In Travel Journal

How often do we imagine how nice it would be to “go back in time”? This is THAT experience along with bursting red geraniums, straight- back white rocker chairs, and the calming blue waters of Lake Huron. Introduce the ambiance of perfectly delightful room settings, sumptuous meals, impeccable service and you are describing the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island cannot be surpassed for a trip back in time yet up- to -date in modern conveniences. The best of both worlds for a family vacation. I’ve often tried to explain to my grandkids what it was like in the “olden days.” While I personally don’t remember a time for horse drawn carriages, I do remember loving to read about the early l900’s. It’s hard to explain to kids. That is why experiencing that time really makes it entertaining and educational. Plenty of things to do for all ages.

Personally I was drawn to the straight- back white rocking chairs lined up like the deck of a ship with a deep expanse of water on the horizon. One evening, we were even treated to a double rainbow compliments of Mother Nature. Watching the American flag being respectfully lowered and raised each day was something children don’t get to experience very often. The kids were able to “feel” patriotism for our flag. Many of the hotel patrons and employees stopped, watched and put their hands upon their hearts. It was very touching! The rooms were quaint and colorful with unique pieces of furniture throughout not cookie cutter furniture like every other hotel. All the amenities were in place plus more. The children had the pool with fun things to entertain them. I chose to watch them while their parents went for cocktails. Later we joined them on the veranda and the kids explored from one end to the other. My eyes had a visual holiday surveying the pristine lawns and the abundance of glorious flowers.

Photo courtesy of the Grand Hotel

The town was within walking distance with plenty of fudge and ice cream shops to keep the kids entertained (adults too). Every kind of bike was available to rent. I thought I’d challenge them and ask if they had adult tricycles and they did! At night, they have a band to entertain all ages. If you think it, they have it!! Tea time was so relaxing with impeccable service and attention to detail. Beautiful gleaming silver, pots of piping hot tea and petite sandwiches were beautifully presented on silver trays. While the ladies enjoyed tea, there were many little girls being entertained while learning all the “properness” of tea time presented in a style reminiscent of the “olden days” with staff dressed in black dresses, white aprons and white -starched caps. In the late evening, there was a cart set out on the veranda for those who would like to indulge in a mint julep or any other beverage of choice. Did I mention boat rides? What a way to “make a grand entrance”. We traveled by speedboat and conveniently disembarked at the main part of the island, which just happened to by the bicycle rental. Because they have “kid camps”, I was able to enjoy time with my adult children. We all know how “priceless” that is to a parent/grandparent. We all sat down to an uninterrupted, delicious meal where waitstaff were always within close range of our table. We took carriage rides past Gingerbread Houses, picket fences, and shops with tons of unique items for sale. Themes and special rates are offered throughout the season. Rooms are priced per person which includes breakfast and dinner plus absolutely NO tipping. That in itself is pretty amazing!!

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