Today Luca and I fly to Michigan to meet my mother, sisters and a gaggle of offspring at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Open since 1887, cars are still banned from the island (transportation is via horse and carriage or bicycle) and access is only by ferry boat or plane.
(Image from here)
I was there once before and the atmosphere of the hotel reminded me of "The Road to Wellville" by T. C. Boyle.
(image from the film adaptation, 1994)
I couldn't help but envision it at the turn of the 20th century when Michigan was a magnet for the health-conscious and well-heeled capitalists flocked to the Grand Hotel to enjoy its cool breezes, socialize with the Middle American elite and stroll along the world's longest front porch -- 660 feet -- known as "Flirtation Walk."
(The hotel in 1890)
My mother has twice reminded me that I must dress for dinner as evening wear is required in all areas of the hotel. "Dresses or pantsuits for ladies," the website primly asserts. I hope an embroidered silk kurta will pass muster in the dining room. I'm not really a pantsuit kind of gal.
Listen to this astounding fact. During the 2008 summer season, the Grand Hotel served 83,000 pounds of prime rib, 23,500 pounds of ham, 83,500 pounds of potatoes and 6,500 pounds of pecans.
Oh, and Mackinac Island is famous for its homemade fudge; you can't walk more than ten feet without seeing a "Free Samples" sign.
My trainer is going to kill me.