Company and Canoes 10/7/17

Hi Friends!

We’ve had such a great week on Mackinac.  It feels like Fall again, and today (Saturday) is one of those rain-all-day, blustery times when you want to pull on a sweatshirt, and a pair of sweatpants and fleecy socks and just sink into the sofa with a good book.

Fortunately, the rain held off until our company, Dave and Diane Bennink, had come and gone. They were only able to be here for one night, but we sure enjoyed them while they were here!

There were a few places we didn’t hit when Dave and Di visited last summer, and one of those was the Tea Room at Fort Mackinac. It has one of the best views of Mackinac’s downtown and marina area, and even though it was windy we chose to sit right out there on the edge of the cliff and enjoy the sunny day and the activity down below.

Di visited with the horses that were in the turn-out corral next door (this is one of Grand Hotel’s Hackneys). It’s been SO HARD not to sneak carrots and sugar cubes out to these beautiful creatures all summer. But – we’ve faithfully abided by the rules.  They did tell us we could bring horse treats up to the barn and they’d mix it in with their regular food. It’s not what we might feed them that’s the problem – they just don’t want anyone to get fingers nipped in the process.

We had dinner with Dave and Di at 1852 Grill Room at Island House Hotel, where the food and the sunset were fabulous.

Ted and newly found cousin Dave – walking ahead of Di and I on the way back from the fort.

We’re hoping y’all come back next summer for a longer visit!

A CANOE

One of our sweet condo neighbors, Craig Harris, texted me a couple of weeks ago to share that a birch bark canoe was being constructed at the Mackinac Island Public School, and students were taking part in the process.  Unfortunately, that was the week I was off-island for appointments every single day – so I missed the construction part.

But – I was on hand last Saturday when the canoe was launched!

Howard Kimewon (far left) of Manitoulin Island, Ontario taught the students how to complete a birch bark canoe and also taught them terms from Anishinaabemowin, the language of the Anishinaabe people – also known as Ojibwa. Our neighbor Craig (to the right of Kimewon) volunteered to help with the project after hearing about it while taking a Ojibwa language class that Kimewon offered on the island last winter.

The skeleton of the canoe (made of white ash Kimewon harvested, sawed, and milled) was constructed in the Mulcrone Car Wash in St. Ignace and brought to Mackinac Island by ferry.  Kimewon was commissioned to build two canoes by the Michilimackinac Historical Society.

The canoe is 14.5 feet long. Sheets of paper birch bark line the outside and are affixed with straps and clamps to form them into shape.

Fibers from American basswood trees that are soaked in water to be malleable are used to stitch the bark together. The materials were all harvested from the forest by Kimewon.

The canoe was launched off Windermere Point by Kimewon and John Perault . . .

. . . and the two men paddled for about 10 minutes within sight of the West Breakwall and the Round Island Passage Light . . .

. . . before coming back to shore.

The canoe was loaded on a dray for transport by to the school and will eventually be paddled to St. Ignace.  What a fantastic experience for our island school children!

(Some material for this story from the 9/21/17 edition of The St. Ignace News article written by Stephanie Fortino.)

A FEW PICS

A huge load of luggage (for this late in the season) lined up and awaiting transfer to a Shepler Ferry for transport back to the mainland.  (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

Hmmmm. What’s missing from this picture?

The hanging baskets!  All the gorgeous baskets that were hung in one day in the spring are removed in one day in the fall. (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

A not-so-often-seen view across to the Iroquois Hotel.

The parade ground at Fort Mackinac late in the season. As you can see, the fall colors have not arrived yet.  Those three weeks of very warm temps seem to have stopped the colors from appearing except in bits and pieces around the island.

So glad these four sisters (and blog readers) introduced themselves last Saturday when the canoe was being launched. They come to Mackinac every year and stay at the Windermere. Glad Jill was there to be in the pic also!

A new kid in town. This “pretend” coyote has appeared in several areas around the island as a deterrent for those pesky – and messy – Canadian geese. Don’t know what affect he’s having on the geese, but apparently the squirrels and bunnies have figured out he’s not real! (My apologies for not saving the photographer on this photo. Bruce LaPine? Tom Chambers? Jason St. Onge? Greg Main?

The ending of a lovely night with Dave and Di. A drop off at the condo under a partially-obscured-by-clouds  full moon.   I do love this place.

By this time next Saturday we’ll be on our way back home.  It’s not nearly as much fun to pack up for the trip back as it is when we’re heading north.  But – we’re ready to get back to Julie, Matt and the grandkids, our Beverly Beach friends, and our home.  They’ve all endured the wrath of Irma while we’ve been gone, and even though our house had very little damage, others in our neighborhood were not so fortunate.  Also, Flagler Beach sustained much more property damage from Irma from storm surge than it did last year from Hurricane Matthew.  It’s going to be hard to see our little old Florida beach town so changed.

Hope to have one more post before we leave, but if not, I’ll let you know when we’re safely home.  Love you all.

God bless.

 

Hodgepodge! 9/4/16

Hi Gang!

We’re all settled into the new condo, and we’re enjoying being back in our “neck of the woods” once again.  We absolutely loved being downtown near Mission Point, but you all know how much I dearly love the woods and trails of this island.  Since we’ve moved up here, I can walk the trails to my heart’s content, without having to climb too many hills to accomplish that!  We are above the ordinary noises of downtown, but there’s still plenty of folks traveling by here to keep us entertained.  We have a beautiful view of a couple of holes of the Grand Hotel’s Jewel Golf Course . . .

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. . . and we can watch the ferries and freighters from a higher vantage point.

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Ted and I feel very fortunate that we’ve gotten to experience Mackinac this summer from two such different locations!

Tomorrow is Labor Day, and Ted will be heading over to do the Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk with a group of friends.  One of these years I’m going to join him for that again, but it won’t be this year.  I’m just going to sip coffee on the front porch, walk Maddie-girl (who’s nursing a sore paw), and maybe explore a few of those trails I love so much.

Thought I’d share some of the pics that haven’t made it into a blog post yet.  That way next week I’ll be starting fresh!

Looking out to Lake Huron from just to the side of Arch Rock.

Looking out to Lake Huron from just to the side of Arch Rock.

The beautiful and graceful Windermere Hotel, photographed one morning this week as I was rushing to catch a ferry.

The charming Windermere Hotel, photographed one morning this week as I was rushing to catch a ferry.

Fort Mackinac in the evening. Standing below this historic fort and listerning as a fort interpreter plays Taps from the ramparts gives me chills every single time I hear it.

Fort Mackinac in the evening. Standing below this historic building and listening as a fort interpreter plays Taps from the ramparts each night – at precisely 10 pm – gives me chills every single time.

The gardens at Chambers corner.

The gardens at Chambers corner.

Custer Road - one of my favorites.

Custer Road – one of my favorites.

Little Maddie in the woods. Her hearing isn't what it used to be, but that nose of hers is still going strong.

