Sunday, August 31, 2008

Columbus, Mississippi

Yesterday was grooming day for all of us. I gave Jim a haircut, then followed that with grooming both dogs. I wasn't done in quite yet, so I worked on my own hair. I think it came out ok, at least in the front. Practice is needed to get the back done the way I like it!

Today, we drove down to visit Shirley and Charles; and check out a possible place for us to park the Castle when we return there later this month. I first met Shirley several years ago through the Weight Watchers online community. She and her husband, Charles, live just west of Columbus, MS. For the past several years, several other women from the online WW community have gathered for a long weekend at Shirley & Charles' "Camphouse", about 3 miles from their house. The camphouse is located on a bluff just above Tibbee Creek. Here's a picture of the creek, taken from the bluff near their camphouse.

When we got to their house, we visited for a few minutes, then went over to the creek with their boat, and hopped in for a ride. We went down the creek to the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway and took that upriver for a ways. We stopped at the Tiki Bar, located on the Waverly Marina for lunch.

This boat was moored at the marina:

All along the eaves of the little restaurant, there are hummingbird feeders, and fishing poles that have been placed for them to perch on. Here's a little hummer who sat still on the end of a fishing pole for a photo:

These water hyacinth are incredibly thick around the creek. Charles and Shirley would like to be able to get rid of some, but there is a rule that they cannot spray them, so they just have to live with them.
We saw many egrets and herons, a turtle or two, and possibly the back of an alligator as it dove under the water. We also saw a couple of osprey nests, and a bald eagle nest. When I attended the annual gathering at Shirley's place, We've seen the bald eagles, but there were no signs of them today, other than the massive nest.

We saw one campground from the river, but I'm not too sure it would work for us. So, we're still on the lookout for a place to stay there. The day went all too fast and it was time to make the 90 mile drive back to Red Bay.

We are thinking about all the people in the possible path of Hurricane Gustav, praying for everyone's safety.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Service Bays and Oops!

Let's do the Oops! first....I need to brush up on my geography! Yesterday I mistakenly identified Natchez as being in Louisiana instead of it's correct state of Mississippi. Thanks to those of you who sent corrections. Next time I'll get my magnifying glass out....

This morning started out pretty much the same as every day here, wake up early to the roar of engines as motor homes move from the campground over to their service bays. When you get your turn, you get assigned a service bay and it's crew, and for the most part, that's where you go every day until the work is finished. There are bays for electrical work, others for paint, but most of the others are general type of repairs.

I went off for my walk with the dogs. I've been trying to increase my distance and time, so I was gone quite a while. When I got back, instead of getting the day started with more coffee and conversation, I found Jim standing outside, all dressed, waiting for me. We've been called! We needed to head over to bay 41 to have our alignment checked out. So...we had to hustle to get things put away and slide in so we could head over there.

When we got there, a couple of guys came out, got in the motor home, and asked us some questions about the steering. Jim had on our list that the steering wheel wasn't quite straight when the wheels are. So, Curtis took us for a drive out on the highway. While we were on the road, we talked about a knocking that we occasionally hear under the driver's side front slide while we're going down the road. They think that might be the rollers. As we rode along, Curtis ascertained that we should have an alignment. Back at the service bay, he went to talk to his supervisor. He came back and said they would arrange for us to go to a shop about 45 miles from here.

At that point, Curtis was done with us, and we headed back to our site. We no sooner pulled in when someone else came to tell us we needed to be in Bay 2. So we went right over and pulled in. In a little while, Terry, "our" service guy, got us started on our list. We showed him the outside items and then came in and went over the inside items. As we discussed the needed repairs, Terry emphasized that we are welcome to hang around while they work on the coach. We are to ask any questions we want, to ensure we are satisfied with what they do.

One of the items on our list is a few places on the floor where the tiles are just slightly uneven, and a couple have tiny nicks in the corner or along a side. No problem, as long as they could make sure the replacement tiles match, they will replace them. They found the tiles, but before they started on the floor, they had us approve the match.

The window behind the couch on the passenger side was very hard to open, even after two dealerships tried to loosen it up. So, after Terry worked on it a little, he said they would just replace the window. They got started on the tiles, and got the window replaced today.

They stop work at 3:00, so they got us cleaned up and ready to go back to our site. We'll be back at Bay #2 by 7:00 (yes, that's A.M.) on Tuesday morning.

