By the light of the moon – Mackinac Island, MI

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Day off for me so I’m treating you to a glimpse of Mackinac Island, MI. It’s a place we used to go as kids. I loved it then and I love it now. There is just nothing like getting on that ferry and heading to the island! No cars, just horses, fudge, bikes, stunning views and peace and quiet!
Catch you back here tomorrow!
F L A S H B A C K !

O n e  Y e a r  A g o:           A colorful Monhegan photo!

T w o  Y e a r s  A g o:       Charlie (woof) in his happy place!

T h r e e  Y e a r s  A g o:   Vital Veggies in the War Against Cancer

A Mackinac Island Treasure!

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Isn’t this the sweetest house ever? I like to refer to it as “my house” (it’s not!) on the West Bluff, Mackinac Island, MI… Many of the homes are very, very large… this one is just right! I love the screened porch, and the view… are you kidding me? Heaven! This is near the Pontiac Trail for those of you who are familiar… I love that little trail… breathtaking views!

Have a great weekend!

F L A S H B A C K

O N E   Y E A R   A G O…      Fall is in the air and on the door!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O…  Eat for a better memory – 7 ways to stay sharp, would you like a cup of joe?

The Golden Light on Mackinac Island, MI

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Ahhh, beauty at its best! Several years ago, my mom, sister and I got together for a little weekend getaway on Mackinac Island in Michigan. We had the best time ever celebrating the end of my mom’s chemo treatments, woohoo mom!  We stayed in a beautiful room at the Island House, ate in their dining room each evening which was such a treat… walked and rode bikes until we wore ourselves out! On this day, my sister and I rode bikes around the island after dinner… we really had to pedal fast to make it off the back side of the island (no lights) before it was completely dark… that was something! This isn’t the best photo, taken with my Blackberry, but you get the a feeling of how gorgeous that golden light is! If you ever get a chance to go to Mackinac Island, please do! Like I mentioned, the Island House is a treat… its also worth strolling through the Grand Hotel and all its shops (note: there is a fee). They have a great little bistro where you can eat, lunches are reasonable and so delicious!

F L A S H B A C K

O N E   Y E A R   A G O…       8th Annual Sedona Plein Air Festival October 20-27, 2012!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O…   Pomi tomatoes… skip the BPA in the can and try a carton of tomatoes!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Sanders Hot Fudge Cream Puff… oh paleeeez!

Sander's - Mackinac Island, MI

You know how it is when you have something on your mind and it won’t go away? Like a song… or a commercial (even worse) or Sanders Hot Fudge Cream Puff… oh my gosh. How I wish I could get to a Sanders right now and make myself happy, ha ha… I remember Sanders when I was a kid growing up, what a treat! A few years ago my mom, sister and I went to Mackinac Island for a getaway… and Sanders was there! What a surprise! Is there something from your childhood that you remember that instantly makes you smile! Savor those memories!

For those of you who got out and ran the COOPER RIVER BRIDGE RUN, WOOHOO! I congratulate you! I think you deserve an ice cream… wish there was a Sanders here, but we have plenty of great ice cream shops… enjoy!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist… Elizabeth Pollie!

“No Bull” by artist Elizabeth Pollie

Elizabeth Pollie is one artist that I hold in high regard. She’s very talented and has such a sense of style. Her paintings are very different from the norm, if she were on the show “X Factor”, she would have “it”, the “IT” factor… there is a mystical almost angelic-ness to her paintings. It helps that she paints places that are near and dear to my heart, Mackinac Island, MI being one of those places. I featured Elizabeth last year and showed one of those paintings… amazing… this year I’m selecting something different. Cows… “NO BULL”, ha… great name. Check Elizabeth’s work out, you won’t be disappointed. She’s in several galleries throughout the country, and her work is perfect for each location. Each slightly different, but all amazing! This image is from the RS Hanna Gallery located in Fredericksburg, Tx.

