Monday, August 6, 2012

A Grand Old Time

My time on the island is sadly winding down. Just a few days left and I will be back in the real world where I can enjoy the luxury of cars and daily trips to Target. It's bittersweet to know that I will be leaving the island again soon. When I first arrived here, I knew two months was not going to be long enough, but now that the time is approaching, I know my old routine at home is waiting for me, and I am content with going back.

I have been able to enjoy many visits from friends and family this time around on the island, like I did the last trip. Lots of biking and exploring and shopping were the things to do. Each visit was spectacular and when each set of people left, it made me long to go home with them. However, I know my time up here is short and I will miss it as soon as I leave.

Last night several of my coworkers and I went up to the Cupola Bar at the Grand Hotel for our annual employee outing. So fun! We all got dressed up and met at the store, where we had wine, cheese, and grapes. Then we walked up to the Grand Hotel to the Cupola Bar. It is absolutely gorgeous up there. You can watch the sunset near the bridge and see the lights in the city and on the bridge. We all sat and talked and had a wonderful time. Then we made our way downstairs to the ballroom where the jazz band was playing and we danced and laughed again. Such a wonderful, fancy night.

Main Street

Nephews Crew 2012

Now all that's left is working, packing, and going to see all the places and things I want to see for the last time this trip. It has been a great couple of months and I am so blessed and thankful to have been able to come and work up here again this season.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy 4th of July. And Welcome Back, Anna Stornant!

I got to spend a nice time out tonight with my old roommate, Anna! It was sooo good to see her back on Mackinac. After the fireworks for the 4th tonight, we all went out to the Pony and of course Anna entertained us with her dancing, laughing, and spectacular air-flute playing! I miss that girl. She's a good one. She challenged me to write this tonight. So here I am, 2:20am, writing a post instead of sleeping because of Anna, haha.

The 4th of July was a good one. The store was busy today, and tonight I went up and watched the fireworks over the lake with Mandy and Cameron. The fireworks were awesome this year! Really impressed.

On another note, I feel bad for our air conditioner. It's hot in our apartment and our air conditioner runs constantly. Hardest working machine I've seen lately. Thank you air conditioner. You keep our kitchen and living room cool, but the bedrooms? Not so much.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lemonade for Sale

Greetings from another beautiful day on Mackinac! The rain decided to take a break for today leaving us with a big clear blue sky and a warm breeze blowing.

 I went out for a little bike ride today and found myself up in the Village. While riding through and looking at all the houses, two little boys had set up a makeshift lemonade stand and were asking people as they rode or walked by if they would like some.  Well, since it was the cutest thing I have ever seen, I couldn't pass them up. So I got off my bike and walked up to their stand. One boy asked me if I wanted just lemonade or half and half: half iced tea and half lemonade.  I chose the half and half, and the one boy says "Everyone has been saying it's really good!" He reached for a cup and started to pour. All of a sudden, he got a weird look on his face and staring into the cup said, "There's a hair in here." But continued to pour my drink. I couldn't help but laugh inside, the poor boy didn't know what to do. I could tell he was struggling with whether to serve it to me or not. Not wanting to make him feel any more embarrassed, I told him it was okay, that I didn't mind there being a hair in my lemonade, and asked how much I owed them. "50 cents," said the older boy. I handed him 2 dollars, one for each of the boys. There faces lit up, "Thanks! Do you want any coins back?" I smiled again and said no. They were so excited.  "Look how much money we've made!" The older boy said, and he held up his zip-loc baggie of quarters and dollar bills. I thanked the boys for the delicious drink and as I got on my bike to peddle away, the littler boys says to me "Sorry again about the hair!" :D

Monday, June 18, 2012

Island Time...

I feel like one day blends right into the next here on the island. I'm never quite sure what the date is here or even what day of the week it is. Today was day 8 of 11 straight days of work and I'm going strong! I finally feel like I'm all settled back in remembering how to do everything at the store and actually knowing what merchandise we have so I can help customers find what they are looking for. 

The days have been going by fast. I can't believe that I've already been here almost a week and a half. I've been working lots, but I've also been playing lots. Mandy and I have been going on adventures or hanging out pretty much every night. We found a new biking trail that we love, so we've gone on 2 and 3 hour bike rides the last few nights. The second night, we took trail map with us (you'd think after all the times we've been out riding we wouldn't need to act like tourists anymore) to try to find Eagle Point Cave. But even with the maps help, we couldn't find it. Instead we found ourselves walking our bikes along yet another foot path with rocks and roots sticking up all over the path. It brought back flashbacks of my journey through the woods on a foot path two years ago when I began to think I was like Tom Hanks on Castaway. At least this time I didn't mind getting a little lost since I had good company. Perhaps we should have turned around right in the beginning of our ride/walk as we were trying to maneuver our bikes over the rocks and roots of trees, and Mandy yelled that there was a snake! I thought she was kidding at first to be mean, but sure enough I looked down right at her bike tire and saw that she had almost run over a large coiled up snake. We both screamed a little, and ran our bikes away fast. I hate snakes! Hate them. They make me sick. Needless to say, we were VERY careful about watching the path from that point on and careful about what we were running over. We never did find the cave...

