! Glen and I love Mackinac Island so much that we plan to visit again next year. I hope all of you who have followed this trip with me will visit the island too."

“I am leaving a piece of my heart here and am sad to leave. But how blessed I am to have experienced this paradise! Glen and I love Mackinac Island so much that we plan to visit again next year. I hope all of you who have followed this trip with me will visit the island too.”

A few more of Debra’s photographs. . . .

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Ted and I had a blast showing Kim, R.D., Debra, and Glen Mackinac Island.  To paraphrase the slogan from the former Atlanta Journal, “We covered Mackinac like the dew.”  We tried our best to wear them out each day, but they were real troopers and just kept on going – even in the rain!

Hope you’ve enjoyed the island through the eyes of these four fudgies!

God bless.

 

Through the Eyes of Fudgies – Part I 8/28/16

Writing about and photographing Mackinac Island has been one of my main passions for a lot of years now.  Sometimes I feel there can’t be a single blade of grass I haven’t held in my lens or a single adjective I haven’t used to describe my happy place.  I go through periods of feeling as if I have nothing new to offer and no story left to tell.  And then something happens, or somebody encourages me, or I see something differently – and suddenly all is right in my world again.

That happened this week, and through these next two blog posts I want to share how seeing the island through the eyes of four people visiting Mackinac for the very first time had me seeing the island as a “fudgie” again.

Two couples, Debra and Glen Phelps and Kim and R.D. Harter, visited this week from Albany, GA.  We’re all connected through the Dougherty County School System where five of the six of us spent a lot of years working in the business of educating children.  Kim and R.D. arrived last Saturday by plane and stayed with us at the new condo.  Debra and Glen arrived the next day by car, after three days of driving, and stayed at Park Place Suites on Market Street with their precious furbaby Tessa.  Both couples filled their Facebook pages with photographs and words describing their week here, and I want to share some of their photos and some of their words.

Tonight – Mackinac through the photographs of Kim and R.D.

KIM AND R.D. HARTER

From Kim’s Facebook post after they got home:  “A few things we learned on Mackinac Island this week: 1)  Taxis aren’t always cars.  2)  Horses always have the right of way. 3)  Bicyclists can be ticketed for speeding or blocking sidewalks.  4)  Hills can hurt going both up and down.  5)  Great Lakes water is salt free, shark free & quite chilly.  6) People help one another.  7)  Wind jackets are for wind, not rain.  8) August isn’t always hot.  9)  Customer service still exists some places.  10) Farewells are painful.  11)  Friends are appreciated.”

Now I could write a story about how Kim arrived at each of these  statements, but in the interest of time, I’ll just pick a couple.  Number 4 – A truth learned after your hosts have you – on the very first day – hike around for over eight hours up and down hills.  The next morning it hurts just as much to go down a hill as it does to go up one.  And Number 6 – Learned after watching a dray drop off several rooms of furniture and large appliances, and then watching any and every man in sight converge and work the next few hours carrying every bit of it into a neighbor’s condo.  Not paid workers, just men who happened to be around and saw the need.

Here are some of the Harters’ photographs – in no particular order . . .

Kim and R.D. at Arch Rock

Kim and R.D. at Arch Rock

When you leave south Georgia at 6 am, and it's already in the 80's and wake up the next morning in Michigan to 55 degrees, it's quite a shock - but a very welcome shock!

When you leave south Georgia at 6 am, and it’s already in the 80’s and wake up the next morning in Michigan to 55 degrees, it’s quite a shock – but a very welcome shock!

Through special permission from Grand Hotel our group loaded on a beautiful carriage drawn by gorgeous Hackneys and driven by friend Ben Mosley for a whirlwind tour of Mackinac.

Through special permission from Grand Hotel management, our group loaded on a beautiful carriage, drawn by gorgeous Hackneys and driven by friend Ben Mosley, for a whirlwind tour of Mackinac.

A little rain has to fall to make you appreciate the sunshine more! But this group was a foursome of troopers who kept going whether through sun or rain or fog or wind.

A little rain has to fall to make you appreciate the sunshine more! But this group was a foursome of troopers who kept going whether through sun or rain or fog or wind.

Mission Point - across a grassy lawn.

Mission Point – across a grassy lawn.

A yellow beauty from Grand Hotel's Rose Walk.

A yellow beauty from Grand Hotel’s Rose Walk.

The view out the front door of the new condo.

The view out the front door of the new condo.

The Island House's magnificent flower gardens

The Island House’s magnificent flower gardens.

