Can only mean one thing… YES! The Official Mackinaw Post!! We had a great time and yes, I took lots of pictures!
Note: It was only my mom and I that went, and we didn’t go to the Island because we only went for the weekend. If you’re thinking about traveling to the Island, I would highly recommend setting a whole day aside to do so. There’s lots to see and do there!
Ok enough jibber jabbering… On with our trip!!
We left Southeast Michigan (where we live) around 4:30ish and we hit the normal traffic on the way up. I had to take a picture for all of you non-Michiganders. On I-75 there are signs for Frankenmuth and Bronners, even in Florida! So just to explain, it’s basically a really small town centered around Christmas all year-round and there are stores where you can buy ornaments, decorations and anything Christmas you can ever imagine. So, it’s only appropriate that Santa waves to all the people driving by.
Why hello there Santa!
The good thing about Frankenmuth is that when you exit off the expressway, to the right you have Christmas land, and to the left you have a GIANT outlet mall called Birch Run. Seriously, set a whole day aside to shop here because it’s huge. Like, ginormous. Look it up.
When we were driving along, we saw a minivan with a license plate “EMS VAN.” I tried to take a picture but it didn’t turn out very well. We thought it was funny because my cousin, Emily always came with us to Mackinaw!
Driving north we go, a driving north we go… Oh sorry, I’ll stop singing now. This is the first picture of the first sign to Mackinaw! Follow the green signs!
WOOOOOO!! Only a million more hours to go! (Clearly because we were only in Saginaw at this point)
Our bellies were beginning to growl so we stopped in… Where else? West Branch for a very gourmet meal… wait for it…
You guessed it! A good old Happy Meal, chicken nuggets, of course.
Driving, driving, driving, driving and BAM!! The first Mackinaw Island ferry billboard! Arnold Transit Line! Which in my opinion is the best! To follow were countless fudge shops and Grand Hotel ads too.
This is where the Giant Man Eating Clam story comes in… You know you’re almost close when you see Sea Shell City. It’s a tourist attraction on the side of the expressway that apparently has a “Giant man eating clam.” I’ve never been there but there’s always cars in the parking lot. Maybe I should check it out someday… but I’m not getting close to that clam.
Watch out for that clam
Now it wouldn’t be a complete Mackinaw trip if I didn’t show you the first glimpse of the bridge. Not only did we used to bet on who would see it first, but pictures don’t do this scene justice. Just before you get to the bridge you’re driving on hilly roads and at the top of them you can see upper Michigan for miles. It’s so beautiful and it can take your breath away. Where I live it’s mostly big cities and buildings, although I do have one of the Great Lakes about 5 minutes from my house. But when you get Up North, you really appreciate how beautiful our awesome state really is.
YAY Mighy Mac!
Ok sorry that took so long, but it’s a long drive up there! With so many good memories with this gal!
We stayed at the Beachcomber Motel. We used to stay in one of the fancier hotels on the strip but we really were just there to sleep, so we didn’t care. However, I highly recommend it for anyone who doesn’t mind not having a pool (I mean you have a lake right out your door) or won’t miss any of the fancy fluff you get with the more expensive hotels. We were very happy to lean that we were in the last room down the parking lot, which was closest to the lake, so we also had a side window! We could see the beach, lake, Island and also some of the buildings on the island! You may not notice it but see that long white building in the distance? Keep squinting… well that’s the Grand Hotel!
This was our view from our side window!
After we were all settled in, we took a ride downtown, and also stopped at the park right to the East of the bridge. It’s so pretty, and you can see the Upper Peninsula and the Island.
Park by the bridge, lighthouse and Fort
Toes in the sand at the park!
Um check out this “cottage” on the lake… how many stories do you count??
I couldn’t get a good picture of the Island at night but oh my was it so pretty. You’re just sitting on the beach, and all of the Island lights are on and they literally twinkle. The Grand Hotel looks spectacular and you just want to stare at it for hours.
Let’s fast forward to the next day shall we?
We were actually up there at the same time as the St. Ignace car show, so we were constantly seeing old cars which was pretty cool. The winner of the whole shebang was at our hotel!
We started off the morning with good old continental breakfast bagels and coffee. After that we took a spin around downtown to map out our shopping for the next day, and I needed to go to the party store because I lost my hair tie. DANGIT why does that always happen? And oh ya we ran out of chips for our dip.
So after we shoved our faces with chips and dip and my hair was properly secured, we were off to tan outside!
This was the view from our tanning spot
We were out there for a good 2 hours before the hillbillies next to us decided to shoot off bottle rockets. Mind you, they were like, 7 years old. Classy folks. So then we decided it was time to go inside for some drinks. Coors Light to be exact, hence the Blue Mountains. (If you don’t know about their cans, they have a picture of mountains on them and if the can is cold they turn blue. If they are still white, then your beer is probably warm. G-r-o-s-s).
This was our 2nd tanning spot! See how far the people in the background are out? The water level is super low, it has been for years. It used to come up to where the grass line is!
Let’s just say that we drank a few of these, ran out, went to the store to get a refill, and drank more. Then we realized we spent WAY too much time in the sun and came inside to chill out. One look in the mirror and we knew we were cooked (literally).
We were starving by this point so we decided to get some pizza from Pizza Palace. Let me tell you that is was deeelish.
We enjoyed the entire pizza (can you guess which side is mine?) and then watched the last 2 episodes of Real Housewives of OC. Dang Sarah is nuts. And really Vicki?? Brooks totally needs to get kicked to the curb. The only reason we sat in the room on a beautiful day was because the sun was still out. Sun + already burnt skin = ouchies.
We finally went outside and every motel has a bonfire pit available to their guests. It was super cool to see all of them in a row lit up with people out on the beach. After the people left our pit we dove in and took our spots at the benches. Hey… check out my mom’s “recovery drink.”
Ha, don’t worry, there’s no Jack in that Coke. Just ice.
The next day we got up and enjoyed another round of bagels and coffee, and sat on the beach for a bit. After that, we went shopping to pick up some gifts. Of course I got fudge, and some other fun things too.
After our shopping extravaganza, we got some Kilwin’s ice cream and ate it in the park near the bridge. I was sad they didn’t have my waffle bowl dipped in chocolate and sprinkles, but that’s ok. My belly doesn’t need it anyways : )
Oh ya, we also forgot to take a picture before we left so here we are afterwards pretending that it’s the day we left. Clearly it’s not, because you can see we are fried. Oops.
I think I’m going to end this post right here because it’s SO super long, but stay tuned tomorrow for another riveting Mackinaw post! You’ll see the house I’m going to buy (in my head) and then the house I’ll eventually own with my cousin, and other random pics too that I didn’t want to bore you with in this post.
Before I go, let’s just say that Miss Izzy has a very exciting weekend with her Grandpa while we were done! In fact, as soon as she got home she passed out in her bed. So tired in fact, that she didn’t come and lick my legs when I got out of the shower. That’s one pooped puppy.
Lauren : )