Sunday, April 25, 2010

Michigan Nostalgia

A couple of summers ago I took Nate to one of my favorite northern Michigan places to "be a fudgie*", Mackinac Island! I think he enjoyed it as much as I did. Actually, I think he found some things more amazing than I did (like the bridge and all of the water). Mackinac Island was always one of my favorite places to visit when I was a kid, and I still love it just as much today as I did as when I was a kid.

* A fudgie is a Michigan term used to describe tourists/out-of-towners who enjoy eating fudge and other goodies that can be found in northern Michigan.

picture of the Mackinac Bridge from the ferry

The island is located in Lake Huron between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. You can reach Mackinac Island by ferry, boat, airplane, or snowmobile in the winter. We went in August, so we enjoyed the 15 minute ride on the ferry from Mackinaw City. Mackinac Island and Mackinaw City end in "c" and "w" respectively because of their origins. The French fur traders had named the island with a french spelling, and the English in Mackinaw City took on the more phonetic spelling of "Mackinac". (There's a little history for you).

That aside, the ferry ride is usually scenic and fun... unless the water is rough and you're wishing you were somewhere else. You get great views of the Mackinac Bridge from the ferry, and that's always interesting! The bridge is even more fun to drive across (unless you're me and have some fear of being high above the water). I like observing the bridge from shore or water, and I'll drive ride across if I have to get to the other side. :) If you want more info on the "Mighty Mac" you should check out the website:

I don't know what it is with me and history these days, but history used to be one of my least favorite classes. I had a hard time getting interested, but now I have a much greater appreciation for history and I'm always in awe of the history and stories behind things. With that being said, there is so much history on Mackinac Island that it could make a history buff cry, or jump for joy... whichever.

the Grand Hotel is so beautiful and... well, grand

One place that still has me in awe is the Grand Hotel on the island. I have still never stayed there, and that's something that is on my travel to-do list. Talk about a step back in time. Everything about the hotel just screams history, and I love it! There are no cars allowed on the island, so the Grand Hotel, which was built in 1887, has a beautiful old stagecoach that they use to pick up guests at the ferry docks. The hotel is a national historic landmark that’s been visited by anyone from US presidents, famous entertainers, and countless families for over a century now. If you want some more info on the Grand Hotel, take a look at the website:

Riding bicycles around the island is a must-do when you visit. It's not as tough as it sounds, because the ride is only about 8 miles on mostly flat land. We rented some really awesome one-speed cruiser bicycles near the ferry dock, and we were on our way. Stopping along the way breaks up the trip and makes it feel much shorter than it is. The entire trip is scenic and relaxing. Remember, there are no cars allowed, so horse and bicycle are some of the quickest ways to get around the island. Our rented bicycles got us along just fine!

I wonder if the people who live on the island love it as much as the people who visit? I sure hope they love it, but sometimes it seems like you never love the place you live as much as visitors love it. Unless maybe you live on a tropical island or something.

I love Mackinac Island. Maybe sometime in the future we'll even stay at the Grand Hotel! I love how Nate was amazed by the amount of water all around. At times it's like you're on an ocean, because land is nowhere in sight. Visiting Mackinac Island brings back so many great memories of when I visited as a child, and I still love the place just the same today. It's amazing how your appreciation for a place can grow over the years.


  1. Gotta love those fudgies :) and Mackinac Island! Are you guys going to be in Northern MI this summer at all?? ~Jaclyn Lewis

  2. We are probably going to be up there a couple of times... actually for a long weekend on May 6th and again in June for our 3rd wedding reception. :)