Okay friends (aka Keitha who has been complaining about my lack of posting), after an unintentional blog break, I'm back in the swing of things to finish my MRT recap. I'm sorry if you're sick of these photos.... I kinda feel like that great-aunt at the family reunion who wants to show off vacation slides in the warm, musty den after everyone's had lunch. If you feel the same, feel free to ignore my next two posts.
Mackinac Island is one of Michigan's biggest tourist attractions, so Chris and I decided to make our way to the island on day two, to make sure we had plenty of time to explore everything. Honestly? We probably could have covered the whole island in a day or less. I don't know if we over-hyped the island up in our minds, or if friends over-hyped it for us, but we were pretty disappointed in our island experience. Everything was crowded, smelly, and extremely over-priced. We still had a lot of fun together, as usual, but I don't know if we'll be making any return trips to Mackinac.
For our first evening on the island, we walked along the boardwalk, explored Main Street and watched the sunset over the rocky beach. Everything on the island is perfectly picaresque, like a tiny Victorian town. I mean, come on, the public library was mint green! The island officially banned motorized vehicles in 1898, so island transpiration is limited to bicycles and horse-drawn buggies. The only problem with that? The entire island smells like horse poop. We couldn't even get away from it indoors, which made mealtimes unpleasant.
The only way to get to and from the island is by boat; to save a little money, we booked our hotel on the mainland and purchased two-day ferry passes. In the morning, we caught a special bridge-view ferry that took us under the Mackinac Bridge, Michigan's famous five-mile bridge that connects the upper and lower peninsulas. Considering that we accidentally slept in and missed the 7 am ferry we had planned on taking, it was a pretty happy accident.
First thing off the boat, we rented a tandem bike to cruse the island. After a shaky start, we took a beautiful eight mile ride around the shore, stopping at random points to stroll the beach. It was by far our favorite activity. If you ever visit Mackinac, totes rent a bike.
All in all, Mackinac is a beautiful little island. Over-priced and over-rated, perhaps, but still beautiful. I think if it would have been more state park and less Victorian-themed tourist trap, we would have enjoyed it more, but I'm still glad we visited.