Friday, August 29, 2014

No Buses Allowed!

It is always hard to say good-bye - but, it always seems that there is another wonderful experience around the next bend.  Or - across the next bridge - or span of water.  And, as always, we have to find that perfect lunch spot to ease us from one adventure to the next --

Can you believe there are such beautiful 'roadside stops'?  Think they make them just for Magic!

Our next stop was St. Ignace, MI - one of the gateways to Mackinac Island.  We were 'promised' a Lake Michigan view from our spot - AND WE WERE NOT DISAPPOINTED!  The pictures will speak for themselves.

Our base camp - complete with canons just in case the pirates came ashore;-)

Overlooking Lake Michigan for cocktail hour.

A bucket list item on our travel list was Mackinac Island - and it was checked off this past week.  As the title of the post indicates - Magic was left behind as part of the charm of the island is NO cars - horse drawn carriages and bikes only.

We left the banks of the mainland behind as we boarded our ferry bound for the Island.  The trip over was brief but informative as it included a 'turn under the bridge' that connects the lower peninsula to the upper peninsula of Michigan.  As the ferry passed under the bridge, we went from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan and back to Lake Huron again.  Not sure how one lake becomes another, but that is what the map says!  This bridge, when built, was the longest suspension bridge in existence and is high enough for large freighters to pass under.  Something to see from underneath.

On your left..Lake Huron.  On your right..Lake Michigan.
The day could not have been more perfect.  It went from a slight drizzle on the way over - to clear - to a few clouds to keep things cool - to clear again.  As the ferry approached Mackinac Island, we were treated to wonderful views of the downtown area complete with the rows and rows of bikes for rent and the colorful village shops - half of which are fudge shops;-)!!!!

No buses or cars allowed, only bikes and horse drawn vehicles.

E found her new ride, champagne in the cooler and all!

We took the horse drawn carriage tour of the island, which gave lots of history and a terrific overview of the Island.  One of the stops was the Butterfly Conservancy.  Not sure what it was about Gary, but they loved his hat and shirt --

Hitchhiking butterfly on G's cap.
Our final stop was the historic Grand Hotel - and Grand it is!  The hotel was constructed in the late 19th century by - you guessed it - a consortium of railroads AND the Detroit and Cleveland Steamship Navigation Company.  The front porch is purportedly the longest in the world at some 660 feet overlooking a vast garden.  E & G took full advantage of the gardens and the porch --

Horse and carriage.

The Grand Hotel viewed from the gardens - we had our drinks between the two flags just right of center;-)

The gardens viewed from the porch..

Our spot on the porch overlooking the gardens.
WHAT A FANTASTIC DAY!  E felt like she had spent the day at Kellerman's (think Dirty Dancing).

But, just as always, all good things must come to an end.  It was time to leave yesteryear behind, board the ferry and come back to the rat race.  Before we completely left Mackinac and St. Ignace behind, though, we had one last beautiful look at Lake Michigan - -

Sunset views from Magic's spot.

Good night from Elizabeth & Gary;-)

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