Thursday, May 25, 2017

Mackinac Island Day #2

Our day began with breakfast in the main dining room.  Breakfast at The Grand is as good as dinner.  You can order off the menu or go to their fabulous buffet, or both.  I opted to order the Spinach/Tomato/Wild Mushroom Omelette with Fingerling Potatoes from the menu, and the Granola Yogurt Parfait.  And, of course, tea [which happened to be Lipton].  

I was hoping for another seat by the window, but no such luck this time.  I didn't ask though, so it's not a complaint. The server placed the crisp, white linen napkin in our lap at breakfast and dinner.

After breakfast we decided to brave the "liquid sunshine" [as my hubby called it], and walk down to the shops on Market Street and Main Street. Northern Michigan is 2-3 weeks behind downstate weather wise. Our daffodils and tulips are mostly gone, but they're in full bloom on the island.  

Our daughter-in-law's parents came to the island right behind us, and below is their photo of the tulips.

I didn't recall seeing the turtle sculpture [totem ?] before, but I'm sure it was there. It's amazing what you notice when the streets are empty.

Our lilacs are in full bloom, but they're only beginning to bud on the island.  I was hoping to see some, but it was too early.  The 69th Lilac Festival is June 9-18, which will be perfect timing. I took a couple of pictures of the blossomless lilac bushes, which are so large they're like trees.

Because it was cold and rainy we were practically the only ones on the streets.  The only people on bicycles were island employees.  The sun did manage to pop out later in the afternoon, but we were already back in our hotel room when it appeared.

We went in the Lilacs & Lace gift shop on Market Street.  It's where I purchased a black teacup last fall.  For the most part, black teacups are the only ones I'm currently collecting, and they had another beautiful black and gold teacup that Jerry got for me.

~ It's a Crown Staffordshire. ~

Normally the Main Street sidewalks are bustling with tourists, and the streets are filled with bicyclists and carriages, but not last Monday. Only one lone bicycle in front of the restaurant.

I photographed the Sanders store since it's a Michigan based business, and I didn't remember it being there before [although I'm sure it was].  When the island is in full-swing with tourists it's hard to tell what stores are on Main Street.

We walked down to Murdick's Fudge, one of several fudge shops on Main Street, but Murdick's is the original fudge shop.  I found their history very interesting.  In 1887, father and son sail makers, Henry and Jerome [called Rome] Murdick, were commissioned to create canvas awnings for the new Grand Hotel on the island.  With them came Mrs. Murdick [Sara], and her exquisite confectionery skills and recipes.  Mackinac Island's first candy shop opened in 1887 as Murdick's Candy Kitchen.  Rome used his mother's recipe to make fudge, and his renowned marble table gave the fudge a unique texture and also provided a "stage" on which to show visitors how fudge is made.  The business took a brief hiatus during World War I when sugar was rationed, but by 1920 they were back and they even survived the Great Depression in 1929, when all the other fudge shops closed down. The family business has transitioned a couple of times, but Sara's recipe and technique is still used.  Today, they have a Murdick's Fudge shop at Martha's Vineyard too.

They offer 23 flavors, and I purchased a slice of Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge [Jerry's favorite], a slice of Butter Pecan, and a slice of German Chocolate for the combo price of $19.95.  I'm eating the German Chocolate as I type.  It's SO good!  I should point out that the whole time I was on the island I gave up all thoughts of dieting, and now that I'm home I can't let the fudge go to waste! ;-)

After our shopping excursion, we walked back to the hotel and arrived a bit waterlogged. A warm shower felt wonderful! Had this been my first trip on the island I'd have been bummed, but since this was my 9th visit, I'd already biked the island, taken a carriage ride of it, and seen all the other attractions, so I didn't mind spending a leisure afternoon at the hotel.  I took along my two Lucille Ball books, and between travel and time spent at the hotel I was able to finish one and get well into the other. 

It's rare to get a photo of the parlor/lobby when there's no one milling around.  Marriage Conference attendees were all in a conference room.  Later in the afternoon the lobby was bustling with Afternoon Tea guests, which I opted to pass on this visit.  Amongst all the tea drinkers Jerry despicably ordered a cup of coffee!  ;-)  

A view of the main dining room at the other end of the parlor.

At 6:00 p.m. we returned to the parlor to have our photo taken by a hotel photographer, and then we went to main dining room for dinner.  

Dinner was scrumptious!  I chose Lemon Herb Poached Shrimp Cocktail as my appetizer.

My soup of choice was Asparagus Soup.  It was so good I was hoping I could find a Grand recipe for it online when I got home, but to no avail. A letter to the chef might be forthcoming. Jerry ordered chilled Strawberry-Watermelon Soup and he said his was tasty too.  A complimentary book, Live Healthy, Live Grand, was in our room, and it contained the recipe for the strawberry-watermelon soup which I will definitely try when I get some Midori [melon liquor]. The recipe only calls for 1/3 cup so it won't be enough to make us tipsy! ;-)

The mixed greens salad is the same one we were served last fall.  I love how the greens are in the shape of a bouquet held together with a cucumber slice.

For my main entree I chose Wild Mushroom Raviolis with Fava Beans and Tarragon Ricotta. It's the first time I've ever seen stripped ravioli, but it was delicious.  Jerry ordered baked Atlantic Salmon.  The man at the table next to us raved about his BBQ rubbed Rack of Lamb, that I almost regretted not ordering it instead.

As good as The Grand's signature Pecan Ice Cream Ball with Fudge Sauce is, I wanted to try something different and went with Tiramisu.  I wasn't disappointed.

After dinner we walked down to the lower level where I spotted a vintage theater advertisement for one of Shirley Temple's movies.  

Then it was back up to our hotel room for the evening.  We awoke early Tuesday morning so we could have our luggage outside our door at 8:00 a.m. so it would be waiting for us when we got to Shepler's dock on the mainland.

We had one final breakfast to enjoy in The Grand's main dining room.  I decided to go to the buffet rather than order from the menu.  This fortified me for the return trip home.

It was still misty and overcast when we boarded the 10:00 a.m. Wyandot ferry for our trip back to the mainland.  The 83-foot ferry was built in 1979 and can accommodate 265 passengers.  It was named after a vessel that sailed the Straits area in the late 17th century. Fortunately Lake Huron was much calmer returning to Mackinaw City than it was when we went to the island, so the ride was smooth, but there weren't any daring souls who rode top deck. 

It was a wonderful three day getaway and we arrived back home safe and sound around 3:30 in the afternoon.  I hope you enjoyed traveling along with us vicariously.

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As an add-on to this post I have to share a picture of great-granddaughter Evie that Tiffany just posted on Facebook around 4:45 p.m.  They are leaving the hospital for home.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us! My husband is retiring in July and I really hope to talk him into taking advantage of one of these specials. It seems so relaxing and elegant. I think I would enjoy visiting the island without all the crowds.

  2. Love that beautiful teacup! Even in the rain, it sounds like a fun day. I expect you were eager to get home and see that darling new baby for yourself.

  3. I am so glad you shared this trip! We and my children and spouses all have enjoyed the marriage conference at the Grand. Too bad about the weather but typical for May! Beautiful teacup!

  4. What a wonderful trip! You must be something of an expert on the Grand Hotel by now. And of course that last photo gave me a huge smile. Congrats, again!


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