How I spent my most recent birthday.

This was an ideal day for me.  Ideal because I was able to include so many of the things I truly enjoy with some of the people I love the most.

I woke up on glorious Mackinac Island (this is no surprise because I went to bed there the night before).  The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and we walked down to the famous Jessie’s Chuckwagon for breakfast (sometimes we refer to it as “putting the feedbag on” and in this case it is apropos). After breakfast we sauntered up to my favorite coffee shop on the island, The Lucky Bean, run by an enterprising young lady named Carolyn.  No trip to the island is complete without a stop here.

So far so good.  Now that we were fueled up, we rode our bikes around the island.  The weather was just right; sunny enough to be warm but the temperature was still upper sixties.

We checked out a few of the shops that we like to see if they were blowing out any merchandise for the end of the season.  I bought myself a shirt for my birthday.

In the afternoon, I headed to one of my favorite places on the island; the lawn at Mission Point.  You may have seen a photo of this scene on our recent newsletter; Adirondack chairs, a green lawn, and the straits of Mackinac in the background.  I sat for a few hours, basking in the sun, reading my book, and enjoying the occasional breeze.  I noticed a group of women trying to take a picture with this gentleman.  I offered to take the shot since they should all be in the picture.  The gentleman announced that it was his 60th birthday and this was his wife and three daughters.  I told him that it was my birthday as well and we appreciated the coincidence of enjoying our birthdays at such a place.

After a little too much sun it was time for the next event:  Dinner at the Woods restaurant in the center of the island.  The Woods has been a favorite of ours for nearly three decades.  Our preference is to ride our bikes to dinner (in order to work up more of an appetite) and this night would be no different.  We remembered to bring a change of footwear, a sweater for the ride back and headlamps as we would return in the dark.

One of the highlights of the Woods is their very exclusive duck pin bowling lane.  It is one lane, with pins needing to be manually reset, and the ball needing to be rolled back to the bowler.  There is no need for scoring because it is just so unique and fun.  Maggie had bowled on this lane before, but her friend had not.  The photo is an image of Maggie bowling with her friend sitting at the end ready to reset the pins and roll the ball back.  We each took a few turns before we were seated at our usual table.

The meal was delicious, of course, but almost seemed secondary to the whole experience.  If the food was not good, we would not ride there just to bowl, but the food is worth the trip.  It is amazing.

We stopped on West Bluff to let the girls take in this extraordinary view at night- the bridge, the straits, the “cottages” and the stately Grand Hotel before us.  It occurred to me on our bike ride home in the dark, that this was indeed the perfect day and the perfect birthday.