Friday, July 8, 2011

Another Check Mark off My Bucket List on an Island full of Chocolate Fudge & Horse Manure

It all began with another boat ride (well, after a two-hour car drive).  I swear I have been on the water so much this week, I should be growing a mermaid fin!
We boarded an 83-ft./150-person ferry like this one and after an enjoyable sixteen minute ride

 we walked down the dock and on to Mackinac Island, Michigan.

I know many of you have heard of this island. For those who have not, its main claim to fame is that no motor vehicles are allowed on the island.  Its second claim to fame is  the Grand Hotel followed closely by its fudge. There is a fudge shop on every corner.

You get from point A to point B on foot, horse or bicycle.

 Hence, the sweet smell of horse manure and chocolate fudge that wafts through one's nostrils as you step off the dock and onto Main street of downtown Mackinac Island.

Can you even imagine having everything done by horses? This appears to be the equivalent to our  UPS delivery trucks!

We chose to begin our tour of the island with a two-hour narrated carriage ride pulled by Beau and Cory and narrated by Ashleen:

I am only showing you the end of our two-hour tour as that is where my bucket list check mark comes in to play. Here we are approaching the Grand Hotel where we opted to end our tour and walk back to the downtown area after we toured this magnificent hotel:
See the arrow? That is the Cupola Bar smack dab at the top of the Grand Hotel. But before we get there, we need to walk up the red-carpeted steps of the Grand--right after we pay $10 per person for the privilege....yes, you cannot walk into the Grand until you pay $10 (unless you are staying overnight there-- in which case you would be picked up at the dock by a very grand-looking carriage and black top-hatted driver who would drop you off right at the steps, like these ladies:
The cost for one night at the Grand is something like $350.00 and up.

So the $20 we paid to get into the building seemed very reasonable.

That's me on the porch -- I am the one who matches the awnings!

The Grand Hotel boasts the longest wooden white porch in the world at 660 feet and the entire  660 feet is filled with red geranium planters.
 It is also known for the dozens of white rockers that line the long porch.

No trip to the Grand is complete until you have sat in one of those rockers.
I am the one in yellow sitting in the idea who the couple in the front of me is....DH is not that great as a photographer--most people would wait until they had passed before taking the pic.  He says that lady looks a lot like me--I had not noticed, but I think he's right! LOL.

After a short time in the rocker we went into the hotel. What a grand old lobby!
But the place I wanted to go was the Cupola Bar.  That's my bucket list entry--go to the top of the Grand Hotel and have a drink.  So we took the elevator up four floors...I ordered a glass of wine and DH had a beer (another $20 w/tip).

Ah, but the view was spectacular!
Does this pool look familiar to anyone?

It is the Ester Williams heated 500,000-gallon, 220-foot long serpentine-shaped pool. The pool was built and is named for the actress Esther Williams who starred in the 1947 movie, “This Time For Keeps”, portions of which were filmed on Mackinac Island and at the Grand Hotel.   According to our tour guide, Ester Williams did not even swim in this pool that was built for the movie.  It was too cold for her, so they built an exact duplicate pool in Florida and she did the swimming scenes there!

As we were leaving, I snapped this great view of the Mackinac Bridge from the Grand Hotel Porch:

While reading this have any of you wondered why the streets of Mackinac Island are not full or horse poop?  Well, Mackinac Island employs quite a few pooper scoopers.....HUMAN pooper scoopers... on bicycle, like this man:
Yup, as soon as the horses do their duty, someone is right behind them, sweeping it up.  Now there is a job for those who like to work outdoors!

I had a wonderful two days away from home, but I was excited to get back to see how far the new porch had progressed.

Very soon I will have my own white front porch, albeit 652 feet shorter than the Grand! 

Thank you all for your kind comments during the past two days.  I had posts set to go, but could not answer any because I was not home and I did not want to announce that I would be gone.  I hope you all understand.


  1. This looks like so much fun!

  2. zoey, I would've known that was you because the yellow purse matched the yellow jacket!! :)
    Looks like the porch is coming along so nicely. I am glad to hear there will still be a yew! I appreciate you letting me know about the bulbs and the guarantee. Nothing to lose, I guess.
    Cannot wait to see what you do with the porch.

  3. That looks like a great bucket list item. My MIL went there years ago w/o camera. But your pictures are beautiful!
    you were a smart girl to leave while construction is going on at your house!
    Have a beautiful weekend!

  4. I enjoyed the tour! Laughed at your comment of DH taking the photo of you in the corner and the other couple centered in the photo- Michael takes photos like that. Glad you got to sit in the rocker, have a drink and mark it off your list. I will have to visit that if I go. Too funny about the human pooper scoopers. Everyone's gotta have a job. hahah. Enjoyed your post- I will be back! And it looks like your porch is coming along!!! Exciting! Will you have white rockers is the question!

  5. Wonderful trip. And your porch looks wonderful. What fun to go on a great trip and come home to something great.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  6. I'm glad you had a great day trip. I had to chuckle at the title. : ) It reminds me of some of the beach resorts I've been to minus horses. I'm not sure if Esther Williams was really an actress, but you know how the movies were in those days-full of big production numbers. I believe she was married to an actor-Fernando Lomaz (I have to ask mom or Google).
    I think the last bucket list thing I did was climb those lighthouse steps a few years ago.

  7. Oh my! How I enjoyed this post!!!! Thank you so much for the tour!

  8. What a beautiful place! If I ever get to Michigan, I will have to check this place out. My hubby is a master photographer like yours - strange people, unfocused pics are what I get too. Your porch looks great - can't wait to see it finished!

  9. Zoey, you had me giggling about you being the lady who matches the awnings, lol. You are always color-coordinated, but wow, you even match your surroundings!

    We've often thought about going to Mackinac Island but just haven't ever gotten around to it. Sounds pricey, though, which is one of the reasons we haven't done it yet. Seems so odd to see all those people and no cars, must be a refreshing change of pace since I kinda like the smell of horse exhaust.

    The porch on the grand hotel is amazing, but I think yours is even more amazing. They sure did get a lot of work done while you were gone, fantastic!

  10. Zoey, I adore this post! We were in Mackinac a few years ago, plan to go again next summer and my appetite for this trip has been whetted - I'd like to go right now. It's a fabulous place!
    Blessings, Beth


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