October 12, 2012

Mackinac Getaway: Part I

Two weeks ago, Matt and I enjoyed the most lovely little getaway in celebration of Matt's 30th birthday. It was also our last "hurrah" before baby girl arrives in February. Our destination: Mackinac Island and Mackinac City. {For those of you non-Michiganders, Mackinac Island is located in Lake Huron just east of the Mackinac Bridge connecting Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsula's. Mackinac City is the northernmost city at the tip of Michigan's Lower Peninsula}. We knew this would be a spectacular time of year to visit the area, with fall colors abounding and the much-quieter end to the tourist season.

I'm afraid our trip would be a bore to many since much of our "to do" list was comprised of visiting historical sights. Matt and I were both history majors in college and are die-hard lovers of visiting any and all things historical. I love that we share this same passion and that we are both identical true-blue history geeks--the ones who stand and read every plaque in the museums.

Besides all that, we did a lot of relaxing, eating at wonderful restaurants, and browsing quaint little shops.

As we made the trek up north to begin our little adventure, the autumn colors steadily became more vibrant.

We arrived in Mackinac City just as the sky turned the most beautiful shades of gold.

God further displayed His works of creation that night by showcasing a full moon beaming down upon the glittering waters of Lake Huron.

We couldn't have asked for more beautiful or perfect weather during our getaway. It was sunny and in the 60's the entire time, with a balmy breeze coming off the water, of course.

Matt and I spent our first day in Mackinac City; a leisurely day of sight-seeing, dining, and shopping.
We began by visiting the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse.

The lighthouse and keeper's quarters are no longer used since ships now navigate the waters using the lights from the Mackinac Bridge.

A view from the top of the lighthouse tower: Lake Huron and the Mackinac Bridge.

I just love touring old homes that have been restored to their historical condition. Isn't this stove charming?

For lunch, Matt and I had to stop and order pasties, an U.P. {Upper Peninsula} staple. I ordered chicken and Matt the beef. While mine was delicious, we'd both recommend the beef as it seemed more flavorful!

My first pastie.

We then ventured to Colonial Michilimackinac--a reconstructed fort that thrived here for many years during the 18th century.

We enjoyed the reenactments the tour included, beginning with the canon firing.

The interior of the fort was reconstructed to show how the soldiers and their families lived here. {The fort was burned down when it was relocated to Mackinac Island in later years}. The original inhabitants were French soldiers; then the British took over.

This community served as the great fur trade center of vast areas including Canada and the greater midwest. 

We visited with a costumed interpreter for quite some time as we watched him make musket balls over the hearth.

The history-nerd within me likes to imagine myself living during these times...

The musket firing demonstration.

Posing for a pic together on the ramparts.

As we were leaving the fort, we met the friendliest sheep you ever did see!

We ended our day by visiting some of the shops and then filling our bellies with the most delicious food.

Stay tuned to hear about our memorable day exploring the delights of picturesque Mackinac Island...

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