I love my wonderful bride, Christi. She is kind, feeling, emotional, happy, friendly, and most of all my best friend. We took time to tour the Upper Peninsula over the 4th of July weekend, to photograph some waterfalls. Our last stop was to see Mackinac Island. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. We saw the Grand Hotel sitting high and I fell in love with it, from the outside.
Christi and I have been married two years now, and we never had a honeymoon because of finances. Christi is a huge fan of the movie "Somewhere in Time". I found that the Grand Hotel had a Somewhere in Time Weekend. It all added up that I would take my bride to this weekend for our honeymoon, financially able or not. She deserved this, and I enjoy making her happy.
The day we left was also the first snow in upper Michigan. Fall colors had not yet peaked in NW Indiana, and we were able to see some peak colors as we drove through lower Michigan. After Grand Rapid one can notice the leaves had been falling off the trees, and it was not until that point that I decided (and was able because Christi was driving) to take some photographs through the car windows as we drove. Here are some of those photos.
Christi chose to stick her tongue out at me while I photographed. Just small part of the kidding around we do.
We parked at Mackinaw City and took Star Line ferry to the island. Here are some photos during the ferry.
A couple photos after arrival on the island, taken from the ferry.
Our view from the horse drawn taxi, going to the Grand Hotel. There are no motorized vehicles allowed on the island other than for emergency, like an ambulance. There is a hospital on the island, and an airport. Other than that, travel on the island is by foot, bicycle, horse drawn, or horse ride.
One nice thing we noticed was the later fall color change on the Island. We happened to catch what appeared to be the peak time. Somewhat of a delay by a couple weeks after the mainland peaks.
This was our first time inside the Grand Hotel. We just looked at it from afar the last time here. The nostalgia, elegance, beauty of it all hits you when you arrive. This hotel started in 1886, coincidentally the same year the company I work for started in the Detroit region. In 1887 it opened. The intent of the hotel (in my words) was to offer a getaway place from cities like Chicago, for those doing business with the railroads. No money was made per se at the hotel. The cooperative of companies who backed the hotel made their money moving product on the railroad.
It was "room by random selection" when I booked. We had to wait a little while when we arrived for the hotel to verify our room was ready. Though I suspect all the rooms are gorgeous, Christi cried when she saw our room. It was on the third floor West corner, facing the front of the hotel. It was so wonderful that she thought I had set this all up on purpose. I could not take credit. Cheers to the hotel! (Note, my understanding is that the rooms are decorated uniquely, making them all different. From what I saw, this is true.)
We went up to the Cupola Room, at the top of the hotel for drinks and something quick to eat. I do not travel when I eat, so I wait. Needless to say I was hungry after six hours of driving.
The Cupola Room gave a surreal view around the South side of the island. The room felt very comfortable, almost like a great room in a house. Here are some photos.
Dinner time. This weekend event is meant to celebrate the movie "Somewhere in Time" set in 1912. Many people really enjoyed dressing the era. To note, there is a dress code for after 6:30. So if you have to dress up, why not from the 1912's . . .
My beautiful bride at dinner. Yes, I take my camera everywhere that includes to dinner.
Every staff member, and I mean every staff member, is enjoyable. This next photo I snapped the bartender who quickly posed and smiled for me. A super great way of setting the tone of this wonderful experience at the Grand Hotel.
Because of this special weekend for the Grand Hotel, lectures were taking place on the history of the hotel, and around the theme of "Somewhere in Time". This room is one of several for the lecture gathering. Note, this was during the day. Because of the event, many people were dressing in period clothing.
As I sat and waited for Christi to go through the "Somewhere in Time" shop, I sat in the hallway and took some photos. This next photo was to just capture the silhouette of the people, and to offer enough detail as to location. Just something for me I wanted to share.
We took the horse drawn taxi into town to look for some shoes for Christi. The pair she had just was not working out. Many of the shops were already closed for the season. For those still open it was Sale day!
We went in a couple Irish shops to look around. I saw this hat on the rack and really liked it for Christi to wear, so we got it. I smile now whenever I see her wear it.
Every evening was super enjoyable. Everyone socialized. (Well, maybe not me because I am not comfortable in crowds.) You could tell many of the guests return each year because of their familiarity and friendships with each other. This made it even more welcoming to a first timer as well.
Saturday morning Christi was on a "location" tour for the movie. She had a real fun time on that. She can explain more in her blog. I chose to take a brief walk outside the hotel to take photos.
What was really nice, and you just felt the intent of the location and position, were the short trails with bench seating at little romantic areas along the path. Remember the television show "Fantasy Island"? This experience reminded me of that show.
In the above photo, the top far left windows are of our room . . . (left of the curved section).
Here are some photos taken from the porch of the hotel. Sometimes I will show several photos of the same scene because each are uniquely different. You should be able to find a favorite in this next set of photos, or perhaps you agree all are fun too look at.
There were phone booths in several locations of the hotel. I had hoped to find one with a vintage phone in it. Perhaps there was one and I just did not find it. I took advantage of this one to have some photography fun with my bride.
There was a "Somewhere in Time" trivia game we attended. It was fun to watch. Christi was anxious to answer the questions (not play), and quickly found out how well the other guests really new the movie. This event includes guests who were part of the movie. In this next photo you have the cinematographer Mr. Isidor Mankofsky (shorter gentlemen to the left with the cap), and actor Sean Hayden who played Young Arthur (to the right in the salmon shirt).
Once and a while I will look up. I often take photos like this. It was ironic in this case because of the very next lecture with Isadore Mankofsky. After I took this photo, in his lecture he commented on how they tried to keep everything in the period. However, in one of the dining room shots in the movie, if you look up you will see the sprinkler system which they could not take out. Look for that interesting feature the next time you watch the movie. For me it is not a spoiler. It is a cool acknowledgement that I met Isadore Mankofsky.
I saw this silhouette of Isadore Mankofsky during his lecture and had to photograph him.
I sneaked into the dining room between service to take a couple photos. To say the least, this main dining room is elegant, and large. It is enjoyable to observe the orchestration of the staff during service, as the guest seemingly flow in and out of this dining room. Picture several times larger than any typical restaurant, yet double the amount of service you would receive at that restaurant, and the highest quality food you will ever be served.
Saturday evening was the costume promenade through the grand parlor to the live harp. There were many dressed in period attire who participated in the promenade. The next set of photos capture some of the evening. I did not put all of the photos in this blog, because I took way to many. The first part of this set of photos are just general photographs.
As you might expect, this event may draw people to give a marriage proposal. The next photo was just that, and she said yes. (There were many people around the actual proposal, to where I could not take a good photograph. This photo was well after she said yes.)
The trip home. A bit sad in that I wanted this time I spent with my bride Christi to last forever. If we could have retired, it would have been right then and there. Here are some photos while waiting to leave.
This next set of photos were taken from the Colonial Michilimackinac Park, Mackinaw City.
"Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse"
I enjoyed the green reflection on the water from the Mackinac bridge. I hope you see it in the photo. It is much better in person.
I do wish that you visit the island at some point in your life. The Grand Hotel is fabulous to stay at. The "Somewhere in Time" is a very special event at the Grand Hotel, should you be so inclined. There area a lot of B&B's to choose from as well as many places to stay on the mainland.
My bride Christi and I will be back. We want to check out a B&B I think, and spend time walking around, not doing the "touristy" things. I am looking forward to it.
Here are a couple links to enjoy, to help guide you to this wonderful experience!
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