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.
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.
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.
Then we switched to a three-horse team and continued uphill through the state park and on to Arch Rock.
We were surprised at the beautiful flowers and gardens around the island–given it is the end of September.
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.
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.
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.
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.