- We left home at about 10:30 and arrived on The Island at about 3:45. That timing's not too bad considering that we made five bathroom stops (all at McDonald's along the way) because T thought that he was going to have "emergency poops" (our family name for diarrhea). T had been sick the previous two days and his tummy still wasn't better, but thankfully, no emergency poops -- just an unhappy tummy.
- Seeing the ferry made everybody happy. I love the customer service of the Shepler's Ferry -- they valet park the car for the duration of your stay; carry everything and load the ferry; then bicycle your luggage (all 8 pieces, including a box of snacks/food and a cooler) to the hotel. (There are no cars on the island, so bikes and horses are the only means of transportation.)
- We checked in with the Race Committee to learn that they probably weren't going to be in during the night, so we spent time on the beach throwing rocks and had a nice dinner outside watching the ferries come and go.
- After putting the kids to bed, I made rum-and-cokes for me and cousin J, who stayed in our room for the night. She was on the island waiting for cousin B, who was on the same boat as M (al in the family!)
Here's T on the ferry, happy to be going to the island.
There are so many beautiful flowers on the island.
- I got a call from M on Monday morning at 8:00 saying that he thought they'd finish in an hour to an hour and a half. We all got dressed, ate yogurt and Special K bars, and headed out to the finish line.
- They finished at 9:15 and we were so proud! It's fun to wait on the beach on the finish line with all of the other wives and kids. Lots of anticipation in the air, with people struggling to determine which boat is which coming under the Mackinac Bridge. M and his boat finished a very respectable fourth. Congrats team!
- After watching them finish, we hurried over to the marina to greet them at the dock. They were all tired, dirty, smelly, and hungry, but very happy to be in. Of course, they all had to do all of the post-race work of getting the sails folded and the lines coiled.
- Uncle B promised to buy breakfast if we all made it to the restaurant by 11:00. It was one hungry crew at that table!
- M needed a nap (to say the least!) so we all slept for two hours, and then the boys and I crept out so that M could sleep for another two,
- We had a great time after he woke up just walking around the island and having a wonderful dinner out lakeside at a great restaurant. (I had scallops and tasty wine; M had prime rib, and the boys had kid food -- mac and cheese and chicken strips.) We were all dressed up in our going-out-to-dinner-on-the-island-clothes.
- A nice ice cream cone eaten while watching the sunset topped off the night.
The boys and cousin J listening while Uncle B calls in his finish on the marine radio.
A beautiful finish by the lighthouse.
- M's brother D finished the race at about 3:00 in the morning. When we woke up, we met him and his girlfriend for breakfast. After breakfast we gave them the key to our room so he could shower and take a nap. We headed off of for the island tour.
- This is a tour that the boys and I took last year while M was sleeping. M wanted to go with us this year and it was a lot of fun. The tour is via a horse-drawn carriage and goes through downtown, the butterfly house (T's favorite), arch rock, and the fort (R's favorite.)
- After the tour we went to the annual anniversary party of a couple that M has known for years. They got married the Sunday after the Mac race 10 years ago and celebrate every year on the island.
- Then nap time.
- Then party time on the boat, which M hosted. We hauled up from home the rum, cokes, crackers and cheese, and bought some chips and salsa at the little island store by the marina. T was dreading the party because it would be "boring" but it ended up being on his list of favorite things from the trip. The boys got to run around the big boat, playing on deck and down below. They even got to take a quick dip in cold Lake Huron with Uncle D!
- Dinner with Uncle B topped off the day. We made reservations early (6:30) so that it would be a reasonable hour for the boys (the rest of the crew had reservations at 9:00) but we didn't end up leaving the restaurant until after 9:00. The poor boys almost fell asleep in their chairs. But, as usual, they were very well mannered and got lots of compliments (as they did the whole trip).
The horses that pulled our carriage. Much to T's relief, they didn't "toot" the whole way so he didn't have to hold his nose the entire ride like he did last year.
We were each honored to have the butterflies land on our heads.
R was one of the lucky ones to have two butterflies land at the same time.
The trick was to be able to take your hat off so that you could see the butterfly that landed on you -- without the butterfly flying away. Both boys were successful at this amazing feat.
M and the boys overlooking Lake Huron. I made the fruitless suggestion that M take off his glasses so we could see his eyes.
More to come....