During the day, we split our time between the customer lounge and the rig. We were plugged in to power so we left the air conditioning on. We kept the dogs in their crates most of the day, except when we were out walking. Dogs are allowed in the customer lounge, but since Jazz and BJ think they should always be "top dogs", it's a better arrangement to leave them in their spots.

We have a 3 day weekend, so we'll probably do more of our catching up and hopefully some more sightseeing. I'll try to get pictures of the repair process next week.

It turned out to be a different day than we'd planned, but it was a pleasant surprise to get in and get started on the repairs.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Exploring the Mississippi/Alabama Area

For those of you who don't know exactly where Red Bay is located, it is on the Mississippi state line, in the north west corner of Alabama. Not far from here is the Natchez Trace Parkway. I've heard about this road many times, and have it on my "must do" list. So, today we decided to take a drive and do some exploring.

We checked with the repair scheduler and found that it will most likely be Tuesday before we get in for our repairs, so no reason for us to hang around all the time. I checked out with the campground office so they'd know where we were, just in case the work crews got really lively and opened a spot for us. When I mentioned to Nancy, the campground hostess, that we were going to drive some of the Natchez Trace Parkway, she gave me a brochure.

From the brochure, I learned that the modern parkway parallels the old Trace, which runs from the Mississippi River in Natchez, Louisiana, to Nashville, Tennessee. The original path was used by Indians, then farmers who floated their crops and goods down the rivers to Natchez or New Orleans. They sold their boats for lumber, then had to walk back home, using the Natchez Trail. Inns, or stands which were overnight stops, were built for them to get a good meal and rest along their journey.

At the Tennessee River, a Chickasaw/Scotsman named George Colbert ran an inn and ferry crossing from 1800 to 1819. He charged Andrew Jackson $75,000 to ferry his army across the river. Tough job, but somebody had to do it.

Once steamboats began operating on the rivers, the Natchez Trace fell into disuse. In 1930, the modern parkway was started. In 1995 it was designated an All-American Road.

At the beginning of the section we drove, we took a side trip through Tishomingo State Park. I got a picture of a bird next to a large pond in the park, but have no idea what it is. I'm not sure if it's a good enough image for some of my bird-expert friends to identify. Any clues?

This is a walking trail in the state park:

A neat looking bridge:
Another cool bridge:
And, on the trace, an Indian Mound, a ceremonial structure estimated to have been developed between 1200 and 1400.

We didn't drive very much of the parkway today, so I'm hoping that we can take another section and go south on it at least to Tupelo. This area has some interesting history, besides Tupelo being the birthplace of Elvis. Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, which is about 45 miles from here.

We got off the parkway and came back through Florence and Muscle Shoals, although we only stopped to have a quick lunch. We had the dogs with us, so we stopped at a Wendy's so we could stay in the car and keep the a/c running. Hot day!

Thank you for all your wishes for us to get in quickly and get our work done. We knew we could be in for a wait here, since we didn't have a scheduled appointment, and our repairs are not anything that could be considered emergency. We're really content to stay here and wait, getting to know a few other owners and hear their stories. It's an interesting place, and we don't mind being here at all, it's kind of fun! Now, if the hurricanes and tropical storms will be kind to us, life will stay great!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Awning, Vent Covers and Directv

That about sums up today. We were up early, ready for another day at the Allegro Campground. The rain finally moved out, and once the haze/fog burned off, the sky was blue and sun was shining.

We finalized the arrangements to have Luke install the small awning over the window behind the couch on the passenger side of the Castle and added 3 vent covers to the job.

Jim went to get the tires on the Saturn rotated and balanced, and I worked on some castle cleaning. Gee, you'd think since I live in a Castle, I'd have maids to do all of this cleaning!

We needed to move to the runway to have the after hours work done. Luke gets off at 3 and we were in place waiting when he got there. Here he is with his friend, hauling the vent covers up to the roof.

This is a view of the service building from the runway:

We ordered a new receiver from Directv, to be delivered here in Red Bay. The bedroom tv has an older style receiver and we thought we would take this opportunity to upgrade it. This afternoon, I checked their website and discovered it's going to Livingston instead of Red Bay. I called them and had a small discussion with a customer service rep...something about incompetent workers and so forth.... the end result of the discussion is that they've credited us for the shipping cost of the receiver, since we will have to have it re-shipped from Livingston at our expense. Dealing with Directv has been one of the few frustrations of this lifestyle. They just don't get it. Oh, well, a hard day talking to incompetents at Directv still beats the greatest day I ever had at work!

