Mackinac Island

Several years ago, we realized that over the years we've managed to visit (not just drive through) most of the U.S., so we set a goal to visit each U.S. state at some point. Michigan is one of the states we hadn't gotten to, yet, so we decided to go.
We had sold our home and still had plenty of time before we leave for our mission, so, why not? On July 6, we flew to Michigan, then rented a car to take us to the ferry, which then took us to the island.

This is us on the ferry - on the way to the island.
We were blessed with beautiful weather while we were there!
No cars are allowed on the island (The ferry companies have parking facilities), so, one thing you notice is that its quieter than most places, You just have to watch out for lots of bicycles and horses when crossing the street.
When we first arrived, I noticed the smell of horse manure, but, they do a really good job of keeping the streets clean, so most of the time you don't notice that. There are men on bicycles, pulling small carts behind them, that sweep up throughout the day.
The horses you see in town are all hitched to carriages. There are places on the island that rent horses to ride, but, generally, you don't see them on the main streets of the town.
 We took a tour of the island with Daisy and Paisley and their driver, Blake.
Its a quaint place. Very relaxing - which is what I was looking for. 
It seems like every other shop on the main street sells fudge! And, we learned that visitors are called "fudgies" by the locals.
Of course, this is the island that became famous as the place where the movie Somewhere In Time was filmed. And, while there, we went to the Grand Hotel and enjoyed a nice lunch and a tour of the hotel and grounds.
This is us on the enormous porch of the Grand Hotel.

The Grand Hotel
Close up of the endtrance
View from the portico 

There were several historic buildings on the island - with enactors who shared stories of the early settlers.

We enjoyed this lovely scene on a morning walk.

The island has lots and lots of places to rent bikes - and I got a kick out of the "parking lot" of the local police station.

We had lunch one day at the Hotel Iroquois. Great food. Fabulous view. (We tried to stay here, but it was already booked, so we stayed across the street, at the Lake View Hotel.) After lunch, it was nice to sit on a bench by the water's edge and enjoy the day.
One last shot as we left the island. 
We had a wonderful, relaxing visit and would recommend it for a great getaway! This quote pretty well sums it up: "As a place of resort during the summer months, there can be none more desirable - none possessing more attractive features and health-restoring influences than this island of Mackinac." - New York Weekly Tribune, July 9, 1853.

50-Year High School Reunion

Early this year, Bob and I bought our plane tickets for a trip to St. Louis in late June, so I could attend my high school reunion, and he could visit with family nearby, as well. However, the closing on our home in Fuquay-Varina happened to coincide with this trip, so we had to be out of our house before we left on June 24th.

I boxed up everything ahead of time, then the moving company came on June 22nd and moved everything into our two storage units. The next day, June 23, a few sisters from the ward came and helped me do the final cleaning. Whew! So thankful for them!

Pat and Harold Hargett have been kind enough to offer us the upstairs of their home to stay in until we leave for our mission. They are SO nice to do this!! So we were able to move the stuff we're taking with us, plus items we need in the interim to their place. Late that Thursday afternoon (the 23rd) we drove to North Raleigh to pre-sign the closing papers. Our realtor represented us at the closing the following Tuesday, and we were officially homeless when we arrive back at RDU on June 28th.

On Aug 24, exhausted from everything related to the move, we flew to St. Louis. Bob's cousin, Judy, lives less than 1/2 hour drive from the airport so we went to her place to visit and spend the night. Judy and Bob grew up next door to each other and she's the closest relative he has (since he's an only child). She's like a sister to him. Bob didn't go to the reunion with me, but stayed with Judy and they hung our together and saw other family members.

Saturday morning, the 25th, I drove to my brother's house and enjoyed time with two of my brothers and one sister while there for the reunion.

But, a 50-year reunion??!! How can I be this old? It doesn't seem possible that I could have graduated from high school 50 years ago! Union, Missouri. is a small town —only about 3,000 people lived there when I was growing up. We had 123 people in our graduating class, and 69 of us made it to this reunion. 27 of our classmates have already died.

The organizers did a great job with all the planning and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. It really was great to visit with old friends and to see how they're doing. (Mostly, though, everyone just looked old.)

Many of the friends from my first-grade class were at the reunion. And it was fun to
look at this old photo and be able to recognize each one. In many ways, they look the same, just older. 
My daughter, Laura, asked where my twin brother, Bill, was in this photo, but since they didn't put twins in the same class, he's not pictured here.
Glad that so many could make it to this reunion.
It was great to see everyone after so many years. Several people asked about the mission Bob and I will be going on, and one woman, came up and touched my face, and said, "You have such a glow about you! You look so happy!" It was really sweet.
Also, I won the prize for having the most grandchildren! Woohoo! It's a bag full of goodies to share with the grandkids - Moon Pies, Swedish Fish and Neon bracelets.