Now to relax a little bit and listen to the rain outside my window. :)

Watching the sun set and the bridge at night

I've never seen such beautiful skies
One of my favorite sights

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Welcome Back!

I'm back! I'm back! I'm back!

That's me being excited. I'm back on Mackinac Island for the next two months, so I figured it was high time to write in my island blog again.

I got back up here last Saturday, and after spending two glorious days on the island with my mom and sister, I started work again at Nephew's. I'm on day 4 and loving it! It is so good to be back. It took a day or two to get readjusted and remember everything that I'm supposed to be doing, but I really enjoy the new crew and being back in the store. I'm back in the same apartment as before, in my old room, with one of my old roommates. It's a good time. I love being here.

My family and I of course visited the Seabiscuit as one of our first meals back on the island. John, the owner, was so glad to see me back he brought out two free desserts with the "Seabiscuit" and "Welcome Back" written in chocolate on the plate underneath. So SWEET! And delicious! It was an awesome welcome.

Haven't gotten to do much exploring yet. Mandy and I went on a 3 hour bike ride tonight and found a new trail that we both liked a lot. We'll probably go out again tomorrow so I'm super pumped about that. I need to start running here again, too. Laura, Andrea, and I ran a 5k the weekend before I moved up here, so I'd like to build on that and hopefully get back to running around the island.

Ah! I just can't believe I'm back up here again! I get to wake up to the water every day. I'm so incredibly happy. I know it's only for 2 months, and then it will be back to working at the school, but I'm going to enjoy every minute of the time I've got.

Visitors are always welcome!

Reunited and it feels so good!
Showing some love from the Seabiscuit

Flowers at Marquette Park
I live on an island, and I love it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Island Reflections

So October 28, 2010 was my last day on the island. Therefore I know this blog is a little late and behind the times, but I decided I needed to write again, even if "Life on the Island" isn't a completely accurate title for where I am in my life now.

The last two months on the island flew by. I spent as much time as I could with the friends I had made there, knowing that it would all be over soon. Unfortunately, October was a rough month in terms of wanting to leave the island and being ready to go back home. I tried my hardest not to wish my time away, though. But eventually it did come to an end.

October 4-6 my mom, Kara, and Vickie came out to the island for one last visit. We had a great time! I was able to show them so many cool places we didn't get to go see the last times each of them visited. We made it out to Sunset Rock at sunset one night (by running to get there!) and what an experience it was! The sun sinks fast when you're watching it sink into the horizon. But it was beautiful and we got a ton of great pictures. That place continues to be one of my favorite spots on the island. After the sun set, we took the long way back to the hotel by heading up to Fort Holmes, the highest point on the island, and trying to wait for the stars up there, since it gets PITCH BLACK and is superb for stargazing. But we were a little early and there was still light in the sky so we couldn't see too many stars. However, it got darker and darker as we walked back down from the Fort and so I remembered one more spot I have discovered that I wanted to show them. The four of us walked down a little path out to an overlook. I had my mom close her eyes and led her out to the edge of the cliff and when I told her to open them, it was pitch black as we looked over the lights of downtown from the side of Fort Mackinac behind Marquette Park. Let me just tell you, this view was breathtaking and everyone just stood in awe of the island's beauty. Those were just a few of the highlights of my last vistor's trip to the island, but it was a good one.

Thinking back now, I decided I have so many good memories and moments from the island, most of which I shared with you on this blog. But my all time favorite experience happened on August 12th. After hearing that my two policeman friends were up at Fort Holmes looking for a meteor shower, my roommates and I decided to head up there close to midnight. We made it up there after a semi-scary walk through the woods and found a nice spot on top of the entrance to the fort. Laying there for a couple of hours, laughing and talking and listening to other people who had made the hike up to the fort as well, my roommate counted 35 shooting stars. It was truly an incredible experience hearing everyone's ooh's and aah's and looking for the next big streak across the sky. Awesome. A perfect summer night experience on the island.

