Just like Tennessee, when we headed to Michigan, I had a list of things I wanted our family to experience. And of course, staying 2 weeks didn’t allow us to do all of those things. So once again, I had to separate the “I absolutely have to do this” versus “ooh, this might be fun.”
First on my list this year was to visit Mackinac Island and I was so excited Greg wanted to see it too. I have been there twice in my life. Once with Greg and another with my mom while I was pregnant with Abby. Both were magical experiences. What’s not to love about this 8 mile resort Island? There are so many unique restaurants, quaint and colorful homes, eccentric shops, candy stores which specialize in fudge, bed and breakfasts and of course the amazing Grand Hotel where ‘Somewhere In Time’ (a romantic movie I watched way too many times as a teen) with Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour was filmed. And coolest of all, there are no cars on the island.
We told the girls we were going to visit an island where they could ride bikes and take a horse and buggy to the local ice cream shop. Abby and Phoebe were so excited. The one thing Phoebe wanted to do more than anything else was to ride a bike all around the island.
Lucky for us we were able to score a ride on a horse and buggy. The girls were so impressed when the horses pooped without even having to stop. I have to admit, I too was in awe of the efficiency and ease in which they took care of their personal business. Now that the girls had seen the horses empty their bowels, the carriage ride was definitely a magical experience.
When Greg first brought me to Mackinac Island 13 years ago, I was convinced we were there for a reason. I wanted to live there. I wanted to have babies and raise them on this amazing island with no cars. I dreamed about our children attending the little elementary school where I of course would teach Kindergarten. We would live in one of the bright-colored houses with an amazing view overlooking the water and shop at Douds Market for all of our culinary needs. Greg and I would kayak every morning before our morning coffee and then he would go to work in his office overlooking the water view while the girls and I would of course hop on our bikes and ride to school. The whole family would ride bicycles around the island everyday. We would all have little baskets on our handle bars so we could bring our groceries home after visiting the market and of course our weekly shopping errands to the eccentric shops on the island. Maybe I would even get a part-time job at The Grand Hotel in the spring, just so I could say, “I worked at The Grand Hotel.”
We ended up visiting at the perfect, albeit busiest, time of the year. The last weekend of the Lilac festival was happening. There was a doggie parade, five bounce houses set up, live music and beautiful fragrant lilac trees in full bloom. If we had waited another week we would have missed everything.
So the horse and buggy ride brought us to The Grand Hotel. This might be a good time to convey the frigid temperatures we found ourselves in. We knew it was going to be chilly, but really “chilly” just didn’t cover it.
IT WAS FREEZING!
Phoebe was not happy with us when she found out we were walking from the Grand Hotel back to the place we stepped on the horse and buggy. Honestly, it wasn’t far…but I put on my ‘5-year-old’ spectacles and realized the distance paired with the less desirable temperature, it was far enough.
She was even more upset with us when she found out we had run out of time and were not going to be able to rent bicycles this time. She requested a ‘hot chocolate’ in lieu of the promised bicycle and we were happy to comply.