Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mackinac Island, Michigan

On July 6th, Christian and I drove from the cabin to St. Ignace, where we boarded a ferry to Mackinac Island. We happened to be on a ferry that detoured a few minutes and went directly under the Mackinac Bridge to give us a magnificent view. They also talked about the history of the bridge and how no one thought it would be built because the water was too deep, the expanse too long, and the finances too high. But Michigan was able to do it and the bridge, with standard maintenance, is estimated to last 1000 years!

Once on the island, we walked around the town, which is full of pedestrians, cyclists, and horse-drawn carriages. No cars or motorcycles are allowed on the island at all. Most of the island is State Park and it is very beautiful; there is clear blue water, white stones, and green trees. We ate on the porch overlooking the water at a place called Mary's Bistro. They grilled in front of you and the pulled pork sandwich was really good. We had a perfect view of a wedding from where we were sitting and we watched the say their vows. Then we rented a tandem bike and rode 10 miles around the circumference of the island.

Then we ate some Chocolate Mint fudge from Ryba's. We also stopped by the Robert Stuart House Museum which was donation only and it had a history of the island and information about Robert Stuart who was fur trading partners with John Jacob Astor (I was mainly interested because I knew of Astor from the Titanic; apparently the one from the Titanic was the fur trader's grandson). Harry's Old Time Photos was a worthwhile time from our trip; we got to dress up as mobster and a flapper.

After eating a flatbread pizza at Goodfellow's (an Italian Chop House) we changed into our formal attire and went to walk the grounds of the Grand Hotel. We were walking to the front when one of the bellhops opened a side door for us. He thought we were guests! Usually, you have to pay $10 admission to walk the grounds if you aren't registered. So we took the elevator and walked down the hallways where the rooms were. Then we found our way to the parlor where we chatted and then walked the porch. The hotel is very fancy and the employees are very nice.

We definitely had a very fun time and we only spent about $150 for both of us (gas not included)! We would recommend this for everyone to do at least once. The island is beautiful and very unique!

Upper Peninsula, Michigan

We are up north in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In a small town named Helmer, about an hour from Newberry. My grandparents have a cabin on Manistique Lake and that was the venue of our 12th annual family reunion.

Christian joined me, my mom, sister, and sister's friend on the six hour car ride, over the Mackinac Bridge, to the cabin. We stopped at Clyde's Drive-In for burgers and then hung out on the Lake Michigan beach.

July 5th was a day full of excitement. We went out on paddle boats, played badminton, drove a golf cart, ate home made ice cream, and had a potluck with the very large family, 14 of which included dogs.

In the mist of all this excitement, we found a baby duck that had been separated from its mother. Our dog had chased in until it was wedged in between some wood and Christian had to pull it out. We held on to it for a while, waiting for the mother duck to come by, but after a few hours we just let it go. Then all of a sudden, the mother duck comes out and they are reunited! Apparently the duckling having a human scent on it is not a problem for ducks.

After all the craziness, Christian and I went out in the paddle boat and watched the sun set.