Tag Archives: gardens

More pics from Mackinac Island

One of the things that makes Mackinac Island unique is that there are no cars on the Island, so transportation is via foot, bike or horse.

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Horse-drawn taxi
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Bikes line the streets

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Mackinac Island was an important part of the early fur trade but during the 19th century developed into a summer vacation destination. The Victorian houses and horse-drawn carriages are a step back in time.

We stayed at the Bayview B&B, built in 1891 and maintaining the charm of that era.

The Mackinac Bridge is the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world. It connects the Lower and Upper Peninsulas of Michigan and can be seen from Mackinac Island. There are no bridges to the Island, though; the Island is reached by ferry from either Mackinaw City in the Lower Peninsula or St. Ignace in the Upper.

A visit to Mackinac Island

Earlier this week, a friend from Delaware and I spent a couprle of days on Mackinac Island, which has been voted the Best Island in the Continental U.S. by Travel and Leisure Magazine.

I had been before, but my friend had not. We decided to tour the Island by carriage, which was great fun (and educational). The first half of the tour, on a carriage pulled by a two-horse team–took us through the town, past the Grand Hotel and to a little village where we visited the carriage museum.

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One of the carriages in the Carriage Museum on Mackinac Island.

Then we switched to a three-horse team and continued uphill through the state park and on to Arch Rock.

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Our three-horse team
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Arch Rock

We were surprised at the beautiful flowers and gardens around the island–given it is the end of September.

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Saugatuck Stroll

A visit with friends in Holland, MI, led to a side trip to Saugatuck, MI, a town I had never visited. It is a quaint tourist town on the banks of the Kalamazoo River. Shops and restaurants line the streets, with gardens and parks tucked in along the way.

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One of the gardens in Saugatuck.
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Scupture in front of the Inn of Saugatuck (I also appreciated the flag of Ukraine.)
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Double doors.

Whimsical France

My back yard garden is dotted with bits of whimsy–yard art and wind chimes tucked in among the flowers–so imagine my joy at discovering bits of whimsy during my travels around France. Here is a sampling.

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It is not uncommon to see animals on roof tops–here are two cats in Honfleur.
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Blue snail in Bayeux

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A person beneath an umbrella in a fountain in Bayeux.

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Giant-sized gardening tools in LeMans

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Blue gorilla in the Beau Arts Gardens in Angers

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Church gate in Albi

Castles, castles everywhere

Before visiting France, I probably would have said I had little or no interest in castles, but I would have been wrong. I found the castles of France fascinating. Some were mere ruins while others had been well maintained.

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The Chateau d’Angers, built between the 13th and 16th centuries.
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On top of the wall
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The garden inside the castle walls
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Chateau Villandry, built in 1536.
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The Meditation Pool at Villandry
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The gardens at Villandry
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Part of the moat and the only castle we visited that still has water in the moat.
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Chateau de Commarque was built in the 12th century and is still in the Commarque family. It is currently being restored.
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Inside the grounds of the Chateau Commarque
Beneath the Chateau are caves with carvings that date to the Magdalenian Period (15,000 B.C.).

Thinking of the Cotswolds

I visited Chipping Campden at the northern edge of the Cotswolds a few years ago. I loved Hidcote Garden–and I loved the gardens and flower baskets I passed walking down the streets, the thatched roofs and the distinctive doors.

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The Old School House door
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