A busy day in front of the Iroquois Hotel.

A busy day in front of the Iroquois Hotel.

Well, of course we took them to the Pink Pony!

Well, of course we took them to the Pink Pony!

All the shots in the rain were taken the same day - it was beautiful the rest of the time. This is looking down Mission Hill.

All the shots in the rain were taken the same day – it was beautiful the rest of the time. This is looking down Mission Hill from the East Bluff.

Trying to take a nap while waiting on the girls to arrive to tour Grand Hotel's gardens.

Trying to catch a nap while waiting on the girls to arrive to tour Grand Hotel’s gardens.

Amazement at the blue, blue water!

Amazement at the blue, blue water!

Bikes in Grand Hotel's bike lot.

Bikes in Grand Hotel’s bike lot.

Looking down from the top of Fort Hill.

Looking down from the top of Fort Hill before the Michigan Governor’s Summer Residence tour.

Approaching Grand Hotel.

Approaching Grand Hotel.

Dessert at Woods Restaurant.

Dessert at Woods Restaurant.

Crabapples in Grand Hotel garden.

Crabapples in Grand Hotel garden.

Girl Scouts raising the flag at the Governor's Summer Residence.

Girl Scouts raising the flag at the Governor’s Summer Residence.

The doors to St. Anne's.

The doors to St. Anne’s.

Mission Point lodging - through a screen and through the rain.

Mission Point lodging – through a screen and through the rain.

The Chippewa Hotel hot tub.

The Chippewa Hotel hot tub – overlooking the marina.

Kim and R.D. at Woods Restaurant bowling alley . . .

Kim and R.D. at Woods Restaurant bowling alley . . .

. . . and later at dinner.

. . . and later at dinner.

The Little Stone Church parsonage.

The Little Stone Church parsonage.

Last day goodbyes . . .

Last day goodbyes . . .

. . . came too quickly.

. . . came too quickly.

Leaving us with Numbers 10 and 11: Farewells are painful, and friends are appreciated.

Leaving us with Numbers 10 and 11: Farewells are painful, and friends are appreciated.

We’re hoping these sweet friends will return to Mackinac again soon.  And remember, next time we won’t call you fudgies!

Stay tuned for the next installment from fudgies Debra and Glen!  Their story and photographs are coming on Tuesday!

God bless.

 

49757 Postcard – #8 8/13/16

Dear Friends,

There’s so much news this week, this will be more like a letter than a postcard!

I guess I’ll just go in order of importance, so here we go . . .

MORE FAMILY!

Ted has gone from being an only child to discovering he has two half-sisters, Sheryl and Deb, and a half-brother, Ross.  He had another half-sister, Rhonda, who passed away in 2011.  He also has an Aunt Marcia, an Uncle Paul –  and an Uncle Ken, who is 93 and lives in Arizona.  Because of some health issues in their families, we haven’t had a chance to meet the half-siblings yet, but something tells me that might happen before the summer is over and we return to Florida. We sure are hoping so!

Today, another first cousin, Kel Bennink and his wife Gwen, arrived on Mackinac for a day trip.  Throughout this process of learning more about Ted’s birth family, we’ve been told over and over how Ted looks like the “men in the family”.  Today we saw how true that is!

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Kel and Gwen arrive this morning on Shepler’s.  Kel says Ted is a carbon copy of his brother Marv, but Ted and Kel look a lot alike also.  At least that’s what Gwen and I thought.

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Standing side by side on the Grand Hotel porch, the resemblance is even more pronounced.

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We had a great few hours with the Benninks, showing them a little of the island and having lunch together at the Chippewa.

We are loving meeting all these new relatives – what a wonderful new family Ted (and I) can now claim!  Happy Birthday on Sunday, Gwen!

WHERE TO NEXT?

Sunday night will be our last night in the condo in the Mission, and boy are we going to miss this beautiful place!  Being able to sit out on the deck and people watch, with freighters passing in the background, has been just about a perfect arrangement.  We are going to be “homeless on Mackinac” for one night (not really, we’re bunking in with friends), and then we’ll move up the hill into the new condo on Tuesday.  We’ve hiked up there a few times already to check everything out.  It’s two hills short of where our old condo was, but the Grand Hill hasn’t gotten one bit less steep.  But, for the first time since we moved into our new house in Florida, we’re going to be in a one-level residence.  I’m going to enjoy that.  As soon as we’re settled, I’ll be showing you around the new place!