Jim got this picture of the rain Monday:

And, to answer Ginger's question, here are the dogs in their rain gear. BoJangles doesn't mind it, but Jazz still isn't sure!
We're settled back in Site 13 this evening, ready for whatever might come our way!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Waiting and Watching

The start of the day was pretty much the same as yesterday - before 7, the engines are revving and the coaches are on the move. By 7:30, the campground is half empty and the service bays are humming. From then on, there are rigs coming and going to and from the service area.

Jim went off to do the laundry here at the campground. They have 5 big washers and dryers. The wash is $1.00 and the dryers are $.75 - pretty reasonable! We browsed through the offerings in the Allegro Club while the clothes were drying, but didn't find anything we couldn't live without. The Allegro Club carries clothing, hats, and other Tiffin related merchandise. We also went to the parts department and talked about getting a small, manual window awing for the window behind the couch on "my" side. They did have one, and gave us the name of a tech who does after-hours installation.

I came back to the Castle and let Jim fold and hang the laundry. After that was completed, we puttered around and eventually went out to the local Mexican restaurant for a quick lunch. After lunch, we found the guy to do our awning installation and made arrangements to have it done tomorrow after he gets off work. When the technicians do after hours private work, it must be completed off Tiffin property, so we go to the other end of the runway from where the campground is located.

The service bays close up at 3, and all the workers either go home or go do their after-hours work. The campground fills up again, either with new people coming in, or people who's work isn't completed, but who bring their rigs back to their sites. There are some people who stay in their rigs in the service bays if they are in the middle of something and can't move the rig. We have a spot next to us where there is a mat and a pair of shoes, along with water hoses. But we haven't seen the rig since Sunday night!

This has been a unique experience for us. It isn't quite like spending a night or two parked at a dealership and it's not like a regular campground. However, there are elements of both those experiences here. There is a certain sense of the legendary Tiffin service reputation, and we've certainly seen some of that in the way people greet us and treat us. We can't really say how satisfied we are with the level and expertise of service, since we haven't gotten our work done yet.

It's rained on and off all day. I'm thinking this is what they are talking about when they mention rain bands associated with tropical storms. We finally got a little bit of sun late this afternoon, but it didn't last long, and now it's raining again. We're ready for Fay to go rain somewhere else!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Allegro Campground - Red Bay, Alabama

We haven't seen the sun today at all. It was gray and damp when we got up and it's been varying shades of gray all day. It has alternated raining and misting as well.

Early this morning I woke to the sounds of engines and the sense of movement around me. All of the rigs that were scheduled for 7:00 this morning were on the move - all the way across the campground to the service bays. It was quite a parade of motor homes. For most of the day, there were quite a few empty sites here and people coming in and going out. Lots of activity around the place.

It wasn't long before 2 guys showed up at our door to investigate the situation with our DirecTV receiver. They hemmed and hawed for quite a while with no answer. We showed them the routine we go through every day now - reset the receiver and switch the cable from one input post to the other a couple of times before we get tv reception. They shook their heads and said they couldn't understand why that's happening. Eventually they went away to call someone at Kingdome. When they came back, the answer was that we need to buy a multi-switch and have it installed by one of the "after hours" guys. Hmmm.... stay tuned on that one.

After they left, I went off to find the closest Walmart and veteranarian's office to get the dogs some Frontline Plus. I got my prescription, a few groceries, the Frontline Plus for the dogs and drove the 25 miles back to Red Bay from Russellville, the next town over.

Just as I got the groceries put away, Norris, the scheduler, stopped in with our list of work to be done. We visited for awhile, he answered some of our questions and asked a few of his own. Finally he got up to leave and said they are about a week behind, and hoped we're not in a hurry. It looks like we'll be residents of the Allegro Campground for at least a week.

We went off in search of a place to grab some lunch and found a little out of the way barbeque place called Ezzells. That was some good barbeque! Very small town atmosphere, friendly family folks. We'll definitely be back there.

I managed to get the dogs showered this afternoon and will be doing their Frontline treatment this evening. I need to groom them, but with this weather, I may have to try doing it inside.

Not much excitment to our day, and I have a feeling we're in for a string of these. It's actually nice to not have hundreds of choices of things to do and see, at least for a little while.

