Mackinac Island and Mackinaw City are a couple of my favorite places in Michigan. When my parents visited from Alabama last summer, we decided to take them up to see the area. None of us regretted the trip. It was an absolutely perfect, sunny, breezy, not-too-hot, not-too-cold day.

For those of you not familiar with the island, it sits in the middle of the Great Lakes waterway, and there are no motorized vehicles allowed on the island (except for emergency vehicles). Most people get around by horse-drawn buggy or bicycles. It was originally inhabited by native Ojibwe people, but was eventually inhabited by French traders and Jesuit missionaries. It was also eventually occupied by British forces after the French and Indian war, when they moved their settlement from "mainland" Mackinaw  City to Mackinac Island. They constructed Fort Mackinac. Much of the conflict over the island was due to the island's abundant fur trade. After the Revolutionary War, the British were required to hand possession of the island over to the Americans, after which it became a most valuable trading post. Through the years, the island has transformed into a popular resort destination. In the late 1800's, many businessmen constructed lavish Victorian houses on the island, and most of them still line the various roads along the coast. The island is also home to the famous Grand Hotel of "Somewhere in Time" (Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeves) fame.

It's a beautiful place to plot out great photos, so I love taking my camera along—and what photography could have asked for a better day?

View of the main harbor on the island.

The flowers along the main road and the Visitor's Center in the background

A sometimes rarely-viewed aspect of the Mighty Mac—
this is where the waters of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan become one

Old Fort Mackinac Point Light Station in Mackinaw City (erected in 1892)

The staircase windows on the Old Fort Mackinac Point Light tower (above)

"The Mighty Mac"
The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan's Lower and Upper Pennisulas 
and is the 3rd longest suspension bridge in the world at 26,372 feet. It can support a total of  38,486 tons.



Crossing the Bar

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.


Grandma & Grandpa's place

My roots are in Central Illinois farming country. I'm a Midwestern girl at heart. It might seem funny that this is one of my favorite places to return to, but it is. I've lived in several different places, and visited many beautiful areas, but despite some of the heavy industrial areas, I find great peace in the Heartland. Rural farming communities hold a lot of charm for me. My family moved from the area many, many years ago, and I've since grown up, married, and moved to the Great North. But my Grandparents are still there, so we return a few times every year for visits. I love it when we go back. It's so nostalgic for me. I remember their house and the surrounding areas in some of my earliest memories. The house they built when I was just a little girl is still the house they live in today. As they age, it makes me sad to think of a day when I won't be able to return to this peaceful place. It's been a part of my life, well . . . forever!

The rowboat Grandma & Grandpa have had for many years. They keep it on the dock they built themselves.

Took these (above & below) on a tour of Grandma's flower beds.

Grandma's hibiscuses are always HUGE! They're beautiful!

My Grandma knows how to catch fish. She's taught many of her grandchildren. 

When I go back, though, I'm flooded with memories of learning to fish with Grandma, trips into the lake in the rowboat, feeding the fish from the dock, taking a tour of their gardens, and lounging around in the house and looking at old pictures and doing crossword puzzles. We usually make at least one trip "into town" while we're there to grab a quick bite at McDonald's and run some errands. And on Sunday, after church, Grandpa usually takes us on a drive through the local farming community so he can point out all the new houses going up, and all the changes since the last time we were there.

Cone flowers Grandma planted on the embankment by the lake.

I love this place, and I'm looking forward to the next visit.

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