This week is Mackinac Island’s fun and famous Lilac Festival. Mackinac Island also happens to be one of Alan’s favorite places in Michigan…or maybe the whole world! In fact, we’ve been biking around the island together since we were sixteen… and that’s a lot of years. 🙂 The Lilac Festival is the first full week of June (and Alan’s birthday is the 5th), so it’s a natural for us to visit often during this very special time of year. Unfortunately, we’ve had such a cold winter and spring that we only saw one lilac bush blooming on the entire island (the one above). Most of them were just beginning to bud, but I think that means that if you visit this coming weekend, you might be in for a scentsational time! And, even if the lilacs aren’t bursting with aroma yet, the island is still ablaze with spring glory!Truly, Mackinac Island is beautiful in every season of the year. From 1781 when Fort Mackinac first opened, the island has been a favorite haven for residents and tourists alike. The Grand Hotel was built a century later and has hosted thousands of guests, including such notables as five U.S. presidents and even Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin! The island’s quaint village is filled with white-washed, wooden-framed buildings,and little shops replete with treasures big and small. Autos aren’t permitted on the island, so horses and bikes are the main modes of transportation, and everybody who visits arrives by boat or ferry. Alan brought us over last Saturday. We took the Star Line and just happened to be on their first trip for the morning, which took a brief detour to sail under the Mackinac Bridge. The weather was perfect: about 68° under a cloudless, blue sky. Mackinac Island has an 8-mile perimeter, so we rented bicycles and rode around the island. It just so happened that we intersected with the hundreds of runners who’d entered the 10K race Saturday morning. I only got a blurry picture of the first-place winner (, a very tall, muscular guy who passed before I realized what was happening…this is the second guy), but I did catch a picture of , who was the first female racer to finish. Way to go, Xavier! Well, after a glorious ride around the island, we were famished, so we returned our bikes and then had a memorable lunch at the Village Inn (which is Alan’s favorite lunch spot on the island). For dessert, we moseyed over to Murdick’s (which is Alan’s favorite fudge shopbecause they still use fresh cream and butter to make their irresistible fudge)! Finally, just before leaving, we purchased a couple of treasures to take home (like $6, handcrafted earrings and a $12 tea cup…they do have some great deals).It was one of those forever days that will linger in my memory and mingle with all our other happy trips to Mackinac Island through the years. Thank you, Lord! I know that all such blessed times are gifts from You.