Questions You've Heard If You Live On Beaver Island

Questions You've Heard If You Live On Beaver Island

Let's put these queries to rest
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I've lived on an island in Lake Michigan for a large chunk of my life, about seven or eight years. My family moved to Beaver Island when I was going into fifth grade. We had been visiting the island for years, so my mom wanted to give it a try. Ever since then, I've called Beaver Island home. Understandably, when people find out about where I live, they tend to have a lot of questions. Sure, it can get a little annoying to answer the same questions over and over, but I tend to forget that most people don't live on islands. Of course people are going to be curious. Heck, I would be too if the roles were reversed. However, sometimes people ask questions that are... a little odd. Here are some of the funniest and most frequent questions my fellow islanders and I get asked:

1. Is it actually an island?

This is, by far, the question that I get asked most often. I don't particularly understand why. Are there lots of places with "island" in the name that turn out to not be islands? Have people deceived you by saying they lived on an island, but it turned out they were lying so now you're weary? Even though I get asked this all the time, I never really know how to respond.

2. Do you have cars?

Most Michiganders are familiar with Mackinaw Island, which is pretty famous for not having any cars (except emergency vehicles). They travel by horse-drawn carriages, and in the winter they use snowmobiles. That sounds great in theory, but Mackinaw Island is way smaller than Beaver Island, so it would take forever to get anywhere that isn't right on main street. Plus, I'm not a big fan of the smell of horse manure.

3. Do you have electricity/phones?

Sure, on the surface these questions seem innocent enough and not particularly funny. It seems that people sometimes ask these questions whilst talking on the phone with someone that is currently on the island. If you called someone and they pick up, odds are within range of somewhere that has electricity.

4. Is there a bridge?

Nope, although I certainly wouldn't be against a bridge. However, I've been told that building a bridge 32 miles long would be too expensive.

5. Then how do you get there?

Just like you would get anywhere else when a large body of water is in your way: by boat, or by plane. Sure, you could wait until the lake freezes and try walking, but you probably shouldn't.

6. Is there a school/how many kids did you graduate with?

Yes, there's a school that covers kindergarten through twelfth grade. There are around fifty to sixty kids enrolled currently, and when I was in school, there were four other girls in my grade. Needless to say, the dating pool was small in high school.

7. What's the name of the lake on the other side of the island?

Again, not a completely outrageous question, except this person was not asking about the inland lakes. No, they wanted to know what lake was around the other side of the island. It's Lake Michigan all the way around, folks.

8. Do you sell meat on the island?

Not everyone is a dedicated vegetarian. Is being vegetarian an island stereotype or something?

9. Do you have fast food restaurants?

Nope. No McDonald's, no Burger King, No Wendy's, nothing. In fact, we don't have any kind of chain stores. When I moved off the island for college, I was elated that I was able to order a pizza at practically any time of day. I still get a rush when I call up Domino's past 10 PM.

10. Where do you go shopping?

We have this cool little shop called Amazon.com. Super small, but it has everything you could possibly want! Sarcasm aside, we do have a grocery store and other little shops, but most people order stuff online or go shopping when they go to the mainland (yes, we do actually call it "the mainland").

11. Do you have a Beaver Island license plate?

Every state has it's own cute license plate design and I certainly wouldn't be against getting a special Beaver Island plate for my car. Unfortunately, Beaver Island is not it's own state. We are a part of Michigan.

12. Where are the fudge shops?

Check Lake Huron.


Special thanks to Hannah Robert, Jenna Battle, Sally Stebbins, Lori Sounders, Alexandra Dartt, Deborah Robert, Courtney Smith, Cynthia Johnson, Andrea Moore, John Mcneil, Patrick McGinnity, Clairessa Rose, and Susi Myers for sharing their experiences.

Cover Image Credit: Fresh Air Aviation

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Your Wait time At Theme Parks Is Not Unfair, You're Just Impatient

Your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself.

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Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios "unboxed" on June 30, 2018. My friend and I decided to brave the crowds on opening day. We got to the park around 7 AM only to find out that the park opened around 6 AM. Upon some more scrolling through multiple Disney Annual Passholder Facebook groups, we discovered that people were waiting outside the park as early as 1 AM.