No pictures of today, so I'm sharing a few more we took at the gardens at the Grand Hotel on Macinac Island:

It's been a great day, even with the rain!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

We Meet Fay on the Road

Catching up with last night, here is the Indiana state welcome sign:

As we were relaxing last evening, Jim looked out his window and said, "There goes a guy riding an ice chest." Of course, my first thought was to take that can of beer away from him. But he kept insisting he saw a guy ride by our coach on an ice chest. I couldn't get a picture of the guy riding it, but here is the ice chest, it has wheels, a seat on top, handlebars, and a small engine in back. Pretty cool idea, huh?

I didn't sleep all that great, thinking about 2 more days on the road. I finally got up to look at the clock and it was 4 a.m. I thought that was still a little early, so I went back to bed, but still couldn't sleep. I finally got up and turned the coffee on a little before 5.

We talked about it and decided we might try to get to Red Bay today. We're both tired of traveling every day, so we figured we might as well finish it up today. That way we can settle in and sit still for awhile. Of course, we don't know how long we'll be in Red Bay, since we don't have an appointment and our repairs are not of an emergency nature. We just have to wait our turn.

As soon as it got light enough, which was about 7 a.m., we headed out. This is what the sun looked like as we headed south on I-65 towards Louisville.

Crossing the Ohio River into Kentucky:

Somewhere in Kentucky, we crossed back into Central Time.

Kentucky was beautiful, I definitely want to spend time there! Onward to Tennessee:

It was in Tennessee that we became acquainted with Fay. She couldn't slow us down, and didn't impress us as being much of a storm. We got enough rain to wash the bugs off the front of the Castle.

I missed getting a picture of the Alabama state welcome sign, the camera didn't want to cooperate.

But, here's the road to Red Bay:

We drove 425 miles today and got 9.1 mpg. We stopped at a Phillips 66 truck stop when we got off I-65 at Decatur, Alabama, and filled up with diesel for $4.19/gal. That's what the sign said, that's what the pump said, and that's what we were charged. And, I might add, the clerk in the store was very friendly and glad to have our business!

We got into the Allegro Campground in Red Bay around 2 p.m. after an 8 hour drive. We filled out the first paperwork, got our site assignment and instructions. Nancy and Joe are campground hosts who help get people checked in. We drove to our site and got hooked up. We filled out the rest of our paperwork and took it back up to the office. Then we found a local restaurant that was recommended by several people and had a nice meal.

Down the row:

Up the row:

And our favorite Phaeton:

The Allegro Campground is filled with Phaetons, Allegro Bays, Allegro Buses and a few other motor homes. We will find out more about our schedule when we get a visit from Norris, the service guy, sometime tomorrow.

But for tonight, I bet I'll sleep great!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

We've Learned Our Lesson

We both slept great and woke up early enough to be on the road before 8:30 this morning. The traffic wasn't bad, and it was cool enough to be tolerable without running the dash a/c.

I had a comment on yesterday's blog from a reader, Jay. Hey, Jay, we did give a honk somewhere around your exit on I-69, but I think it was more to alert a silly driver who didn't know how to merge onto a busy interstate! Thanks for the heads up, and glad to have you as a reader.

To Anna of Galeanna, we did not make a stop close enough to you to get together this time, hopefully when we get to come back to your beautiful state, we'll have more time to sit a spell.

We'd planned on getting fuel just south of Indianapolis, before our stop for the night. Many of our friends with diesels make a point of filling up at Flying J. We are pretty new at this diesel business, and had been stopping at whatever convenient truck stop, or regular gas station we could get in and out of easily.

Today we stopped at an exit where there was a Flying J, but the Pilot Truck stop looked like it would be easier to get in and out, so se stopped there instead. The sign advertised diesel cash price of $3.97 per gallon, and credit price of $4.05. We got positioned at one of the truck pumps and I went in. There I got my first hint of trouble. The clerk wanted to know how much we were going to buy. I questioned them as to just turning on the pump, and paying when we're full, which is what usually happens when I go into the store and stay there while Jim pumps the fuel. They said their computer system is new and it won't let them do that now, they have to authorize a certain amount on the card. As we discussed that, I found out they were charging us not $4.05, the credit price, but $4.32 per gallon! Where did that come from? Well, it seems if you're not a semi truck at the truck island, you get to pay a higher price!!

