Lil' Slice o' Heaven: Mackinac, Island

The day after Megan & Jeff's wedding, Emir and I headed up north to a magical little place I've wanted to explore since I first learned of its existence during my Wisconsin college days. It's a quiet throw back from the good ol' days otherwise known as: Mackinac Island (pronounced 'Mackinaw.') If you've never been there, you should really consider adding it to your family 'go-to' list. It's a small island off of the coast of Michigan surrounded by the ginormous water body, Lake Michigan. Roughly 3 miles long, what the island lacks in size it more than makes up for in charm, peace & quiet. There are no cars allowed on the island, so tourists and residents alike (there are roughly 400 lucky people who live there year-round) ride bikes everywhere (or... travel by horse-drawn carriage!). The weather is perfect in the summer (maybe 65-70 degrees, little/no humidity) and if you have a sweet tooth, you're a stone's throw from a fudge shop almost anywhere you go. To put it simply, it is truly a little slice of heaven. We were happy to lose track of time and enjoy the simple life for the few days we were there. Here are some of my fave pics from our 2 day visit. mackinac-island-03mackinac-island-01

Fun details from our room and other inside gems from the Harbour View Inn B&B. The house had a fantastic wrap around porch where we enjoyed watching the endless parade of visitors on bikes while we caught up on our reading.


Naturally, we rented bikes as well.  Of the numerous bike rental shops on the island, we happened to pick Mackinac Wheels, which we're told is the only shop owned by full-time islanders. They were incredibly helpful and hooked us up with two mountain bikes for the morning. We highly recommend them if you go!

After our regular P90x workout (yes, we took Tony Horton with us! We're almost finished with phase 1, and we 'brought it,' literally!), we set out to ride the entire circumference of the island (not as impressive as it sounds.... remember the island is only about 3mi long/wide.... but.... it was still a great workout and an even better excuse to enjoy some more of the island fudge later!) Here, Emir caught me enjoying the island sun along the coast...


Darling light houses.... what more to say? :)


Why does Emir always look so darn gorgeous? Even while on vacation, he's just beautiful 100% of the time. With zero effort. Totally unfair. :) But....  I never get tired of this view..... ;)


More bike riding.....


I suppose this shot could've been taken about anywhere..... but.... I was into the patterns of the structure and the flare of the sun. Sometimes, that's all it takes. :)


We veered off of Main Street (though not far.... there's literally not much else.....) and found this darling historic building. Interestingly, several of the historic buildings seemed to be 'guarded' by these darling little Boy Scout kiddos..... He obliged my photo interest with a smile.


One of our favorite things to do when enjoying a care-free vacation day somewhere, is to visit a little local market and get some goodies for an outdoor picnic. We usually go for something along the lines of cheese, grapes, french bread and some wine.... but at Doud's, we went with pasta salad made fresh that morning, tuna wraps, yogurt.... and.... apple chips. We ate in the park down the street.


While we were enjoying our lunch, we spotted Kevin riding by on what's known as an Ordinary Bike, High Wheeler or a Penny-Farthing. I was just telling Emir the day before about how much I love the lines of such bikes.... and here was Kevin.... driving one down Main Street... IN COSTUME no less! We watched as people stopped him every few yards to ask about his bike. I thought he was there as part of the island hospitality (like a hired street performer or some such thing...) but it turns out that he came from the Boston area with his wife to enjoy the island and meet up with other Penny-Farthing enthusiasts. He was kind enough to indulge my photo obsession with his bike while filling us in on the group he belongs to called the Wheelmen. Thanks Kevin! (Surprise for you coming in the mail in the next 2 weeks!)


We passed more time sitting on the docks, watching the sail boats.... eating fudge, and plotting our next big adventures. The day wore on and eventually.... day turned into night. But, things are far from over just because the sun goes down.... The island even boasts a colorful nightlife! Would you believe this little tiny place has 18 bars!? We popped in to check out a few... but mostly just enjoyed people watching and the view to be had on Main Street.

mackinac-island-15A great family vacation spot, we're already plotting a return with our future kiddos! (not that there's any news on that front yet.... but someday!)