Here is a great article about Elizabeth from MyNorth.com – fascinating! Here’s a blip about the artist from her website

Elizabeth Pollie’s exposure to the arts came at an early age. Taken to museums, enrolled in classes by her parents and influenced by her father’s love and practice of art and architecture, she was always clear about her path in life. “Working within the field of visual arts never seemed like a choice, but rather a place of true belonging”. She enrolled in college art classes while still in high school and went on to receive an education at a formal Art School. She earned her B.F.A. at The College For Creative Studies where she later taught.

Harboring a deep love of travel and art history, Elizabeth has combined her travels with her painting practice. The images that she creates are imbued with a sense of poetry, mood and depth. 

The artist paints full time and teaches from her studio, West Wind Atelier in Harbor Springs, Mi.  Her paintings reside in both public and private collections here and abroad and have received much national recognition.

Elizabeth has found a deep sense of place within the rekindled practice of representational painting in America.  Of this movement Pollie reflects, “ It is celebration, an homage and in many ways a joyous homecoming. I am pleased to be a part of it.

Check out her website, she has some FABULOUS paintings that she did while in China as well as her many other paintings! Catch you back here tomorrow!

Time to make a reservation at the Island House Hotel? Psssst, artists… this is a GREAT place to paint!

Approaching the island and The Island House Hotel!

Ahhhh, the Island House Hotel on Mackinac Island, MI. A place to relax, recharge, get out and walk, bike, then come back and have the best meal of your life! Start thinking about making a reservation soon… The 2012 season is from May 4 through October 27. We’ve never been there early in the season, I would think it could be quite exciting! As a kid we would always go during the Port Huron to Mackinac sailboat race (mostly it was the dads who sailed sailed, then “the kids” and the wives drove and met them, then we would all squish into the car with all our bags for a nice ride home… back in the day of no A/C! Bless us. Ha.) which was in July, a busy time on the island. There would be so many people (from the sailboat race mainly) it was the best time growing up! My husband and I stayed on the island a few years ago around September, and once in October, we had the best time ever. It’s much quieter, especially in October. We don’t mind it being chilly… we rather welcome it, since it’s still warm here in Charleston (and as I write this, I’m extremely confused with our “winter” this year, 60’s and 70’s, which is nice, but it’s not winter!??)!

Rooms with a view! Image: TheIslandHouse.com

The rooms are lovely and you just can’t go wrong with any of them. Some have a view of the water, and it’s heavenly! There is an indoor pool, nice for a quick dip, or if you’d like to do a few laps to burn a few calories, since you will no doubt indulge in some fabulous food!

Back side of the island... heaven!

Psssst: ARTISTS… what a fabulous place to paint! One side of the island is more the “town” area with shops, etc., then there is the inner island, with gorgeous state park trails and views that can’t be beat. On the back side of the island it’s more cliff like and rocky. Trust me on this… I’m not sure why artists aren’t swarming like they are on Monhegan Island, Maine? Check out the Island House WEBSITE for reservation info!

For more on this hotel, read my review on Trip Advisor… Catch you back here tomorrow!

Artist to watch… Elizabeth Pollie!

Image: ElizabethPollie.com

I try my best to select a painting that is for sale instead of one that is already sold, but I just think this is the sweetest painting. This is done by artist Elizabeth Pollie of Harbor Springs, MI. After reading about her, and the different locations that she paints, I was so pleased to see that she paints scenes of Mackinac Island, Michigan! I had vacationed on Mackinac Island this year, and this painting is reminiscent of that trip… This looks like the horses on Mackinac Island. I love the flag in the distance, the light in the horses mane. Excellent. Not typical at all. I often wonder why there aren’t more galleries on Mackinac Island. Why aren’t there artists with easels set up everywhere like on Monhegan Island, Maine? It baffles me. I think it would be an awesome adventure (once my husband retires) to pack up, buy a place on the island and open a gallery. Invite our artist friends to paint on the island and show their work… whoa! Who could pass that up!? I love to dream!

Here’s a blip about Elizabeth from her WEBSITE:

Elizabeth Pollie’s exposure to the arts came at an early age. Taken to museums, enrolled in classes by her parents and influenced by her father’s love and practice of art and architecture, she was always clear about her path in life. “Working within the field of visual arts never seemed like a choice, but rather a place of true belonging”. She enrolled in college art classes while still in high school and went on to receive an education at a formal Art School. She earned her B.F.A. at The College For Creative Studies where she later taught.