Little Maddie in the woods. Her hearing isn’t what it used to be, but that nose of hers is still going strong.

I am never tiring of watching the antics of the horses next door! They are VERY serious about their play time.

Grand Hotel hackneys are VERY serious about their play-time!

Am I strange to think this is an awesome view out out side windows?

Loving the view out our side windows!

Grand Hotel Dahlia.

Grand Hotel Dahlia.

Window boxes above my head . . .

Window boxes above my head . . .

. . . and luggage carts at my feet.

. . . and luggage carts at my feet.  After being loaded, these carts are hooked to horse-drawn carriages or drays and used to transport tourists’ belongings back and forth to the ferry dock.

One of the two offices on Mackinac where you might meet one of our two veterinarians.

One of the two offices on Mackinac where you might meet one of our two veterinarians.  This one is at the main horse barns, and the other  is at Chambers corner.

It's Jazz Festival weekend at Grand Hotel.

It’s Jazz Festival Weekend at Grand Hotel.

A new bench just above Grand Hotel's shade garden.

A bench just above Grand Hotel’s shade garden.

Looking down Cadotte.

Looking down Cadotte.

Simply a gorgeous just-before-fall day on Mackinac Island!

Simply a gorgeous just-before-fall day on Mackinac Island!

What happens when you are locked out of your condo, but you know your deck door is open? Team work!

What happens when you are locked out of your condo, but you know your deck door is open? That’s what happened to one of our neighbors this week, and that’s when Mackinac Island team work took over!  Mission accomplished!

Wishing everyone a great holiday tomorrow.  We will be welcoming another of Ted’s cousins, Dave and his wife Diane, to Mackinac on Tuesday.  They’ll be visiting until Friday, and we can’t wait to get to know more of this wonderful family.

God bless.

Mackinac Photo Night 6/7/1948

It’s been an interesting couple of days.

Yesterday Ted had a pretty nasty bike wreck, bruised his ribs (well, they’re at LEAST bruised, but since he refused to go to the Medical Center to get them x-rayed, we’re just going by how much he’s hurting), bummed up both knees . . . you get the picture.  It was a really freaky accident.  We learned long ago to always carry a couple of bungee cords with us in our bike baskets to hold things in from the grocery market, bookstore, etc.  When your basket is empty, you wrap the bungee cords tightly around your basket so they’re not dangling into your front wheel.  Ted had done all that correctly.  For some reason though, as he came down a hill (not a big hill, a little one), one of the bungees popped loose, dropped into his spokes, froze the wheel, and over the handlebars Ted went.  It was his worse wreck ever, but he was so fortunate he didn’t land on his head, which was helmet-less.  Bad, bad idea . . . and yes, we know better.

So – he’s all bruised and sore, but trying his best to be a trooper because today is my birthday, and he didn’t want to put a damper on that.  Bless his heart, he’s walked the dogs with me and rode into town on his now “fixed” bike (it’s actually one of the bikes we sold with our condo, but the new owners insisted we use them while we’re here) to pick up a couple of things at Doud’s.  The bike now has a new chain and a new fender and an “almost” perfectly straight basket.  In the meantime, I’ve been back and forth to town several times working on fudge stories and photographs and once to pick up Bear’s halo collar from the Shepler dock because yes, he now has a hot spot . . . in exactly the same spot on his face where the last two have been.  I put the halo in the car at the last minute before we left Georgia, but didn’t bring it over with us on the ferry.  All it took was a phone call, and a Shepler worker got it out of the car and sent it over on a boat to be picked up at the ferry dock on the island.

After all that – and after possibly the fastest decision-making moment of our entire married life – we both used our heads and decided against a big birthday dinner out tonight.  We stayed home, had pizza delivered from Island Slice Pizzeria, and it was lovely – a quiet dinner in the kitchen with the lights low and the dogs snoring on the floor.  Now Ted’s watching TV/reading the paper and trying to stay awake till bedtime!

And I’ve decided to post a few photos!

The baskets are up!  The baskets are up!

The baskets are up! The baskets are up!

 

Pretty bikes all in a row.

Pretty bikes all in a row.

 

The beautiful and stately Harbor View Inn.

The beautiful and stately Harbor View Inn.

 

The opening day of the 2013 Lilac Festival was Friday, and the island is filling up with visitors.  There was a 5K race this morning!

The opening day of the 2014 Lilac Festival was Friday, and the island is filling up with visitors. There was a 5K race this morning, and the Lilac Queen and her court were announced this afternoon.

 

Loved this almost-hidden wicker chair on someone's front porch.  Great place to people watch!

Loved this almost-hidden wicker chair on someone’s front porch. Great place to people watch!

 

Tulips in front of the Island House.

Tulips in front of the Island House.

Bikes

Bikes fill the racks on Fort Street.

 

Amazed children watch the fudge makers in Original Murdick's Fudge.

Amazed children watch the fudge makers in Original Murdick’s Fudge.

 

A Grand Hotel bus waits under a tree at the Windermere Hotel.

A Grand Hotel bus waits under a tree at the Windermere Hotel.

 

Met some blog readers from Cadillac, MI on the boardwalk.  They're staying on the island the whole week!  That's Gerry, Julie, Glenna, and Greg!  I love my readers!

Met some blog readers from Cadillac, MI on the boardwalk this afternoon. They’re staying on the island the whole week – lucky folks! That’s Gerry, Julie, Glenna, and Greg! I love my readers!

 

Also got to chat a moment with one of my favorite artists - Mary Lou Peters - all dressed up in lilac in celebration of the festival.

Also got to chat a moment with one of my favorite artists – Mary Lou Peters – all dressed up in lilac in celebration of the festival.

 

We're loving this walk along the shore in front of Mission Point each day!

We’re loving this walk each day along the shore in front of Mission Point!

 

Beautiful Small Point Inn - looking like a gingerbread house peeking out over the lilacs.

Beautiful Small Point Inn – looking like a gingerbread house peeking out over the lilacs trees.

 

I think this little girl had just been in a wedding.  Maddie found her totally scary.  I think she thought she was some kind of new type of human.  She was so cute.

I think this little girl had just been in a wedding. Maddie found her totally scary. She just couldn’t figure out exactly what she was – but she was sure cute!

 

Mission Point is a riot of pink tulips!  I just stuck my camera into the middle of them and click the shutter.

Mission Point is a riot of pink tulips! I just stuck my camera into the middle of them and click the shutter.

Ok – that’s enough for tonight, I think.  Ted’s downing more aspirin, and we’re hoping to attend church tomorrow morning to hear the new Little Stone Church minister.  Two more days on the island . . . 

SAM_1446.2

Fall? Who Said? 9/25/2013

After working Monday morning at the Stuart House, I took some time to walk through downtown with my camera.  Everywhere I turned were gardens, flower beds, flower pots and hanging baskets – all beautiful and happily blooming away.  You’d never know we’ve been in the 50’s for highs this week and frost warnings have been issued the last two nights. 

