This past week, we packed up the boys and squeezed into the car (there wasn’t an empty seat to be had) and made our pilgrimage to Mackinac Island. It’s a bit of a drive, and then a ferry ride on top of that, and I’ll admit that when we finally got to the island and landed in the touristy town, I was feeling a bit exhausted and skeptical. But after an evening stroll exploring the quiet residential streets, a bike ride around the Island’s perimeter, and a horse-and-buggy ride taking in the historical sites, I was sold (though I still find the town completely overwhelming- think fudge shops and cheesy t-shirt stalls aplenty).
We stayed at Hotel Iroquois, a beautiful inn on the main strip. The rooms were charmingly old-fashion, and the staff was friendly. The dining area had a large lawn, which allowed us to enjoy a meal or two while the kids ran free. And the kids were endlessly entertained by the stream of horse-drawn carriages that passed by our window (there are no cars allowed on the island!).
We only stayed one-night, and that felt perfect. This is going to sound loony- but I get a little anxious about staying in a place where the food choices are either fried or fudge. If I can’t get a nice salad or smoothie somewhere, I just can’t stay for long. But an overnight- that I can do. Once I got the kids down for bed, I lit out for an evening walk where I wandered through the quiet residential streets, away from the crowds. I was completely charmed by the homes, and the gorgeous landscaping. The next morning on our carriage ride, the driver told us that all the horse-manure (and there is a TON) gets added to the soil, which explains why the gardens on the island are so beautiful.
The next morning, we biked the perimeter of the island with the boys. There’s a great variety of bike rental options on the island, and we had a great set-up for Vijay and Vik. The 7 mile loop around the island is gorgeous- unfortunately I had my hands full and didn’t manage many pictures (besides these from my phone).
The bike path is lined with wild flowers leading to the beach, and shady forested patches. It was such a peaceful respite from the busy town. We followed our ride with a horse-drawn carriage tour, a total meltdown, a long ferry ride and a very trying car ride home. I’m so glad we did it, but I’m so glad we’re back!