April 05, 2020 3 min read

Dear Fashion Friends:

I came across this beautiful floral dress from the www.aleyacollections.com website. One of the things that I adore about the AC fashion collection is its selection of floral design patterns. This dress lives up to the AC reputation. The colors are exquisite. I love red roses and yellow roses because they are amorous. Red roses reference, of course, romantic love, and yellow roses pertain to platonic love. Its long flowy design makes it perfect for semi-formal occasions like dinner at Stafford's Weathervane Restaurant in Charlevoix, Michigan (see https://www.staffordsweathervane.com/).

I also love the photograph’s setting. In the background, there is the beautiful night sky and a lit lighthouse. I can imagine Winslow Homer falling in love with this evening scene. In the foreground, there is the rocky landscape, suggesting that the location is either somewhere in New England or Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I prefer to believe it is the latter rather than the former.

As you know, I have a deep affection for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. When I go there, I start my stay in St. Ignace and make my way to Copper Harbor. In St. Ignace, I will stay for a couple of days. I will breakfast at the St. Ignace Truck Stop. I love going there – while my primary care physician discourages it, I cannot help but get the scrambled eggs and corn beef hash. The waitresses always make sure my coffee cup is full. I always enjoy talking with them because they tell me the latest St. Ignace news. They also tell me about their family lives and how their son (or daughter) is looking forward to the new school year. God Bless these beautiful souls.

Afterward, I head out to Mackinac Island, where I spent the morning biking. Afterward, I enjoy a leisurely lunch at the Horn’s Gaslight Bar and Restaurant (see http://www.hornsbar.com/). Iced Tea and a grilled chicken sandwich hit the spot. I love spending time at the Horn’s Bar, because of the service and the clientele. The former come from all over the world. Some come from Michigan; others come from different parts of the United States and Europe. I met one waitress who came from New Zealand to make a bit of money for university. After lunch, I enjoy going to the bookstore. I am always looking for the latest from Michigan authors. Then, I love to spend time going to different churches on the island. One of my favorites is the Little Stone Church. The church has a great website that you might find interesting. Here is a beautiful quote about the church’s name: it “reflects the ecumenical spirit of the founders and their leaders. A few years after it was constructed, the name ‘Little Stone Church’ came into common usage. As member Lorabeth Fitzgerald commented, ‘This name seems to reflect the affection that members and visitors alike hold for this little church’” (see http://www.littlestonechurch.com/history.htm).

I can imagine our model wearing this enchanting floral dress at St. Ignace’s Galley Restaurant. From their table, she and her beloved enjoy the view of the bay and Mackinac Island. They both order salad, whitefish, and baked potato. For dessert, they share a huge slice of blueberry pie and ice cream. Their fellow patrons talk about their day. As they enjoy the food and company, the hostess sits a couple who just arrived in St. Ignace. Having traveled all day, Sophia and Ian look forward to a nice dinner and a pleasant evening walk (see my "Sophia and Ian" stories found on this blog). Our model – who looks around the dining room – is content. All-day she was reminded of Suzanne Kindler’s poem Up North

“It’s the place people go to escape,

a place made of cabins, pine trees and lakes.

But no matter how far you drive,

there’s no sign to say ‘You’ve arrived.’

So just follow your heart til you find,

your special place that brings peace of mind.

As you breathe in the air and unwind,

your cares are all left behind.

It’s no mystery where the northwoods start.

When you’re ‘up north,’

you’ll know in your heart” (see https://upsupply.co/journal/up-north-suzanne-kindler)

I hope your visit to www.alyeacollections.com was enchanting one.


Gabe xoxo

Gabriel Kikas
Gabriel Kikas

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