Sunday, August 11, 2019

Postcards from the Lake: Road Trip to Mackinac Island

The last time I was at Mackinac Island, my cousin's son had started his freshman year at college and I was still working. He's 32 now. Or 33. He has a wife and a baby and a good job. I have retired. Time to return!


My fellow retiree, Mike, hadn't been in ages either and since we both have cottages up north, decided that we'd head off and check it out again. Had anything changed on this wonderful  piece of living nostalgia in the years since either of us had been? I'll tell you soon -- but meanwhile, let's start with the boat ride!


Mackinac Island is located in the Straits of Mackinac, which divide Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas. Connecting the two peninsulas is the Mackinac Bridge.


When built, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world (and to be honest, I still get heebie-jeebie driving over it.)


Our ferry ride to the island didn't go over it, but under it, a view I'd never seen before.


With a bright blue sky and only the pretty, puffy clouds, it was a perfect day for our excursion.


When you land, this is what you see -- a foreground of boats in the marina and a background of hills with cottages high on a bluff (with quite a view) and the historic fort where the first shot of the War of 1812 was fired.


And when you get off the boat -- this is what you see. A charming mainstreet with horse drawn carriage and taxis and loads of bicycles.


Visiting Mackinac Island is a multi sensory experience. Sight? There are plenty -- gorgeous old homes that are now guest houses.


Beautiful gardens.


Wonderful views of Lake Huron.


Sounds -- there are no cars on Mackinac Island so one sound you hear often are horses, drawing the carriages.


This white horse is the tallest horse on the Island, we are told.


And I learned that horses stand like this on their back feet to balance and steady their weight while at rest. But if they do it on their front foot, the horse is lame. Who knew?


And you'll hear the rolling of large carts carrying supplies to the various restaurants. This beer cart was pulled by several horses.


Smell -- Well, there are three smells you'll find with great ease on the island. The smell of the above mentioned horses (they do a very good job of cleaning up after them -- street sweepers are everywhere with buckets of water and clean-up equipment); the smells from the demonstrations of canons and rifles at the fort (for a future post) and fudge.


You can't go to the island without buying fudge. It's why they call the tourists Fudgies. (Actually, you can -- because I didn't get fudge. But I wanted to.) It smelled fabulous. There must be 20 fudge shops on the island -- most two or three doors away from another and often more than one of the same company. Murdick's is the "original."


Taste -- If fudge isn't your thing, lunch might be and there is no end to the spots where you can dine. We chose Millie's on Main which had delicious sandwiches and for Island food, very well priced.


Or, you can pick up a snack (or bring your own) and enjoy it on a picnic table overlooking the water. There is loads of park land and wonderful natural sites for bikers and hikers so if you have good feet or feel so inclined you can venture farther from the town's center to explore.


The photo below is from VERY long ago (c. 1975, maybe?) when I went to the island with friends and we had a wonderful time skipping the smooth stones we found in the shallows.


As you turn up the side streets, you'll come to the stables, and I greatly admired their hollyhocks!


The gardens in front of the houses are always lovely and well maintained. I wonder how they feel about having hundreds of tourists snap photos? Probably pretty proud!


And actually, who wouldn't want to shoot photos of lovely spots like this?


Although we didn't venture to the Grand Hotel on this day, here's a shot from a previous trip. It still looks the same with its long porch.


And, as seen from the ferry!


If the Grand Hotel and other sites on the island look familiar to you, it may be you are a fan of the movie "Somewhere in Time" with Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve. It was shot on the island (and they allowed a car for one scene!). I've not seen it in ages but after my visit, might check it out. You can buy all sorts of "Somewhere in Time" memorabilia on the island and the Grand Hotel has an annual "Somewhere in Time" weekend. For $1,179, you, too, can attend (includes meals and accommodations and sometimes Jane Seymour, along with author talks. Of course, real fans can find a map to locations online and check out various sites on their own. If you're a fan of the film, this site highlights some of the locations.


 Of course in time, all good days come to an end...


...but ours hasn't yet. Next time we'll step back into history.


But so far, fresh as a daisy!

Sharing with:  Best of the Weekend     

50 comments:

thepaintedapron.com said...

What a charming spot Jeanie, such a fun day trip! Love all the flowers and that no cars are allowed!
Jenna

Pam said...

Now this looks like my kind of place. Love it all. Esp the houses. Looks like a lot of fun.