We knew we'd be waiting in line for the bulk of the Toy Story Land unboxing day. There were four main lines in the new land: the line to enter the land; the line for Slinky Dog Dash, the new roller coaster; the line for Alien Spinning Saucers, the easier of the new rides in the land; Toy Story Mania, the (now old news) arcade-type ride; and the new quick-service restaurant, Woody's Lunchbox (complete with grilled cheese and "grown-up drinks").

Because we were so early, we did not have to wait in line to get into the land. We decided to ride Alien Spinning Saucers first. The posted wait time was 150 minutes, but my friend timed the line and we only waited for 50 minutes. Next, we tried to find the line for Slinky Dog Dash. After receiving conflicting answers, the runaround, and even an, "I don't know, good luck," from multiple Cast Members, we exited the land to find the beginning of the Slinky line. We were then told that there was only one line to enter the park that eventually broke off into the Slinky line. We were not about to wait to get back into the area we just left, so we got a Fastpass for Toy Story Mania that we didn't plan on using in order to be let into the land sooner. We still had to wait for our time, so we decided to get the exclusive Little Green Man alien popcorn bin—this took an entire hour. We then used our Fastpass to enter the land, found the Slinky line, and proceeded to wait for two and a half hours only for the ride to shut down due to rain. But we've come this far and rain was not about to stop us. We waited an hour, still in line and under a covered area, for the rain to stop. Then, we waited another hour and a half to get on the ride from there once it reopened (mainly because they prioritized people who missed their Fastpass time due to the rain). After that, we used the mobile order feature on the My Disney Experience app to skip part of the line at Woody's Lunchbox.

Did you know that there is actually a psychological science to waiting? In the hospitality industry, this science is the difference between "perceived wait" and "actual wait." A perceived wait is how long you feel like you are waiting, while the actual wait is, of course, the real and factual time you wait. There are eight things that affect the perceived wait time: unoccupied time feels longer than occupied time, pre-process waits feel longer than in-process waits, anxiety makes waits feel longer, uncertain waits are longer than certain waits, unexplained waits are longer than explained waits, unfair waits are longer than equitable waits, people will wait longer for more valuable service and solo waiting feels longer than group waiting.

Our perceived wait time for Alien Spinning Saucers was short because we expected it to be longer. Our wait for the popcorn seemed longer because it was unoccupied and unexplained. Our wait for the rain to stop so the ride could reopen seemed shorter because it was explained. Our wait between the ride reopening and getting on the coaster seemed longer because it felt unfair for Disney to let so many Fastpass holders through while more people waited through the rain. Our entire wait for Slinky Dog Dash seemed longer because we were not told the wait time in the beginning. Our wait for our food after placing a mobile order seemed shorter because it was an in-process wait. We also didn't mind wait long wait times for any of these experiences because they were new and we placed more value on them than other rides or restaurants at Disney. The people who arrived at 1 AM just added five hours to their perceived wait

Some non-theme park examples of this science of waiting in the hospitality industry would be waiting at a restaurant, movie theater, hotel, performance or even grocery store. When I went to see "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," the power went out in the theater right as we arrived. Not only did we have to wait for it to come back and for them to reset the projectors, I had to wait in a bit of anxiety because the power outage spooked me. It was only a 30-minute wait but felt so much longer. At the quick-service restaurant where I work, we track the time from when the guest places their order to the time they receive their food. Guests in the drive-thru will complain about 10 or more minute waits, when our screens tell us they have only been waiting four or five minutes. Their actual wait was the four or five minutes that we track because this is when they first request our service, but their perceived wait begins the moment they pull into the parking lot and join the line because this is when they begin interacting with our business. While in line, they are experiencing pre-process wait times; after placing the order, they experience in-process wait times.

Establishments in the hospitality industry do what they can to cut down on guests' wait times. For example, theme parks offer services like Disney's Fastpass or Universal's Express pass in order to cut down the time waiting in lines so guests have more time to buy food and merchandise. Stores like Target or Wal-Mart offer self-checkout to give guests that in-process wait time. Movie theaters allow you to check in and get tickets on a mobile app and some quick-service restaurants let you place mobile or online orders. So why do people still get so bent out of shape about being forced to wait?

