Monday, August 5, 2013

Memories from Mackinaw. And "Mackinac." (Love those Brits.)

My house resembles a war zone. My dogs need some focused attention. The kids start school in a month and we're not even close to ready. I have half a dozen half-baked projects scattered all over the place. And I am just beginning to tame the laundry. Oh, and there may be things growing in the refrigerator that could be considered uncivilized.

But I wouldn't change any of it if I had to give up the weekend I just spent with my girl.

Rachel and I camped for two nights with her Girl Scout troop in Mackinaw City, and spent all day Saturday on Mackinac Island. It was Rachel's first time seeing the Mackinac Bridge and visiting the island, and I am so glad I got to experience that with her.

On a shopping excursion Rachel had her fortune read by the creepy-looking gypsy lady in the box. Part of her fortune said, "Your cool thinking sees you through a mishap with a Taurus or Leo ..."

I'm a Leo. Ha!
Fortunately we didn't have any mishaps over the weekend. Except that Saturday was my birthday, and I did get pooped on by a bird. At least it wasn't in my hair. Happy birthday to me!

Getting ready to board the ferry to Mackinac Island. Rach was a little nervous. She got over it.

One of the horses that pulled our carriage on the first leg of our tour. The tour company uses each team for only four hours at a time, and we were lucky enough to be able to watch the handlers switch our team for fresh horses. They are all very good - and quick - at what they do!

 This was the 3-horse team for the final leg of our tour. That's Wade on the right. He was moving a little slow that day, so the tour guide was fussing at him (good-naturedly). Look at that face ...

One of our stops was at the Butterfly House.
It was awesome. The girls loved it. And I had a new camera to play with.
Beautiful butterfly pictures!

Rachel pointed out that this butterfly looks like a fish. And there was a little pond just to the right ... so he looks like he's about to jump in! Can you see the fish?

 One of my favorites landed on Rachel's finger.
 And she had a couple land on her hoodie.

 I think this is my favorite photo. I love the blue of the butterfly against those huge, green leaves.

 The carriage tour also took us by the cemeteries. If I had a little more time I would have loved to walk around and take more pictures there.

 Military cemetery.

Another stop on the tour:

 The view from Arch Rock down the shoreline.

 After our tour, Rach and I rented bikes and just rode around for a while. It was SO busy on the island that day! We even got in a little traffic jam involving bicycles, horse-drawn wagons and carriages ... we decided to get off our bikes and walk them through that.

 We took a little loop that goes right along the shoreline and stopped for a few minutes to take in the view.

 Me and my girl.

 A view of the Mackinac Bridge on our way back to the mainland. It had been overcast all day and it was a chilly ride back in the evening.

We had a fantastic time. I always feel so blessed (and exhausted!) after we spend time with Rachel's GS troop. The girls all get along so well and I love spending time with the moms, too - several of us go way back, but I consider each of them friends - and we're a good mix of cooks, nurturers, planners, outdoorsy-types. And thankfully, everyone has a great sense of humor. Because when your dinner burns and the craft project doesn't work out as planned and the campfire is mostly billowing smoke, a sense of humor comes in pretty handy.

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