Well, I guess that's all from the island. I'm back home now. And it's good but different. I miss the island sometimes. I miss my walk to work, looking at the changing color of the leaves, hearing the cannon blast and taps being played at 10pm EVERY NIGHT. I'm imagining what it looks like covered in snow. I want to go back and experience it for real. Soon. :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Your voice was the soundtrack of my summer...

I'm back!

Unfortunately it's been too long since I've gotten a chance to write. A lot has happened so far this summer and I'm not sure if I'll have time to catch you up on everything, but I'll do my best.

When I left off, it was the middle of June and I was struggling with homesickness and taking my time here on the island for granted. I would love to tell you I'm completely over all those feelings, but sadly, I still struggle. Though I've gotten a lot better. Laura was awesome and came out to visit me for a few days in the middle of June. We had a good time exploring and hanging out with my friends here on the island.

At the end of June I was able to go down to Ohio for my best friend from college, Ashley's wedding. What a great 4 days off the island. I was so happy to be able to see Ashley, Holly, Traci, Lindsay, Krissy, Ashley L., Jeff, and everyone else for a few days and hang out like the old days in college. The wedding was awesome, despite spilling green beans on my dress right before the ceremony. Yes, I know, that WOULD happen only to me.

July and August are said to be the busiest months on the island. I was verrrry nervous about what this busyness would be like. But actually, I'm making it through. It's very interesting to look back and see the change from when I got here in April and the streets were empty to now when the streets are packed with tourists day and night. 4th of July was really fun. Originally we were supposed to go out on my friend, Cameron's, boat, but it was too windy and sprinkling so Mandy, Cameron and I just met up with Ken and watched the fireworks on the water by the library.

After that, my parents and my sisters came for visits in the middle of July. It was soooo good to see them! I took them all over and showed them all of my favorite places on the island. My parents and I took a carriage ride and then rented bikes to see all of the cool places that I've explored. It was so awesome to spend time with them on the island. It's amazing how much we forgot about it in the 12 years since we vacationed here. They loved Sunset Rock. It's truly an amazing view. My parents will come back in September or beginning of October. I'm so pumped for them to come back!

After that I got a visit from Julie and Kyle Oostra and a few people from my church back home. I love seeing people I know here on the island. It always helps the homesickness go away a little bit more.

The beginning of August brought a trip to Detroit to a Tigers/White Sox game and rafting down the Sturgeon River with Mandy, Cameron, and Ken. What a great time off the island with good friends. We all needed the break from the island. Rafting was by far my favorite. So many good laughs and funny moments that I'll never forget.

The next weekend I had an awesome experience. I went to my old college roommate, Hope's wedding in Mishawaka, but decided to take a little detour home and surprise my family, see my puppies, and sleep in my own bed. The drive home was awesome except my mom kept calling me to see what my plans were for the night, where I was, and what I was doing...all of which I couldn't tell her the complete truth because I wanted to keep my visit a surprise. When I was finally almost there, I was on the phone with my mom and she asked me "Where are you?" To which I finally replied, "10 minutes from home." And there was just silence on the other end. It was awesome. But seeing as how my mom and I are basically one person and she always knows what's going on with me, she immediately said "I just knew it! I knew you weren't at your apartment. I just had a feeling you were coming home." Walking into my house and seeing my mom and dad and my puppies was awesome. I was home for less than 12 hours, but it was worth the 7 hour drive to get there.

The wedding the next day was great. Jeff Hardman accompanied me and thank goodness he did. We had a great time. Hope was a beautiful bride and Luke was an awesome groom. Their wedding was perfectly planned with special touches throughout the ceremony and reception. That night, I spent the night at Jeff's house and hung out with his family. It was so good to be back in Mishawaka, too. The next morning I went shopping and drove through Bethel's campus, which made me sad that none of my friends went to school there anymore and that I didn't go to school their anymore either. I got really sad when I realized I had no reason to go back to Bethel anymore and visit, other than my awesome professors. After that whirlwind weekend, I made it back to the island and decided I wouldn't be leaving for a little while.

So that brings me to today. I'm going to church on the island for the first time in what seems like forever. I just need church right now. A girl I work with, Grace, is going with me to Little Stone Congregational Church. It'll be my first time going there and I'm super excited. I've wanted to get over there all season and just haven't been able to. Tomorrow afternoon is the Guns and Hoses Softball Game that I hope Mandy and I will get over to since we know a few of the policemen. Tomorrow night is the company cruise out to the bridge. Our company rents out a big Arnold boat and serves food and drinks. I'm so excited for that. Gonna be a fun time.

That's all for now. I'll try to be better about keeping you all updated and posting more regularly for the rest of the season. I can't believe I've only got 2 months left!