A Grand Weekend

Last month, I tagged along with Chad while he attended a work conference on Mackinac Island. This lovely historic landmark encourages visitors to slow down and relax. Visitors travel the island with bikes, horses, or on foot, no cars allowed. Horse drawn taxis wait near the ferry to slowly take travelers to their destination.

We had the opportunity to stay at the Grand Hotel. While my husband would rather enjoy a bonfire by a hunting shack, he was so moved by the bright florals and broad stripes in this Victorian Hotel that upon entering our room, he said, “It looks like a clown threw up in here!” 🙂

I have fond memories staying at the Grand Hotel on one special occasion as a child. My parents attended a work conference the same weekend as my sister’s birthday. She was surprised with birthday cake in the Grand dining room, and Gordon MacRae sang Happy Birthday to her. From that moment on, I wanted to celebrate a birthday in the same way!! For years, as a child, I believed my parents’ white lie that we couldn’t go to Mackinac in May because the Straits were still frozen over. In reality, my parents always worked the weekend of my birthday as it was Hillsdale College’s Commencement.

My favorite activity on the island is renting a bike and enjoying the 8.2 mile trip round. Other pleasant activities include browsing the many shops on Main Street, sampling the island’s famous fudge, and watching the sunset on the world’s largest porch at the Grand Hotel.

Planked Whitefish at The Village Inn (just off the Main Street through town)

Enjoying the beautiful views from The Yacht Club

An evening at the Pink Pony

No trip to Mackinac is complete without a visit to the local fishery just outside Mackinac City to bring home whitefish.

Thanks for reading!


Photo of the Month: Snow on Cairn Hill

Lots of snow here and much more due in the next 24 hours. Here’s a view of our woods. We also finally named our farm, Cairn Hill, as we live on a hill with many, many…many rocks. 😉

If you are in the range of the current arctic snow and cold, be safe and stay warm!


Photo of the Month Bonus: The Tourtière

While I don’t consider myself a baker, every year I make a special Christmas dish, the tourtière. This is a savory pie with ground pork, potatoes, and spices.

It all started with a joke when Mom said I should get in touch with my happy, French-Canadian roots. I read about this tradition and tried to make one. The kids loved it and asked me to make more. Now I make many every year and freeze them for holiday meals and gifts.

This year I tried making my own pie crust and have come to the conclusion that life is too short 🙂

What are some of your holiday food traditions?