The last week’s radio silence was brought to you by the Family Vacation. Mind, we were not gone for a week. It’s more like: Pack for trip, three days of actual trip, unpack from trip, and do unending piles of laundry. I have some other goodies in store for you later this week. A few more vintage tidbits, and a fun surprise that has something to do with the Farmer’s Wife 30’s Sew-Along. So stay tuned to this station.
In the meantime, I give you a few photos of the trip. Don’t worry, it’s not like a whole slide carousel of them or anything. We spent the weekend traveling into Northern Michigan and rambling around Mackinac Island. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a tiny little island in the straits between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. Motorized vehicles are not permitted. So everybody gets around by bike, carriage, horseback, or on foot. Both the lack of vehicular concerns and the inherent beauty of the place soothe the soul. I highly recommend a trip.
You can access the island only by ferry. And the ferry trip itself is usually fun, provided the weather is decent. For our trip, it was overcast, but not raining. As you approach the island, you see the Grand Hotel, which tends to dominate the landscape. If you’ve ever seen the movie, “Somewhere in Time”, it was filmed here and the hotel featured prominently. There are even markers on the island denoting a key point in the film, and a “Somewhere in Time” weekend. Get on your best Edwardian dress and go!
The island offers all kinds of breathtaking views. Though getting to them can mean a lot of walking. Sometimes it feels like the entire island is uphill, even when part of your brain is aware that this is a physical impossibility. Still, even tromps down tree-covered lanes occasionally break to offer vistas like this one, over the harbor.
Most of the homes on the island are immaculately maintained, whether they’ve been converted into inns, remained summer properties, or year-round homes. And the flowers. Oh, my word, the flowers. They’re beautifully kept and just bloom in profusion everywhere. You’d never have known that the week before our visit the island had been pounded by severe thunderstorms, the likes of which the locals reported not having seen in 20 years or more.
Yet more beautiful homes, and more flowers! This one is along the West Bluff, right at Pontiac Point. How I would love to swing gently on a porch swing here, kept warm by a soft and snuggly quilt. The breeze off the lake is almost always a bit on the chilly side, and jackets are a necessity, even in August.
Admittedly, I have a weak spot for porches. And the porch on the Grand Hotel may be one of the finest in the world. It’s painted a lovely color, that has become iconic. Since we were guests at another resort, we were not permitted onto the porch to join the ongoing cocktail party. We also weren’t dressed for it. The Grand Hotel requires jackets and ties for gentlemen and prohibits slacks for ladies after 6 PM. It’s a remnant of a more formal age, and we may have to stay there someday, to soak up the ambiance. We DID visit the ice cream parlor at the East end of the hotel and enjoyed that experience a lot.
Now, admittedly, staying ON the island is a bit of an expensive proposition. I suggest that you indulge for a night or two, however. There are a few things that can only be done after the last ferry leaves in the evening, or before the first arrives in the morning. One is the Haunted Mackinac walking tour. I admit – we wimped out. Having logged something over 20K steps according to my FitBit, our feet were not up for it. The other is strolling Main Street in the early morning, before the boats arrive. It’s gorgeous, and peaceful, and the Cinnamon Rolls at the bakery are divine.
Still, if you’re planning your own trip, it’s as easy to make either Mackinaw City or St. Ignace your base of operations. Ferries leave from either city for the island on a regular basis. And there are many places that offer their own views, especially of the Mackinac Bridge – known in Michigan as the Mighty Mac. It’s suspended span is longer that the Golden Gate, and it’s an engineering feat worth seeing.
So there you have it. My little vacation. It didn’t involve any quilting or quilt shops – the only ones we passed were on Sunday, and thus were closed. I’ll try to hit them on another trip. And also to remember to take a photo of the lovely “barn quilt” I spotted on M119 North of Harbor Springs.
I will have more goodies for you later this week!