Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Mackinac's The Mackinac: The End of The Bachelor Era for Kevin Hill

Kevin Hill is getting married! Let's shout it from the rooftops, shall we? Or, perhaps, an island?

We gathered with Hill, the bride-to-be Erica and friends at Mackinac Island for a bachelor/bachelorette party of sorts. With couples. In their late 30s. There were no penis balloons or gentlemen's clubs... but there were a lot of horses!

Mackinac Island is a car-free, care-free summer haven boasting cool temperatures and even cooler historic buildings.  Horses rule the roost here, with 3 full time veterinarians on the Island and only 1 part time "people doctor."  As one of our cheerful tour guides pointed out "We know where our priorities lie."

But before you can get to any of that, you have to get to the Island. By ferry, of course. All aboard!

We bought our Shepler's Ferry tickets and walked Mackinaw City as we waited for the ferry's arrival. A well-timed text from April's Dad reminded her that almost 30 years ago, she had enjoyed some pizza at Mama Mia's Pizza while wandering Mackinaw City with her parents.  All for the nostalgia and some lunch, we ponied up for a few slices of this well-know pie and their famously different crust. It's made of some wonderful combination of corn bread and flour to create a dough that is light and fluffy, yet firm enough to support the weight of the toppings. Delicious!

At 1pm, the ferry whistled sounded and we made our way aboard.  Clothed in a sweatshirt, coat and hat, we braved the upper, open deck and took in fantastic views of Lake Michigan as we made our 16 minute journey to Mackinac Island.

Upon arrival, we met Hill and Erica for hugs and a cocktails in our hotel bar.  Hill, having worked on the Island in his younger years, went about finding old friends. By way of his great questions, we soon learned that more than half of the bar staff also works in Naples during snowbird season. These folks clearly have great taste when it comes to summer and winter destinations. 

As the other partiers arrived, we cruised the horse-poop-ridden streets of Mackinac and fancied ourselves a bar crawl.  Spoiler alert: We were super fun, super loud, and all in bed by 10pm. 

On Monday morning, as rain poured down around us, we boarded a horse-drawn carriage for a Mackinac Island Carriage Tour of the Island and all of it's horse-loving, old-fashioned architecture. We checked out The Grand Hotel, their stables, Mackinac Island State Park, Arch Rock, and learned that the plethora of puddles dotting the streets are most definitely not from rain.  

Following the tour, April had a real hankering to be even more touristy. Bikes! That's the jam around here! We had to ride the 8 miles around the Island! And while some people may say "Rain! Gross! Didn't that ruin the biking conditions?" We said "We're hardcore tourists! The roads will be free of most other tourists! No lines for pictures at the many points of interest! Let's do this!"  

We (along with one other hardcore tourist, Jared), rented some sweet three-speed cruisers and pedaled off into the pouring rain.  We waved at fellow soaked bikers, were attacked by a BearSkunkSquirrel thingy, and took in a solid dose of history. By the way, Northern Michigan does an incredible job of placing historically informative signage along all of their roadsides, and Mackinac Island is of course no exception. Here's another spoiler alert: The Indians got screwed out of their land.  

To cap off our weekend, no visit to Mackinac Island would be complete without a fancy-pants dinner at one of The Grand Hotel's restaurants.  Hill and Erica wisely chose The Woods for our farewell dinner. We drank Champagne as the men pondered the menu.... making certain to save room for bowling after dinner.  

The next morning, we packed up our suitcases and once again boarded a Shepler's Ferry. Back on land, Hill lead the way to a little known gem tucked into the shoreline along Michigan 119. In the sleepy little burg of Cross Village (Population 93) lies a very cool Polish restaurant called Legs Inn. We arrived 45 minutes before they opened to find a line already clear across the parking lot. Since we're not complete tools, we joined the hungry folks who all agree that these pierogis are worth the wait. 

To cap off a great weekend, Hill was carded.  The table erupted in applause for this old man, still looking a spry 21.  Good for you, buddy. You've still got it.

Pre-party in the books, we pointed our trucks toward Petoskey, Michigan. Time to pick up our kids from our fabulous babysitters (Mark's parents) and get ready for this wedding!  Here comes the Bride!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Snarfs and Snoozes

While driving the 1772 miles home from Bar Harbor, April looked and Mark and said... "What should we call our last blog of the summer?&...