Back on Mackinac 6/5/2014

My face is so sore from grinning all day – every day – since we arrived on Sunday afternoon, I will probably have to have face therapy when we get back to Georgia.  At first it was a little rainy, then a little windy, then a little chilly – but we couldn’t care less.  We have been on a permanent Mackinac high, and it could snow for all we care – wouldn’t faze us a bit!

All the clouds and showers and wind disappeared this morning, and it was one of those sunny, crystal clear Michigan early summer days.  There’s been very little indoor time – all we’ve wanted to do is get outside and enjoy every minute.

There’s so much to talk about!  I’ve been very busy with my free lance work with Original Murdick’s Fudge, and for those of you who’ve been checking their web site each day for blog postings, just please be patient.  I’ve submitted one already, and it should go up soon.  I’ve also submitted quite a few photographs for them to use on their Facebook page.  Those will begin posting soon also, so please go to their Facebook site and “like” it, so you’ll be notified of activity there.

Ok . . . what have we been up to – besides work?  So glad you asked!

We’ve spent an unbelievable amount of time just talking to friends!  You know Mackinac.  A walk to the Island Bookstore turns into a three-hourSAM_1242 meet and greet trip.  It’s so much fun seeing everyone again after being away all winter.  Ted and I have felt so much love this week we are totally blown away.

We arrived on the Island in time for Ted to help out again at the Community Foundation Celebration in Turtle Park last night.  Bob Benser and the crew from the Chippewa Hotel are in charge of the food each year, and Ted has joined the crew for two years now.  They packed up a dray in front of the hotel yesterday afternoon, stopped at the Grand for more equipment and supplies, then rode to the park to set everything up and start grilling.

Coolers full of food, a grill, and other necessities - waiting for a driver!

Coolers full of food, a grill, and other necessities – waiting for a driver before heading to Turtle Park.

 

Over a hundred folks gathered for hamburgers and all the fixins'!  The kids enjoyed pony rides and games, and one lucky child won a new bicycle!

Over a hundred folks gathered for hamburgers and all the fixins’! The kids enjoyed pony rides and games, and one lucky child won a new bicycle!

 

Bob Benser

Bob Benser makes sure the food table is stocked and chats with a community member, as Rich Lind looks on.

Since Ted rode up early on the dray, I was in charge of the afternoon dog walk and feeding.  With the celebration scheduled to start at 5:00, I knew I’d have to leave downtown by at least 4:30 to get to the park.  As usual things didn’t go as planned, and I walked out the door at 4:50.  I started off, dialing the taxi stand as I walked.

Once again, Dean answered the phone.

“Dean, it’s Brenda Horton.”

“Yep?”

“You have any taxis headed up toward Turtle Park?”

“Nope, don’t have a thing.”

Big – very big – dramatic sigh from me.

“Where are you, Brenda?” Dean asked, and I could just see him shaking his head, wondering why I don’t plan just a little ahead for things like this.

“In front of St. Anne’s.”

“Sit down on the steps at St. Anne’s, and I’ll get something to you.”

Yeahhhh!  Two minutes later I’m on a taxi headed up toward the top of the island.  I arrived in plenty of time to eat and enjoy all the festivities . . . and talk, talk, talk!

I walked home alone, leaving Ted helping with clean-up.  I confess . . .  I could not walk by the condo.  I took a path through the woods that brought me out at Surrey Ridge, where I turned down the hill without ever looking up toward our old place.  Just couldn’t do it.

The woods are full of Trillium!

The woods are full of Trillium!

 

The Grand Hotel and Carriage Tour Stable and Carriage Museum looks beautiful against all the springtime green!

The Grand Hotel and Carriage Tour Stable and Carriage Museum looks beautiful against all the springtime green!

 

The corral was full of horses, but I liked the way this one looked standing alone under a beautiful white-blooming tree.

The corral was full of horses, but I liked the way this one looked – standing alone under a beautiful white-blooming tree.

 

How many times have I walked this road . . . . too many to count.

How many times have I walked this road . . . . too many to count.

 

Around the next curve.

Around the next curve.

 

Looking through the trees, across the Grand Hotel Golf Course to the Straits.

Looking through the trees, across the Grand Hotel Golf Course to the Straits.

 

The back porch of the Governor's Summer Residence (no one was home).

The back porch of the Governor’s Summer Residence (no one was home).

 

A crow stands guard atop the gate at the top of Fort Street.

A crow stands guard atop the gate at the top of Fort Street.

 

I will never, never, never tire of this view.

I will never, never, never tire of this view . . .

 

. . . or this one!

. . . or this one!