PHOTOS FROM AROUND MISSION POINT

Since we’re leaving this area and won’t be down here nearly as much, I wanted to give you one more night of photos from this end of the island.  Mission Point is so beautiful this year.  The Ware family, who bought the resort a year or so ago, is really doing a phenomenal job with renovations, new shops and cafes, and gorgeous landscaping!

I mean really, could it get anymore relaxing than this? Two Adirondack chairs, under the trees, and by the water. Sigh.

I mean really, could it get anymore relaxing than this? Two Adirondack chairs – under the trees, and by the water. Sigh.

A freighter passes as we walk Maddie this afternoon along the lakeshore trail.

A freighter passes as we walked Maddie along the lakeshore trail this afternoon.

Masses of flowers are scattered everywhere around the Mission Point Executive Putting Green.

Masses of flowers are scattered everywhere around the Mission Point Executive Putting Green.

Small Point Inn - across a field of wildflowers. (Thought of you, Irene!).

Small Point Inn – across a field of wildflowers. (Thought of you, Irene!).

The Mission Point gazebo - scene of nearly a wedding a day since we arrived four weeks ago.

The Mission Point gazebo – scene of nearly a wedding a day since we arrived four weeks ago.

Who knows what these are? They grow along the path that runs in front of the resort. At first I thought, "Cherry Tomatoes"?

Who knows what these are? They grow along the path that runs in front of the resort. At first I thought, “Cherry Tomatoes”?

Sound of Gong! Nope, they're a species of Rose. Someone help me out here!

Nope, they’re a species of Rose (at least that’s what someone told us). Can anyone help me out here!

A COUPLE OF EXTRAS

Robert McGreevy, great shot of the US Brig Niagara which stayed overnight

Robert McGreevy’s great shot of the US Brig Niagara which docked overnight a few days ago.  The wooden-hulled brig is a teplica of the ship that served as the relief flagship for Oliver Hazard Perry in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.  It is one of the last remaining ships from the War of 1812. 

Thanks to Cousin Kel for this shot of Ted and I today in front of Little Stone Church.

Thanks to Cousin Kel for this shot of Ted and I today in front of Little Stone Church.

That’s it for tonight, I think.  I’ll be back when we’ve made the move up the hill, and we’ve gotten our luggage unpacked – again!

God bless.

Catch-Up Sunday 8/7/16

Tomorrow begins our fourth week on the island, and Ted and I are having a hard time wrapping our heads around that.  Every evening we laughingly ask ourselves, “Where did THIS day go?”  On the flip side of that thought is the wonderful truth that it will be ten more weeks before we leave.  That makes us laugh also!

I was looking through the hundreds of photographs I’ve taken since arriving and came across a few that didn’t fit a particular blog, but still might be fun to see.  So tonight – it’s “Catch-Up Sunday”!

On our very first weekend we went out on an Arnold Line Sip 'n Sail Sunset Tour. Although the weather didn't cooperate, and we missed the sunset, we had an awesome view of the Mackinac Bridge - from UNDERNEATH!

On our very first weekend we went out on an Arnold Line Sip ‘n Sail Sunset Tour. Although the weather didn’t cooperate, and we missed the sunset due to clouds, we had an awesome view of the Mackinac Bridge – from UNDERNEATH!

Coming back across the Straits at night is always a beautiful experience - with the island

Coming back across the Straits at night is always a beautiful experience – with the island off the port side, and Grand Hotel illuminating the West Bluff.

Even approaching dock at night is an adventure

Approaching the dock at night is very different than during the day, when the entire area is teeming with passengers arriving and departing, luggage being transported off and on the ferries, and dock porters somehow making it all work seamlessly.

From the deck - a wedding carriage on the way to pick up a bride and groom.

From the deck – a wedding carriage on the way to pick up a bride and groom.

I love riding the ferry and picking out first time visitors to the island. They always sit in the front rows (especially if there are children). I remember doing exactly the same thing about the first 20 times I rode the ferry, but that first time can't be beat for excitement.

I love riding the ferry and picking out first time visitors to the island. They always sit in the front rows (especially if there are children). I remember doing exactly the same thing about the first 20 times I rode the ferry, but that first time can’t be beat for excitement.

Jan and Don Weir dropped by the condo to say hello one afternoon. They are blog readers who had come over on a day trip from Harbor Springs (their summer home) They spend their winters in Indianapolis.

Jan and Don Weir, blog readers who came over for a day trip, dropped by the condo to say hello one afternoon. Harbor Springs is their summer home, and they spend their winters in Indianapolis.