So . . . Fall might be here on the calendar – but Mackinac Island’s summer flowers are still blooming their little hearts out!

Our post office always looks good, but this year the entrance is surrounded by tall, beautiful flowers that are really showing off. Makes going after the mail a real treat!

Our post office always looks good, but this year the tall, beautiful flowers surrounding the entrance are really showing off. Makes going after the mail a real treat!

One of many hanging baskets at The Cottage Inn . . .

One of the many hanging baskets at The Cottage Inn . . .

. . . and a little frog named Bob who just can't stay away from his cell phone.

. . . and a little frog named Bob who just can’t stay away from his cell phone.

These beauties were outside Weber's, across

These beauties were outside Weber’s on Market Street.

Butterflies are still fluttering around also - like this one sipping at some flowers in front of a summer cottage on Huron Street.

Butterflies are still fluttering – like this one sipping at some flowers in front of a closed-for-the-winter cottage on Huron Street.

There are no words for the floral wonders at the Island House this year.

There are no words for the floral wonders at the Island House this year.

Every garden is a masterpiece of color, variety . . .

Every garden is a masterpiece of color, variety . . .

. . . and

. . . and uniqueness.

The side of Bay View is

Bay View of Mackinac is a riot of flowering bushes.

Doud's Market.  I remember these window boxes in the spring when they first were planted.  They have thrived all summer, and right now they are peaking!

Doud’s Market. I remember these window boxes in the spring when they first were planted. They have thrived all summer, and right now they are peaking.

Hanging basket outside Mary's Bistro.

Hanging basket outside Mary’s Bistro.

One perfect blossom - along the board walk.

One perfect blossom – along the board walk.

Cadotte from the Grand Hotel.

Cadotte Avenue from the Grand Hotel.

MORE SCENES FROM THE MONDAY AFTERNOON STROLL

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Looking across Marquette Park toward Fort Mackinac.  Not much Fall color yet – but it’s coming!

J.L. Beanery

J.L. Beanery Coffee House is a great place for breakfast – and awesome lunch sandwiches.

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Quiet street – from the Fort to the Island House.

The Mackinac Island Marine is another quiet place these days.

The Mackinac Island Marina is another quiet place these days.

The Island House

The Island House – tucked between Michigan blue skies and shamrock green lawns.

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A nice afternoon to visit across the white picket fence in front of the Windermere Hotel.

A shady curve of sidewalk leading to the library . . .

A shady curve of sidewalk leading to the library . . .

. . . where I ducked through the side yard to check out

. . . where I ducked through the side yard to check if the chairs were still out on the back deck.

Quite possibly the most beautiful boardwalk in the world.

Walking along the boardwalk these days is a treat to all the senses . . .

. . . especially the visual.

. . . especially the visual.  A Shepler ferry . . .

. . . and Arnold's freight boat.

. . . and the Arnold freight boat glide across sparkling blue water.

Chambers Corner

Chambers Corner and a glimpse up Market Street.

Little Stone Church

Little Stone Church through the changing leaves of the new trees that line Cadotte.  I wonder how many more years I’ll call them the “new” trees?

A touch of color on a Jewel Golf Course tree . . .

A touch of color on a Jewel Golf Course tree . . .

. . . and apples near the road that every horse on Mackinac are trying to swipe with every pass along the road.

. . . and apples near the road that every horse on Mackinac tries to swipe as they walk by.

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A wagon and a carriage stand side by side in the sunshine at Barn View.

NEWSY STUFF

Picking up the mail at the post office.

Picking up the outgoing mail at the post office.  The dray delivers it to the ferry, and the next morning the whole process starts again – in reverse.  (Photo:  Jill Sawatzki)

It's definitely Fall inside Doud's Market! (Photo:  Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island)

It’s definitely Fall inside Doud’s Market! (Photo: Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island)

Remember those empty blue barrels from the other day?  These are packed full and on their first leg of their journey to Jamaica.

Remember those empty blue barrels from the other day? These are packed full and on the first leg of their journey to Jamaica – along with what looks like some carpet.  (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

Getting my coffee fix at Lucky Bean before opening the Stuart House on Monday morning.

Getting my coffee fix at Lucky Bean, before opening the Stuart House on Monday morning.  (Photo: Jill Sawatzki)

Meet the Green's - Kem and Ed from Des Moines, Iowa.  Kem discovered Bree's Blog last summer after visiting Mackinac, and if I've ever met anyone who mirrors how I felt with my first trip here, it is Kem.  Ed feels the same way, and they have a plan to be living (maybe full-time) on the Island in five years.  They're staying at the Chippewa and asked us to have dinner last night so they could ask questions about island life.  Such a nice couple.  I fell immediately in love with Kem's enthusiasm and positive attitude.  If anyone can make that plan come true, these two can!

Meet the Greens – Kem and Ed from Des Moines, Iowa. Kem discovered Bree’s Blog last summer after visiting Mackinac, and if I’ve ever met anyone who mirrors how I felt after my first trip here, it is Kem. Ed feels the same way, and they have a plan to be living (maybe full-time) on the Island in five years. They came over to the Stuart House on Monday and asked us to have dinner with them at the Chippewa Hotel (where they’re staying) last night so they could ask questions about island life. Such a nice couple! I fell immediately in love with Kem’s enthusiasm and positive attitude. If anyone can make that plan come true, these two can!

When the Greens came by the Stuart House Frankie and Hershey were visiting for a few minutes so everyone introduced themselves.  This morning was very foggy so Kem went out shopping and stopped in to see Frankie at Benjamin's.  She asked where Hershey was, and Frankie said "Upstairs in the apartment."  So Kem said, "Why don't we take her for a walk?"  Do you see now why I'm crazy about these two.  Kem got Hershey, called Ed at the Chippewa and they all went for a walk in the fog!

When the Greens came by the Stuart House Frankie and Hershey were visiting for a few minutes, so everyone introduced themselves. This morning was very foggy so Kem went out shopping and stopped in to see Frankie at Benjamin’s. She asked where Hershey was, and Frankie said “Upstairs in the apartment.” So Kem said, “Why don’t we take her for a walk?” Do you see why I’m crazy about these two. Kem collected Hershey, called Ed at the Chippewa, and they all went for a walk in the fog!

And speaking of fog.  The morning started off bright and beautiful, but Jim Ryerse captured the fog bank as it rolled in.  So eerie-looking!

And speaking of fog. The morning started off bright and beautiful, but Jim Ryerse captured the fog bank as it rolled in. So eerie-looking!

It looks like I'm not going to get out to Silver Birches after all this week, but the Town Crier interview worked out.  Stephanie Fortino, the reporter who wrote the wonderful story about Lowell & Faye's trip to the Island rode up to the condo this afternoon, and we all chatted for over two hours.  The story should run in the October Town Crier.

Stephanie Fortino, the reporter from the St. Ignace News/Town Crier who wrote the wonderful story about Lowell & Faye’s trip to the Island, rode up to the condo this afternoon, and we all chatted about Bree’s Blog for over two hours. The story should run in the October Town Crier.  I love working with Stephanie – another enthusiastic – and very professional – young lady.

