Carriage Ride on Mackinac Island

Wednesday of our trip we spent the day on Mackinac Island, and spent our morning on a carriage ride around the island. Unlike other carriage rides I have taken in other cities, carriages is one of the only ways to get around on Mackinac Island – no motorized vehicles of any kind allowed. The ride was interesting and the island beautiful. They weren’t blooming, but they have more varieties of lilacs growing there than anywhere else in the country, as well as the oldest and biggest in North America. I would LOVE to be there someday when they bloom. This is one of the very old trees – well over 100 years old.

One stop on our tour was at Mackinac Island State Park. The views from the lookout at Arch Rock were absolutely breathtaking.

Tuesday in Michigan

We stopped for lunch in Michigan on our way to Mackinac Island, and the flowers there was just as beautiful as the ones we saw in Wisconsin.

We got to Mackinac Island by ferry in time for supper, and then that evening we went walking down Main Street and down on the boardwalk along the beach. I loved seeing the Round Island Lighthouse reflected in Lake Huron.

Tuesday Morning in Wisconsin

Between the time we had to have our luggage out to be loaded on the bus and time for us to eat breakfast, we had a while to kill, and Evelyn & I walked around & took pictures of all the great decor in this fantastic old hotel. It was so reflective of the history and culture of that area. I loved these old scythes that were hanging on the wall over the staircase.

Fish Boil Boilover

Back at our hotel that night, we got to see – and eat – a fish boil boilover.  It’s much like a shrimp boil, but in a cast iron pot over an open fire.  I don’t exactly understand this, but they put so much salt in the water that it changes the specific gravity of the water when it boils.  What am I saying – I don’t understand it at all.  Anyway, they put in the potatoes to boil in this serious salt water, then onions, then hunks of whitefish.  When the fish oil rises to the top it’s done, and it makes sort of a head of foam on the pot.  Then they pour kerosene on the fire, and it flames up like this, and the water boils over, and it does something to that salty water that makes everything more delicious.  Again – I do not understand it, but I thought it was really tasty.  And very cool to see 🙂

Final Stop on Washington Island

Our last stop on Washington Island was Stavkirke, a replica of early Christian churches built in Scandinavia. It was absolutely beautiful – hand crafted entirely by local volunteers of local wood. This was hanging behind the altar – also made by volunteers. The words at the bottom are Norwegian for He Is Risen.

We ferried back to the mainland, and a stop for ice cream – and one more chance to admire the absolutely gorgeous flowers we saw all over the place there on this trip. Just lovely.

Washington Island Part 2

Our second stop on our tour of Washington Island was at the Washington Island Farm Museum. We had very little time there, which was the hardest thing to me about being on a bus tour – you couldn’t stay as long as you wanted at the different places we stopped. There were nine buildings they had moved to the site from all over the island, filled with farming tools and implements and clothing from maybe around the turn of the century?, and we had about thirty minutes to visit. There were also animals for us to visit. Here is Meg getting acquainted with one of the cows 🙂

Lunch was in Nelsen’s Hall, a great old bar and grill that has been open for over a hundred years. I loved the walls that were made with the rings of tree trunks – and like everywhere in the area, the Scandinavian heritage (in this case, Vikings) was very apparent. And the cheeseburgers were really good 🙂

Washington Island, Part 1

Monday morning after our delicious Swedish pancake breakfast we boarded a ferry for the thirty minute ride across Lake Michigan to Washington Island. Our ferry was named Madonna, and it was a beautiful ride.

Our first stop on the island was Schoolhouse Beach, one of only five limestone beaches in the world. This one particular cove was covered with these beautifully smooth limestone rocks. So cool, and just not like any beach I had ever seen before. And the water was just crystal clear – this is taken through the water. Wow.

Monday morning buildings in Wisconsin

Breakfast in Door County, Wisconsin, on Monday was at Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant and Butik – Swedish pancakes with lingonberries. There was even a traditional sod roof on the restaurant – but there were also goats keeping the grass cut 🙂

We got a bit of information about the sights we were seeing from our tour guide as we were riding to the restaurant, including these buildings that serve as homes for migrant workers who come up to pick cherries.

Sunday in Wisconsin, Part 2

Our crew: Evelyn, me, Pam, and Meg – in front of Green Bay, taken during our stop at Eagle Bay Lighthouse.

The sign inside the front door when we arrived at Rowley’s Bay Lodge – our home away from home while we were in Door County. Pretty typical of the trip – people were just so nice and friendly.