Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Weekend in Mackinaw

Matthew stopped by to help clean the cobwebs out of the canoe! He missed you Bear!

The first canoe trip of the season with Taylor, Ian and Walker!

Very fun bronze man in the Crossings, just like in the big city. I must admit that we hung around to watch unsuspecting people sit down next to him and then freak when he moved.

Of course the boys had to spend some time in the Crossings playground while we shopped!

I think that there's a picture of Derick canoeing later on that looks a lot like this!

Weekend in Mackinaw

Fire Power!!!

Derick, Michelle, Uncle Mike, Deb, Walker and Ian were all riding their bikes around the Island while we boated around the Island. We met up at French Landing!

A freighter, a lighthouse, the roostertail of a ferry, and a Shepler's ferry all with the bridge in the background. You couldn't have asked for a more beautiful weekend up north!

Mackinaw Weekend

I don't ever think I'll feel like I've taken enough of pictures of this bridge!

See the freighter?!

Lounging in the boat near the shore at the lighthouse/fort.

The house that everybody loves to hate, but I just love.

Mom with her fort gift shop home away from home in the background.

Mackinaw Weekend

Can you tell that Derick is a pro at canoeing??

A freighter at sunset.

Mackinaw Weekend

Smores, hot dogs and hamburgers on buns from the Bakery!

The end of a canoe ride where Michelle was sure she was going to end up in the water!

Ian, taking it easy!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Thousand Ways to Enjoy Ice Cream!

Ok...so here are just 4 examples from last weekend in Mackinaw, but it goes to show that there has to be at least a thousand ways to enjoy ice cream. Throw in gelato from Florence, and there are millions!

Along with chocolate syrup and strawberry topping, Bear added some very yummy Froot Loops!

Ice Cream Sunday in a cup for Danielle!

You will never see Taylor eat any flavor other than plain chocolate. And if it isn't in a cone, she will only eat it out of a cup.

This one may just top them all, with the possible exception of the Froot Loops! Walker arranged his ice cream on a platter and enjoyed a swirl of chocolate and some sprinkles!
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Saturday, May 9, 2009

My Birthday Ring

For my birthday, Kevin took me to my favorite Mackinaw store, MacKenzies, and let me pick out a ring. The one that called my name was this band of flowers (perfect for a May birthday). It is a Pandora ring (I didn't even know they made rings!), and has moonstone, crystal, and blue topaz flower centers. Thanks Kevin!
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The Greenhouse is Exploding!

These plants think it's time to go outside! Somewhere in here are Taylor's 6th Generation Green Beans. She planted a seed at school in 2nd grade and we transplanted it into a pot on our deck. Each year, near the end of the season, we let a few of the beans get large and we save them, dry them out, and store the seeds over winter. Then the next spring, we plant the babies from the mother plant. Every one of the 20+ bean plants can be traced back to Taylor's 2nd grade seed/plant. In another area of the green house, Kevin has some "pole" beans growing. These came from seeds that he put in the freezer in 1999. This year he got them out and had me plant some for kicks to see if they would grow. Almost every one sprouted! There are also more tomatoes that you can count, chamomille, cilantro, lettuce, swiss chard, upteen different kinds of peppers, lemon balm, green onions, chervil, giant pumpkins, zucchini, and more!

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Around the Yard

Believe it or not, this is my Magnolia tree. I planted it about 3 years ago. It is one foot high, but for the first time ever, it has blossoms!
Tulips mean my Birthday!!!

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Vinegar Factory

We toured an authentic Balsemic Vinegar factory, which is really a house since vinegar has to age in the attic and feel the extreme heat and cold of the climate throughout the year. I learned that true balsemic vinegar can only come from the Reggio Emilia/Modena area of Italy. It is quite a process of aging that takes years (i can't remember if the minimum is 9 or 12 years). Each year they move the vinegar to a new and smaller barrel made of a different wood so that each wood gives a piece to the flavor. There was a tasting, which I didn't think I would enjoy, but the older the vinegar is, the sweeter it is. The oldest vinegar, which was at least 25 years old was super sweet and is used for dessert and ice cream! It also costs about $160 for a small bottle. It all tasted darn amazing! (I bought a younger bottle that only cost about $35)!

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Ancient Castle

Last year, we were only able to see the countryside of Italy through train windows. This time, we signed up for a tour of castle ruins and a vinegar factory. It was great to get outside of town and see the countryside and distant mountains. Notice the small goat in the background in the photo of me. That goat stood there the whole time we walked through the ruins!

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