Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Vacation Photo Dump: Part II

We spent the second day of our trip to Mackinac Island exploring and hiking everywhere. The weather forecast had predicted rain and thunderstorms all day long, but as we ate our breakfast out on the veranda and watched the beautiful sun come up over the Mackinaw Bridge, there was hardly a cloud in the sky. The day looked to be gorgeous - and it was! We took advantage of the glorious weather and immediately packed Baby Emma up and headed into town to do a little shopping before hiking around the island.

Unfortunately, a little after we had made our way into town, Baby Emma decided to host a mini reenactment of Pompeii. We had packed extra shorts, but not an extra shirt for her. Not wanting to hike all the way back to Stonecliffe for a new outfit, we ducked into the nearby Mission Inn Resort where Paul made a quick trip to the gift shop to pick out a onesie with a super ugly moose on it. It did the job.

Our little stink bomb waiting for Daddy to return with a new outfit.

Doing pretty well sitting on her own in the armchair...

...but all good things must come to an end. She's a bit top heavy.

After hiking around a bit, we headed up to Fort Mackinac for a visit to "the tea room." The tea room provides a beautiful view of the island unmatched by any other location. Unfortunately, you do have to pay the admission fee for Fort Mackinac just to visit the tea room (and then pay for expensive food on top of that) but it is well worth it for a casual location to relax and enjoy the afternoon.

Baby Emma LOVED the tea room. Look at that gorgeous view!

We ordered some tea and a couple slices of fresh cherry pie. We had ordered the exact same thing when we visited the tea room on our honeymoon. Paul and I remembered the pie being excellent and we were not disappointed. That cherry pie was the best slice of pie I have ever had in my life. The pastry was perfectly buttery and flaky and the cherry filling was slightly tart, sweet, and bursting with an overabundance of fresh Michigan-grown cherries. Paired with the tea, it was a perfect "lunch." Baby Emma enjoyed the breeze off the bay and her first taste of real whipped cream. She was a big fan. We had a hard time keeping her away from it.

Hanging with my baby girl at the tea room and sporting a bit of a sunburn after our morning hike.

Emma voraciously gobbling down whipped cream.
 After relaxing for a bit at the tea room, we explored Fort Mackinac. It was a neat little exhibit showcasing the role Mackinac Island played in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 (did you know the first "battle" of that war occurred on Mackinac Island?), and as a working military fort until the late 1800s. We really enjoyed the exhibit. Baby Emma really liked the view...

She really liked that telescope. She was MAD when I wouldn't let her eat it.
 I'm such a horrible Mom.
 After leaving Fort Mackinac, we hiked our way through the woods and ridges of the island and came out on the other side to visit Arch Rock, a really neat natural rock formation. Again, the view was simply breathtaking. We then followed the bluffs around the perimeter of the island until we ended up back in town. Emma was kind enough to nap during that hike.

Me and my napping baby at Arch Rock.

The view from the trail we took along the bluffs.
 That evening, we dined at The Woods, a Bavarian-style restaurant that featured an amazing dining space adorned with dark wood paneling, high-back armchairs, and hunting decor. The restaurant featured a live piano player who entertained us with renditions of classic songs - including many, many favorites from the Beatles' catalog of hits. His playing actually lulled Miss Emma to sleep, giving Paul and I the opportunity to really enjoy the food. It was amazing - we split the house cured salmon, the smoked trout, a beet salad with whipped goat cheese, and a chicken liver pate with quince jelly. Fantastic all around. Paul finished with a Grand Marnier creme brulee and we both enjoyed piping hot mugs of coffee. I was also a  huge fan of their bread - walnut raisin rolls served with orange whipped butter. Heaven.

Following dinner, we headed to the bluff to watch the sunset. And to take a few pictures commemorating the end our trip. I was really sad that our time on Mackinac was coming to a close, but we could not have asked for a better time. It was perfect.

Sunset over the lake. Absolutely beautiful.
Paul took over baby toting duties for the evening.

The Mackinac Bridge at sunset.
One of the couples who had enjoyed dinner at the table next to us the night before
(when Emma was having her grunting fit) kindly offered to take a picture
of the three of us. It turned out a bit fuzzy, but I still like it!


  1. Hi Monica!
    So glad you were able to get away, that you were blessed with beautiful weather and a happy baby as well!
    Thanks for the ones for my fridge!
    Love, Mom

  2. I've never been to Mackinac and now I want to go even more! Looks like you had a great time!