Northern Michigan Trip Day 2: Mackinac Island

As you may have read here, we took a trip to northern Michigan last weekend to participate in the Mackinac Island Great Turtle Run. Day 1 was all about romance, being “smushy”, and sight seeing. Day 2 wasn’t just all about the race, we had plenty to do as well.

The morning started off early. We woke up around 7am to get ready and have some “continental breakfast” provided by the budget motel. The breakfast was ….interesting to say the least. They had the typical stuff only it was the little things that grossed me out. The waffle iron was just caked with black stuff and appeared as if it hadn’t been cleaned in ages. The danishes were slightly stale, the coffee was like waiting-room-at-the-oil-change-place grade. Everything just looked like it needed a good cleaning. Again I will stress that I’m aware this was a budget motel and thus the food reflected that but it still wasn’t very appetizing to me. The first ferry to the island went out at 9am and we figured we should get there a bit early to be safe. We used Star Line because out of the 3 they offer free parking and we’ve always had good experiences with them. The race had sold out at 3000 runners so that equals a crapton of people trying to get to the island at the same time. This at a time when the whole freakin area is already “rolling up the sidewalks” for winter. Add cold , windy, and rainy into the mix and to a normal person… only an idiot would go to Mackinac Island on a day like this. As we waited for the boarding time it became obvious that Star Line didn’t really believe people would actually show up because they were only prepping one ferry as the line grew longer and longer. They did, however, react quickly after the first boat was filled to get a second one going so props to them for being on top of things.

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Normally the ride over is exciting and I try to get as many pictures as I can on the trip over but not this time. It was dark, foggy, the waters were rough, and the windows were all fogged up from 200 runners breathing all over everything. It was quiet, like a boat ride on the river styx. When we got to the island most of the shops weren’t even open yet. People were flooding out of the 3 ferry lines and crowding into every open food establishment and waiting in absurd lines which made me thankful for that budget breakfast we had. We purchased a few things from the stores that were open, then headed down to packet pick up. We got our stuff and stashed it in a locker and continued shopping… most places were open by now. We had plenty of time to kill… so much that we really hit the majority of the stores looking for that every elusive perfect souvenir.

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Race time… insert already published blog post here.

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After the race we decided to hurry back to town to get lunch before the masses left the finish line. We stopped at the Pink Pony restaurant, partly because it’s the first one, but also because the GF liked the name lol. There was about a half hour wait so I went and grabbed our gear. We swapped out sweaty clothes for nice dry warm stuff and sat down to eat. The food was GREAT! I had a chicken salad sandwich that was just HUGE, and well worth the money. After food we were on a mission to get sand from the Mackinac beach. We started a thing where we collect sand from the places we go and display it… I’ll do a post on it someday. As it turns out… the beach was all rocks. So we went to another beach …all rocks… and another, and another. We walked the entire main side of the island and it was all just rocks. We had to give up because it was getting late and if we missed the next ferry it would be another hour and a half before the final one so we rushed as fast as our tired aching bodies would let us. When we got to the dock, naturally, there was a gigantic line already. Both Mackinaw city ferries had gone and we weren’t on them… but Star Line started up a St Ignace ferry and used that to shuttle the remainder of us back. I have to say they handled the situation very well! However, the St Ignace ferries are smaller, and the water was very rough. It was crazy! That boat got tossed around like it was nothing. At times it felt as if we were going to tip which was excitement for me but sea sickness for the GF. The trip took a little longer but we made it back in one piece.

Back at the motel we showered, warmed up in the bed for a little, but we needed to head out because there was just one thing we needed to do. In “fudgie town” we had to get to one specific store in order to get our “old timey” picture taken. We had talked about getting one several times in the past but never did so this was our moment! Originally we wanted the “bath tub photo” but that wasn’t available at this location so we went with the cliché bar scene. We went “wild west” and opted for the more traditional “no smile” look in order to make it more authentic. Success! It’s everything we dreamed of and more! We had planned to do more after but were exhausted to we grabbed a bite to eat and went back to the motel to turn in early.

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In the morning we packed up our bags and met the GF’s mom for breakfast. She lives up there so no trip nearby would be complete without a visit. We met up at Audie’s restaurant where we had lunch the day before. This time we weren’t there as random fudgies… we knew a local and that made us family lol. Not that we had bad service before, it was pleasant and normal for lunch… but now we felt like somebodies hahaha. It was a nice touch. We spent the morning talking over breakfast and coffee. I met the GF’s brother for the first time, although he didn’t have much to say and only stayed for a short while. We said our goodbyes and headed for home… with a pit stop at Bronners, in Frankenmuth …just because. It was a successful stop for sure, the GF who wasn’t into it was the one who wound up with the most stuff lol.

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Finally, we were home. It was mid afternoon. We crawled into bed. The End.