Tag Archive: Grand Hotel


This past August the inaugural Grand Garden Show was held on Mackinac Island. It featured expert gardening presentations, private garden tours, and cocktail celebrations. Proven Winners flower company and the Grand Hotel sponsored the event. Was it because of the tour or the extraordinary climate of the island that the gardens this August looked particularly gorgeous? Tawny’s grandmother is a master gardener and Chief always remembers to compliment her gardens. But in Book Two – one character’s reaction exposes his true personality.

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West Bluff Garden

Steamboat Style Home

This West Bluff home is built in the Steamboat Style.

West Bluff

Dazzling Display!

Author's deck

On the author’s deck in the UP.

This is located right near the hummingbird feeder.

And, this weekend, the female, who is dominating the feeder and fighting off all interlopers,

decided it was easier to guard it from the nearby flowers. See her?

Our hummingbird

This and the next shot were taken through a screened window.

She loved sitting on that tender tendril, even in the wind!

Hummingbird through screened window

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Arnold Dock During Races

When entering the Mackinac Island’s harbor, visitors are immediately drawn to the historic

barns on the Arnold Dock. Iconic reminders of Mackinac’s rich past, the barns are very

much in use today. Invariably, at least one horse drawn wagon will be pulled up along side,

as merchandise is loaded or unloaded.

Horse drawn Wagon at Arnold Dock

In the novel Discovered – The Cross of Lorraine, Takoda’s workshop is located

in a historic barn out on the old Coal Dock.

Entance to Arnold Dock

The Grand Hotel, Ft. Mackinac and the Arnold Dock are probably the most prominent

and priceless structures on the island and we’re fortunate that they are well-preserved

and cared for by their owners and protected by the City of Mackinac.

Mackinac Harbor at night

 

Approach to Arnold Docks

Romance permeates Mackinac Island.

Part of the allure is the architecture both large and small – especially

the intricate and intimate structures scattered throughout the landscape and

enhanced with floral displays.

Pergola in the woods

This privately owned “pergola” sits in a field of blossoming ground cover in the woods

in the Annex behind the West Bluff.  Todd, Tawny’s friend who is desperately in love with her,

lives in the annex with his parents.

Entrance to Grand Hotel's Jockey Club

Commercial establishments add embellished structures to enhance their properties.

This intriguing arch beckons visitors to the Grand Hotel’s Jockey Club restaurant.

The outdoor seating there provides dramatic views of the golf course and the Straits of Mackinac.

Inn on Market Street

Visitors to the island need to explore beyond Main Street. This gateway leads to a popular bed and

breakfast located on Market Street. Guests at the Metivier Inn love to sit on the porch

or in the Adirondack lawn chairs to relax and socialize.

When Tawny and Takoda paddled their kayaks on the north side of the island,

they passed by Arch Rock.

Arch Rock - Mackinac Island

The dramatic limestone formation, Arch Rock, has a huge fan club.

And why not?  It’s size and beauty are intriguing and so is the view of the lake, 145 feet below.

There is an ancient legend that the arch was formed by the tears of a young Indian

woman who fell in love with a native “sky person”

and was forced by her father to stand upon a large rock until she

promised never to see her true love again.  Her tears slowly melted

the rock and formed an arch.  Ultimately, her “sky love’ came and

took her up to the stars to live in eternal happiness.

Three Work Horses at Arch Rock

This sturdy team of work horses from Mackinac Island Carriage Tours takes a break

in front of Arch Rock. They just pulled a wagon full

of tourists up the hill and don’t look as exhausted as the people

who biked or walked there.

Mackinac Island Carriage Tours

Another team arrives. Their handlers say that when the horses

arrive on the island in spring, they can’t wait to get  to work.  They truly get bored

with relaxing all winter and want to expend that energy.

Horse carriage on Mackinac Island

Carriages like this, with the fringe on top, line up in front of Fort Mackinac,

waiting to take tourists for a spin around the island. The drivers have

great tales to tell, but it’s the horses that people never forget.

 

 

 

Horses Pulling Wagon in Winter at Mackinac Island

What is Mackinac Island Like in Winter?

That was one of the questions asked last week when a winter scene

from “Discovered – The Cross of Lorraine” was mentioned.

The answer? Very different.

Mackinac ISland's Main Street in Winter

Yes, motorized vehicles, snowmobiles that is, are allowed.

But bikes are used too, as long as possible.

With the awnings, flags, signage and colorful storefronts gone,

the streets look quite bare.

Snowy streets lead to lake at Mackinac Island

But the peaceful blanket of snow makes the island even more beautiful.

Especially when contrasted with the brilliant blue skies and stormy lake waters.

If you haven’t seen the video, “The Ice Bridge – Mackinac Island’s Hidden Season,” you should.

Available at the Island Book Store on Mackinac. It is stunning.

 

Grand Hotel Team

Readers have asked for more photos of horses on the island.

Of course, because Mackinac is all about horses – those privately owned, those enjoyed

for an hour or two by visitors, and those who work hauling supplies.

And are they loved!

Just as Tawny loved her “Tamarack,” the people who work with the horses

on Mackinac treat them as cherished friends.  They know their personalities and

little quirks and take great care of them.

In the above photo, the Grand Hotel team stands proudly in front of the historic hotel.

Carrying the Load

This strong team knows how to maneuver the busy streets, haul tremendous weights with ease,

can back up into tight corners and put in a hard day’s work.

Anyone interested in the horses of Mackinac should not miss the annual Festival of the Horse.

Please visit:

http://www.mackinacislandfestivalofthehorse.org/

First Edition of the Mackinac Trilogy

First Edition of the Mackinac Trilogy

The novel Discovered – The Cross of Lorraine is scheduled to be published on Amazon.com, on March 30th, in honor of a very special girl’s 16th birthday.  Written for pre-teen and teenage girls, it grabs the attention of readers of all ages.

Think of a modern day Nancy Drew type of heroine, add the excitement and suspense of hidden treasure such as in National Treasure, set the novel in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Mackinac Island, incorporate Native American heroes – and unite them in one intense love story, and you begin to sense the nature of this novel.

Tawny Randolph, the heroine and central character is 17 years old – independent, clever, and athletic, yet softly beautiful and loving. Her tale is fast-moving, exciting, and inspirational.

While vacationing in Jamaica with her mother, Tawny is forcefully abducted by the wealthy son of a notorious leader of the Russian mafia. Convinced that she holds the key to enormous treasure hidden centuries earlier, the Russian and his terrifying conspirators force her to lead them to a secret cave on a remote island in the Great Lakes region.

As this captivating and romantic tale unfolds, so does the intense and stirring love story of Tawny and her heroic Native American friend, Takoda.  The timeless magnetism and unique atmosphere of Mackinac Island serve as a breathtaking backdrop to this suspenseful tale of ancient legends, hidden treasure, tender romance and one girl’s daring bravery.