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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several in my Mariette's Back to Basics LLC Boutique, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy |  google.com/+MariettesBacktoBasics 
I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Check out my google.com/+MarietteVandenMunckhofVedder ABOUT page, where you see my other LINKS and email address; you just scroll down.Thanks!
Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

{Mackinac Island Carriage Tours - Michigan}

Yes, when we did buy the ticket for the Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry (link below post) we also included the Mackinac Island Carriage Tours (click it). That is a narrated carriage tour in 2-segments, lasting one hour and 45 minutes. 
This is actually the photo I made with my iPhone from the tickets, that I'd placed on these stones... Seen in the previous post, link below this posting.
After getting off the Ferry, you have to turn to the right, onto Main Street where you redeem this for your actually TIMED tickets.
This is the spot, on the left side and easily recognized. We had still a time lapse so that's when we created all those photos for the previous post.
The carriages will actually stop, to the left and you will be guided onto the right carriage at your TIME schedule received.
Some ancient carriages are shown here. 
Love the Mackinac Island Carriage Tours sign above!
Here we go, seated in a smaller, two-horse hitch carriage and going up the hill towards The Grand Hotel, that I will show later...
Those carriages do have a roof, not always easy for snapping photos... but nice against the sun or rain!
Here at the  Surrey Hills Carriage Museum everybody has to leave the two-horse hitch carriage and visit inside, buy gifts, use the bathroom or eat something. 
Boys are boys and husband Pieter is quite interested in this antique fire truck from Mackinac Island!
Pieter now is wearing his Burberry jacket inside, where the air conditioning is running...  A favorite Last Call Outlet score. 
Quite a study and it feels great for having your hands free on such a day while carrying the light weight back pack. This Timberland score we found at TJ Maxx and it has served on several trips.
Imagine the clattering noise such wheels made at that time over cobblestone streets. 
Sure, with that many horses around during the tourist season, there need to be blacksmiths and here you see all the tools used.
Do They Know? ←click it for more pictures about rubber-over-steel shoes etc.
Some of the private island carriage horses wear what looks like a rubber bootie!
In the two-horse hitch they did pass around such a black rubber one.
Above in this photo you see a mold of a composite horseshoe, like you will find when clicking the above link.
From here you leave, through the back of the building, on a three-horse carriage that fits 35 passengers!
While standing in line, you can watch how those gentle giants, get cared for with water!
This red head is tilting the water wagon for our three-horse hitch!
It is good that they get a break and a drink before having to work hard again!
Most horses used on Mackinac Island are Belgian or Percheron horses.
There we go! Now we take the back roads through beautiful Mackinac State Park.
You can see photos of the area here: Mackinac Island Carriage Tours
Everywhere we looked we saw the US Flag waving, very patriotically.
Our three-horse hitch carriage stopped one more time to let passengers get to the Arched Rock.
However, I did walk into the woods for making some wild flower photos instead...
Strong horses, well trained and very hard working.
BUT at the end of the season, they will again go: To Fresh Woods and Pastures ←click it.
We started out on Main Street, near the coast towards the center, than went up to Grand Hotel, yellow dot to the left.
The change from two-horse hitch carriage to three-horse hitch carriage was just below where the orange marker is.
From there we went through the forest to Arch Rock, to the right and back to Fort Mackinac.
Click the picture for a better view!
Just a tiny island but oh so beautiful!
We were so blessed for having such sunny weather with blue sky.
Next I will show you some photos from Mackinac Island Flora
Hope you enjoyed the ride!
Related links:
{Patriotic & Romantic Mackinac Island} | previous post by me
{Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry} | previous post by me
{505 S Huron Avenue, Mackinaw City, Michigan} | previous post by me
{Delta Annual Companion Certificate Flight to Detroit} | previous post by me