WEDNESDAY WALK

After Stephanie hurried down the hill to catch the ferry, Ted and I took Maddie and Bear for a long walk.  I am always amazed at some of the bizarre formations of the island's

After Stephanie hurried down the hill to catch the ferry, Ted and I took Maddie and Bear for a long walk. I am always amazed at some of the bizarre forms aged or dead trees take on over the years.  These trunks on Cupid’s Pathway seemed almost fossilized.

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Rays of sunlight breaking through thick still-green foliage.

Now that Bear is feeling better, he is getting rid of a lot of pent-up energy on every walk.  Once off-leash in the woods he breaks into an all-out run and races through bushes and over fallen trees like a pack of wolves is after him.

Now that Bear is feeling better, he is getting rid of a lot of pent-up energy on every walk. Once off-leash in the woods he breaks into an all-out run and races through bushes and over fallen trees like a pack of wolves is after him.

Then he stops, digs a hole . . . .

Then he stops, digs a hole . . . .

. . . . grabs a stick . . .

. . . . grabs a stick . . .

. . . and chews.

. . . and chews.

And then he starts all over again!

And then he starts all over again! 

How they like to end every walk . . . running up the hill at the Carriage Museum to get treats from Denise!

How they like to end every walk . . . running up the hill at the Carriage Museum to get treats from Denise!

Well, I guess you didn’t know when you sat down to read this you were going to be here this long!  I’ve really been out a lot with the camera this week! 

I still haven’t worked out the details with Liz Ware about my night at Silver Birches, but hopefully that is still going to happen. 

One big bit of news.  We had an offer on the condo this week, but after counter offers and re-counter offers, we just couldn’t get together on price.  So . . . no sale on that one. 

Hoping everyone is having a good week.  Stay safe, stay well, and I’ll see you back here in a few days!  God bless.

Just Perfect 7/11/2013

I love Mackinac Island.  It doesn’t matter to me if it’s warm or cold, clear or cloudy, dry or raining – I just love it.  Occasionally though, you get a day so perfect you feel as if God just decided to laugh out loud and declare, “Today on Mackinac Island, the weather will be P E R F E C T.”

And today it was.  No clouds in a sky so beautifully hued if it were a paint color, its name would have to be “Michigan Blue”.  Low 70’s.  A tad of a breeze.  Low, very low humidity.  As I said . . . perfect.

As if that wasn’t good enough, my Georgia cousins on my mom’s side, Angela and Larry, just happened to pick yesterday to arrive on the Island.  They flew from Atlanta to Flint, rented a car and drove up, arriving just in time to hurry into the Grand Hotel (Angela loves the whole Somewhere in Time magic of the Grand and has had it on her bucket list for quite a while), dress for dinner and enjoy a special evening of great food, strolls around the grounds, and rocking chair peacefulness on the Grand porch.

This morning, Angela and Larry awoke to our perfect island day.  They walked up to our condo, and from there we covered seeing quite a few of Mackinac’s treasures.

Our first official stop was Lookout Point overlooking Sugar Loaf.  We walked there after passing the three island cemeteries and turning right up Fort Holmes Road.  We promised them after we reached Fort Holmes, everything else would be downhill.

Our first official stop was Lookout Point overlooking Sugar Loaf. We walked there after passing the three island cemeteries and turning right up Fort Holmes Road. We promised them after we reached Fort Holmes, everything else would be downhill.

As with almost everyone who visits for the first time, they couldn't get over the blueness and clarity of the Lake Huron water.  "It looks like the Caribbean," they said several times.

As with almost everyone who visits for the first time, they couldn’t get over the blueness and clarity of the Lake Huron water. “It looks like the Caribbean,” they said several times.

A couple more hills . . .

A couple more hills . . .

. . . brought us to Fort Holmes, and Ted got to talk all about the history of what happened there.

. . . brought us to Fort Holmes, and Ted got to talk all about the history of this spot.

From the top of the Island we could barely make out the red of a parasail drifting over the Straits.

From the top of the Island we could barely make out the red of a parasail drifting over the Straits.

Since it was on the way, we stopped by Skull Cave . . .

Since it was on the way, we stopped by Skull Cave . . .

. . . then had lunch at Fort Mackinac's Tea Room.

. . . then had lunch at Fort Mackinac’s Tea Room.

We parted company after lunch, leaving Larry and Angela with a chance to explore on their own.  They plan to spend two more nights on the Island at the Chippewa downtown.  We hope you’re enjoying your island adventure as much as we’re enjoying you being here!

THE WEEK IN PHOTOGRAPHS

Loved seeing blog reader Joyce and her husband Al on Monday.  They stopped by the Stuart House to say hello!

Loved seeing blog reader Joyce and her husband Al on Monday. They stopped by the Stuart House to say hello!

While visiting the Fort Cemetery today, we noticed coins had been placed on nearly every stone marker.  Does  anyone know why?  It seems I read about this somewhere, but now I can't remember what I read.  Help!

While visiting the Fort Cemetery today, we noticed coins had been placed on nearly every stone marker. Does anyone know why? It seems I read about this somewhere, but now I can’t remember what I read. Help!

Today we ate up on the deck at the Tea Room that is above the level where the yellow umbrellas are.  Our first time to eat up there - we liked it!

Today we ate on the deck at the Tea Room that is above the level where the yellow umbrellas are. Our first time to eat up there – and we liked it a lot!  You can see we had a Great Lakes cruise ship in the harbor today.

A beautiful sunset shot of two Shepler boats by Shepler Captain Pat Springate.

A beautiful sunset shot of two Shepler boats by Shepler Captain Pat Springate.

The Cottage Inn's Joe Joe Cocker.

The Cottage Inn’s Joe Joe Cocker.

Flowers on the outside patio at Mary's Bistro.

Flowers on the outside patio at Mary’s Bistro.

Breathtaking Windermere Hotel gardens.  I could just stand and look at this all day.

Breathtaking Windermere Hotel gardens. I could just stand and look at this all day.

Did you notice that every balcony

Did you notice that every balcony in the two hotels behind the Grand Hotel omnibus has its own hanging basket?

More Hawkweed.  It's everywhere, it's everywhere!

More Hawkweed. It’s everywhere, it’s everywhere!

In a few days, the Mackinac Island Marina will be alive with sails in rainbow colors.  The

In a few days, the Mackinac Island Marina will be alive with Crayola Crayon-colored sails. The Chicago to Mackinac Yacht Race begins Friday, July 12 for the Cruising Division boats, and the remaining divisions start toward the Island on Saturday, July 13.  By Monday this harbor will be teeming with activity, and the Island hotels, restaurants and bars will be wall-to-wall people.  Let the races begin!

The Trinity Episcopal Church steeple cross, as seen from Fort Mackinac.

The Trinity Episcopal Church steeple cross, as seen from Fort Mackinac.

