Have you ever been to Mackinac Island in the winter? I’m one of the 452 people who live here year round.
I love where I live, especially in the winter. One of the greatest things about living here in the winter is the transformation that happens from tourist destination to small town. Our population shrinks quickly. Shops, restaurants, hotels and other nonessential services close for about 6 months. There are a few places open in the winter, but they are normal small town things….school, fire department, police department, post office, medical center, library, bank, hardware store, grocery store, two restaurants and city offices. There are a couple lodging options open. Many properties and businesses use the winter months for construction, remodeling, updates and maintenance.
Quite a bit of work takes place behind the scenes at Great Turtle Toys too. The music gets turned up a lot louder. We fly kites, regardless of the temperature or if anyone else is around to appreciate it. The store gets a fresh coat of paint. We build new displays, and take apart others. We move things around, hang more kites, clean everything and play with the demos. But the most important thing we do is look for new toys to bring to our store. We go on buying trips to Atlanta, Las Vegas and New York City.
This season we will have many fun new products and some old ones that got updated. AstroJax will be back. We revamped our game section with many group games and family favorites. Mermaid Tails and other fun water toys are on their way. I am super excited to announce that we will be bringing LEGO back to the island this spring. Stay tuned….
I made an Easter basket for Ben, the owner of the store. LOTS of jelly beans inside those eggs!! Happy Easter, Ben! From June, Best Employee Ever
....lots of jelly beans...
Little does he know, but he's in for a surprise....
The eggs are filled with BeanBoozled® Jelly Belly jelly beans. Have you taken the challenge? It's a tale of two beans. They look the same, but they sure taste different.
The black Licorice bean looks exactly like the Skunk Spray bean! Sweet, luscious Caramel Corn might also be Moldy Cheese. He may think he's tasting the world-famous Buttered Popcorn bean, but what he'll be biting into could actually be Rotten Egg.
and April Fool's!!
MLive did a great job capturing what it's like to be one of the 500 year round residents.
What is National Kite Month?
Every year in April Kite enthusiasts across North America celebrate the history and the future of the world’s favorite pastime by letting their kites fly. It is a month to celebrate the joy and happiness that comes from letting out the line, letting your kite catch the wind, and letting that kite soar high into the sky.
April was chosen as National Kite Month because it was the month that perfectly symbolized hope, potential, and joy. As the first month in Spring, it is when most kite fliers are starting to bring their kites out of the closet and prepare for a summer on the beach. It is the month that while we spring clean and dust off the cobwebs, we can look fondly back on the memories of the year before while looking towards a bright future. April is also the month that we see the last of the snow giving way to green lawns, a month that we are eager to get outside and be active. So why not do it with a kite this year?
What Can YOU do?
Go fly a kite. Seriously, GO FLY A KITE! That is the best part about celebrating National Kite Month, it is really easy to celebrate! The more you fly a kite the more you are celebrating! So fly a kite, fly a kite often, and get those around you to fly kites with you!
March 15, 10pm
Bois Blanc Island, Michigan
It is 18* and feels like 5* with the wind coming out of the northwest at 14mph with 23mph gusts.
Winter kite flying demands an extreme level of passion. Ben Nye has it. He has been flying the 16 ft delta since yesterday at 3:58pm. 30 hours down, 150 to go to break the World Record for longest duration of outdoor kite flight.
Sweet 16 Delta
Kite by Into the Wind, 75ft transition tail by Prism Kites
Update: After 40 hours of flight, the wind dropped, and so did the kite.
What goes up...
And while this quest for the World Record has ended, Ben Nye, Kite Flyer Extraordinaire, will try again. Stay tuned...
Ben Nye, Kite Flyer Extraordinaire, is attempting to break the World Record for Longest Duration of Flight- outdoors.
The current record is 180 hours, 17 minutes. Under the direction of Harry Osborne, the Edmonds Community College kite team at Long Beach, Washington, kept a J-25 parafoil aloft from August 21-29, 1982.
At 3:58 pm, Wednesday March 14, Ben launched a 16 foot delta with a 75 ft tail.
As of 12:10pm today, the kite is still flying! It is up 1000 feet on 500 lb test.
At 1000 feet up, the 16 foot kite looks tiny!
Great Turtle Toys has a team of three that works through the winter while the store is sleeping.
Ben, the owner, is in charge of construction, creative displays and inspirational vision.
Dawn, the General Manager, is responsible for the business side of the store, and keeping Ben and June on task.
June, the Store Manager and the only one of the three living on Mackinac Island, is cleaning, organizing the store and storage space, building the new website and updating social media.
All three work as a team ordering new toys and hiring new employees.
full time and part time positions
Both summer only and full season (may - October)
We are now accepting applications for employment for the 2018 season. If you are bright, playful, outgoing and hardworking, we'd love to have you on our team! We offer:
- competitive pay
- extensive sales training
- bonus programs
- fun work environment.