Tag Archives: Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island Girls Trip 

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Sparkling blue water surrounded our tiny, plastic boats.  We bobbed on the waves while pockets of teal twinkled from the lake floor.  The sun was warm, a gentle wind blew.  It was a perfect snatch of time.

Anthony, our competent and utterly patient kayak guide, stayed close to me. I consistently brought up the rear in our group, and he made sure I was never left behind. During our conversations, he asked me why I kept returning to Mackinac Island…he wanted to know what brought me back to a place I live 746 miles from. I tried to explain…it was the calmness, the silence, the cleanliness of the cool air.  I told him I was just sort of drawn to it…that it stirs my soul like no other place I’ve ever known. Anthony grinned a knowing grin as he nodded and told me he understood those stirrings.

Arch Rock in the background.

I was lucky enough to get to visit my special place this summer with my sister and daughter. I introduced sis to an automobile free, lilac filled place with lots of bikes, horses and fudge (we especially loved that part). Daughter has been there before and already loves it like I do.  We biked, we ate and then ate some more.  We picnicked on the beach and we shopped.  We gawked at massive summer homes and took in the panoramic views.  But mostly, we were just together.


The only downside to our trip was when my car, Brown Betty, bit the dust in Indianapolis (all of my cars are named Betty with the corresponding color word)…and she bit it hard. There were no injuries so all is well. A sweet girl asked, “Did it ruin your trip?” The answer was a resounding no. Yes, it was a scary moment but it will not erase the fun we had.  I’ll not let it mar the special memories we made together. I’m blessed to have spent time with two women who mean the world to me. We shared a special time, one I know we’ll never forget. Bumps in the road only make me realize (even more) how blessed I am to have them in my life each and every day.

The Grand Hotel porch

Our bikes

Mommy – Daughter

The Grand Hotel – the day started off cold but by early afternoon we were changing into shorts.

Since there are no cars on the island, bikes are used for lots of things. This one belonged to a home repair crew.

Everywhere you looked, flowers bloomed.  Still springtime there, irises stood tall, tulips had just begun to fade away, and peony blossoms were seconds away from bursting open.  The wildflowers lining the roads were incredible…every flower, no matter the color, was incredible. 

 

Lilacs in Bloom

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My travel itch has been scratched, re-scratched, and has now rolled over and begged for mercy.  As of last night at 8:00, we have traveled around 2,800 hundred miles this month.  My husband and I arrived home last night from a five-day trip to Mackinac Island, Michigan.  It took us 13 hours each way (by car), but my oh my, it was worth it!

We arrived on the island Saturday night and were instantly greeted by the sweet blend of lilacs blooming all over the island.  Living in Tennessee, we don’t see many lilac bushes and never have we seen such an abundance of lilacs in one place.

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There was something about the lilacs…something beyond their sweetness.  They were delicate and serene, bold and sure.  One bush on the island is said to be at least 150 years old.  An incredible strength must live in its roots and limbs if it can survive cold Michigan winters, one after the other.

The Grand Hotel is peeking out from behind this lilac bush.

The Grand Hotel is peeking out from behind this lilac bush.

I fell in love with Mackinac Island the first time I visited thirteen years ago, and this visit only solidified my love for this unique patch of earth.  Another visitor on the island put it into words – “You either get it or you don’t.”  You either love it or you leave it with respect.  Others may love the beach and yearn to visit yearly, others may yearn for the desert of the southwest, while others may only need the mountains.  For me, this island calls to me like no other place ever has or ever will.  It whispers to me, pulls on my soul, as if it’s welcoming me home each time I’m there.  In some strange way, I feel home when I’m there.  Explain that one to me…

Soaking in the sun on the highest point of the island - Fort Holmes.

Soaking in the sun on the highest point of the island – Fort Holmes.

What makes Mackinac Island so-o-o special is my hubby loves it as much as I do.  When I become obsessed with need to visit the island, he may roll his eyes but in the end, he always comes through.  When we’re there together, we get it.  ‘You either get it or you don’t’ – well, we get it.  We love it and we love it together.  There’s nothing more special than being able to share that love.

Another joy of the trip was getting to meet one my favorite bloggers.  Bree blogs about the island twice a week and keeps us island lovers connected and happy.

Another joy of the trip was getting to meet one of my favorite bloggers. Bree blogs about the island twice a week and keeps us island lovers connected and happy.

And yes, I got to see the beautiful red geraniums on the porch of the Grand while I was there!

And yes, I got to see the beautiful red geraniums on the porch of the Grand while I was there!

My heart is full and thankful.  I pray that every person has a special place they can escape to, wherever the place may be.  I pray that everyone has a chance to connect to the earth and hear it calling to you.

Geraniums

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“Long experience has taught me that people who do not like geraniums have something morally unsound about them. Sooner or later you will find them out; you will discover that they drink, or steal books, or speak sharply to cats. Never trust a man or a woman who is not passionately devoted to geraniums.”

― Beverly Nichols

Geraniums were a staple of my youth…well, at least a staple of my youth at my grandmother’s house.  Every spring, her concrete pots would suddenly sprout a set of matching red geraniums.  They became a symbol of my grandmother…along with her fruit-filled jello salad, scrumptious vegetables she grew in her own enormous garden, and her sparkling blue eyes.  Grandmother was smart, sometimes sharp-tongued, but always nothing more, nothing less than my loving grandmother.  She passed her love of geraniums on to me, and never has there been a summer season without their blossoms gracing my yard.

Red calls to me every spring - crisp red blooms against velvety green

Red calls to me every spring – crisp, red blooms against velvety green

Imagine the sputtering of my heart the first time I saw the porch of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.  Brilliant red geraniums lined the front porch, which stretches as far as the eye can see.  Geraniums echoed throughout the building, on the carpet, scattered among guest rooms.  To say the least, I was downright giddy being surrounded by the beauties.

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Grand Hotel – Mackinac Island, Michigan

I fell in love with Mackinac Island the first time I saw it.  The quaint streets of town, the shuffling of horses, the never-ending smell of horse poo and fudge, the bicycles, and the beautiful homes.  But Mackinac is so much more…it’s the subtle breeze, the quiet in the forest.  It’s the beauty of nature that whispers through the flowers and the limbs of trees.  The flowers are there for only a short time and they tend to show off their beauty like waving flags.  Geraniums are there among them, scattered across the island.

Maybe it’s their heartiness – a quality we all strive for, or maybe it’s their unique fragrance – different from so many others, which echoes my very being.  Whatever the reason, I adore them.

Geraniums have arrived on my back porch.  I will smile each time I see them, thinking of my grandmother, thinking of Mackinac.  Isn’t it amazing the power of a single flower and the memories they can evoke?