Monday, July 4, 2011

Grand Hotel

Thanks for playing along with my little guessing game! Each of the photos I shared held a clue, which I'll now explain to you. The first photo shows that we were near water, and the subjects -- red geraniums -- are the "trademark flowers" of the hotel where we stayed. Photo #2 depicts a horse-drawn carriage, one of the main modes of transportation on the island (the other options are bicycling and walking). The third photograph shows lilacs blooming in late June, indicating a northern location. And the final photo shows a long porch, which is the façade of Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan!

Grand Hotel

We were very blessed by the wonderful opportunity to stay at this hotel for one night in the midst of a week-long reunion of my dad's family. Mackinac Island is situated just between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan, in Lake Huron, and is a historic summer destination. The hotel was built in 1887 and is beautifully kept, both inside and out.

My dad treated some of the ladies of the family to afternoon tea after we arrived at the hotel. How luxurious to sit in the beautiful parlor after a day of traveling by land and sea! We were each given a plate of savory sandwiches and a plate of sweets, plus our own pot of English Breakfast tea.

Grand Hotel room

Each of the 385 guest rooms at the hotel has its own unique décor, so here's a peek at ours! I loved the striped wallpaper, floral chintz fabric, and mint green ceiling. :)

Dressed for dinner

Part of the fun of staying here is that guests are required to dress for dinner. If you know me, you know I love an excuse to dress up. I seized the opportunity to wear a 1920s-style beaded dress Douglas gave me for my birthday two years ago. I did my best to approximate an "Eton crop" by slicking my hair down and pulling the length up into a bun at the nape of the neck.

Dinner was a delicious five-course affair. My favorite dish was the Salad Caprese -- I am going to try to replicate it in my own kitchen! We even did a little dancing after dinner. Douglas has taught me some basic Lindy Hop steps so I can act like I know what I'm doing.

The following day was gloriously sunny, so after a wonderful breakfast we enjoyed some family time playing croquet and lawn bowling on the lawn in front of the hotel. Douglas went on a garden tour and showed me some of the highlights afterwards. It was amazing to see lilacs and peonies still in bloom in late June! We also took advantage of the swimming pool and Edmund had his first successful pool time (he has rather hated being in the water until recently).

Pink poppies
[pink poppies in the gardens -- lovely!]

After a late lunch, we boarded the ferry to return to the mainland. For me, it was surely the most unforgettable experience of our vacation!


  1. Lovely, lovely, lovely!!! :) Thankyou for sharing more pictures and of your time there.

  2. Aww, how lovely! Looks like you had a wonderful time, and you look amazing in your beaded dress.

  3. It looks like you had a wonderful time, Laura. And that dress is gorgeous!!

    :-) Elizabeth

  4. Laura,
    This brings back SO many memories. The pink poppies, the horse-drawn carriages, the stately white is all loveliness. You and Douglas look so dreamy. I am thankful Edmond did well :)
    Looking forward to seeing you and hearing all about it!