It was time for Carleton's Tea Store to close, but they kept it open for us to quickly browse.
Familiar tea quote above the doors of the shop - "If you are cold, tea will warm you... "
From the tea shop Barb and I went to the registration desk to get the keys to our room which we were anxious to see. #298 - just a few doors away from where Jerry and I stayed when we visited the Grand the previous September to plan the MI Tea Tour.
It was a gorgeous room with a balcony...
...and a view of the island and Lake Huron in one direction,
and the governor's summer residence nestled among the trees in the other direction.
~ Two comfy double beds ~
As tour coordinator, a beautiful arrangement of fresh flowers from The Musser Family [the hotel owners] were in our room.
Besides Afternoon Tea, our overnight package included dinner and breakfast in the main dining room. [Somehow we managed to fit another fabulous meal into our already full tummies that evening!]
The group met in the hotel parlor for pre-dinner photos.
[Gloria and Judith]
[Linda J. and Joanie]
[Lori and Teresa, and Linda P.]
Mike Concannon took our group to our reserved table in the main dining room. Salle à Manger [above the entrance door] is French for Dining Room. The elegant room has a seating capacity of 750 guests, and it runs as efficiently as a precision watch. The kitchen is staffed by over 100 people putting out as many as 4,000 meals a day.
Dinner is served daily from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. The vividly decorated room overlooks one end of the hotel's sprawling front porch.
~ Menu for our delicious 5-course dinner. ~
~ Beautifully set table. ~
~ I selected poached Jumbo Shrimp as my appetizer. ~
~ Wild Mushroom and Chestnut Bisque. ~
The dinner salad was Mixed Greens with Goat Cheese, Carrots, Hazelnuts, and thinly sliced strips of cucumber were wrapped around a base of lettuce to form a bouquet. It was drizzled with Buttermilk-lemon dressing. It was a beautiful presentation!
My main entree was melt-in-your mouth Roasted Prime Rib of Beef [medium-well, please] with Root Vegetables, Baked Potato, and Garlic Au Jus. Each season more than 83,000 lbs. of Prime Rib are served.
When I was there a year ago I passed on their signature dessert, the Grand Pecan Ball. I didn't forego it this time! Some of the gals couldn't decide which dessert they wanted, so our accommodating waitress let them choose more than one.
50,000 delicious Grand Pecan Balls are served every season.
[Linda P. and Joanie]
[Teresa and Me]
[Me, Barb, and Linda P.]
~ We were well attended to. ~
If you look closely in the photo below you'll see one of the waiters carrying a tray of dishes back to the kitchen on his head. I remembered him from last year too. Impressive!
After dinner we had to walk off some of that food before going to bed, so Linda P. suggested we do a 'room crawl' to see everyone's rooms. My room was on the second floor so we started there first.
[Barb and Me]
By now it was dark outside and room service had come in and turned down the bed covers, and laid a piece of dark chocolate candy on the pillow.
Close-up of the chocolate candy wrapper. The reverse side said Sweet Dreams Grand Hotel.
From my room we went up to the 3rd floor to Lori and Teresa's room - #324. Below, Gloria and Joanie exiting the 3rd floor elevator, and Teresa and Lori in front of their room.
Their room in daylight.
Right next door in room #326 was Linda P. and Joanie. Teresa was excited they had adjoining doors inside to each other's rooms
Linda and Joanie had canopy beds too, but with different fabric and wallpaper.
~ Love this picture of fun-lovin' Joanie! ~
Linda P. showed us some of the hats she purchased while we were on the carriage ride earlier in the afternoon. If there would have been a prize for the best/biggest shopper on the trip 1st place would have gone to Linda P. and 2nd to Teresa. These gals love to shop.
Then we were off to the fourth floor where Linda J. and Nancy R. roomed. I already posted pictures of their room. After the crawl we all said good night and went to our rooms. We were scheduled for breakfast in the main dining room at 7:30 the next morning.
Wouldn't it be fun if the Grand offered a special Tea and Tour or a Behind the Scenes Tour, where guests could view [for an additional fee] the special named suites at the Grand - i.e. the Presidential Suites [Lincoln, Jefferson, Theo. Roosevelt, and Eisenhower], the Governor's Suites [Williams and Milliken], and the First Ladies' Suites [Dolly Madison, Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, and Barbara Bush], The Lord Astor Suite, and others?
Next post - more about the Grand Hotel...