Scott and I had planned a trip to Mackinac Island for our 9th anniversary. We decided to go ahead with it despite Scott’s contract ending. We decided we needed to take a short break from our kids and have some “Scott and Amanda time”. We asked the Wagner grandparents to come stay with the kids and we made reservations at a lodge on the island. We learned quite a bit about people that live in Michigan, as well as the people that live on the island. Many people that live in the Southeast corner of Michigan flock north during the summer. While researching about the island before making reservations, I discovered that the Grand Hotel on the island closes down for the winter the last weekend in October and they host an event that weekend. The hotel pretty much controls when a lot of the other businesses close and open. We didn’t want to be there when it is busy so we decided to go the weekend before. The weather started out pretty dreary on our dark and rainy ferry ride over Friday night. Luckily, we brought food with us for breakfast so we didn’t have to look for somewhere to eat in the rain. The weather cleared up by lunch on Saturday.
We explored a little of the town and then headed out to the State Park. We saw Arch Rock, Fort Holmes, and Sugar Loaf.
A lot of the “trails” were paved for carriages and bikes on our way out to Arch Rock and then Fort Holmes. We encountered more traditional trails going out to Sugar Loaf. We came back to town in time for dinner and then we headed out to see the sunset behind the Mackinac Bridge just a couple of blocks from our hotel. It was quite a scenic sunset!
That evening, we also did a wine tasting at Goodfellow’s. We found a Michigan Riesling we loved so much we bought a bottle at the local grocery store and brought it home to have on our actual anniversary.
I awoke to a beautiful sunrise on Sunday which was surprising after the sunset the night before. We had much better weather so we went to the local grocery store and got food for lunch on the trail.
We headed out on a trail that followed the bluffs along the east side of the island. The trail was definitely rugged by our Indiana standards. We definitely enjoyed the challenge. We ended up at the British Landing spot on the North west corner of the island and then worked our way back. We also enjoyed touring Fort Mackinac on our way back to town. There was a lot to see and do including a rifle and cannon demonstration and a fun, interactive kids’ building.
We came back again for dinner in town at a “Mexican restaurant”.
Monday morning, I discovered a hidden coffee shop a few blocks from our hotel on one of the back streets. They made me a wonderful Mint Mocha but it wasn’t nearly as good as the mocha the day before from JoAnn’s fudge. We packed up, checked out of our hotel and headed back on the ferry to our car on the “mainland” in Mackinac City.
The weather all weekend was too cool for either of us to want to ride bikes or ride in a carriage so we might have to save that for another time.
We did end up in 4 different fudge shops tasting fudge. We bought fudge at two of them and this is why everyone from the island calls the rest of us “fudgies”. We learned that in the winter, the locals wait to see if an ice bridge will form between St. Ignace and Mackinac Island. During February, if the weather stays cold enough, the lake will freeze over and create a bridge. Someone tests it and then they line the bridge with their old Christmas trees. If you want to tour the grand hotel, you have to pay a fee even to walk on the grounds in front of the hotel so we also skipped that this trip. Over all, we enjoyed our trip but there is not enough to do to make it an annual trip.