Leqving the Chippewa after dinner with Jordan and Matthew (at the end of the yacht races).

Leaving the Chippewa after dinner with Jordan and Matthew (on the last day of the yacht races).

Little Maddie - thinking about getting her feet wet (she didn't).

Little Maddie – thinking about getting her feet wet (she didn’t).

Downtown Mackinac in the evening is so peaceful compared to a busy summer day.

Downtown Mackinac in the evening is so peaceful compared to a busy summer day.

View through the back slats of an Adirondack chair on the Mission Point Resort lakeshore.

Lake view through the back slats of an Adirondack chair – on the Mission Point Resort lakeshore.

A close-up of Queen Anne's Lace (one of the few flowers I can always remember the name of)!

A close-up of Queen Anne’s Lace (one of the few flowers I can always remember the name of)!

On their last morning on the island, just after breakfast at the Chuck Wagon and before turning in the bikes, we all stopped by the Arnold dock to check out the Victory I, a Great Lakes cruise ship that had come in during the night. The ship holds 202 passengers and will begin cruises to Cuba in the Fall.

On Jordan and Matthew’s last morning on the island, just after breakfast at the Chuck Wagon and before turning in their bikes, we all stopped by the Arnold dock to check out the Victory I, a Great Lakes cruise ship that came in during the night. The ship holds 202 passengers and will begin cruises to Cuba in the Fall.

View from the top end of Franks Avenue in MIssion Point.

View from the top end of Franks Avenue in Mission Point.

Because the afternoon was really warm, we decided to walk Maddie up behind Mission House, which is where the majority of the State Park employees live during the summer.

Because the afternoon was really warm, we decided to walk Maddie up behind Mission House, which is where the majority of the State Park employees live during the summer. It was built in 1825 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Curving past Mission House and turning back down the hill you pass the Mackinac Island Center for the Arts, located in the former Mission Point Theater building.

Curving past Mission House and turning back down the hill you pass the Mackinac Island Center for the Arts, located in the former Mission Point Theater building.

On the way back from town and another "ice cream after dinner" run, we stopped for a moment to enjoy a few moments of a Music in the Park concert. The summer concert series takes place most Thursday evenings during the season.

On the way back from town and another “ice cream after dinner” run, we stopped for a moment to enjoy a Music in the Park concert. The summer concert series takes place most Thursday evenings throughout the season.

From the deck Friday evening.

From the deck Friday evening.

A beautiful sunrise over Lake Huron. (Photo by Ted, who is the only one up early enough to catch these in Michigan as well as in Florida).

A beautiful sunrise over Lake Huron. (Photo by Ted, who – just like in Florida – is the only one up early enough to catch moments like these).

Company’s coming Monday to spend a couple of nights!  Can’t wait!

God bless. 

49757 Postcard – #7 (8/4/16)

Dear Friends,

On our regular late afternoon outing with Maddie today, we chose to walk the lakeshore trail that winds between the Mission Point Resort Executive Putting Green and Lake Huron.  I know I usually show the gorgeous flowers along that trail, but it occurred to me today that I never show the “wild” areas.  You see, not everything on Mackinac is manicured and formal.  In fact, the vast majority of the island is in its wild and primitive state.  I love getting past Main and Market Streets and into the Mackinac woods.  Even though I dearly love all the lush and incredible flower gardens, it’s the wild part of the island that draws me back year after year.

Being where we are in the Mission right now, I haven’t gotten up into the interior of Mackinac at all except for that buggy ride out to the Woods Sunday evening.  When we move “up the hill” in a couple of weeks, you’ll be seeing a lot more “wildness” in my photos.

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The path turns off Main Street just as you reach the Mission Point Resort putt-putt course.  Where the path makes that first left turn, there is a big beaver lodge just beyond the shore.  I haven’t managed to be there at the right time to get a photo, but there’s been a whole beaver family living and working in that spot for almost two years now.

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Between the path and the lake, everything is natural.  See that little circle of water that looks like a small pond.  It’s a great swimming hole for island kids and visitors.  Don’t be fooled by its smallness though.  Matthew went swimming there and said it was way over his head.

 

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Probably the largest Weeping Willow tree I’ve ever seen. With the wind blowing this afternoon, it was beautiful to see the branches dipping and swirling like a group of green-clad dancers.

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You can see in this pic how the wind was kicking up.  All the trees are leaning sideways!

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I love this pathway!  Water as far as you can see, and wildflowers galore!