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

I haven't been to Mackinac Island in years and you've made me want to go back. I did sign up for a lecture coming up soon on the history of the cottages of Mackinac. Our senior hall did a three day trip there last summer and they stayed at the Grand Hotel but you had to room with someone else from the center. That and the cost of going plus putting Levi in a kennel made it a really hard choice. I had to turn it down. Loved this post!!!!!!

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

One of my favorite spots. I love riding bikes all the way around the island and getting away from Main Street. Love the fort too.

Valerie-Jael said...

What a gorgeous place you visited, so much to see and enjoy. And the toffee sounds good, but I don't know if my teeth would think the same! I'm in love with that bridge, and would love to cross over it, wow! Fantastic horses, too. Have a good, new week, hugs, Valerie

Sandi said...

So beautiful, Jeanie! The 1975 photo made me smile. That's how I remember Michigan! I have a few of those type of photos, and fashions, myself. :) We moved South in the mid-80's, so I imagine Michigan as we left it.

Nikki-ann said...

What a wonderful place. I'd so love to visit.

bobbie said...

I LOVE that movie!! It was the first time I'd seen the island; going there is on my bucket list ~
Thanks for sharing all your wonderful pix!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Your cheque from the Mackinac Tourist Board should be substantial! Looks like a charming place to be sure.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I have always love seeing photos of this beautiful island and I don't know why it's not on my bucket list..it IS now! What a perfect time to visit! The flowers are beautiful and there are amazing sights to see every where you look! How refreshing!

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

Mackinac Island looks beautiful, the Grand Hotel looks like an amazing place. My hubby would love the fudge. I love the cute homes, beautiful flowers and gardens. The bridge reminds me of the bridge over the Chesapeake Bay here in Maryland. Great visit and trip photos. Enjoy your day, wishing you a great new week ahead.

DUTA said...

The island is indeed ideal for a movie setting!
Kudos to you for your gorgeous pictures!

Miss Val's Creations said...

What a gorgeous location. That main street is full of charm. How perfect it must be with no cars. Fudge would have been a must for me. Bridges have always made me uncomfortable. It is so bad that I used to have recurring nightmares about driving on a bridge and it suddenly collapsing. Morbid, I know!

Joyful said...

What a charming place to visit. It's so beautiful. It looked like a perfect day to be out on the water too :-)

Susan Kane said...

We saw "Somewhere in Time", fell in love with the Island. You gave me a tour and a desire to go there.

Prims By The Water said...

Always love Mackinac Island. We buy our fudge on the mainland though as it is cheaper. I HATE going over the bridge. Janice

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

How interesting. I was taken by the suspension bridge. I'm a big fan of homemade fudge, so they would get me, I'm sure.

That green house you showed, in my opinion, was UGLY. Sorry, just too much going on and not in a good way. Some of the other places were gorgeous, though.

Iris Flavia said...

Oh, you made me laugh straight away, thank you :-)
32, 33... I once called hubby asking for help with a "modem". It was his Birthday - I forgot!
That bridge looks rather frightening (and yes, I can swim). From the point of an engineer beautiful, though. Statics... yes, I did it (I managed might be more the truth).
Oh, that street! Beautiful! The verandah! The little details! And the lake. No cars... horses. I remember "Alexander" - he was tall, certainly. And so sweet.
Fudge! I had to look it up and wasn´t sure at first - sweets or "fake" like the money on Cuba! (Yes, keep on reading before looking up, I know)
Oh, what a very lovely photo with the stone-skipping! The cahrm of these old pictures where pixels were of value...
You made me smile big with those last words, too.

Evi Erlinda said...

A very beautiful island :)

Victoria Zigler said...

Sounds wonderful there... Glad you got to go back and see how it had changed.

Oh, and I knew that about the horses.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

What a charming, beautiful place! I love the fact that there are no cars. They must be quite used to people taking pictures all the time. -Jenn

La Table De Nana said...

I fell in love w/ the island through the eyes of Kelle Hampton that I follow on IG and the web..certainly an island to visit:) Reminds me of MV in a small small way..but a big way too:) Lovely

Joanne Huffman said...

I haven't been to Mackinac Island for 17 years - time to think about going back.

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

Great photos of your trip to the island! It’s such a memorable experience to go there. The absence of cars and the noise is refreshing. I can’t leave the island without at least one package of fudge!