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

{Patriotic & Romantic Mackinac Island, Michigan}

As promised in my previous post where we took the Ferry: See you on the other side, on Mackinac Island!  
Here we are, back in time to the late 19th Century that is, as cars have been banned since 1898 on this Patriotic & Romantic Mackinac Island, Michigan.
Patriotic in many ways, not only because of the historic Fort Mackinac but you will find more below.
Back to the Romantic era without cars... What better way than showing you 'Carriage House'...
We did not notice the fellow on the roof, while walking there; only on this photo!
Squatting down with my Carriage Tour tickets on the stones, for making a photo with my iPhone before trading them in...
Cherry tree is showing some 'late' cherries.
In February they had -40°F = -40°C as well! So nature is rather late in this part!
Only bikes and carriages, apart from the ambulance and fire truck they have. 
Husband Pieter using his camera; in this paradise for photographers!
Roaming Main Street with its patriotic waving flags!
And 'YES' one does smell those horses as they use the street as their 'outlet'. 
Part of the package for going back in time!
Horse transport for everything or on a bike, as you see in front of me.
Main Street Inn...
Patriotic little island that gave so much!
Look at all those names listed for all wars... Starting with WWI at the top left and followed by a LONG listing of names for WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf.
Considering that Mackinac Island only consists of some 500 people and is the size of 3.776 mi² or 9.779 km² they have been a very patriotic people for having THAT many Veterans that gave it all!
American Fur Co.
RETAIL STORE
ROB'T STUART AG'T
Represents 1820’s fur trading era on the island.
Fort Mackinac ←click it.
Those orange umbrellas you see lined up are from the Tea Room with outdoor and indoor seating.
We just hit bingo with such a perfect sunny day! 
Romantic view of Fort Mackinac...
View of Lake Huron at the end of this rather steep street.
Further view of Lake Huron with another island visible.
Lilac shrubs budding out...
Lovely Church with its steeple.
Picnics on the lawn.
A very unique sight for our hectic era. Really we went back in time to a peaceful and romantic setting of the late 19th Century.
Lovely homes, this one with its Patriotic US flag and blooming white lilacs!
We visited on June 3, and on June 5-14, they were celebrating their annual Lilac Festival.
But this island has so much more to offer!
Isn't this a dream?
With all these blooming lilacs it became a perfumed wall!
Awesome those lilacs against the blue sky and again a patriotic flag waving.
A  very friendly young mother with a baby stroller took this photo from both of us.
Husband Pieter took this photo of me inhaling the Lilac's perfume!
Goes well with my Escada top and shorts.
Fond memories from my childhood and I wish we could grow these in Georgia but it is way too hot...
Snacking on cherries that we bought outside of Detroit at a Costco, together with bottled water.
Soon our Carriage Tour will start!
So we will continue...

Have you ever been to Mackinac Island?

Related links:
{Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry} | previous post by me
{505 S Huron Avenue, Mackinaw City, Michigan} | previous post by me
{Delta Annual Companion Certificate Flight to Detroit} | previous post by me


Sunday, July 26, 2015

{Shepler's Mackinac Island, Michigan Ferry}

Okay, from the +Best Western Plus Dockside Waterfront Inn with their extremely courteous staff, we got picked up by a FREE Shuttle, courtesy of +Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry
FERRY BOARDING
To the left is the building where you can exchange your online SheplersFerry tickets for the real ones.
There only was one thing that they ought to list on line: the FREE Shuttle from and to the hotel!
Such a great courtesy and important for knowing up front.
We did book us the Ferry/Carriage Tour Packages and I can only highly recommend that to anyone!
Since Pieter's heart cramps around my Mom's death in January, it would perhaps be too much for him to walk the island. But this was perfect!
We were so lucky with the sunny weather on June 3!
Blue sky as you can see.
We sat on the upper deck, once we did board.
Of course it is very windy on the open water but it was not cold.
On the way back we did go inside though.
This is Mackinac Bridge from +Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry photo.
You can read more about Mackinac Bridge here as it is an enormous span of 26,372 feet or 8,038 meters. Just click on the pink hyperlinks for info.

See you on the other side, on Mackinac Island!

Related links:
{505 S Huron Avenue, Mackinaw City, Michigan} | previous post by me
{Delta Annual Companion Certificate Flight to Detroit} | previous post by me

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