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Memorable Michigan, Part One

The third time was the charm! Three times we planned a trip to Mackinac Island, Michigan and the third time we finally got to go. The first trip was canceled because of Covid. The second trip was canceled because I was recovering from my big surgery. But a month ago we finally were able to set off on our adventure.

The first day started by loading the Moustash Joe tour bus at 5:45 am in Lincoln. We picked up other passengers in Omaha and Des Moines and headed to our first stop for the night in Elkhart, Indiana. It was a long day on the bus but we hardly noticed as we were just excited to get the trip started. In addition we stopped every two hours - a definite necessity since they encouraged us to stay hydrated! It was also nice to stretch our legs. Throughout the trip our tour director kept us entertained with videos and games. And we had time for naps, reading, stitching, and visiting.

The second day found us traveling to Frankenmuth, Michigan - a cute little German town about three hours and 15 minutes from Elkhart, Indiana. The buildings there reminded me of the Czech architecture found in Wilber and the Dutch architecture found in Pella, Iowa. We arrived just in time for lunch at the Bavarian Inn. Unfortunately it was not a great meal as it was extremely bland. I suppose they thought a bus full of “old” people shouldn’t have any salt!

After lunch we shopped downtown for a bit and I found the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill where I picked up a few fat quarters for my Quilt of Valor group. At 2:00 we toured the Zeilinger Woolen Mill and then spent a couple of hours at Bronner’s Christmas Store. This place is massive and has so many ornaments and decorated trees. I looked for the Dept 56 section in hopes that I might add something to my Dicken’s Village. Everything I was interested in was sold out though so I opted for a Jim Shore ornament instead. I am partial to his products because they always feature quilt designs.

We had the evening to ourselves so we walked downtown and enjoyed some live music outside of the Bavarian Inn. Linda Lee and the Golden-Aires even gave us a shoutout for being on a Moustash Joe tour. We felt quite famous!

The next day we traveled to the featured destination on our trip - Mackinac Island. To get there we crossed a five mile suspension bridge that connects the Lower peninsula of Michigan to the Upper peninsula and boarded a ferry to take us to the island. We then took a horse drawn carriage - no motorized vehicles allowed on the island - on a short tour of the town on our way to the Grand Hotel. There we enjoyed an incredible buffet lunch in a fancy dining room with white tablecloths and waiters dressed in tuxedos.

Afterwards we sat in the iconic white rocking chairs on the veranda.

Our afternoon was spent on another carriage ride to tour more of the island where we saw some beautiful sights in their state park and heard some great stories about the island from our carriage driver. We then spent some time shopping downtown and having an appetizer for dinner before we made our way on foot to our hotel. Mission Point Resort was built in 1954 and was a fun place to stay with gorgeous views of the lake close by.

In a future blog I’ll chronicle the last three days of our trip and evaluate our experience. Will there be more bus trips in our future? Stay tuned!!

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