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Remember me mentioning the beavers.  They are busily cutting down several trees along the shoreline.  Some are small . . .

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. . . . and some are fairly large!

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The pathway deadends into the road around the island, so we turned back toward town.  This sign warns against climbing up this steep cliff.

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Standing at Small Point Inn and shooting back toward the lake.  You can see cyclists on the path where we were just walking.

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Almost to the condo we spotted this unbelievably gorgeous 8-month-old Golden Retriever puppy and her owners.  Yes, I went all blubbery over her.  Maddie, on the other hand, didn’t care for her at all and tried to pick a fight.  Have I ever mentioned that Maddie does NOT like other female dogs?  Our little DIVA. And yes – I got the name of her breeder here in Michigan.

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One last pic from tonight.  As we were leaving the condo to ride downtown for ice cream after dinner, we were treated to a wedding carriage!   Happy bride and groom – just married at Mission Point.

Today was the warmest we’ve had since we arrived.  Close to 85 on the island, and for Mackinac, that’s a heat wave.  Supposed to cool off tomorrow though.  All is good.

Wish you were here!

God bless.

It Sure Is Quiet Tonight 8/2/16

When you’re senior citizens (like us), and your children have been off, gone, and busy with their own lives as long as ours have, it’s hard to remember how full your house can seem having teenagers around.  Laughter-filled, chatter-filled, always-in-motion-filled, siblings-good-naturedly-fighting-filled . . . . . just FILLED. 

And then they leave. 

I’m typing this around 6:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.  Jordan and Matthew are somewhere in the air between Detroit and Atlanta.  From Atlanta they’ll fly into Daytona Beach after dark.  The house is quiet.  I can once again hear bike tires and lawn mowers and ferry horns.

I miss them already.

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It’s a pretty special day when your grandchildren invite you to dinner at the Woods Restaurant  . . . . THEIR treat!  That’s what happened Sunday.  We took the Woods shuttle from downtown.  Actually GETTING to the Woods is part of the delight of eating there.  The trip up Cadotte . . .

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. . . then out through the Annex, on roads lined with rail fences and hardwood trees, makes for a beautiful appetizer . . . even before you arrive at the restaurant..  From town it takes about 30 minutes (depending on how many folks you pick up at the Grand), and it’s worth every minute!  And then you get to dine at one of the greatest restaurants on the island.  It was a very special evening! 

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On Monday we rode our bikes around the island, stopping to peek at the progress at Silver Birches.

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Late afternoon on Monday we took Maddie on a long walk along the shoreline at Mission Point.

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It had been such a beautiful day we didn’t want it to end.

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Had to snap a pic of this flower.  I think it’s a weed (someone correct me if I’m wrong), but it sure was a beautiful weed!

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Jordan, Maddie, and Ted – walking back to the condo.

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. . . while Matthew practiced his putting just across the street.

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A daylily in a Mission Point garden.

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The island grapevine went crazy over the weekend when this yacht, owned by Jimmy Johns, pulled into the bay.  The rumor on the streets was that Kid Rock was aboard.

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And, sure enough, later that evening he was spotted in the Pink Pony. (Photo: Pink Pony)

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Monday night ice cream at the No Name Café.  We’d say we’re probably part-owners in Moomers Ice Cream now!

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Ted and I were sad when we realized this morning would be the last time we had four bikes in the racks at this condo.  We rode them into town . . .

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. . . had breakfast at the Chuck Wagon, then turned in Jordan and Matthew’s bikes to Mackinac on Wheels.

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Too soon we were on Shepler’s (Matthew and I rode up top) and heading for the airport.  We got a close-up look at the American Integrity as we turned out of the harbor.

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Last glance going through security (Ted saw them onto the plane with a special pass) . .

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And then they were away.

It’s sad when we look back and think Jordan and Matthew are 16 and 14, and this is the first time they’ve spent this long with us without their parents.  Many of their “growing-up” years were spent in Arkansas, and we only saw them once or twice a year.  One of the big reasons we moved to Florida was to get to know our grandchildren (and have them get to know us) before they were “off and away” –  just like our children are now.  It was a good move.

Jordan and Matthew, when your mom  and dad asked where you’d like to spend a week’s vacation, we thank you for both saying “with BeBe and G-Daddy on Mackinac!”

Our hearts are full tonight.  We love you, and we miss you.  You are both awesome beyond words, and you make us so, so proud every single day.

Hold things together in Florida until we get back.

God bless.