Sunday, August 14, 2011

On The Island, Pre-Wedding . . . Part 2 Friday Activities

I had a little time to explore the Parlor Floor, of the Grand Hotel, before we met for breakfast in the main dining room. Here is the lobby:

Notice the colors. Color is the main theme as well as the flower geranium, specifically red geraniums. There are flowers everywhere. They come from a nursery somewhere in the State and are brought in early spring. The soil is produced on the Island by composting food scraps, animal dung and the straw from the horse barns. To discourage the many gulls from becoming a bigger nuisance than they are, the straw from the stalls are not only mixed in the compost but put on top of the compost pile.

After a breakfast in the Main Dining Room, the three of us chose to take a carriage ride around the Island this morning. We could get off at certain points and spend time experiencing what was there at that destination and then get back on the next carriage. Sarah left about half way through as she needed to get ready for the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner.

There are bicycles everywhere - either bring your own or rent. This is known as "bicycle hill". Since the horses are main mode of transportation of people and freight, they are pampered beasts. There are two kinds of horses on the Island - draft and Hackney. Most horses are of the draft size - Percheron & Belgian. Here after hauling a carriage from Carriage Tours, the horses get much needed water. In fact, you see the horses getting watered often around the Island. Here is a link to the Mackinac Island Town Crier's article on the return of the horses to the Island this Spring. There are 500-600 horses on the Island during the summertime and I found this interesting - virtually NO flies with that many horses. I ran across this YouTube video on "Fly Predators on Mackinac Island". It is is long, but not only interesting on how they eliminate flies but has some beautiful scenes of the Island.

The Carriage Tours has several stops, including a butterfly house, Arch Rock and Fort Mackinac

Sherry and I had lunch at Fort Mackinac and had a beautiful view overlooking the harbor.
We finished our tour by riding the carriage back down to town. From there Sherry and I walked around, bought some of the famous Mackinac Island fudge - and yes those are fudge.
By the time Sherry and I got by to the Hotel, via horsedrawn taxi, we were tired. I was hungry later and went down to the Main Dining Room and had a very elegant dinner of prime rib that was so moist and wonderful tasting. Now, I don't order prime rib very often because I have to eat my meat well done (not because I want to) and usually well-done prime is a bit dry and often takes a knife to cut it; but this wasn't so. There were so many silverware pieces at my table and sometimes I wasn't quite sure which one to use. My waitor would note my hesitation and would very discreetly indicate which one I was to use. I wasn't intimidated either because he was so discreet about it. Been many a year since I had used that many silverware pieces.

I do want to mention here, that there is an evening dress code at the Hotel: Men (and boys) will wear a jacket and tie, while women will wear a dress or a nice pantsuit/slack/jacket type top. About 90% of the women, at dinner, were wearing dresses. I saw many a little tyke dressed up in pretty dresses or suit and tie too. Casual resort wear is acceptable during the day.

Well, after that delicious dinner it was back to my room, watch a little more of the Hotel history video on TV and then to bed.

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