We woke up bright and early. Or rather those of us who slept did, the rest of us were just praying for daylight. Not the motel's fault though, just the result of being too keyed up to sleep properly and excited for the next day. And we did so much today that it would have been good to get a good night's sleep.
Our main goal for the day was to cross the bridge and head into the Upper Peninsula where we would take the first exit at Saint Ignace to take a ferry to Mackinac Island. But first, we had to get some food in us. And on the recommendation of the motel owner, we went to the Westside Diner in Grayling.
It was a typical diner, filled with locals, and boasting about homemade bread (with a little room when you first came in filled with baked goods for sale). We took a seat and our waitress came over. I don't know who peed in her cheerios, or if she was just having a bad day, or if she was trying to go for the gruff diner waitress personality, but she went beyond surly straight into downright rude. I can't say that I've ever experienced a server quite like her. She may have been able to pull off the gruff diner waitress attitude if she had fit the type, but she was younger even than me and it just came off as being incredibly disrespectful, especially when interacting with my Grandma and really the table as a whole. It kind of soured the whole experience even though the food was decent. Among the gems we heard from this server were "I didn't ask you about your coffee I asked you about your breakfast" and in response to telling her the motel recommended the place to us, "ok," with a roll of the eyes.
|Grandma at a scenic Rest Area.|
|The view from the Scenic Lookout. It's hard to tell, but there's a large lake in the distance.|
|A walkway for a scenic lookout at a Rest Area.|
|Mom and Jan battling it out on the "Sedentary" rock.|
|The Mackinac Bridge.|
|Jan & Grandma in front of the Lighthouse.|
|Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse|
|Don't make mom's mistake. Always bring bear spray with you on a trip to Michigan.|
|The T-Shirt gift shop and Jan, also an unwary victim of the bears.|
|Ready for our Ferry Ride.|
|The lakes are so large you could almost believe they were the ocean.|
On Main Street, every other shop is a Fudge shop and it's quite popular. People were buying it by the pound and schlepping around huge bags full of the sweet treat. We immediately went to the Carriage Ride though and pulled by two large draft horses (Homer & Mutt) and a knowledgeable driver who took the covered wagon through the streets and up to almost the top of the hill where a three horse wagon was waiting for the second leg of the journey (Ebony, Jenny & Bubba). This leg took you through the State Park where there were several wildflowers to be seen (don't pick them, it isn't worth the fine!), a few rock formations, and of course tons of historical sites, including the fort on the island and the graveyards. It was such an expansive trip that when we got back we only poked into a few shops before taking the ferry back to the mainland.
|One of the fine establishments where fudge is made.|
|Mutt, Homer and the driver (yes we only remembered the horses' names).|
|A view from the top of the island.|
|A Bark church.|
|Looking out over the island.|
|The best French Onion Soup.|
|On the end is where we had dinner, Paradise is just a cute small town.|