 

The ticket booth at the lower level of Fort Mackinac - at the bottom of Fort Hill.

The ticket booth at the lower level of Fort Mackinac – at the bottom of Fort Hill.

 

Market Street at twilight.

Market Street at twilight.

 

At the bottom of Fort Hill I ran into a group of Village friends.  So good to see them!

At the bottom of Fort Hill I ran into a group of Village friends. So good to see them!

 

Our castle for the week - in the heart of the Mission District.  We love it!

Our castle for the week – in the heart of the Mission District. We love it!

 I could keep going, but it’s midnight, and my eyelids are closing between each word.  More to come as the week goes on, and I’m sure I’ll still be writing about this week after we get home.  We are so blessed to have this opportunity to be here right now, and I love being able to share it with all of you.

God bless.

Oh. Oh. Oh!  Guess what happened today????!!!!!

The first lilacs of the season bloomed . . .

The first lilacs of the season bloomed . . .

. . . at the Mackinac Island Marina!

. . . at the Mackinac Island Marina!  Just in time for the Lilac Festival which begin June 6!

 

 

Bree’s Nine Days of Original Murdick’s Fudge Adventures and Photos – Day One 6/2/2014

When the Benser family invited me to come up and do some free lance writing for their Original Murdick’s Fudge blog, I was 1) flattered; 2) excited; and 3) on board immediately!  You know me . . . if it means a trip to magical Mackinac Island, my luggage is packed, and I’m on that midnight train from Georgia (ok, ok – we take I-75 and drive a Ford).  Nevertheless, I jumped at the chance to come north before our planned visit in August, and we arrived Sunday afternoon to swarms of midges on the Mackinaw City side (NOT on the island), chilly breezes, and the always-exciting bluster of activity on Mackinac’s Main Street.

During our 1100+ mile ride up, I had a lot of time to think about what writing for a fudge company could mean.  Ted and I know the Benser family personally (they own Original Murdick’s Fudge shops on Mackinac Island and on Martha’s Vineyard) and are owners and co-owners of several other businesses on the Island.  Our connection with them originally was through the Chippewa Hotel, where we stayed for several summers before we bought our condo here.  Through the years, my admiration for this family has grown exponentially.  They have those rare qualities of business acumen, attention to detail, and professionalism that any successful business must possess.  But they carry it one step further and team successful business strategies with the human elements of a caring spirit, a love of the Mackinac experience and tradition, and a network of “family members” who have been with Original Murdick’s Fudge since it was purchased by the Bensers in 1969.  You can read the story of that transition by clicking on “Our Story” www.originalmurdicksfudge.com/about-us.

We’ll be on the Island for the next few days (through June 9th), and while we’re here, I’ll be posting photographs and fudge stories pretty much continuously to the Original Murdick’s Fudge blog site www.originalmurdicksfudge.com/blog.  I hope you’ll join me there for nine days of fudge adventures, and hey – if anything you read or see here makes you think you JUST CAN’T STAND IT FOR ONE MORE MINUTE, AND YOU HAVE TO HAVE SOME FUDGE RIGHT NOW, all you have to do is go online and order you up a batch at www.originalmurdicksfudge.com.

Gee, I wish there was a “scratch and sniff” option on blog posts.  Wouldn’t it be awesome to just lean into your laptop screen – or hold your iPhone up to your nose – and breathe in the aroma of F.U.D.G.E.

Let’s go to Mackinac!

A little rain on the streets set everyone's mind to fudge . . . Original Murdick's Fudge!

A little rain on the streets turned everyone’s mind to fudge . . . Original Murdick’s Fudge!

 

Take five hungry boys from Grand Rapids, place Original Murdick's Fudge samples in front of them, and watch the smiles begin!

Take five hungry boys from Grand Rapids, place Original Murdick’s Fudge samples in front of them, and watch the smiles begin!

If you’re on Facebook, please go to the Original Murdick’s Fudge Facebook page and join that group.  Lots of information and specials there, and they’ll be using some of my photos over the next few days also!

 

 

Visiting Mackinac June 1-9!

Although this blog has been officially closed down, I can’t think of a single rule that says I can’t open it up again!

For those who followed  Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog for so many years, but didn’t make the switch to the new blog when we sold our Island condo, this is just a note to let you know Ted and I will be visiting the Island June 1-9.  While we’re there, I’ll be once again posting Island stories here on this blog, as well as on Bree’s Connecting the Dots Blog.

I’ve been given a wonderful opportunity to do some freelance writing and guest blogging for the Original Murdick’s Fudge (www.originalmurdicksfudge.com) folks; so Ted, the pooches, and I will be heading north in a matter of days.

God bless, and see you soon!