Wednesday, July 30, 2014

a fast getaway and another animal story

We took a little road trip Sunday and drove across the entire Upper Peninsula.  Pretty area, lots of gorgeous views of Lake Michigan.  Lots of property for sale, too.  I though we'd enjoy more of a stop-and-play-often kind of trip, but one brief hike to a lighthouse, eighteen holes of mini golf and five ice cream cones later, we had yet to find anything besides motel rooms for $49, mostly without vacancies. 

So, we kept driving.

Monday we crossed the five-mile bridge spanning the two shores of Lake Michigan, from there we took a ferry and experienced Mackinac Island.  

First things first, the Fort, which turned out to be a fantastic interactive history lesson on both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.  

Then we ate some fudge while enjoying more views of the island.

Our hotel had a wonderful patio and porches.

Everyone agreed that renting bikes and riding the circumference of the island was the best part of our stay.  We did a bit of hiking and climbed over 200 stairs to the top of a limestone arch.

(Our hotel was right next to the ferry dock.)

Everyone agreed that island life was quaint and peaceful.  The no-car rule made it especially nice, no noise, only a little horse pollution, and kind of old-fashioned.  We ate like kings, toured the "haunted theater" and stopped in a gag gift shop where the boys bought pranks like some powder that makes drinks solid and sticks of "gum" that shock you when you pull out the offered piece.  Interesting side note:  the electric shock didn't work on me. 
We strolled around after dark and admired all of the lovely homes, the Grand Hotel, the landscaping (it's illegal to pick flowers on the island and people take their gardening VERY seriously) and the lit up bridge across the strait.  A tall ship came into port, and two large barges churned past in the distance.  Lots to take in.

Meanwhile, back at Chez Green Girl:

That, friends, is the stray kitten the boys found while riding bikes last week.  It was surviving hanging out in the field north of our house.  Mr. B and Mr. G came streaking back for the cat carrier to catch it.  I agreed, figuring no way would they capture a stray cat.  Ha!  Shows what I know!  Minutes later they returned with this beat-up kitten; it had scars on its belly, head and butt and was meowing to beat the band.  Well, a day (and lots of food and water) later, it's everybody's buddy.  Tentatively named "Chester" until we get it to the vet next week for proper gender identification and shots, he/she is living on the screen porch in the lap of luxury.  So far it has the following points in its favor:
* doesn't bite
* uses the litter box
* appears perfectly healthy
* purrs and is friendly to people
* acts wicked cute, especially when it chases its tail.
My guess is it was a farm kitten that got too curious and wandered off.  It's very small, probably about 7 weeks old.

To sum up, we had a fast vacation and probably now have another pet, which I hope proves to be a good mouser because Jax only moves when he hears kibble hit his dog dish.  I plan to bring the cat with me into the garden to see what it does ...

Don't forget--I'm giving away a copy of Mary Petrie's novel At the End of Magic.  Each comment is a chance to win--drawing another lucky winner this Friday!

Spill it, reader.  Have you been to Mackinac Island?

© 2014 Melissa Westemeier All Rights Reserved


  1. I've always wanted to go to Mackinac! Glad you guys had a great time.

    Chester seems like a righteous dude. Congrats on the cat.

  2. We went to Mackinac for our honeymoon! We lived outside of Ann Arbor at the time and spent so much time and effort planning a wedding for all out of town people that we decided a honeymoon close by would be relaxing and stress free. We took in all the sights as you did, but I'm pretty sure we ate WAY more fudge.

    That cat is pretty darned cute. Glad your boys rescued him. Cat lady approves. :)

  3. How fabulous you visited Mackinac Island and stayed in a hotel there and rode bikes. I visited as a child and thought it was magical, especially since I love horses so. Cute new kitten.

  4. I love Mackinac Island and since I live in Michigan have been many times. The bike ride around the circumference is the best thing to do and no cars make it that much better. It really is a charming place to visit :-)

  5. Another point in Chester's favor:
    * is not a squirrel.

    Mackinac Island looks charming. I have never been there, nor anywhere near there. Maybe next summer....

  6. Honestly, one of these days you're just going to have to rename the porch. Perhaps "Green Girl's Home for Lost, Abandoned, and Injured Animals". He/she does seem like a sweet cat. Good luck with him/her.

    Mackinac is a beautiful place! Bryan and I once took a trip all the way around Lake Michigan, and Mackinac was one of our stops. We didn't take the bikes out, though. We were only there for a few hours. Sounds like fun, though!

  7. hmmmm you need a vet to check gender? anyway, cute cat. and it sounds like a great vacation, specially the bike ride

  8. That island sounds heavenly! I love that you guys rode off on an unplanned roadtrip. It's been a long time since I've done that and your trip is nice reminder to get away.

  9. We did the trip around Lake MI a few, actually quite a few, years ago and when to the Island. We must have been much younger since we rode bikes around the island. It is a very cool place.

    Enjoy your new cat. I hope it is a boy I love the name Chester! I had a crush on a 2nd cousin once removed or some such thing with that name when I was a teen.

  10. CUTE kitten :) I have not been to that island, but around all the rest of northern Mich and the UP, and I think it SO cool you guys loved the bike ride most :)

  11. Oh I would love to go to Mackinac Island. Somewhere in Time! And HELLO to Chester. Give him a pet or a chin scratch from me.

  12. I had two summer roommates who started the summer break during college with jobs at Mackinac and quickly decided they hated it before zipping back to our small college town. Between their tales and the movie SOMEWHERE IN TIME, I've long wanted to visit!

  13. I do love quick getaways.

    Hello Chester.

  14. I've always wanted to visit Mackinac! We used to live in Michigan, but never made it up there. Chester has a bit of a bobcattish look to him.

  15. I haven't been to Mackinac Island. Amigo wants to cross the big bridge, so I'll put that on my list of potential road trips. For a blind guy, he sure knows his geography!

  16. Fabulous weekend, darling, simply fabulous.

  17. What a wonderful place for a break, I've never heard of it. Family time with bike rides, hikes and ice cream - perfect. As it that little kitty.

  18. Haven't been since I was little. Our family always rented a cottage in St. Ignace, which is close, so we went to the island as a treat. My husband worked at The Grand Hotel for a summer, so we thought of it for our honeymoon.

  19. Mackinac Island is now on my wish list for retirement travel destination!


Spill it, reader.