Wednesday, June 24, 2009

To Babbitland

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.

23 comments:

Prairie Girl Studio said...

sounds simply smashing ~ have a fabulous time dahling ... can't wait to hear about it all on your return!
prairiegirl

Tavarua said...

Have a great trip - A life well lived......All the best

pve design said...

O fudge, wish I could tag along.

home before dark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mary said...

You know.....I could make you that hat. I think I'm displaced in this century - that's the life I want to live. Have a wonderful time...very hot and humid here but you'll be cooler on the lake
- ENJOY !

JMW said...

I've always wanted to go there. It would be a welcome getaway from this heat and humidity in the South. Enjoy your trip!

Aimala said...

Have a wonderful trip. Mackinac Island sounds like the perfect place to sit, enjoy the scenery & read a great book! I went to a no-vehicles-allowed island years ago. It was off of Ireland & was sp peaceful & relaxing.
Enjoy :o)

Amy
Aimala02@yahoo.com

A Super Dilettante said...

Oh I want to go there right now! I'm sure you must have seen the hotel which was famously featured in "Somewhere in Time". One of the prettiest scene was seeing Richard for the first time Elise whsiper, "Is it you? Is it?" with John Barry's lovely score playing in the background. It must be so romantic to get married at this hotel. I heard there is "Somewhere in Time" theme for weddings at this hotel, is it true? The costume in this photo reminds me of Princess Diana's outfit she wore during a Royal Tour to Canada in 1983. It's so romantic and dollie like. Here is a link: http://princessdiana.ca/

tartanscot said...

Seriously, do I have to be the first one to mention The Grand Hotel's co-starring role in "Somewhere in Time." Also starring Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, and also Jane Seymour's wonderful hair.

Please promise me that you'll wonder down to the water's edge just as the sun is beginning to set and hum a few bars of Rachmaninoff's "Variations on a Theme by Paganini."

rachel said...

i haven't been since i was 12...
i remember being chased around a fudge shop by a flying bat. enjoy my dear!
xox

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Do be careful you don't slip into another age, a la Somewhere In Time!! Although if one is going to travel backwards, this would be the place to do it. All that beauty...and fudge!!
Have a wonderful time!

firefly said...

Oh, how I love Mackinac Island! A bicycle ride all the way around the island along the shoreline, a carriage ride along tree-lined streets, no cars/noise, the most charming homes and inns you've ever seen, and the most perfect little stone church... not to mention the Grand Hotel... [swoon]

Katie said...

How fantastic! My mom grew up going to Mackinac Island so I've always been surrounded by pictures of the Grand Hotel! I hope you have a wonderful time!

vicki archer said...

Have a wonderful time - it looks like a magical place, xv.

Susan's Snippets said...

Lisa -

Ironically..just this morning I overheard someone talking about Mackinac and I thought "I have lived in the Midwest my whole life and have never been!"

Thanks for the details. I will definitely be planning a trip after I lose the 10 pounds that I now KNOW I will gain.

fudge eating without restrain

Glenda said...

Lisa, you take us to the most wonderful places in travel and in our minds. It puts pictures in my head.

Thank you

fric and frac said...

OH You'll love it there! We used to go there when I was growing up and it was so much fun. Michigan is beautiful! We never stayed at the Grand Hotel while we were there, but it is beautiful. The lack of cars is so amazing and when you get off of the ferry they load your luggage up on their bikes-it is amazing how much luggage they can carry on one bike! We spent a few 4th of July's there and it was great! Have fun! Ride your bike around the island!

Paul Pincus said...

you're enchanting*

*but you already knew that!

The Glamorous Housewife said...

I stayed at the Grand Hotel when I was about 12 years old and I have never forgotten the experience. When my kids are a little bit older I will be sure to take them back. Have a wonderful time.

Dick and Dora said...

How simply fabulous! Looking forward to the update.

Chelsea said...

I love Mackinac! I worked at The Grand as a garden girl at The Grand over 10 years ago!!

-Chelsea
www.elseachelsea.typepad.com

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