Rita C at Panoply said...

Lovely! One of my daughter's friend's mother is from that area, and I always thought it looked to be a great place to vacation in summer. Great photos to entice!

My name is Erika. said...

I enjoy that movie and I am glad you confirmed for me that's where it was filmed. And wow, what a gorgeous island. I have only been to the airport in Detroit and never anywhere else in Michigan, and I think it looks like a wonderful place to visit. Wow, the island is really really beautiful. I might skip the Somewhere in Time weekend as it is a bit out of my price range, but I would love to visit it, just to see. Thanks so much for sharing. Hugs-Erika

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

I haven't been there in years either....one other great smell in the spring are the lilacs!

Marilyn Miller said...

This has always been on my bucket list. Your pictures tell me I would love it. How beautiful! The gardens, water, and food all would entice me. Fudge, though I would also love the fragrance, I could skip. Amazing that they have so many fudge shops.

Mike said...

It was a great day trip, made special by your company. Thanks for doing such a fine job of recording it. Let’s do it again in a few.

Sandra Cox said...

This really makes me want to visit. I've never been there but it looks glorious.

Ricki Treleaven said...

I love the movie Somewhere In TIme, and I've always wanted to visit Mackinac Island because of it. I enjoyed your tour, and I loved the Hollyhocks in that one photo. I tried growing them once many years ago, and I was completely unsuccessful.

Anonymous said...

Just a wonderful post today, so colorful and interesting.
Thoroughly enjoyed everything.
Phyllis

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

I did like seeing the Grand Hotel and I have not seen Somewhere in Time, but know it is an oldie. Thanks for this tour of Mackinac Island. I liked reading that there are no cars on the island, just the horses, carts and so many bicycles. The fudge would have been hard for us to resists if we were visiting.

Pamela said...

This looks charming! A gorgeous day.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Jeanie, I loved visiting this beautiful spot with you! How exciting to return with your friend on such a beautiful day. The flowers, the horses, the houses, and the food (especially the fudge) are all beautiful! I love that there are no cars. A step back in time if only for a little while. Thank you.

Karen said...

What a pretty place. I'd love to visit.

shoreacres said...

My mother got to visit there, and she told me I'd like it. From your photos, I'd say she was right! It is a lovely place, and your photos are delightful.

Powdered Toast Man said...

i love bridges. They are an architectural wonder.

krishna said...

What a lovely place to visit!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Going to Mackinac Island is a great vacation! wonderful photos Jeanie!

Doodle T said...

What fun! I love that movie and the island looks fabulous...is the Grand Hotel open year round??? or just for the summer??

Jenny Woolf said...

Anywhere without cars sounds like my kind of place. A wonderful spot for a day out! I love hollyhocks but havent had great success in growing them, apart from by accident - one once grew out of a drain! It was wonderful although not to be repeated the following year! :)

Sami said...

Wow, what a pretty place Jeanie. Loved that main road, the cute houses, the beautiful gardens.
But I wouldn't leave without fudge for sure!

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Jeanie, you have only increased my interest in visiting Mackinac Island. It is a spot on this earth I have always wanted to visit, mainly to attend the Lilac Festival. This was a lovely post - thank you.

William Kendall said...

Beautiful shots! I've been to the island once, in childhood. I've crossed the bridge on a handful of occasions.

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, this gorgeous island is on my bucket list! You definitely captured its loveliness, and I so remember that wonderful movie. Mackinac Island feels like a step back in time. Thanks for taking me along, it was a pleasure!

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

Thank you for the tour! I have wanted to go to Mackinac Island for a long time, as a friend who lives in Michigan has always raved about it. It looks like my kind of place - I know I'd love it!

Red Rose Alley said...

What a history place, Jeanie. I love to browse through museums and forts like this. Wow, look at that child's buggy. The island surrounding it is lovely. That is really something that they were dressed up in their 1880's outfits and answered questions that the public had. You always seem to go to the most interesting places, my friend. : )

~Sheri

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

How beautiful! Your photos of Mackinac Island reminds me of Martha's Vineyard off Massachusetts, except only a ferry will bring one to that island as there is no bridge. I like fudge and would definitely look for a nutty chocolate one

Lowcarb team member said...

What a glorious place to visit, your photographs are so lovely.

All the best Jan

Popular Posts