Friday, July 26, 2013


Mackinac Island is the place to go when you visit the Straits of Mackinac, but the hubs and I prefer to head across the Big Mac Bridge to Sault Ste. Marie and the Soo Locks. Guess I am just a Boatnerd at heart and watching a 1000 ft. freighter, that's 104 ft wide inch its way through the 110 ft wide Poe Lock, fascinates me. This year we planned our visit for the annual Engineers Day on June 28th when the locks were open to the public. It was a great time and I took hundreds of photos, but these two videos give the best impression of the Locks. Go full screen. 

The footprints of the early French and the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, are all over the Straits of Mackinac and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. One of their most famous is Fr. Jacques Marquette, missionary, explorer, and mapmaker. He founded missions to the native Americans at Sault Ste. Marie in 1668 and another at St. Ignace in 1671. That was before he decided to make the 3000 mile canoe trip to explore Wisconsin, Illinois and the Mississippi River as far south as Arkansas. He died on the return trip in 1675. His grave is in St. Ignace. Wish I'd known that. Will have to visit his grave on my next trip to the Straits. I did visit the Fr. Marquette Memorial though.

Thanks to Bobak Ha'Eri for this photo of Fr. Marquette's grave.

A map of Fr. Marquette's journeys is embedded in the floor of the memorial.

To learn more about the good Father here's a great bio link. 
Fr. Jacques Marquette, Dictionary of Canadian Biography
Sketch from Wikimedia Commons
We headed home the next day. Will post photos of the Forty Mile Point Lighthouse near Rogers City, (a pleasant surprise) next time. But I can't end any post about Mackinac without a mention of its most famous product, Mackinac Island Fudge.

It wouldn't be Mackinac without a little something from The Mackinac Fudge Shop
I bought a block of the Mint Chocolate chip, just to take a photo of it for this blogpost. But by the time I found my camera the entire block had disappeared, nothing left but the wrapper??? Honestly... I have no idea where that delicious fudge might have disappeared to. So I posted the link above for you Fudgies.

Vivian : )

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


The Straits of Mackinac
The Straits of Mackinac must be one of the most photographed places in the world. Yet no two photos are ever quite the same. Sunlight, clouds, mist, wind, change the scene from moment to moment, and tomorrow will seem entirely different from today. That's why people return year after year to the same park bench by the Mackinac Bridge.  

  Everybody's favorite bench. Best place in the world to just sit and take in an awesome view.

Had a great vacation at the Straits. Discovered some new places and events. Started with Engineers day at the Soo Locks, toured Michilimackinac again, found the Fr. Marquette Memorial in St. Ignace, and the Forty Mile Point Lighthouse on Lake Huron. 

Took hundreds of photos but don't worry, I'll only post the best ones here at The Last Lord of Paradise, starting with the good old Big Mac Bridge and Colonial Michilimackinac.  

Always changing

Lilacs in July. Mackinac has the perfect climate and soil for growing Lilacs.

One more thing I love about the Mackinac area is its long history. From the Colonial Fort Michilimackinac, set on the archeological digs of the original French fort built 1718––to Fort Mackinac on the Island, built by the British in the late 18th century, it's authentic history.  

Michilimackinac gardens

British soldier

Apothecary Rose, has an interesting history and a delightful old rose scent. 

Ste. Anne de Michilimackinac Church

Bake oven


Open hearth cooking.
Today's treat, cow tongue stew.

Mending her stays. Even young boys wore these. Poor posture and Chiropractors were unheard of in 18th century.

Though I've been there many times, there's always something new to learn at Colonial Michilimackinac.

The Forty Mile Point Lighthouse and New France Discovery Center were pleasant surprises, and the Soo Locks Engineers Day...a Boat Nerd's dream. (Took a great video.) Will post more soon. Thanks for stopping by.

Vivian :)