Here are my beautiful girlies. Bria was down in Chicago for the weekend on a youth temple trip and got home this evening. And yes, Sophia chopped her hair off the other day! Don't worry, she didn't do it herself! We did it at a salon, and she is donating her hair. I think she looks absolutely adorable, but I'm mostly excited about not having to comb out her snarls for half an hour every morning.
School starts on Tuesday. I do look forward to more structure and organization, but man, this summer sure flew by. Tomorrow we will have our traditional back-to-school feast and introduce a new family theme for the year. I must admit, I chose this year's theme because I need it more than my children do, but we could all use the reminder. You'll have to stay tuned to see what it is! I'll try to have it posted by Wednesday morning.
Can I first just say I have the best husband ever? He is always griping about how he can never surprise me with anything, and he has kept this 40th birthday surprise trip under wraps for a long time. And I didn't suspect a single thing. He knew how much I loved Mackinac when I went with Bria for a girl scout trip (see all those photos HERE and HERE) and so when it was on MaryFran's list of places to go, he jumped on it. MaryFran is my amazing friend who ought to be a travel agent and planned this whole trip.
Four of my friends came to get me in the minivan on Sunday afternoon and we drove the five hours to St. Ignace, where we stayed the night in a motel there. The next morning, we hopped on a ferry and landed on Mackinac Island around 11:00 am. It was a grey and rainy day. So rainy that I ended up buying an umbrella first thing! I don't have a lot of photos of that first day on my big camera, but we shopped and ate at a nice restaurant and shopped some more.
Then the weather cleared up and we went to the pool at the resort we were staying at, after which we dressed for dinner and headed out to eat again.
Here are a couple photos of us after dinner, courtesy of a random stranger who didn't know how to get a good focus on my camera. Behind us are Mackinac's cell tower (oops! We were hoping for the marina) and Fort Mackinac.
|Jane, MaryFran, me, Victoria, MargieJo|
|MaryFran, Victoria, me, Jane, MargieJo|
The next morning, we got up early to rent some bikes and bicycle the 8.2 mile perimeter of the island. That was easily my favorite part of the entire trip! The following are a few of the photos I took on that bike ride (we stopped frequently!):
|The marina near our hotel|
|My view as I rode through downtown before it was full of tourists and shoppers|
|Riding by Lake Huron|
|All of our bikes on one of our stops|
|The biker gang|
After our bike ride, we went back to shower and eat, and then we headed out to the Butterfly House.
After the Butterfly House, we headed to the art museum (no photos allowed), to the Grand Hotel for ice cream, and more shopping and sight-seeing.
|We saw a funeral procession! Fascinating to see the horse-drawn hearse. (No cars allowed on Mackinac Island, bikes and horses everywhere.)|
|Look closely and you can see the Grand Hotel in the background. Legend has it that Mackinac Island is actually the back of a giant turtle.|
|I do love all the horses.|
|Sunset on the mini-golf course. We ate at a restaurant overlooking the lake and the golf course and then did glow-in-the-dark golf, which was an absolute blast!|
The next morning, we managed to squeeze a little more shopping in, but it was time to leave the island. Only because we all had to get back for the Elementary School Open House for our children to meet their teachers! Otherwise we would have stayed longer!
|View of the island as the ferry leaves|
|I love the water spray on the ferries!|
|Beautiful Mackinac Bridge|
|The Grand Hotel|
|Back in St. Ignace--but I really loved how this photo turned out!|
I took a few more fun shots with my phone and put them on my Instagram. If you want to look them up you can find it HERE.