This crow had a bird's eye view of everything today after he found a perch on the end of the flagpole at the Tea Room.

After he found a perch on the end of the flag pole at the Tea Room, this crow had a bird’s eye view of everything!

Buzz and Patty's sweet Bailey.

Buzz and Patty’s sweet Bailey.

A huge freighter slips past the lighthouses . . .

A huge freighter slips past the lighthouses . . .

. . . and continues west toward the Mackinac Bridge.

. . . and continues west toward the Mackinac Bridge.

Sweet friend Bonnie has been on the Island for a few days, and today we spotted her on a front porch on the boardwalk.  It was good to visit with her for a while!

Sweet friend Bonnie has been on the Island for a few days, and today we spotted her relaxing on a front porch on the boardwalk. It was good to visit with her for a while!

A seagull comes in for a landing on his own shadow.

A seagull comes in for a landing on his own shadow.

On the way home this afternoon, we walked through the Grand Hotel Rose Garden for the first time this summer.  Always beautiful!

On the way home this afternoon, we walked through the Grand Hotel Rose Garden for the first time this summer. Always beautiful!

Just one more thing.  Friends Steve and Orietta Humphrey, who are in Washington DC going through orientation before leaving for their year-long medical mission trip to Tanzania with the Peace Corps, will be blogging about their experiences there.  If any of you would like to subscribe to their blog, you can click the link below and then click on the “follow” button.  They’re posted once already.  I know this is going to be an exciting and very busy year for them, and I look forward to hearing about the work they will be doing:   www.daktari2013.wordpress.com

Steve and Orietta - from a previous trip to Africa

Steve and Orietta – from a previous trip to Africa

The Mellower Season 9/18/2012

We have a Mystery Spot winner!  She is Mariann Arendsen from Zeeland, MI!  Please see end of this post for the correct answer!

Autumn is the mellower season . . . .  Samuel Butler

When the noon siren blew today, I glanced at the thermometer, and it read 48 degrees.  It finally inched its way into the low 50’s this afternoon, and the rest of the week calls for more of the same.  We haven’t seen our first 30-something morning yet, but I have a feeling it could be soon.  So – I have plans to spend one morning or one afternoon this week pulling out sweaters, sweat shirts, rain gear, overcoats, gloves, neck wraps, and earmuffs and packing away sleeveless blouses, flip-flops and shorts.  That’s another thing we’ve learned about the U.P.  When Fall walks in the door, it doesn’t change its mind and walk back out a few days later  It is here to stay – so get prepared!

Ted took the dogs for a good, long walk up to Lookout Point and Ft. Holmes Monday and while he was there, grabbed some photos from as high up on the Island as you can go.

From the Lookout, it’s easy to see that the hardwood trees are just on the verge of turning gold. Did you spot the private tour carriage at the base of Sugar Loaf?

Here’s a closer view!

Bear enjoyed the wind at the top of the Island – Ft. Holmes.

What a view!  We’ll try to walk back up there in a week or so to check out how things have changed with the trees.

Downtown there are images of Fall everywhere – like those two baskets of bright yellow mums sitting on the fence posts at the Windermere Hotel.

It’s been normal over the last week to see rain out over the Straits . . .

. . . dark clouds over the Grand Hotel . . .

. . . and on Monday – while I was working at the Stuart House – rain!

Fall continues to bring Bree’s Blog readers to the Island, and several stopped by on Monday – like Jeff and Jacob from Garden City, MI (we had to stand inside because of the rain) . . .

. . . Mary, daughter Rory, and Goldendoodle McNally (husband and dad David took the photo) from Houston, TX . . .

. . . and Joyce, Al and Muriel from Indiana. This family loves to Geo-Cache . . .

. . . and next summer, good Lord willing, maybe we’ll do a blog story about their adventures while they’re here on one of their “expeditions”!

Thanks also to Cathy Cislak from Indianapolis (didn’t get a photo, darn it) who dropped by to leave some doggie treats for Bear and Maddie, which they wanted me to thank you for, Cathy!  Bear said, “Could she come to the Island more often, please!”

Reader Photos

Rebecca Bruner photographed the Round Island Lighthouse on August 9, 2012, near the spot where her wedding was held on August 12 at Windermere Point.

Jennifer Gilbert.  Jennifer was here in June working on an article about families visiting Mackinac Island for www.southshoreparent.com. She stayed at the Island House Hotel and loved this window (and the view) from the sitting room inside the hotel.

Craig Wicks – Roanoke, Virginia. This photo is from Criag’s visit in 2001 and shows the Shepler Ferry dock at sunrise.

Fran from Florida. Fran visited the Island with her two boys, and this photo shows one of them, at the garden on French Lane, trying to find all the Seek & Find items.

Neil Heineka – Benson, Illinois. Neil and his wife Erica have been coming to the Island for 10 years, beginning shortly after their marriage. They hope one day to summer here. Now they bring their two daughters and stay at Stone Cliffe, where the girls can play on the wide lawn, and they enjoy music on the portico and the marvelous views.

Lori Henes. Lori and her husband planned a vow renewal ceremony for Labor Day weekend – just the two of them. But her husband had other ideas. He contacted all their children and her mom and dad. On Sunday, the day of their vow renewal, the family surprised Lori and attended the service. This photo is Lori’s of the Grand Hotel flowers.

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 (you may have to refresh your page for this to show up). 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! And the Mystery Spot is   . . . .

Something a little different – not WHERE is it, but WHAT is it?

Again, please email your answers to me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.  PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER IN THE “COMMENTS” SECTION OF THE BLOG.  Remember, I’ll post the winner at the top of this blog as soon as someone gives the correct answer.

That’s all for tonight.  I’ll see you back here on Thursday night or Friday morning!  Stay warm!

MYSTERY SPOT ANSWER

The Mystery Spot is the lantern on a Grand Hotel carriage. So many readers guessed correctly that it was a “lantern on a carriage”, but I needed to know “which” carriage.

Walk With Me 10/29/2011

Thursday and Friday have been surreal.  At times the hours spiraled past so rapidly I had no awareness of the work I was doing – until I’d stop for a moment and see the result – bags packed, linens washed, beds remade, two boxes shipped home – and much more.  I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot, but Ted has worked three times as much, and what he’s done is the really hard, messy stuff – carrying his kayak back up the hill on his bike (wish I’d been around to photo that), cleaning and forcing four bicycles up two flights of stairs to the top floor, taking the first load of luggage over to the truck – and much, much more (and all on a bad leg he’s not had a single chance to rest).  We still face a day of general cleaning (on Saturday), but the hard part is behind us.  We’ll mop and vacuum and dust and clean bathrooms.  Piece of cake.

At other times these last two days the hours slowed down – creeping by in slow motion – my senses aware of every moment, every scene I passed, every word someone spoke.  With the exodus of the Grand employees, the island takes on a completely different feel.  Except for a few workers who will continue to come to the island as long as they can get here on the ferries, it’s mostly the islanders who are left- that hearty, almost 500-strong group who will hunker down and pray for lots of snow (so snowmobiles can be used) and really cold temperatures (so the Ice Bridge will make, allowing them to travel by snowmobile from the island to St. Ignace).

