Monday, June 27, 2016

Vacation, Day 2 Michigan, To Mackinac

I had wanted to edit these photos, because I really think some of them could really pop.  But as it turns out, while we were in Mackinac, Indy got hit with a massive storm, and when Eric came home from work, the dog had pooped in 4 places, peed on the stairs, and all the fire alarms were blaring.  We suspect a power surge blew out one of the fire alarms (the fire dept came out, disconnected one, and the noise stopped), also the computer, phones, and tv were down.
We're still recovering from all this drama weeks later.  It's going to take a while.  Anyway, one of the consquences of my computer dying, is that I can't crop, trim or mess with my photos.  I got some good ones, but still, a girl likes to make them Good.  So it makes me a little crazy.
Anyway, here's the Top Few from our Michigan adventures on our first day of exploration.  Really, I know it's a lot.  But it's just the Tops from what I actually took.  Dang, that place is Beautiful.

1. Lisa and I were the first ones awake Tuesday morning.   So, as we were perusing our phones, checking up on the rest of the world, we found out that it was supposed to rain later in the week.

It was going to rain specifically Wed, and some Thursday.  That was going to be problematic, because we wanted to go to Mackinac Island on Wednesday.  But it was going to rain, like a lot.  That mean, we had to get everyone up and moving, which was a little harder than it sounds.  Lisa joked, she bet that the last thing I wanted to do was get in the car and drive an hour to go up to Mackinac.  No, the last thing I want to do is hit Mackinac in the rain! 

2.  We loaded them up, this was us ready to go to Mackinac!   Mom and Lisa were caravaning behind us.  Frankly, I am Thankful for one thing jackets and towels.   

In the spring, I put jackets in the car for each of us.  It turned out to be one of more brilliant moves, because it was chillier closer to the water, and only 57 at the tip of Michigan, significantly cooler than we were staying.   The boys were cold.  I wished I'd made us wear our jeans too.  The beach towels were blankets for the ride home later. 

3.  We took the Mackinac Island Ferry.  All of us.   Thank You Mommy!   This is the only way to get to Mackinac, as they don't allow boats.  It's Perfect for a Day Trip!  

4.  Baby's First Boat Ride.  Sam was quick to point out that we had never been on such a big boat, just a small yacht in Chicago off of which he and Chris puked in 2014.  

 5.  Christopher loved the look of the ferry boats with the spout of water coming off their back end.  We rode downstairs because it was so chilly.  No seasickness this round!

6.  When we arrived, it was just in time for lunch.  So we scoped out a couple places.  As we consulted the maps, the kids found people flying kites on a small beach by one of the hotels.  

7. Turns out it's hard to get all 5 yahoos in one picture.  But they posed prettily for me, while we figured out lunch, and our plan of attack. 

8.   Lilacs.   As it also turns out, we were so early in June, the lilacs were still blooming all over the island.  Lilac Festival had been the weekend before.  We hit upon Perfect Timing!  

They smelled divine, and looked even prettier.  

We stopped for lunch at Goodfellow's Italian Chop House, which was attached to the Lake View Hotel.  We ate with a view of their pool.  My kids were dying to go for a swim.   Not when it's 57 degrees outside babe.  Chris got his cheeseburger, and the rest of us got fish in its various forms.  

 9.  Priorities yo.  After lunch, we hit a fudge shop.  My word for my photo of the day challenge was Pile.  This was a Pile of Fudge.

Michiganders know how to make Fudge!   
Sam was in hog heaven when we asked the gentleman if they used artificial coloring, because we had an allergy in the family.  Nope, all their cherry stuff is from, you guessed it, Cherries.  Oh Mama.   
We did some damage in that store.   

 10.  We found a park! And that park had a playground.  That was not here last time.

Granted, it's been 13 years since the last time I made it up to Mackinac.  But not much has changed.  One new thing is how quickly fudge acts upon my children.  My kids go Crazy for it.  A few fudge samples, and they literally had to run it off.  

 11. View from the Fort.  Fort Mackinac and the Governor's Summer Mansion are up high upon the hill overlooking this beautiful park.   And the Lilacs were still in bloom.

Gorgeous park! 

12.  My Mom in the Lilacs.  We were taking a little longer to get to the park.  

Mommy had to stop and smell the lilacs.  

13.  Lucky #13, that's funny.  This is my Favorite picture.  This beautiful fuschia lilac. 

 14.  Nana stops to smell the lilacs.   This was not posed, she didn't even know I took it.

15.  Just look up.  These lilac bushes, are like trees.  Oy.  I wish pictures could be scratch and sniff.

16.   Lovely Lilacs.  If a lilac is lilac colored, does that make it a lilac lilac?

 17.  The kids take over the playground.  Our 5 kids kind of take over everything.   We bring the noise and the funk.

Mine are the ones in blue jackets, Lisa's are in pink jackets. 
"Wherever we go, that's where the party's at."

