Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mackinac Island Shall Explain My Absence

I have returned from a simpler time, and it scares me. Well, not really, though I was quite confused about what to do when presented with a gas pump that doesn't have a slot for credit cards. (Aparently you pay after you pump the gas...and you go inside. The whole premise of paying for the gas after it's in your car is foreign to me.)

(If you want to skip all of the words and just see pictures, you can go to the Flickr photos)

I was in a place where wireless internet access is not ubiquitous, television is not missed, and the summer sunsets last forever. If you noticed the lack of a performing arts piece this weekend, it's OK... I didn't get hit by a bus, though I have 3 days and another couple hundred miles before I'm home: I will be at a Cleveland Orchestra concert next weekend, though I haven't decided which one sounds better (leave a comment if you'd prefer to hear about Saturday or Sunday's concert)

Before making my way to Columbus, where I am at the moment, I was "Up North" in beautiful St. Ignace and Mackinac Island, Michigan. Both cities are amazing to visit; and my grandparent's home up there has an amazing view of the lake just standing in the middle of the street. But let's start at near the beginning...

My journey started after work on Thursday, and at 11:59PM, 6 hours into the 7 hour drive I found myself checking in to the last room at the Gaylord Hampton Inn: My suspicion that that was a good place to pause the drive was confirmed when I tried convincing the clerk that my Hilton HHonors Diamond Card -- followed by my Ohio Driver's License -- was the credit card I wished to used to pay for the room. A keycard for their last available room was exchanged for a valid (and real) credit card, and I got a good night sleep.

The Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, MIMackianc Island - Downtown and Marina from Fort
Friday morning, I finished out the drive and greeted my grandparents who graciously hosted us in their home for this trip. After unwinding, my Mom (who had arrived by air the night before) and I headed over to Mackinac Island...relatively unique in that there motorized vehicles are prohibited* on the Island's roads leaving foot, bikes, and horses as the primary means of transportation. The island is full of history and, for me at least, is quite the visual experience so if you can't go for yourself, I'd recommend checking out some of my Flickr photos rather than reading my blather.

Among "new" sights for this trip, I was amazed to see a horse-drawn street sweeper a few times during the course of my visit -- an ingenious bit of technology to address one of the biggest problems of having a few hundred horses as an island's primary means of transportation (don't worry, the old-school human-with-shovel-and-pan street sweeper is still present in abundance).

After leaving the island and unwinding for a bit we grabbed dinner and that pretty much spoke for Friday.
The entirety of the alleySt. Ignace Has a Bowling Alley?!?Me, the only bowler at the time.
Saturday morning was the reunion proper. Once things quieted down, my mother and I got a few games of bowling in. Unsurprisingly, I lost every game. Badly. But we still had fun. After bowling we paid my tribe's casino a visit to spend some promotional tokens. Unsurprisingly, I lost. Badly. But I walked out with $3.75 more than I started with, and we closed out the night with downtown St. Ignace's fireworks over Lake Huron.

Given that it is now 11:30 this seems like a good place to leave things for tonight, more about the trip and more photos to come tomorrow.

*--Golf carts are allowed on the golf course only; our carriage guide told the story about two attorneys who were golfing and decided to take the cart downtown to pick up more beer. A state trooper cited them for, among other things, OWI, open container, no seatbelt on a state highway...


  1. Linc,
    Grandpa Bull said "the WHOLE World should read this post". Hope you come again...real soon.

  2. So do I (it doesn't hurt that my grandparents live in St. Ignace) it's just a little odd for someone who's never used anything but a pre-pay gas pump to find one that's not only post-pay but doesn't even have a credit card throws the dance off!

    I have some left-over fudge in the freezer...