In the midst of the packing and cleaning, we’ve found time to walk around a couple of hours – both Thursday and Friday – and what I saw through my camera lens is what I offer for Saturday and Sunday.  It’s a different Mackinac than you’ve been seeing all summer and fall.  Come on . . . walk with me.

Even though the Island Bookstore sign reads "Closed" . . . .

. . . . Tam will still be working a few more days - doing inventory and boxing books.

At the Pink Pony, all the chairs are piled on top of the tables . . . . .

. . . . and the bar is empty (I think Brian is going to have that second chair from the middle inscribed with a plaque that reads: "Reserved for Ted" before next season).

Ted - outside the closed Pony, talking with Bobby and Roy.

Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island is closed, but I ran into Nicole a little later, and she said her store would be open some during the winter - for Christmas Bazaar weekend, during Christmas, and during Winter Festival.

Thunderbird Gifts is all locked down. Someone asked today why the windows are papered, and I asked that question downtown. Two reasons really - 1) if merchants leave stock in the stores, the sunlight through the windows could fade themerchandise, and 2) if work is being done on the inside of the store during the winter, it makes for a good "surprise" in the spring when the paper comes down.

Remember me saying the Grand moves its administrative offices downstate during the winter? These two Budget rental trucks (which came over on a freight ferry) are being loaded from drays filled with everything the Grand will need to operate during the winter.

Two of a few businesses which will be open and always busy during the winter are the Post Office . . . .

. . . and the bank (where the flag is flying).

Last day open at Nephew's on Mackinac . . . . still some bargains to be had.

And - oh my goodness - last day sale at Joann's Fudge - $4.00 per slice!

Jesse's Chuckwagon was already done . . . . .

. . . and so was Martha's Sweet Shop.

Walking toward the boardwalk, we passed the closed Lakeview Hotel. The only person on the street was a man sweeping up, after smoothing out a spot of uneven sidewalk . . . .

. . . . which is being done in many places all over downtown.

The lovely Iroquois Hotel is closed . . . .

. . . . and the gardens leading to The Carriage House Restaurant are accented by a giant pumpkin.

Through the windows of the Windermere Hotel, the white sheet-shrouded furniture is visible. I wonder if they painted the hotel to blend with that gorgeous tree!

The Round Island Passage Light looked close enough to touch from this angle at Windermere Point.

We made a stop at the library (open during the winter Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.). We had a ton of books we'd read this summer that we added to the used books the library sells.

Another shot of the empty streets from the west end of Main Street.

The beautiful old McNally Cottage. Unless a miracle occurs, this building will be torn down beginning November 1. Planned to replace it is a three-story hotel.

Cindy's Livery Stable is closed. It's strange to go by there and see the door closed and no saddled horses waiting in the side lot.

The Cloghaun Bed & Breakfast, closed and ready for winter.

Looking down Market Street through the empty windows of La Galerie.

When I stopped to take this pic of Doc Al, our island veterinarian, I asked him (again) if I might write a story about him next summer. He just smiled and said, "We'll see." He's a shy one, our doc.

At the closed Gatehouse, they were having an impromptu hamburger cook-out for the employees - that's one way to clean out the freezer!

Snowmobiles are returning on ferries from St. Ignace, where some are stored during the summer.

One place absolutely not closed is the island school. Lots of bikes there by the playground.

I wonder if the famous island ghosts play tennis during winter nights, while ghostly spectators watch. Remind me to go on the Midnight Ghost Tour next summer. THAT should be an interesting post!

The last time I will photograph the big trees further down the hill. They were removed the next day - so beautiful and regal - but old, diseased, and a danger to people and horses whenever the wind blew. They'll be replaced by the same beautiful Maples planted last fall when the first of the diseased trees were removed. Pics tomorrow of the new, wide-open boulevard leading to the Grand.

All the Grand horses have left the island, and I walked inside the old stable one more time . . . .

The Grand omnibuses were parked and polished, and the antique carriages were lined up side by side. By the time we return in the spring, the new stable up near us will be open.

The horse barns - all closed up.

Are you tired yet?  I hope not!  Join me tomorrow, and we’ll do a little more walking!

A Mackinac Surprise for Good Friends 9/27/2011

Hi Friends!  I’m going to leave up the post below until Thursday morning, when I’ll have my first official “Fall Colors” post for you.  Until then, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about the Great Turtle Shopping Week October 5-8.  This would be a great time to grab some friends and head up to the island for a couple of days of fun and savings on the Island.                                                                                                           

It’s kinda like a “sidewalk” sale – except it’s inside!  Hotels and restaurants will have specials going on as well.  There will be a Gallery Walk on Market Street, giveaways on Wednesdays, chocolate served in the shops on Thursday, late night shopping on Friday, and on Saturday – fall treats!

Some other fun things to look forward to will be cider & donuts at Doud’s Market, half-off admission to the Grand Hotel Wednesday-Saturday, entertainment at the bars, free gifts at Arnold Transit, and raffles and giveaways at the Tourism Bureau.  Mackinac Mittens will have a booth in the Lilac Tree Mall, and there’ll be a book signing at Island Bookstore (both of these events on Saturday).

Downtown shops will decorate their windows for fall, and shoppers can vote on the best one.  AND, there will be a scarecrow-making contest!  The slogan for the event is:  Indulge.  Shop.  Relax.  I love all three!
All you have to do to participate is stop by the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau and pick up a free VIP Shopping Pass,  Here’s the link to this brand new, fun event for the Island:  http://www.greatturtleshopping.org.

Come on up, and get your Christmas shopping done!

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together!

When I heard from Pat Lanier that she was bringing another tour group from Albany, GA to the Grand Hotel – and in that group were two other friends I’ve known since the 1970’s – I began to try and think of something special we could do while they were here.  They were already scheduled for one of the Carriage Tours that are so good about “hitting the high spots” on the Island, but I knew there were a lot of other out-of-the-way places they’d never see because, 1)  the big carriages can’t go to those places, and 2) time restraints (they were only going to be on the Island two nights) would prohibit us walking or biking to all those places.

With special permission from Grand Hotel management, my wish to make their trip totally awesome was granted, and at 10 a.m. this morning, we boarded one of the VIP Grand Hotel carriages.  My second wish was for sunny skies, and that didn’t quite work out as well.  Instead of an open-air carriage, Ben Mosley, our driver, hitched the hackneys to a closed carriage, and with windy, cool weather – that threatened rain most of the morning – we were so glad he had the foresight to opt for us to be all snug and covered up.

I've known Joann Bates (far right) for many, many years because she, Ted and I were all employed in the Dougherty County School System in Albany. Pat Lanier, Sharon Whaley and I were all "young-marrieds" together, living in the same apartment complex in Albany, and starting our families at basically the same time in the 70's. That's 40 years of history! Whew!

