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Mackinac Island, Michigan  06/18/06 (Day 54)
Tie Me Up

Admit it. There is something irresistible about an historic hotel on an island. So we find ourselves on a ferry from Mackinaw City to Mackinac (also pronounced Mackinaw, for those who don’t want to advertise your “not from around here” status) Island where we have a date with The Grand Hotel . Opened in 1887 (when rooms were $3-$8.50), the sprawling wooden structure is decked out in Lily Pulitzer pastels from honeydew colored sofas to raspberry tinted walls. Despite the fact that the island is covered in lilac bushes (the annual lilac parade is going on as we arrive), the hotel flaunts an obvious affinity for geraniums which feature in everything from carpeting to wallpaper to landscaping to the scent of the products in the bathroom.

The 12” TV and lack of A/C in most rooms is a bit of a throw back but it’s more than made up for by the fact that we can hear the sounds of horses clomping along the town’s streets from our room. Motorized vehicles are banned on the island and everything is done by horse and cart/wagon/buggy (even UPS deliveries).

The Grand Hotel also hosts a very well attended formal high tea and enforces a strict dress code: skirts or dresses for women and jackets and ties for men after 6pm. Unfortunately we somehow neglected to pack a tie for Eric so he has to borrow one from the hotel and it turns out to be as horrible as you’d expect a borrowed tie to be: navy blue with pastel horses prancing across it—the very same tie the staff wears. A vodka and soda or two in the Cupola Bar, with awesome views across Lake Huron to Mackinac Bridge (the longest suspension bridge in the world until 1988) across the Straights of Mackinac and Lake Michigan beyond takes the edge off. Sort of (read Karen's full review of Grand Hotel for iTraveliShop.com)

It’s the first time we’ve had to leave the truck behind (remember, no vehicles on the island), so we are anxious to reunite with her the following morning. Honestly, it looks like she’s missed us too.


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