Mackinac Magic

Is there any place in your world that has so many happy memories it almost seems a bit magical? Fort Wilderness Campground at Disney is definitely that way for our family.  Once when Alan called to make reservations, the lady said, “Congratulations! You’ve been here 50 times now!” Hard to imagine, but knowing that Jon was there three times before his first birthday, and so was Joel (well, one of his trips was to Disneyland)…she was probably telling the truth. At least, she gave us some perks, so we believed her.

Anyway, Mackinac Island is one of those places for Alan and me. Our first bike ride on a tandem there was when we were sixteen, and ever since then we’ve been trying to get back each summer for a day.

We usually come up the night before and stay in Mackinaw City. If any of you are looking for a great bargain, the “America’s Best Value Inn” was $39.70 (tax included).  It was newish, clean, and neat…had a heated indoor pool and served breakfast. What a deal! The next morning we hopped on the ferry over to the island.

For anyone who’s never been to Mackinac Island, I’ll tell you that it’s a gorgeous little 8-mile diameter gem of an island at the intersection of Lakes Huron and Michigan right by the Mackinac Bridge that connects Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas. It is a world-class resort community with a beautiful waterfront and downtown.

The unique thing about the island is that there are no cars. Instead, you walk, ride a bike, or catch a ride on a horse-drawn carriage.

Arch Rock

We always ride a tandem around, and sometimes we walk around too. Although there’s a lovely, busy downtown area, we savor the restful countryside most. There are several unusual limestone formations, wonderful wildflowers, and lots of open sky and “sea.”

The island is always beautiful, especially in early June during the Lilac Festival, and in early August. If you look hard, you might be able to see the Mackinac Bridge in the distant background.

After a lunch of fish ‘n’ chips at our favorite restaurant there, the Village Inn (which must be a lot of people’s favorite, because it was sporting a banner that said “Voted Best Restaurant in Northern Michigan 2007”), we meander around town admiring all the gorgeous homes and gardens. There are dozens…too many to even show you my favorites, so I’ve just picked a couple of samples!

And then, before leaving, Alan often wants to do a little window shopping. Yes, Alan! He’s the shopper in our family. However, I do like looking at the shop windows, because they’re really beautiful, and you know how I love flowers! (Or, do you? At any rate, I LOVE flowers!)

And so, with a new tea cup or two in hand for our collection, we finish out our trip and return to the mainland. It’s one of those picture-perfect, expectation-fulfilling getaways that always seems to produce sequels. So, if you’re looking for a great way to spend a very special occasion sometime, think about Mackinac Island. No, I’m not a travel agent, nor have I invested in island stock, but it is the closest thing to Epcot’s beautifully manicured gardens and relaxed atmosphere that we’ve found in Michigan. Oh, except for maybe Meijer Gardens here in GR. If you come for a visit, I’ll show you around. It’s great, and it’s getting to be another favorite with our family! One of these days, I’ll show you just how beautiful it is.

“There is no magic in magic,
it’s all in the details.”
— Walt Disney

Of course, the real “magic” is in experiencing a life of joy, and that comes from walking with the Lord!

6 thoughts on “Mackinac Magic

  1. Wow, that’s a coincidence! Gene and I went to Mackinac for our anniversary this year. We stayed at America’s Best Value Inn, too, only the one in St. Ignace, not Mackinaw City. Our actual anniversary was the day we scattered Grandma and Grandpa’s ashes in Colorado, so we had a delayed celebration on the 4th of July. We could see several cities’ fireworks from the beach in St. Ignace. It was pretty neat.

    Anyway, I loved all your pictures. I recognized a lot of the places.

  2. How fun is that?! Is the St. Ignace ABVI also nice? I hear the one in the Soo is not nearly as well kept as the Mackinaw City property.

    That’s cool: your anniversary, then A+C’s the next day, then Grandma and Grandpa’s the next, and then M+G’s the next…all in a row! Makes that last week of June very, very special!!

  3. GREAT pictures!! One thing that has always amazed me about you and Alan is the amount of FUN things you guys do together. I would love to add that element into our busy lives more. Could you pray that we could add that in?

    Maybe next year we’ll be at Mackinac Island. I’ve always thought it was so expensive to go! Now, I have the insiders’ tips!

    I KNOW you love flowers!!! How fun to see those great pictures. You and my Jo Jo could have a photography discussion. I heard from her brothers that she would love to study photography professionally. (the things you learn from your kids about your kids…)

  4. Yes, I will pray for you two to add some fun getaways to your lives. It is like fertilizer to a marriage!

    Love that you learned stuff from your kids about your other kids! That happens here too. Joel was the one who told us that Stephen really wanted to drop pre-med and become a pianist!

  5. The ABVI in St. Ignace seemed very nice to me. The pool is outside, though, if anyone cares about that. When are A&C, and G&G, and M&G’s anniversaries? I thought they were the week after ours. (Ours is the 24th.)

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