The ladies, along with their entire tour group, enjoyed dining at the Grand on Sunday evening, then going into the ballroom to listen to the orchestra and watch the dancing.

I finally had to break down and tell Pat about the surprise plan so she could make arrangements with the other tour director to take care of her group while she slipped away. All Pat told Joann and Sharon was they weren't going on the Carriage Tour with the others, and to meet on the front porch at a little before 10 a.m. on Monday morning. Both Jill and Ted were there to take photos, and Ted's plan was to bike to each "spot" ahead of us so he could photograph us arriving.

Jill had already stopped off in the Grand stables to watch the hackneys be hitched to the carriage Ben had chosen for us.

When Ben pulled up, and the girls realized this was their surprise, there were a lot of happy squeals of "You've got to be kidding!" Here, Pat shakes hands with Ben, who immediately made friends when he said, "Welcome, YA'LL"!

Leaving the entrance to the Grand and . . .

. . . a wave from Sharon . . .

. . . before starting up the road in front of the West Bluff.

From the West Bluff, we traveled into the Annex, and that's where Ted met us for the first time and snapped this pic of us approaching.

Ben stopped a moment so we could all wave to Ted.

From the Annex, we rode through the woods and into the Village, turning in front of our condo, where once again Ted was waiting.

We rode through the woods once again up to the cemeteries, then turned toward Fort Holmes, the highest spot on the Island.

From Ft. Holmes we rode to Lookout Point, where Ted was waiting. In fact he'd been waiting quite a while. He thought we'd come there first and then go to Ft. Holmes, but we did it the other way around.

This was the first place we'd gotten out of the carriage, and everyone took a lot of pics of the scenery while I took pics of my friends!

Lots of applause for Ben and his patience (although he kinda looks like he was enjoying it as much as we were)!

He even took all of our cameras up with him on the driver's seat and snapped a photo of us with each one. You can really see some color change behind us (we were overlooking Sugar Loaf here).

Ted followed us down the hill from Lookout Point, then turned right to go back to the condo. We turned left and headed for Arch Rock.

The wind had really started to kick up by the time we arrived at Arch Rock . . .

, , , but that didn't stop us from going out on the lookout platform as far as we could to look at the shoreline below.

When we walked back to the carriage, we noticed Ben and the horses were drawing more attention than Arch Rock.

Our next stop was the East Bluff, and while we were stopped there, we walked over to Anne’s Tablet, one of my favorite places on the island, and one I wanted to share with my friends

From the fence overlooking the bluff at Anne's Tablet, it was again easy to see where the foliage is beginning to turn.

From there, it was just a few more steps to the Somewhere in Time gazebo.

Back in the carriage, we rode slowly down Mission Hill, down Main Street, over to Market, and turned back toward the Grand Hotel.

And who was there waiting to catch us as we came up the hill? Jill!!

Pulling in front of the Grand . . . just look at those high-stepping horses!

Unloading . . .

. . . one more group shot with the carriage and the horses . . .

. . . and a big THUMBS UP for Ben.

We finished our adventure with a walk downtown, where a turn down French Lane happened to put us in the path of Mayor Margaret Doud, who graciously posed with us.

We turned right at the end of French Lane and walked by the beautiful Windermere Hotel . . .

. . . then crossed the street to photograph the lovely gardens at the Iroquois Hotel.

Jill - who would always prefer to be behind the camera - not in front of it.

By the time we finished lunch at the Yankee Rebel, the much anticipated rain finally arrived. We parted company when the Georgia girls caught a Grand bus back up the hill, Jill went to work, and I caught a taxi home.

My friends and the rest of their group will be on the 10 a.m. ferry out Tuesday morning – a much, much too short trip.  I hope they can all return soon to our beautiful Mackinac when they can stay longer.  They saw a lot today, but they’ve only scratched the surface of what the Island has to offer.

As we were walking today, Joann asked me if I ever have to pinch myself to realize I really live in all this beauty every day.  My answer was this: “I do, and I know how blessed we are.  But, like every place you spend a long time, you begin to take it for granted.  Having friends come who have never visited makes it all new again.  I love that!”

Come back soon, friends, and safe travels home.  We loved you being here!


All’s Well That Ends Well . . . 9/17/2010

This has been a tough week.  Being sick was no fun, and I really feel like I haven’t put much effort into the blog in several days.  And with the kids coming in Thursday afternoon, I’ll be taking a few days off to enjoy them – so I guess you’ll just have to label this week’s posts as “the blog that almost was” and look forward to better things from me next week.

Before I sign off for the week though, I have a couple of exciting things to share with you, and then I’ll offer up “Random Photos” a day earlier than usual.

The excitement started with an email from an artist in Illinois who wanted to use one of my photos as a model for a watercolor he had been asked to paint.  Spencer Meagher told me that a lady in New York had contacted him about doing a painting of Robinson’s Folly as part of his “Places I’ve Never Been, Things I’ve Never Done” series, which he began September 1 of this year.  She had referred him to a past Bree’s Blog post in which Robinson’s Folly was pictured.  I emailed him the original of the photo, and below are the results.

My photo of Robinson’s Folly (the large outcropping of limestone on the right of the photo). Small Point Inn is also pictured.

Spencer’s watercolor. How cool is that!

In the emails we sent back and forth this week, I learned that Spencer visits Mackinac Island quite often and photographs scenes that he later paints.  For some reason, he had never photographed this particular landmark.  If you’d like to visit his website and look at his other work, some of which includes Mackinac Island scenes,  you can find him at www.spencermeagherfineart.com.

Another day I was contacted by Maggie who is a freelance writer for “The Mackinac Journal”, a northern Michigan monthly magazine.  She was doing a story on the horses leaving the island for the winter and had seen a blog post from last year, with all the photos of the horses coming down the street and entering the ferry.  She asked if I would email her the originals, in their highest resolution, to see if any could be used by their graphics artist to illustrate her story.  I received an email from her today that the photos were perfect, and she will be sending me a copy of the magazine when it hits the stands in October.  I’ll be getting full photo credit, so I’m very excited!

So very, very strange how this blog-thing is turning out.  A lady in New York who reads my blog tells an artist in Illinois to request a photo from me to do a painting she wants.  A writer in Cheboygan finds photos she needs to write a story on the horses leaving the island.

And all I wanted to do was write “letters home” to Georgia friends while we were in Michigan.  Amazing.  And so, so much fun!

I walked downtown – camera in coat pocket –  late this afternoon, knowing my “random photos” would all be done in one probably two-hour session.  I just hadn’t been out much again this week, so my random shots were few, and I needed to add to the ones I had that were usable.  I had in mind sticking to a theme of “Mackinac from Different Angles” and taking photos of places I see every day – but from different perspectives.  And I did some of that.  But I branched out from that theme also – proving once again I am no good at all at “going with a plan”.  Maybe that’s why random photo day is so popular – it’s just my “random mind” at its best!