18. While the kids played, the Mommies giggled, and ate fudge.  Christopher took this picture of the three of us together, and it was great.  Well done, turns out he has quite a good photographer's eye.

19.  Mommy and her sweetboys in the lilac bush.   This is not my favorite photo, I much prefer to leave the focus on the Cuteness, but it's not too bad for the three of us. 

20.  Time to Line Up.  We got tickets for the carriage tour around the island, but we'd had to wait a while, thus the fudge and the park.  

21.  Taking up two rows, as we get moving in the carriage through town.  

 This was a 2 horse surrey with the fringe on top.  At one point, someone on a bike, grabbed on to the hitch behind us, and got pulled a little ways.  This cracked up all the kids, but I suspect the horses had other ideas.

22.  Someday.  Someday I want to go here to the Grand Hotel.  Just for on night.

I had a girlfriend come here for her anniversary the week before, sent by her college age kids.  That sounds dreamy.  Someday, Eric and I will go here, and sit on the porch in white rockers and wear dress up clothes to dinner.  Someday.  

23.  Our crew as we get ready to get out and see Arch Rock.  

The cart made two stops, one at the barn, where we could buy more souvenirs, and at Arch Rock.  

24.  Arch Rock.  One of these days, this won't be here anymore, it tends to erode a little more each time. 

25.  The boys at Arch Rock. Thank Goodness for fences, it made me comfortable enough to let go.  

26.   Girls and Boys at Arch Rock!   I kind of love their corresponding jackets.  

27.  View from Arch Rock - this is the Lake Huron side of Mackinac, the northeast side.  

28.  I love all the shades of green and blue.   The view from next to Arch Rock, where we can look down and see the bike path below.   No getting bikes for all of us this year, maybe next time. 

29.   All 5 of our kids check out the scenic view of Lake Huron.  With this kind of view, there was no way they were going to look at me. ;) 

30.  The end of the tour.  We had the option of getting off at the Fort and playing around, but it was already after 5, and we were getting tired.  We opted to run down the hill and head back to the ferry. 

31.  More beautiful lilacs.  This bush/tree was by the restroom, where we'd waited in line for our carriage.  The sun had finally really started to come out while we were on our tour.  

32.  Fudge Break.   Jacob reaches out with his souvenir back scratcher for Fudge.  This kid slays me.  

 We had Just Missed the last ferry, so we had to sit and wait 20 minutes or so for the next one.  Turns out that was a good time to give the kids a fudge break, to perk them, and really all of us up.

33.  Jacob REALLY wants more of Nana's fudge.   It didn't help that I kept taking pictures and laughing hysterically.  But he had the asking for 'more fudge please' thing down!

34.  Who wants to freeze?!   The big boys decided that on the way back, they wanted to ride on top of the ferry.  I knew it was going to be cold. 

 The girls (sane ones that they are) didn't want to.  So I got to sit up top with just my big boys. 
I thought the photography opportunities would be better up there too! 

35.  The Flag - As it turned out, we were there on June 14th, Flag Day.  Perfectly appropriate.

Did you know that the Flag at the National Cemetary at Fort Mackinac is allowed to fly at half mast all the time?  It's because there are so many unknown soldiers buried there.  The only other places where it flies at half mast all the time are Arlington Cemetary in DC, and Gettysburg, PA for the unknown soldiers there.  There is another flag in Normandy France that flies half mast all the time in respect for all those lost and the unknowns there.  

36.  Past the Lighthouse.   There's a bit of a bay where the boats come in to the Mackinac Marina, that passes by the lighthouse and the island next door, Round Island and it's lighthouse.  

37.  Turning back to snap the Fort.   My view from the boat of the marina, fort, park, and govornor's mansion, where we'd played the day away.  

And then my camera died.  And I didn't have a battery.   

38.   But I had these Sweetboys.  Don't they look precious?!  And I bet, Sure, you can see that great long white bar behind them that is the Grand Hotel on Mackinac, right?!

39.  Mackinac Bridge - the bridge that crosses the Straights of Mackinac from the lower peninsula of Michigan to the U.P.   

Sam was the only one that was disappointed we were not driving the Bridge this trip.  
He also wouldn't be the one driving it.   No Thanks.   

 40.  The Last - I got one last photo of the boys as we pulled into our port.  Enough boating for the night.

 After our Ferry Ride, we found a nice restaurant in Mackinac City for dinner.   It took us a while to get on a bus to our car, we had to park in overflow parking.  In the mean time, we staked out Food, and the kids played.

We knew we weren't going to survive the 45 minute ride back to our condo, some of us needed to eat before that.  We wanted some Fish.   And we found a place that knew how to Fry some Fish!  It was called the Lighthouse restaurant.  It was Nice.  Nicer than the kids deserved, but and really nice.  The food was Good too!  The portions were Huge, we came home with leftovers that we really didn't get a chance to eat.  When we got home, we crashed.  Hard.


Elizabeth said...

Great photos! I do wish they were scratch and sniff, too! Not only for the lilacs, but also for the fudge. :)