Having 3 nights in St Ignace we decided to take our chances when deciding which day to take the Hydro Jet Ferry to Mackinac Island. Do we go on a day that is warmer but has rain OR do we wait and go on Saturday when it’s colder but the Sun is supposed to shine?
Well – we decided on the warmer day and since I’m writing this on Saturday – the Sun IS shining, no clouds in the sky at all and the temps have not gone over 50 all day. And it’s a cold feeling 50. We picked the right day! And as it turned out, the rain and fog that we had made for some cool pictures.
Since the ferry lines here have free shuttles, we didn’t even unload the Smart. We arrived on the island about 925am and it’s the usual dock/tourist shops all along Huron St/Main St. And every other one is a Fudge Shop. So we went in Joann’s Fudge and got some coffee and a sample of their fudge, of course. We checked out their Grocery Store – Oldest One in America! For a town that uses only Horse and Buggy or Bicycles for their mode of transporation….there was lots of noise of new construction going up. HAHAHA Kind of ironic. However, once you get away from that one small area it does transport you to another time when you see no engine powered vehicles.
We walked all over – away from the tourist lined streets. Since it was raining, we chose to not go in the Fort. Came up behind the Grand Hotel Golf Course….even in the rain there were lots of players – including a high school team.
The Grand Hotel (opened in 1887) and has a 660 feet Porch the entire length on the front of the hotel, lined with white rocking chairs. To enter the hotel you have to pay $10/each but that gives you access to all floors (except the rooms areas), the shops, gallery, bathrooms, and then if you have lunch in the Grand Ballroom they deduct $10 from your lunch price. $45/each for a HUGE buffet/including coffee, tea, lemonade. We debated – all of about 2 minutes! YEP – we did it. Turned out we spent almost 3 hours inside the hotel. Read the plaques about the building of, the visitors, etc. The buffet offered a huge selection from Duck to Roast Pork and Oysters on the Half Shell and Boiled Shrimp. Anyway, we were seated at a window seat looking out on the porch and front view of the grounds. So, it was a very nice time inside the warmth and dryness of the Grand Hotel. Google and you can read lots of fun facts.
The way each shop receives their goods – these items are delivered from the various ferries arriving each day. Think about it…if you live on an island that has a circumference of 8 miles there are no Lowe’s to go by a new washer, etc. It certainly is a different way of life. And, because Lake Michigan freezes over….you are completely cut off from the mainland part of the year.
The oldest grocery store!
Inside the Grand Hotel.
The Art Gallery inside the Grand Hotel!
A really nice Wine Bar/sitting room for just reading. YEP you can pick any of the books from the shelves. Vans – I told Dad this room is where we would hang out!
660 feet long porch. (this is half of it)
A view from the copula of the Mackinac Bridge. White is a layer of fog.
Lighthouse in the Fog.
The Grand Hotel.
Another lighthouse in the fog.
The Grand Hotel – arriving hotel guests.
Sculpture on the back streets.
Steeple in the fog.
A lighthouse we passed on the Hydro Jet Ferry going back to the Mainland.Even though the day was mostly rainy and foggy, we have a good time on the Island. But we both agree, Once Is Enough! There was a odor of horse poo – everywhere!!!! What else would you expect when that’s the main mode of transportation? We are pretty sure we saw Mike Rowe’s Episode about this Island on Dirty Jobs. Anyone remember that?