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My Trip to America July 2012 Part 1


By dwyllis


At last ….. I have switched on the main computer, my 15 week old puppy is amusing himself in the garden, with my papillon keeping him company. My disc is not causing too much pain this morning, so am a bit more mobile. So I can do the first blog on my trip to America to visit my older son & his family this year. The photos below are in no particular order …. we actually spent our first week in Denver Colorado …. we loved it there & the weather was scorching hot! The next four weeks were spent with my oldest son in Michigan, with a trip to Ann Arbour & Mackinaw & Mackinaw Island during that time. Our last three days were spent in San Francisco.

This is one of a pair of beautiful Victorian Statue Lamps standing at the entrance to a small park in Sausilito across the bay from San Francisco.

My lovely grandchildren Omar aged 2.5 years & Cicilei-Jayd aged 5.5years. These are the two children of my oldest son & his American wife. The photo was taken on a visit to the Eastern Peninsula in Michigan ….they were Not supposed to pick flowers! So I hurriedly snapped this photo & then disposed of the evidence!

Pink Petunias growing in one of the many flower beds around the famous Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.

Beautiful display of mixed-colour Petunias in hanging basket at entrance to small park in Sausilito, across the bay from San Francisco.

In Denver, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency & one evening we took a little stroll around the hotel & came across this lovely kerbside planting … what a riot of lovely colours.

Shopping in the very quaint small city of Mackinac (pronounced Mackinaw) …. lovely container planting outside a shop.

This pretty display is part of a memorial to honour military dead on the wonderful Mackinac Island …. strangely, the memorial stands right next to a block of public toilets!

Whilst staying with my oldest son in Michigan, my OH & I took off to the University city of Ann Arbor, which was holding its annual Art Fair. This Art Fair was huge, covering the entire inner city …. & it was absolutely amazing. We walked around it for several hours & still had not covered it all. I was so exhausted, I fell asleep at 6.30pm, as soon as I stretched out to relax on my bed at the hotel. This garden statue of a Peeing Dog (yes it actually peed), was part of a big display of metal critters which were awesome. Truly, I did not notice the sign next to the dog … I was sooooo taken with these critters. Their creator told me off Very rudely. I was tempted to put on my most posh voice & tell him that I owned a big Art Gallery in NZ & had been interested in his creations …until he opened his mouth. Not the best way to sell your creations!

A lovely quiet spot to contemplate the world …. a private garden on Mackinac Island in Michigan. I love the butterfly design on the back of the chairs.

Mackinac Island is a tourist attraction & people flock to visit it in the spring, summer & autumn months. Winters are so severe in this area, that Mackinaw city & the island, are virtually inaccessible. The island is home to some very wealthy folk & there are some huge Victorian & Edwardian mansions on it. No motorised vehicles are allowed on the island, apart from emergency vehicles & maintenance vehicles. Transport around the island is by foot, bike & horse-drawn carriages & carts. The hotels on the island are beautiful & horrendously expensive, especially the Victorian hotel called The Grand …costs you even to look inside it. This pretty display is on the front of a hotel in the main street.

This is the lovely entrance path to the Carriage House Restaurant on Mackinac Island …. very expensive place to eat … situated on the main street.

There are many very quaint little old cottages on & around the main street on Mackinac Island. This one is called Lilac House & it is a tiny guest house …also costly to stay in.

A view from my seat on one of the many horse-drawn trolleys which transport visitors around Mackinac Island. The horses from the main street, where the shops & restaurants are situated, only take one up as far as the Grand Hotel, which is quite a steep grade. The horses are rested for several minutes as they do the climb. Then one has to change onto the larger trolleys, with another set of horses, to continue around the rest of the island. Again, there is a stop of 15 mins half way around, to rest & water the horses, as high temps at that time of year. Each horse has a name & the driver works only with those horses, during the season. So the drivers, often university students earning money during vacations, will regale you with stories of ‘their’ horses characteristics. It can be very amusing.

The huge Victorian Grand Hotel ….supposed to be spectacular inside, but as our little grandson had fallen asleep on his mum’s lap, we did not go in. Extremely costly to stay in.

Here I am, taking a short break from walking around the huge Art Fair in Ann Arbor in Michigan. This was a lovely fresh green park, where one could enjoy the shade …temps were around 100 F (almost 40 C) & I was melting!

This lovely Victorian stone fountain was the main feature in a small park in the main street of Sausilito.

Sausilito is a small & quaint place which sits across the bay from San Francisco, with a view of the famous Golden Gate Bridge, & the infamous Alcatraz. This is a pretty flower-lined pavement just off the main shopping street. It looked so inviting …promising some welcome shade. Though temps are a lot lower in SF than in Denver or Michigan, Sausilito itself was warmer than SF.

This is where the horse-drawn trolleys come to rest halfway around the island of Mackinac … the huge horses are rested for 15 mins, given water, & are hosed down to cool them down after the steady climb up to this point. From here on, it was a steady downward climb around the island & back to a spot where we again changed into a small horse-drawn carriage, as these big trolleys are too big to go into the busy shopping area. Whilst the horses rested, we were able to enjoy the magnificent views across Lake Huron …this is a natural hole where one can look through, but there are also other views across the lake.

This is my lovely daughter-in-law Linda taking photos for me in the front garden of a stunning house & garden on Mackinac Island. This is a private house, but the front gardens are open to the public with no cost.

