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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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Monday, August 3, 2015

{Our Grand Hotel Mackinac Island Michigan Afternoon Tea}

In my previous post I told you that the carriage driver let both of us off, only 5 minutes walking distance from Mackinac Island Grand Hotel where we went for Afternoon Tea...
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Yes, the tulips were in full bloom in front of Mackinac Island, Michigan's Grand Hotel on June 3...
The Grand Hotel got built in 1887 in just 93 days!
Quite a sight isn't it?
Such perfect tulips!
There were lots of tourists taking photographs but husband Pieter managed to capture their beauty very well.
For entering the Grand Hotel you must pay a fee of $ 10.00 and you may give yourself a tour.
We instead did head straight away for the Grand Hotel Afternoon Tea in the Parlor.
Each table had a bowl that gets removed when serving tea or coffee.
My iPhone 4S on the table...
A plate with an array of pastries and tea for me and coffee for Pieter.
On the right of the plate you also see a fresh-baked scone...
Pieter happily pours his coffee...
Looking really tempting.
Even though I usually don't eat any sweets, I did have the chocolate dipped strawberry and the little chocolate that was filled with yummy coconut mousse and topped with a blueberry.
I also ate the fresh-baked scone, without any marmalade.
Lovely cups!
Perfect timing at 4:00 PM with our Ferry departing at 5:00 PM.
But inside the building with the air-conditioning running, I was pleased that I did bring my packable polyester and silk Escada jacket!
This is a more than 100 year old Grand Hotel tradition, of serving Afternoon Tea in the Parlor, accompanied by a chamber music recital.
We enjoyed this lovely harpist.
The carpet reflects the red Pelargonium, that grow outside, see photo below!
Stunning view over Lake Huron!
When we leave for going on the veranda outside, I had t take these photos...
Sherry and Champagne with petite finger sandwiches.
An array of pastries...
Sorry for the poor quality but I wanted to give you a better look.
Plate with petite finger sandwiches.
Speaking of 'finger', we both were quite surprised that also our array of pastries got served without any pastry fork! Only a spoon for scooping up the mousse.
That is quite different from Europe and at this level I would have expected it as well.
Tea cups on a tray with lovely rose.
Coffee got served in these tea cups as well...
They might want to see my blog post: {Difference Between Coffee & Tea Cups}
No, that is not our Carriage... This is only for guests that stay at the Grand Hotel.
Love that big arch above the grand door!
Great architecture and for completing all that in 93 days, back in 1887 is quite astonishing!
Our Carriage driver did point out something about the azure blue color underneath those balconies for tricking birds into nesting elsewhere...
Tales from the Head Grand Hotel Painter where he states that every April they use some 150 to 200 gallons paint on the exterior!
Time to say goodbye to this incredibly romantic and patriotic looking island of Mackinac, Michigan...
We had such a perfect day and still very sunny!
Windy it got a little bit so Pieter kept his Burberry score from Last Call Outlet on and especially for crossing the Straits of Mackinac on Lake Huron.
It was lovely for living a day in the late 1800s and seeing so many different carriages.
We just walk around the corner for boarding again +Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry and for making it back to Mackinaw City.
The long Mackinac Bridge is visible here.
Hope you enjoyed this very special Grand Hotel Afternoon Tea, where many First Ladies stayed over their Century of service.

Related links:
{Mackinac Island Flora} | previous post by me
{Mackinac Island Carriage Tours} | previous post by me
{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

Saturday, August 1, 2015

{Mackinac Island, Michigan Flora}

Our second part of Mackinac Island Carriage Tours did bring us through breathtaking nature of northern Michigan. The forest with its flora is so beautiful and our first surprise were the rather large spots with FORGET-ME-NOTS. Also Lily-of-the-Valley but it was not possible for jumping off the carriage...
Are these Forget-Me-Nots not lovely? And freely growing in the woods!
Even some white Forget-Me-Nots...
In Italian they are called: "Non Ti Scordar di Me"
These I spotted on the lawn below Mackinac Fort
The Common Daisy or Bellis perennis; a childhood favorite that we don't see in Georgia.
Trillium
Those I did photograph when the passengers had 10 minutes for visiting Arched Rock and I instead ran off into the woods to find those Forget-Me-Nots and Trillium instead.
Sorry for the poor photos; I only had my iPhone...
When I climbed up this hill, I was amazed at the layer of rich humus soil and one could really spot a lot more if given the time!
Mackinaw Island is mostly rock formation, like granite boulders. The woods often support their trees only on several inches of soil. You can read more about Mackinac Island State Park Natural Wonders by clicking this link. Its coast line is mainly formed by Glacial Lake Algonquin and you find some interesting information about the many stones and minerals here:  Geology of Michigan and the Great Lakes
A beautiful pink Trillium
Mosses are my favorite too and this tree was so nicely clad in its moss skirt.
Our carriage driver let both of us off on Huron Road, where a rather steep road led us straight to Grand Hotel where we were going to sit and relax for some Afternoon Tea.
We also did spot these Queen Anne's Lace...
Yep, speeding on a bike will result in being prosecuted...

See you at Grand Hotel!

Related links:
{Mackinac Island Carriage Tours} | previous post by me
{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

Thursday, July 30, 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


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