When we got to our destination today, we e-mailed them a complaint, and promised to let all our friends know of their sneaky, underhanded, deceitful, rip-off advertising practice. So, here's your notice, please pass it on, Pilot is a rip-off! We've learned our lesson and will make a point of never stopping there again!

Now, as to our destination for the night, we are at the Woods-n-Water Campground near Columbus, Indiana. If you have a small rig, this is probably just fine. But we had a heck of a time getting the Castle in here! We brought several tree branches with us. Oh, well, we did get in and we're settled, so enough said there.

We traveled 298.8 miles and got 8.8 mpg for the day. The only picture I took was of the Indiana State Line, and I think I'll save that for tomorrow. We're just about 420 miles from Red Bay, so we'll probably go about another 300 tomorrow and make a short travel day Monday. I'm ready to get there and sit still for a bit.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Back on the Road

We got a late start today because we waited until the mail arrived at Mackinaw Mill Creek Campground. The office staff there was great, they were extremely patient with my unending checking the mail routine. The doctor's orders still didn't arrive, so we took off anyway, getting out on the road just a little after 11 am.

We taveled 260 miles and averaged 8.5 mpg. It was a pretty easy travel day, all 4 lane, restricted access roads. We didn't have any reservations at a campground, electing to stop when we got tired. Much of the way, we enjoyed deep woods. As we got further south, we started seeing more open space and farmland.

We finally stopped at the Eaton County Fairgrounds for the night. This must be Michigan's best kept secret campground! We're just off I-69 South, in the small town of Charlotte, south of Lansing. Besides the campground host, there is one other rig here. In the Michigan Campground Directory we picked up in Mackinaw City, it lists this campground as having 600 spaces. We had our pick of spots, but with all the trees around, not much chance to get a satellite signal. But we're only going to be here one night, so it doesn't matter. We did get some local stations on the tv. We paid $15, and we have water and 30 amp electric. Not a bad deal at all.
Here's a look around at the campground:
Way off in the distance, there is one small trailer:

We noticed the increase in heat and humidity right away:

A view of the Castle among some very tall trees:

After a nice dinner of chili dogs, we're settled in for a good night's rest before heading south again tomorrow.

Several people have commented on the rain gear we got for the dogs. No, we don't have matching ponchos for us, but that's not a bad idea. Actually, I'm probably the one who needs one, since I'm the chief dog-walker, rain or shine!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's Time to Go

As fulltime RVers, we have the choice, usually, to decide where we go and how long we stay. What motivates us to stay or go? I think it depends -- do we have reservations where we'll lose money if we change or cancel? Are we dodging weather? Or, are we just tired of being in one place? In this case we feel the need to move along to Red Bay to address the items on our list. And, since we'd already decided to go, it's time. My doc's orders didn't arrive in the mail today, but we're still going to leave tomorrow. I called the doc's office to ask them to mail another copy to my home address. I'll just wait for it to catch up with me through the regular mail.

We passed the time today finishing the polishing of the motohome that we started yesterday. Jim took a load of towels and our cleaning rags into town to run them through the laundry. While he was gone, I got the vacuuming and bathroom cleaning done.

We had sandwhiches here for lunch and then just took it easy this afternoon.

Pictures today are some I took last evening around the campground.

Reeds and flowers:

Last bloom:

Sunset behind the Mackinac Bridge:

Same sunset, view of the shore along the campground:

Heron on the wing:
One of the cabins in the campground:
New adventures begin tomorrow. We have added this area to our list of favorite places, and hope we can come back here again.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Plans Made in Jello Sometimes Melt

One of my favorite sayings about what we're going to do is that our plans are made in Jello. And, as we all know, sometimes, Jello melts.

That is the case with our Jello plans today. I'm expecting lab orders from my doc. They didn't arrive today, so we've decided to stay here one more night. We'll plan (in Jello, of course) to leave Friday morning, providing I get the mail I'm expecting.
Yesterday while we were playing "Fudgie" in town, I saw some doggie rain coats in one of the shops. I wasn't sure if they would fit BoJangles and Jasmine, so I had the shopkeeper write down the measurements for the size they had in stock. I measured the dogs when I got home and decided the little coats would work, even though they may be a little large. This morning, I went back to the shop and bought the little pink and blue rain coats, so the furkids are ready for rainy weather!

Doesn't she look happy to be in this attractive garment?