Harboring a deep love of travel and art history, Elizabeth has combined her travels with her painting practice. The images that she creates are imbued with a sense of poetry, mood and depth.

The artist paints full time and teaches from her studio, West Wind Atelier in Harbor Springs, Mi.  Her paintings reside in both public and private collections here and abroad and have received much national recognition.

Elizabeth has found a deep sense of place within the rekindled practice of representational painting in America.  Of this movement Pollie reflects, “ It is celebration, an homage and in many ways a joyous homecoming. I am pleased to be a part of it.

Check out Elizabeth’s website! Catch you back here tomorrow!

Hop on and take a ride AROUND the island…

Bikes at the Island House Hotel, Mackinac Island, MI

Sometimes the most everyday things become the inspiration for a great photo… I would have loved to spend more than a few seconds on this shot, but we were on a roll, heading out to accomplish something or other… (eating, bike riding, photo taking, shopping, you know…??) Next time! In front of the Island Inn Hotel on Mackinac Island they have a great place where you can rent bikes. It comes in handy because that’s the best way to get around the island. And I do mean AROUND the island. Yep, bikes are great for back and forth running here and there, but what many people don’t do is take the time (doesn’t take that long, it’s only approximately 8 miles) to ride their bikes around the island. You will LOVE IT! The back of the island is very quiet and peaceful, the scenery is unreal. So take some time to enjoy the view!!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Ahhh, nothing like a salmon color geranium!

I love geraniums. They have a way of making something drab come alive. I especially love this salmon color, something a tad different from the typical red. This shot was taken on the way to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, MI. My mom, sister and I were there for a little R&R in between my mom finishing chemo (YAY!) and beginning radiation… We had the best time ever. We spent a few hours at the Grand Hotel and had so much fun! Bring your camera with you to the island, there are so many photos to be had. It’s difficult for me to focus when there’s so much to photograph, ha ha…

Enjoy your day and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow!

The magnificent homes on the West Bluff, Mackinac Island, MI

Magnificent homes on the West Bluff, Mackinac Island, MI

I know I said the East Bluff was my favorite… but… the West Bluff is also my favorite. These homes are impeccable and pristinely maintained, and that can’t be an easy (or cheap) job. It takes a lot of love to keep them looking like they do. The flowers are breathtaking. These are homes to be proud of for sure (as are many on Mackinac Island!). Ironically one of my favorite homes is the second from the left in the photo, the smaller one (which truly isn’t a small house, the others are just very large). It’s the sweetest home I’ve ever seen with a view that’s to die for. I would love to live in this house year round…. Ah, a nice dream for sure! On my Mac I can double click on the image to enlarge… hopefully PC users have that same capability… its nice to be able to see it a little closer! If you ever get a chance to visit Mackinac Island, MI I highly suggest it, it will be unlike anywhere you’ve ever visited in your life!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Homes on the East Bluff, Mackinac Island, MI

Homes on the East Bluff, Mackinac Island, MI
Homes on the East Bluff, Mackinac Island, MI

I love the word “bluff”, it’s such a cool word, I guess because we don’t have any bluffs in our area… the East Bluff on Mackinac Island is one of my all time favorites. The homes are magnificent. In this photo you see the Island House Hotel (the white building with red roof) and the East Bluff the road above. Mackinac Island is an island I could live year around on and be so very happy. It might get a little crowded in the summer, but I think it would be definitely worth it! If you ever get a chance to go to Mackinac Island I highly suggest it. It’s perfect for those who like to hike, bike, walk (no cars), there are horses (for taxi’s), so don’t be put off entirely if walking isn’t your thing! The food (at the Island House… heavens… I cannot get it out of my mind!), the great places to stay…  Island House Hotel is my personal favorite, the fudge and now… even Starbuck’s! Check it out if you get a chance!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

A stay at the Island House Hotel on Mackinac Island, MI = HEAVEN!

