Mackinac Island Trip Highlights

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Oh my gosh, I can hardly believe it. I have not been on the computer in an entire week! Usually, my job has me tied to a computer for 8 hours, and sometimes when I return home I might spend another hour or so online with blog posts, etc. But this week, I was completely unplugged. Seriously, the only phone call I even made was handed over to Peanut so he could talk to his grandma. I think my poor overworked eyes and brains enjoyed the break.

That being said, I was really itching to get on here to stay connected with all of you and give you some updates on our fabulous trip to Mackinac Island. I have four other posts in development as well on maintaining fitness habits on vacation, turning family trips into learning opportunities, travelling on a budget, and a where to go/what to see post about Mackinac Island itself. The trip gave me a big hit of creative juices.

Let me just say, the weather turned out to perfectly coincide with what we planned each day. Outdoor swimming days and Island exploring days were met with perfect weather. Indoor movie days and lighthouse exploring days were windier and chillier.

Sunday: We left on Sunday for a long 5-hour drive "up north." The weather looked pretty ominous the entire way, but we never hit any real rain. We got to cross the glorious Mackinaw Bridge on our way to our motel. We checked in, had a snack and decided to explore our surroundings just a bit. Mackinaw city is comparable to downtown Wisconsin Dells. Lots of tourist shops, wineries, restaurants and even a Haunted House. Most ridiculous $7 ever spent was at said Haunted House. Oh geez! It was cheesy, but I screamed at least 3 times and it will be one funny memory our family will always have. Sunday night, we endured a huge rain and thunder storm. It was exciting to watch and listen to it from our hotel room.

Touching Lake Michigan
Amazing sandy beach rest stops along Lake Michigan


Pinch Bouquet
It wouldn't be summer if I couldn't walk around with a perpetual pinch bouquet in my hands.

Monday: The weather was impeccable on Monday. Hot enough to swim in the Great Lakes. Swimming in Lake Huron, though rocky, was fabulous. The water was so clear and refreshing on that hot mid-summer day. We drank it all in.

Climbing Rocks

Big rock in Lake Huron
Swimming in Lake Huron

Beach Views
A girl could get used to this!

Econolodge Pool
Peanut getting his swim on

Clear water in Lake Huron
Check out how clear that Great Lakes water is!

Tuesday: The weather turned cool on Tuesday, so our plans to catch Despicable Me 2 were perfect. The movie is very cute. We also explored a lighthouse on Tuesday--a great place to be when the wind was whipping and turning the lake into relentless undulating whitecaps. After all of that, we took a trip into Cheboygan where we stopped at a local thrift store and let Peanut wear himself out at the indoor playground at Burger King.


Wednesday: We decided on the midweek point to hit Mackinac Island. That way, we had something look forward to, but we also had an extra day padded in, just in case we decided we wanted to go back to the island the next day. Again, we couldn't have asked for more perfect weather. It eventually warmed up into a comfortable temperature where we weren't cold but weren't sweating and the wind had dramatically died down. On the island, we took a guest-driven horse carriage ride, explored some historical sites, visited the amazing butterfly museum and had a lovely lunch out. The butterfly museum was the highlight of the trip for me.

View from carriage
Guest-driven horse carriage rides. We wanted to go horseback riding, but all the stables told us that for insurance purposes, no one under the age of 10 is allowed to ride. Carriage ride it is!

Cool Studebaker
Cool old Studebaker we found behind the Fort.

Butterfly Hair
Like my live butterfly hairpiece?

Blue Butterfly
Wings on Hubster's shoulder so gorgeous they almost look fake.

The Grand Hotel
The Grande Hotel

Island Views
Some of the views we enjoyed on Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island Church
Trinity Church on Mackinac Island

Seabiscuit cafe
We ate at the Seabiscuit Cafe, which was perfect. The portions were more normal-sized, which is ideal since one can't possibly carry leftovers with them for the rest of the day on an island.

Dinner at Seabiscuit cafe
I had the Honey Nut Chicken Salad Sandwich with sweet potato fries. The petite little sandwiches were just enough to be satisfying. The whole meal was oh so good!

Fruit Sangria
I splurged on a white wine citrus fruit sangria that cost more than my dinner. So entirely perfect for a cheers to a great family trip.

Kayne's Beer
Peanut even tried the local beer. Root beer that is...

St. Ann's Cemetary
We took a sobering meander through St. Ann's cemetery

Mary Biddle's Grave
This gravesite was marked as the oldest one in Saint Ann's Cemetery. It was a poor sweet little 8 year old girl who lived from 1825 to 1833.

Thursday: Our last full day on vacation, we did a lot of sleeping, giving the pool one last run, and leisurely enjoying the day. We took one last trip down a road out of town to see where it would take us. We ended up at a few more amazing places quite by accident. One more lighthouse, Heritage Village and a place called the Headlands. The Headlands is one of only a handful of designated night sky viewing areas in the entire country. Because it's so secluded and tree-covered, night viewing is impeccably clear, especially for meteor showers and Northern Lights. Lining the road is a self-guided tour explaining the myths, legends and facts behind each of the planets.

Lighthouse spiral stairs
Lighthouse staircase

Mackinaw City Lighthouse

Mackinac City Wigwam
Wigwam at Heritage Village in Mackinaw City

Wood pile
On the trails

1800s home
Old home at Heritage Village that was originally built by hand from logs in the 1800s that stayed in the family until the 1950s. Insulation came in the form of crumpled up newspaper in the walls.

bean teepee
Heritage Village family kitchen garden. There was even a compost heap.

Friday: We left right away in the morning, and with the time change, got back home relatively early in the afternoon. The rain was monsoon-like on our drive home, but again, the weather was timed perfectly with our plans.

We're safe at home and glad to have the weekend to rest from our vacation, you know what I'm saying? Tomorrow we're heading to Deerfest to meet some reality TV stars and browse hunting gear. Next week, EAA is in town, so we plan to take Peanut to the viewing tower inside the museum to watch the planes go in and out. Peanut's 5th birthday is also this week, so we have a lot planned. I'll be taking tomorrow and Sunday to relax before kicking it up again.

Hope you had a great week! I'll be back with a "If you're ever in the Mackinaw area..." post real soon. Stay posted!

No Comments Yet, Leave Yours!