Mackinac Island

Previous Post About Bois Blanc Island: Round Island

My uncle's piloting the family motor boat into Mackinac.
My uncle’s piloting the family motor boat into Mackinac.

Mackinac is another weirdly pronounced island name like Bois Blanc (Bob-lo). Mackinac is pronounced Mackinaw.

Mackinac Island was the original tourist location in Northern Michigan before Bois Blanc Island and it still attracts thousands of people per day.

Initially, Mackinac Island was a trading post for the local Ojibwa Native Americans. They brought furs to trade with European settlers. The Europeans then took the furs east and sold them.

The traders chose Mackinac to conduct business because it is well situated at the junction between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. People could easily reach Mackinac by boat from all over the Northwest Territory.

Twice a year there is a big sailing contest that fills the port up with colorful sails. Didn't catch the contest this year though.
Twice a year there is a big sailing contest that fills the port up with colorful sails. Didn’t catch the contest this year though.

Since Mackinac was the center of this trade it was important for the British to defend it.

The British built Fort Mackinac on the south side of the island to protect and control the fur trade.

As the fur trade died out it became replaced by tourism in the late 1800s.

Millions of people visit Mackinac Island every year, but what do they all do there?

There are gift shops, arcades, toy stores, fudge shops (Mackinac Island fudge is the best in the world), and tons of state park space to explore.

Fort Mackinac is now a historical site where costumed employees will tell you what life on the frontier was like in the 1800s.

There's a soldier down on the parade grounds giving a history lesson to some other tourists.
There’s a soldier down on the parade grounds giving a history lesson to some other tourists.

There are a few other historical buildings sprinkled around the island including an old doctor’s house and a beautiful church.

My favorite attraction on Mackinac is the Butterfly House.

It’s a little house on the hill behind the beautiful church.

The house connects to a greenhouse filled with hundreds of butterflies from all over the world.

The butterflies flap around and land on flowers and people who are sitting still while instrumental music plays through overhead speakers.

A picture doesn’t really capture the whole experience, but here’s one of my better ones when a butterfly landed on a flower.

So pretty! These two were chasing each other around the house before landing here.
So pretty! These two were chasing each other around the house before landing here.

It’s like stepping into a greenhouse full of flowers, only the flowers are flying around over your head, dancing.

My wife and I got some delicious Mackinac Island fudge before being picked up by my uncle in the family motor boat for the return trip to Bois Blanc Island.

-Mister Ed

Next Post About Bois Blanc Island: A Typical Day on the Island

Mother’s Day

The cookies I made over Mother's Day weekend with my step-mom.
The cookies I made over Mother’s Day weekend with my step-mom.

 

I went home for Mother’s Day to spend it with my step-mom.

The plan was to bake snickerdoodles and watch a movie together.

My mother-in-law lives in the same town so my wife came along and spent the day with her.

We’d come in Saturday. We got up early on Sunday at my parents’ house to head over to my wife’s parents’ house.

We had to get there early as my mother-in-law wanted to go to church.

She used to go to church every week as the music director for her church, but that eventually was too much stress for her.

She stopped doing the music program and is now more of a “two day Christian” (Christmas and Easter), at least for going to church. She’s still very much a Christian at home.

I always like going to church with her, but I can’t bring myself to go every week in my hometown without knowing what the churches are actually like.

After church my wife went to spend the day with her mom while I went home to spend the day with mine.

My step-mom and I chatted a lot, played Quiddler (a card version of Scrabble if you’ve never played), made snickerdoodles, had pizza for dinner, and watched A Fish Called Wanda.

At the end of all that my wife still wasn’t finished with her activities of hiking, making Indian food, eating the Indian food, and chatting.

My parents recommended a movie for my wife and I to watch together called Notting Hill.

We decided to preview the first bit of the movie to make sure my wife would like it before I left to pick her up.

The first half hour was pretty good and I think my wife and I will like watching it together.

I went and got her from her parents’ house. Her mom always has to take a picture whenever we’re over, so we submitted ourselves to the camera’s gaze before leaving.

I drove the two hours back in the dark and we ended up in bed by 11.

And that was my Mother’s Day!

-Mister Ed