On Toy Story Land unboxing day, I witnessed a woman make a small scene about being forced to wait to exit the new land. Cast Members were regulating the flow of traffic in and out of the land due to the large crowd and the line that was in place to enter the land. Those exiting the land needed to wait while those entering moved forward from the line. Looking from the outside of the situation as I was, this all makes sense. However, the woman I saw may have felt that her wait was unfair or unexplained. She switched between her hands on her hips and her arms crossed, communicated with her body language that she was not happy. Her face was in a nasty scowl at those entering the land and the Cast Members in the area. She kept shaking her head at those in her group and when allowed to proceed out of the land, I could tell she was making snide comments about the wait.

At work, we sometimes run a double drive-thru in which team members with iPads will take orders outside and a sequencer will direct cars so that they stay in the correct order moving toward the window. In my experience as the sequencer, I will inform the drivers which car to follow, they will acknowledge me and then still proceed to dart in front of other cars just so they make it to the window maybe a whole minute sooner. Not only is this rude, but it puts this car and the cars around them at risk of receiving the wrong food because they are now out of order. We catch these instances more often than not, but it still adds stress and makes the other guests upset. Perhaps these guests feel like their wait is also unfair or unexplained, but if they look at the situation from the outside or from the restaurant's perspective, they would understand why they need to follow the blue Toyota.

The truth of the matter is that your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself. We all want instant gratification, I get it. But in reality, we have to wait for some things. It takes time to prepare a meal. It takes time to experience a ride at a theme park that everyone else wants to go on. It takes time to ring up groceries. It takes patience to live in this world.

So next time you find yourself waiting, take a minute to remember the difference between perceived and actual wait times. Think about the eight aspects of waiting that affect your perceived wait. Do what you can to realize why you are waiting or keep yourself occupied in this wait. Don't be impatient. That's no way to live your life.

Cover Image Credit:

Aranxa Esteve

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6 Places you have to visit In Alabama

You know what they say, "Alabama the beautiful," right? Here are 6 beautiful places to visit throughout the state of Alabama.

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6. Prattville Wilderness Park/Bamboo Forest

Prattville Parks and Facilities


This park has huge oriental bamboo soaring 60 feet to form a canopy in the sky. Along with the giant bamboo, the park is home to the state's second largest breech tree. While in Prattville, you can also visit the set of the movie "Big Fish".

5. Colleges within Alabama

Anniston Star- JSU

With several universities within the state, it could make a fun trip just to see how beautiful the campuses really are. University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) located in Tuscaloosa, AL, Auburn University located in Auburn, AL, University of North Alabama located in Florence, AL, and Jacksonville State University (Go Gamecocks!) located in Jacksonville, AL, are a few really pretty campuses within the state. I might be a little biased about JSU, though. 😉

4. Dismals Canyon

North Alabama Hiking

With it located in Northwest Alabama Dismals Canyon is an 85 acre natural conservatory that is privately owned and operated. It is a 1.5 mile hiking trail with the temperature running 14 degrees below Alabama's summer average. The canyon provides the perfect habitat for the unique insects, known as Dismalites, to survive. These insects emit bright blue-green lights to attract flying insects as food.

3. Natchez Trace Parkway

Natchez Trace Parkway- Rock Spring

The middle part of the Trace travels through northwest Alabama. Alabama's section of the Trace is 33 miles long and crosses over the Tennessee River. There are several towns off the trace along the way, that you can stop off in to visit. A few of the main attractions throughout Alabama include Rock Spring, which is a small natural spring with a twenty minute walking trail to show you around the area. After completing the walk, you might decide to pull off your shoes and dangle your feet in the cool water. One more is the Colbert Ferry. Visit: https://www.natcheztracetravel.com/natchez-trace-alabama/florence-tennessee-river/124-colbert-ferry.html to find out more about the Colbert Ferry.

2. Cheaha State Park

Alabama State Parks

Located in Delta, Alabama, Cheaha State Park is where the highest point in Alabama rests at 2,407 feet above sea level. This park just so happens to be named by the Native American "Creek" nation in Muskogee language, with "Chaha" meaning "high place."

1. Gulf Shores

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Not just Gulf Shores, but all the other beaches along Alabama's coast. Many people may not realize that Alabama has a Gulf Coast front, but we sure do! The Gulf State Park has beaches, trails and a pier to visit while you're down there.

Alabama is known for football, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, and numerous other things, but maybe now you see how pretty the state can be. Proud to be from Alabama is an understatement.

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Flickr

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