It's hard to see his expression, but trust me, he's as happy as Jasmine!
I should explain "Fudgie" in case you haven't gone back to read comments on previous days' entries. Charles (Roz) left me a comment to tell me that tourists in this area are called Fudgies by the locals, because, I assume, that is what we buy! So, true to our nickname, I bought gift boxes of fudge today. Yes, Speedy, we did buy a little for us, but I've only had a few tastes of it. I'm saving most of it for friends!

We spent a lot of time spiffing up the Castle's exterior today, too. Our neighbors here are also Tiffin owners, with a 43' Allegro Bus. They've been to Red Bay, so they know the ropes there, and have been giving us a lot of information about how things work there. They were also outside working on their outside cleaning today, so we got a chance to visit quite a bit. We'll finish up our polishing in the morning and will probably take a drive to see a little more of this area before we leave Friday.

Another great day!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Much Quieter Day

Our grand adventure today consisted of a short drive north across the Mackinac Bridge to the little town of St. Ignace. We read about a lighthouse that had been moved from somewhere else to the docks at St. Ignace. A quick, easy drive, and we could get some nice pictures of the Wawatam Light:

We drove through the town and stopped at a small mall, but didn't see anything we couldn't live without. We headed back across the bridge one more time and continued on south to Cheboygan, which is about 14 miles south of Mackinaw City. We missed a lighthouse there when we were there a few days ago, and there's a super Walmart there as well.

We found the park where the Cheboygan Crib Light sits. This is another light that has been moved. The original light was out in the water. On the way to the light, we found this family of Canadian geese:

And we saw this large Coast Guard ship in the harbor:

And here's the little lighthouse:

Another family of geese on the move:

We found the Walmart and got a few groceries. After our little shopping spree, we headed home with our goodies.

We got everything put away and decided to go into Mackinaw City for a late lunch and a look around at some of the shops we missed the first time we were there. I think we made the complete rounds of every shop in town, at least that's what it feels like! What did we buy? One little chunk of fudge!

Back home to relax for the evening. Tomorrow will be our day to get ready to travel. We will be leaving Thursday to head south.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Somewhere in Time - Mackinac Island

I got ready for today's activities by watching the movie, "Somewhere in Time" starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour last night. I paid special attention to all of the scenes that were either filmed at the Grand Hotel, or a set built to look like it. That was most of them! I'd seen the movie, but with that disease I have (Can't Remember Stuff), I'd forgotten most of it. Jim elected for the bedroom tv and a football game.

So, I was ready this morning when we headed over to Mackinac Island on the Star Line Ferry, a turbo-jet ferry that really moves! The trip over took less than 20 minutes, and I didn't even get seasick.

This is a picture of another ferry from the same company as the one we rode:

We had some nice views of lighthouses and the Grand Hotel from the boat.

Once we landed, we walked around a little bit to get our bearings, then found our way to the ticket office to buy our tour tickets. No cars on the island, so you either ride bicycles (I don't think so), or horses, (Jim doesn't think so) walk (nope, not all over that island), or take a horse drawn taxi or tour. We opted for the tour, which took a couple of hours. It was great fun and we got to see a lot of historic sites, as well as experience the state park.

The view of the village as we approached in the ferry:

Typical light pole, with flowers:

It's already been along day!

Very typical traffic on main street:

We were sitting the front seat of the carriage, so got a lot of this view!

They have carriages drawn by two horses, and these - drawn by 3 horses.

There are beautiful gardens almost everywhere you look:

We got dropped off at the Grand Hotel at the end of our tour, and spent most of the rest of our time on the island there. It cost us each $10 to go in, which I think is a trap, but we paid it because I wanted to see it, and I wanted to eat lunch there. We got there too late for the luncheon buffet, which is probably just as well. We ate at the Carleton Tea Room and had delicious food anyway.

This is the lower level hallway with shops on the right:

Off the hallway pictured above is this gallery:

Here's the tea shop where we ate. Table are located along the hallway, some are by the windows.

After lunch we walked all over the place, taking pictures, and enjoying watching the rich folks hang out. The hotel has some interesting features, including the longest front porch (600 ft.) in the world. The ceiling of the porch is painted a light blue to discourage birds from nesting under it.

This is a wall dedicated to the movie, "Somewhere in Time":

Here's the terrace room, there's a harpist playing music:

The front porch:
Stopped to get a picture on our way out:

We walked back downtown, stopped at a shop where I bought a gift, and by then we were ready to hop the ferry back to Mackinaw City.

Another Grand Adventure!