Mackinaw Island Getaway – Part One

Okay, so – who’s ready for another recap?  This time it’s for our trip up to Mackinaw Island.
Jon and I planned this trip at the beginning of summer as a little getaway for our family of four.
We arrived in Mackinaw City and the kids partook in their rituals of jumping off and onto each bed and I continued my ritual of telling them to stop because their socks are dirty and to get off my side of the bed.  Anyone else with me on this one?
The kids couldn’t wait to go swimming!!!  Unfortunately for them, we had a few places to check out before we settled in for the night.

Jon’s parents had recently visited some ‘up north’ museums and the Mackinaw Icebreaker happened to be one of them.  Jon wanted to check it out.  I wasn’t sure how the kids would do, but they actually loved it and found it intriguing.  

I was a little skeptical, as well, but it ended up being a lot fun and we learned a lot, too!

After the tour we headed to find a place to eat and on the way Henry found the first of many fudge making demonstrations.

We found a place to eat with a view of the lake!  I wish I had taken a picture.  It was such a pretty view.
After dinner we decided to walk around the city a bit more.
Brother and sister found a coin press.  Note to self, always carry 51 cents.  I should know this by now.  Luckily we exchanged some cash for change and all their dreams came true. 😉

We walked around a bit more and grabbed some ice cream.  As we were heading back to the car we turned the corner and saw this guy…
So cool!  He fist bumped Henry, umm..awesome-sauce, and he wanted Eliza to fist bump, too, be she was reluctant to do so.  If you look closely, sweet Henry is assisting her arm as to say, “It’s okay,” in an effort for her to fist bump, as well.  I love their love for each other.

We hoped in our car and headed toward the hotel, but as I looked out my window I asked Jon to turn around.  We HAD to go down to the lake.  The water was GORGEOUS!  I grabbed my “good” camera and off we went!
Henry and these rocks…  He was one happy little boy.

I just love it here.
As promised, we headed back to our room, changed our clothes and beelined it for the pool.
After all the pool fun, we decided to call it a night.  I hopped in the shower and put on my pajamas.  As I was winding down for the night I thought of how Jon reaaaaally wanted to go to the local dark sky park.  We had attended a wedding there last summer, but had to leave around ten (the latest our driver would pick us up).
So as I was getting into my cozies I told Jon we should go.
We left around 9:15 which is waaaay past the kids’ bedtime, but hey – we were on vacation!
Plus, the park was only a few miles away.
This place was so cool!  There were people out in lounge chairs, with blankets and it’s extremely quiet.  There are no nights allowed so as not to disrupt the environment.  The pathways are lit with low red lighting and everything is incredibly peaceful.  There were several other little kids there, but I never heard a peep.
We didn’t come as prepared as I had hoped – no bug spray, long jackets or warm blankets, but we had enough to get by; a picnic blanket and warm pjs.
We eventually found that the bathrooms and gift shop were both open, so we went inside for a bit to get away from a few bugs.
We came back out and, as clear as day, you could see Saturn, Jupiter, Venus and Mars!!!!!!  It was spectacular!

We didn’t get back until about 11 o’clock, waaaay, waaaaaaaaaay past the kids’ bedtimes, but it was totally worth it.
The next day we slept in a bit, packed up our things and caught a ferry to Mackinaw Island.

The ride over was about 16 minutes long.  Henry wanted to sit on the side of the boat.  I was a Nervous Nelly the entire time.  I’ve gone to Mackinaw Island several times in my life, but I still get nervous taking the ferry across, especially when my seven year old wants to sit right there… <wide-eyed emoji>

We arrived and wouldn’t you know it, our hotel was right in front of us!

Our luggage was taken from the ferry directly to the hotel, so we opted to rent some bikes and get to exploring the island.

Mission Pointe.

Arch Rock.
We climbed 207 steps and I quickly learned that I’m not 23 years old anymore.  The kids basically ran all the way up!  Not going to lie, it was a bit of a struggle for me.  I like to run, but boy, those stairs nearly destroyed me!
Totally worth it…

A little bit of hiking…and by a little bit, I mean down the hill and over to the picnic area.  LOL!

Lunchtime with these two proved to be a little craaaaazy…  They were being so silly!

At one point Jon had taken the kids to wash their hands before we ate lunch and Henry came running out of the bathroom at full speed.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw my little guy rolling in a lot…and I mean A LOT of dirt.  Jon saw the entire thing.  Henry was completely fine, but he was COVERED in dirt.  I found myself giggling about it a bit later.  He’s never been the type of kid who’s ever liked to get really dirty, but he was happy and fine and it made us laugh at how much fun he was having…dirt rolling and all…
I soooo wish I had a picture of him covered in dirt…
These two make life so good.
Time to head back to our bikes.
Going back down was much easier.  😉

This sweet little face behind me had my heart smiling the entire time…

We finished our seven mile ride around the island and decided to head up to Fort Mackinac.
I can’t remember ever going there, maybe when I was a baby, so it was all very new to me.  The view alone was worth the admission fee.

This was another thing that we weren’t sure about with the kids, but they LOVED it.  Eliza got a little scared and creeped out at times, but for the most part, she really enjoyed it.  Henry was reading the signs and was extremely interested in all the buildings and what they had to offer…

After a visit to the Fort, we ate at the restaurant below our hotel, The Pink Pony, and grabbed ice cream for desert.
The kids were back to their goofy ways…

The hot tub was calling our name, so we ventured back to our room, changed into our swimsuits, enjoyed some hot tub time (even with a bit of rain) and we ended up relaxing for the remainder of the evening in our hotel room.
Right as the kids were falling asleep it began to rain so I opened up a window to listen to the sweet raindrops, the sounds of horses trotting through the streets and the mumbling of the crowds and music under our room at the restaurant below.  Jon went across the road to Michigan’s oldest family owned grocery store and grabbed us a few snacks.  Talk about relaxing.
I love this little island.

Part Two is coming your way.  Stay tuned. 
Marie 🙂

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