A beautiful hotel right in the centre of Mackinac City. I really wanted us to stay there …it was so pretty. But my daughter-in-law had booked us all into another hotel, which had a great fun water-area for the children.

On our first evening in Mackinac City, after a four hour drive from where my son lives, we all took an evening stroll around the little city & took lots of photographs along the way. Here is a pretty seating area in a private house just off the Main Street, which had lots of Fudge shops. Mackinac is renowned for its handmade fudge & every second shop in the city & on the island is dedicated solely to fudge ..hundreds of different types. Of course, I had to sample some!

More blog posts by dwyllis

Previous post: New Zealand Flaxes Part I

Next post: My Trip to America July 2012 Part II



Very nice and intersting blog. How beautiful kids are your grandchildren - but you look very young, as well. That´s art, too, you know that, lol?
I like the name Omar. In Slovakia there is a story connected with one huge medieval castle. It has very deep well inside the castle and it is called Omar´s well. The story says that a girl named Fatima was imprisoned in this castle and Turkish pascha Omar negotiated with the owner of the castle, that he would dig the well in a rock if he would release Fatima. So he worked there several months with 300 men and they all suffered, as the work was very hard. Water was deep and rock very hard. At the end they reached the layer with the water, but till that happened, all men died. Only pasha survived and when he was leaving the castle with rescued Fatima he said to the ôpcal ruler "You have well now, but you have lost your heart long time ago." In medieval times people believed that on a last judgement day people´s hearts will be weighed on scales. Uf, it took me some time to write this.
So, say hello to little Omar and his sister, they are lovely with those flowers :))

19 Nov, 2012


Thanks Katarina. I have two other grandchildren ....Lena my other grandaughter who is five months younger than Omar, & is my middle son's only child, & Arapata, my other grandson, who is eight years old. Lena's mother is from Bosnia, but is an American citizen as she has lived there for sixteen years since she was eighteen. Sadly, I didn't get to see them on my visit, as they were visiting Bosnia due to an illness in her family. Arapata is my only grandchild who lives in NZ, but I haven't seen him for two years, as there has been a relationship split & the mother has moved elsewhere & will not allow any access to him, not even for my youngest son, who is his father. So my son is now going through the court, but the mother is dragging everything out & being very difficult. She is in her mid-forties & my youngest son has just turned thirty, so there have been difficulties. I hope they manage to sort it all between them, & then perhaps I will be able to see Arapata again. No fun being a grandmother, but not having any grandchildren around us. .....well that was a lengthy reply! Lol

19 Nov, 2012


Thanks for showing that trip, Dwyllis. Thoroughly enjoyed it as I'm most unlikely to ever visit. It's fun seeing other parts of the world through a REAL person's eyes, rather than pictures in a book that have been chosen for their aesthetic value as advertising. Glad you enjoyed your trip to see your lovely grandchildren. :o)

19 Nov, 2012


Oh I've enjoyed your pictures very much! I love that butterfly chairs SO much!

19 Nov, 2012


Lovely interesting blog Dwyllis, as we drove into san francisco some years ago the radio played "I left my heart in sanfranciso".....and I think we did!
Will come back to this blog again when I've more time

19 Nov, 2012


Hi Dwyllis ...
Interesting blog with fascinating photos :o)
The butterfly chairs are very pretty !

19 Nov, 2012


What a lovely blog. Enjoyed seeing your family and the photos of your visit are great.

19 Nov, 2012


Wonderful pictures, I feel as if I have been on holiday, looking at these on a wet afternoon, Sure you had a great time with your family.

19 Nov, 2012



Beautiful pics! The photos of Sausalito remind of the many times I used to visit, when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sausalito has a wonderful mild climate with very little wind because the Marin Headlands protect the city from the strong Pacific Ocean winds (which keeps the temps higher than S.F).

19 Nov, 2012


Thanks everyone, for the nice comments. I'm glad you all enjoyed the photos. Between my OH & myself, we took almost a thousand photos! A lot of those were of family, of course, but I made sure to take lots of scenery shots, & whenever I spotted flowers or we visited parks, I took lots of pics too. I will do a second blog in a few days. Delonix ... You are absolutely right re the temp differences between SF & Sausilito. After the very high temps in Denver (we were there when those awful fires were raging in Colorado), & the lovely weather in Michigan, we found SF a bit chilly. But when we took the ferry across the bay to Sausilito, we were pleased to discover that it was pleasantly warm & no wind.

19 Nov, 2012


Looks like a lovely trip, especially for you to see your grandchildren if you don't get the chance very often :o)

Really liked those butterfly chairs too :)

19 Nov, 2012



Yes, the best time to go to San Francisco is in late summer or fall. It's the warmest time of the year. I never lived in The City (S.F. because it's too cold)...I always lived in the South Bay or Southern Alameda County where the temps are always 15 - 25 °F. warmer.

20 Nov, 2012


Interesting photos and narrative .... It seems you had a wonderful time :o)
You've got two lovely grand children :o)

21 Nov, 2012


A lovely blog Dywllis, lots of interesting facts and absolutely loved the photographs, your grandchildren look delightful, I was so amused to see them with their flowers, its a shame they are so far away from you and very sad to hear there is one estranged from the family, we had the same situation with my youngest brothers boys, even though we all lived in the same town they weren`t allowed to be in contact with us for nearly 10yrs, even their father, however when old enough to make their own minds up both boys contacted their dad, so all is well now...(A thought for the future)

27 Nov, 2012

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