Sunday, June 9, 2013

Day 21 - Mackinac Island & Mackinaw City

Dancing at the Grand Hotel last night on Mackinac Island - the live band were great

This is the best we could do for the Grand Hotel ballroom dance - Neil has borrowed a Grand Hotel coat

One end of the Grand Hotel - apparently the ceiling of each balcony are painted sky blue to deter seagulls - so the guide led us to believe? They say the gulls think they are over water and don't land and do other basic needs that birds naturally do!

This is a special and separate building at the Grand Hotel - it caters for Presidents of the United States only

There are interesting flora around Mackinac Island. These plants are an endangered specie "Lady Slippers". To pick these would incur a sizable fine

Arch Rock, Mackinac Island from the viewpoint during the Carriage Tour 

A story about Fort Mackinac with the identifiable wooden palisades in the background

She was trying to entice us to pay $22 to tour the inside of Fort Mackinac

Our Carriage Tour at the end. This carriage was pulled by three strong draught horses

The Governor's House on Mackinac 

Fudge at its best - the smell of these "rich" morsels permeate the streets of Mackinac Island

The Starline ferry coming in to take us back to the mainland

It's Sunday here on Mackinac Island and with a late check-out we had the best sleep in. We did manage to take our pre-paid Carriage Ride of the island at 10:40 am. This 90 minute horse and carriage tour takes us around the centre of the island and ridden by knowledgeable riders. We visited many sites that we saw yesterday but the highlight was the viewing of Arch Rock from above and just riding along the State Forest. We did have a rider whose jokes were just plain stupid - working on puns and just jokes that are dry - nevertheless some Americans thought he was great and laughed throughout the tour. We actually started off on a two-horse carriage and transferred to a rare three-horse carriage half-way during the tour. These beast of burden looked tired pulling us humans in a heavy four-wheeled carriage. After the tour we had lunch in a local cafe and caught the 2:30 pm Starline Ferry back to the mainland. Overall, Mackinac Island is a fantastic place - quite unusual and glad we included into our itinerary. We would hate to be here in winter as the temperature falls below minus 30 deg F. Even the lake is frozen over and possible to walk or snow ski across the mainland to the island - apparently with great peril to human life! We are staying in the same hotel at Mackinaw City as the other night and will start heading back to Phoenix - but zig-zagging our way down tomorrow. This is the furthest north we are going and hopefully the temperature will start becoming warmer. We'll be driving to a place called Holland, still in Michigan state and halfway to that windy city, Chicago. Until tomorrow cheers.    

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