A red flower, purple leaves plant from The Grand flower garden. Sorry, Mary, but I don’t think we covered this one on the tour. If we did – I forgot!  Sure is pretty though!

Looking across the school playground, through the trees, to the water.

No dogs anywhere, but something spooked the geese in the Burroughs Lot into flying. They are silhouetted against the Mackinac Bridge.

A brightly colored kite flies high against the cloudy sky.

Little Stone Church, as we normally see it photographed.

The Little Stone Church Steeple and bell. On Sunday mornings at the beginning of the service, and at the end of every wedding – as the bride and groom leave the church – a person standing in the center aisle pulls the rope and rings the bell. You can hear it for miles. 

The beautiful stained glass window you see upon entering the church door . . .

. . . . and the one you see as you go out the church door . . .

. . . which is always open and welcoming. As I’ve said before, this church drew me in just as the island did, and that was before I ever had the privilege of hearing Dr. Vince Carroll speak.

One more of the church. This one is from the walkway which goes to the lawn behind the church – where we have our coffee and cookies fellowship on Sunday mornings.

The Town Crier office. Our weekly newspaper is published once a week during the summer.

The windows in La Galerie were filled with beautiful fall displays, like these gorgeous bags.

A scarecrow waves a welcome from his bike.  He’s in the yard of one of the homes used for employee housing on Cadotte Avenue.

A Mackinac Island street in the middle of a Fall weekday. By Friday afternoon the streets will be full again.

A peek inside one of my favorite island shops – Little Luxuries on Mackinac Island.

A row of signs we are very familiar with – Scrimshanders, The Chippewa Hotel, and . . .

. . . what else! The Pink Pony!

Doud’s Market was hopping this afternoon – but it always is! Ya gotta have food, but I could just stand outside and admire the flowers!

The taxi stand. As I walked by, two ladies were muttering that the “phone doesn’t work”. I interrupted them and said I’d be glad to give it a try. I explained that they wouldn’t hear a dial tone when they picked it up. It just automatically rings upstairs to the taxi dispatcher, which it did – and they ordered their taxi.  I remember thinking the same thing the first time I used that phone, which hangs inside a marked box on the front of the building.

The east end of town.

The sign for Harbor Place Apartments, another good place to stay during the winter if you come here to ski, or just to enjoy the solitude. The apartments are all waterfront.

The beautiful Hotel Iroquois, which looks a lot smaller from the front . . .

. . . than it does from this side view!

The Windermere Hotel, as seen from Windermere Point.  Wow – I should have brought Bear and Maddie, the geese dogs!

The back of our lovely library, as seen from the beach. Rocking chairs across the back porch are available day and night for a quiet place to read, or to just enjoy looking at the water and watching the boats.

From the sidewalk, across the street from the boardwalk. A little further down this road is the school, then you are out of town.

I always wonder, when I see this lone tree on the beach side of the street, what made it stronger than the others that must surely have been here in the past.

The pumpkins growing beside the horse barn seem to have doubled in size over the last few days.

A few leaves are beginning to turn now. For some reason, I think the change is going to be fast this year.

Our condo through the trees.

I don’t think I will be writing while Jason and Blair are here, but I will probably post some pics at least a few nights between now and Monday when they are leaving – so check back every now and then just to see what’s up.  Have a great rest of the week, stay safe, try not to get a cold, and if you’re in northern Michigan, stay WARM!  God bless – and thank you for your prayers this week.  I am so blessed.

Side Streets of Mackinac Island – French Lane 6/29/2010

Monday seemed like a perfect day to walk downtown and explore another island side street.  When I reached the end of Cadotte, I turned left onto Market, and took the first right, which is French Lane.  I walked all the way down French to Main Street so I could start at the Windermere Hotel and end at one of my favorite Mackinac Island gardens. Come on along, and I’ll walk you up this quaint little pathway – no carriages allowed, only pedestrians and bicycles.

At Main Street and French Lane sits the Windermere Hotel and the beautiful yard that flows around the corner.

The Windermere was built in 1887 by two banker brothers, Charles and Clifford Anthony. Used originally as a summer cottage for the Anthony family, the building featured a tower typical of lakeside residences of that era.

When Patrick Doud purchased the cottage in 1904, he converted it to a resort hotel. Doud, who was an island contractor, also built the Governor's Summer Residence. He eventually added a third floor to the Windermere Hotel, removed the tower, and added a sunroom.

 

The beautiful old trees inside the fence at the Windermere become frames for flower pictures.

On the other corner of French and Main is the Lake View Hotel. Built in 1858 by Reuban Chapman, it is one of the oldest continuously operated hotels on the island. After Chapman's death in 1860, the hotel was operated by his wife, Maria. In 1880, Chapman's daughter and son-in-law, Jeannie and Claude C. Cable, purchased the structure and later changed the name to Lake View Hotel.

In the 1890's, when Mackinac Island was becoming a resort mecca, the two large towers were added. The Lake View is home to Goodfellow's Chop House Restaurant, where dining is available inside or on a porch that overlooks all the Main Street activity.

This cute little house, with flowers happily blooming in the windowbox and the American flag proudly flying, sits just beyond the Windermere's back yard. I believe it is a private residence.

Moving on up French Lane toward Market Street, this blue house with the yellow door and yellow-striped awning sits on the left. It is very large, and I think it is used for employee housing.

Moving to the right side of French Lane, this great little rental cottage sits behind a white picket fence. Ted and I looked at this cottage once upon a time - before we bought - as a possible place to stay for two weeks.

Back to the left - I have always LOVED this little privately owned home, named appropriately "French Lane Cottage". It is so neat and clean and looks like a little doll house, with lace curtains in the windows . . .

. . . and beautiful flowers in the yard.

Back to the right side of the street (am I making you dizzy?), I believe this large white home is also used for employee housing.

This is the third white cottage on the right side of French Lane, all with white picket fences. This one is probably privately owned.

We're almost to the corner of French and Market Street. The green building on the right is London Square . . .

. . . one of my favorite island stores and where I bought a gazillion things the first year we moved into our condo - just ask Ted!

On the other French Lane and Market Street corner is the home of Dwight LaPine and Jeff Shaffer, who own London Square and whose backyard garden is one of my favorite stops when I'm in town.

Jeff is the garden designer, and during the winter, Dwight uses cuttings from the previous summer and some seeds to begin the flowers that will make Jeff's design come to life the next summer.

Every year Jeff hides different objects in the garden for visitors to find. The sign on the fencepost lets you know what to look for . . . .

. . . like this pumpkin . . .

. . . or a skull . . .

. . . or a ship!

Even sandwiched in between the two busiest streets on Mackinac Island, French Lane manages to project a quiet, peaceful calm all its own.  I hope when you visit the island you take a few moments to find this little side street and enjoy the the hundred-year-old homes and the lush gardens.  And make sure you go on that treasure hunt in Dwight and Jeff’s garden – it’s a great 15 minutes of free fun!