Mackinac (mac-i-naw) Island is a large island located in Lake Huron where it meets Lake Michigan. Mackinac Island is the only destination on the Loop Jill requested that a stop be made. Her motivation to tour the island is a movie -- "Somewhere in Time." More on that later.
One can reach Mackinac Island by private boat, ferry or airplane. Seems appropriate that the boat harbor has a historic, wooden Chris Craft in residence since that grand boat line was built in Michigan.
One of the covenants of the state park is that no mechanical powered vehicles can be used on the island. All transportation is by foot, bicycle, or horse. There are over 700 draft and pleasure horses on the island during the summer season. The bicycles, parked along the main street of downtown, are few since the photo below was taken in the morning before the ferries began arriving. Later in the day, the street is filled with bicycles and horse-drawn carriages. Three ferry lines operate from St. Ignace, on the northern peninsula of Michigan, and the same three ferry services operate out of Mackinaw City, on the southern peninsula of Michigan. The ferries transport up to 15,000 tourists to the island every day.
|Even UPS deliveries are made by horse-drawn cart|
Mackinac Island is a tourist town, much more than the romantic view of the island would have indicated. Most of the stores were fudge, T-shirt, or gift shops. But, the quality is on a higher plane. The seemingly required putt-putt golf course was beautifully manicured grass rather than tacky, worn carpet.
"Somewhere in Time" is a romantic movie set on Mackinac Island at the Grand Hotel. And, it is a romantic spot. You arrive in a horse-drawn carriage, to the large, old, architecturally beautiful hotel, then greeted by uniformed hotel staff. Everything about the Grand Hotel is patterned after the level of service and manner of the time, when hotels served as summer residences for the wealthy. The grounds are planted with colorful flowers and immaculately groomed.
Knowing that Jill had a reservation for the lunch buffet, the Grand Hotel rolled out the red carpet for her. The buffet was unlike most. All of the food was outstanding - fresh, well prepared, and beautifully presented. Glen made many trips to the seafood table, feasting on smoked salmon and white fish, steamed shrimp, and very cold, raw oysters.
The large porch provides a relaxing spot with a view of the Straits of Mackinac and the engineering marvel bridge that connects the lower and upper peninsulas of Michigan. A young girl rides a bicycle with a cooler filled with CocaCola products so you don't even have to leave your rocker for refreshment.