Image: TheIslandHouse.com

Mackinac Island, MI… ahhh the memories. It’s one of the most magical places on earth. It’s like you’re back in time (no cars, bikes and horses only) with modern conveniences (AC for the warm months, great coffee shops, fabulous food, amazing scenery everywhere you look… fantastic hiking/biking trails, the list goes on and on)… My mom, sister and I headed out for a three day vacation, something we had never done before. Now I wonder what took us so long?! What a great time we had. Due in great part to the Island House Hotel. We had a fabulous room that overlooked the marina/Straits of Mackinac and wrapped around for views of downtown. It was magical. If you haven’t been to Mackinac Island, MI, it’s a place YOU MUST put on your bucket list. If you want a truly special stay, I would hands down choose the Island House Hotel. With it’s wide sweeping porches full of rocking chairs, a view that simply cannot be beat, the comfortable, clean and beautiful rooms, the dining room (1852 Grill Room) that will make your head spin it’s so good… I’m a bit of a drama queen but not in this case. Trust me. I know a lot of you are artists… this is a beautiful place to paint, it’s a small island with a rocky coast and beautiful views. It’s much like Maine in the way the coast looks, especially on the back side of the island. My sister and I took a ride around  the island at sunset… like I said… heaven! A ride around the island is only about 8 miles.

Mackinac Island is situated between the upper and lower peninsula of Michigan. You reach it by ferry, there are three ferry lines, Sheplers, Arnold, and Star Line. Arnold is closest to the Island House, Shepler is the one that we’ve taken since we were kids, and I’m not that familiar with Star Line… but however you get here, you need to!!

Check out the 1852 Grill Room’s MENU – let me just say, there are a lot of restaurants on the island. We had dinner the first night at the Island House, and it was so delicious (out of this world good!) we went back the second night, and again the last night! The whitefish was to die for, as was the Greek Pasta Toss… the desserts, the coffee, oh heavens… and I didn’t even bring up the heavenly breakfast buffet did I? Let me just say, that put a smile on everyones face!

One of my favorite parts of the trip was getting up early each morning, heading to the lobby, pouring a cup of coffee and heading out to the porch to watch the dark sky lighten. I met a lot of nice people and we had a great time! Next trip will be with my husband! We haven’t been to the island together in about ten years!

The Island House Hotel is a beautiful historical hotel that is impeccably managed. Each and everyone was so kind, it was a real treat. Check out their website, it’s a good one! Click HERE to read about the history of the hotel which is fascinating! Here are a few pictures from our trip, the rest will appear on weekends on this blog… catch you back here tomorrow!

Waiting for the ferry - Mackinac Island, MI
Me, Mom and Bridget waiting for the ferry home, ugh…
Our gorgeous, comfortable and clean room!
A warm welcome with beautiful flowers everywhere!

Approaching Mackinac Island, MI – Island Inn Hotel and the East Bluff

Approaching Mackinac Island, MI

There is the most fantastic island, Mackinac Island, located between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. This picture was taken from the upper deck of Sheplers ferry as we approached the island. In this photo you see the beautiful Island House Hotel and above it the East Bluff with gorgeous homes. Now THIS is an island I could live on for the rest of my life! There is nothing like the smells of fudge and horse poop, ha… trust me, it’s the best!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Artist to watch… Marlee Brown!

Image: MarleeBrown.com

One year when vacationing on Mackinac Island, MI (ohhh, what a place!), we ventured into the Grand Hotel… I was completely against paying $10 per person to walk through a hotel, but we did it, and am I ever glad we did! I’m not sure what the fee is these days to enter through the door, but if you’re considering it, I would do it! We had lunch at a nice little cafe, it was very quaint, very good, we had the best time. We wandered the halls of the Grand Hotel and there was so much to see! They have wonderful shops and a fantastic gallery. Marlee Brown’s gallery… this is an artist not afraid of color! Very loose and impressionistic in style her paintings were fabulous. The image above is from her website, the image that you click on to view the paintings. I love that painting AND the quote. If you get a chance check it out! And if you’re on the island, her gallery is a definite stop worth making!

Enjoy your weekend! Catch you back here tomorrow!
Visit my photo blog at http://almostdailypic.wordpress.com !