Swanky is not a word commonly used in my vocabulary. I just don’t usually have a reason to pull it off of my vocabulary shelf and throw it into normal life conversation. Get ready, I’m about to dust that bad boy off and use it in a sentence! Watch this. The Grand Hotel is swanky. Actually Swankified (if you don’t mind me making up my own word), would be how I’d like to describe it. Ok never mind, I just checked and swankified already exists in the urban dictionary. Dang you urban dictionary, stealing my thunder like that. Anyway for the final installment of my birthday celebration that took place one month ago now, we move on to Mackinac Island. (Just gonna warn you, this post might get a little heavy on the visuals).
Erin and I headed up to the Island on Thursday night. Bags packed, headed north, taking the Arnold Line.
We tend to run late, it’s just what we do. No one in their right mind staying at the Grand Hotel would even consider missing dinner and we weren’t about to, so as soon as our feet hit the ground we hiked the mile or so up the hill, luggage and all to the hotel. Remember how I said “swanky” is rarely used in my vocabulary? Well, if you know me at all then you know that I tend to dress a bit on the casual side. This day was no different and for some reason I decided I should look extra homeless for the occasion. Did I mention the Grand Hotel has a dress code to even walk around inside after 6pm? Right, so I’m already feeling a little out of place in my thrifted trucker shirt, hoodie, utility style jacket and crazy hair. My sister has turned into somewhat of an anxious person lately I guess, so as we’re checking in she’s asking every question she’s thought of since she last called the hotel clerk 20 minutes ago and I’m just trying to be invisible (Sorry Erin, love you! Someone’s gotta ask them). We get the key, which is an actual key. Like on a key chain with a tassel. Fancy. We head up to our room, open the door and are immediately overtaken by floor to ceiling mint green candy striped walls, bright yellow floral print curtains and emerald green furniture. Now whether the decor in our room is swanky or hideous is totally debatable. Here’s a peek, you be the judge.
However what our room lacked in modern decor, it made up for in the view of the lake and the Mackinaw Bridge from our balcony.
So after getting a little carried away taking pictures of our room and the view, we hurried and quick changed into our dinner attire. We got our meal tickets and headed to the main dining room. I’ve got two words for you…UNDER DRESSED. In my little commoner brain, I was thinking lets kill two birds with one stone. Pack a sundress, or something I can wear during the day around the island and be comfortable in and then wallah, head to dinner in my dress code attire. Makes sense right?? I don’t know why on earth I didn’t think that dinner at the Grand Hotel might be a big deal? Like a sit down, 5 course, full on tuxedoed waiters serving menu items that I can’t even pronounce. Yes, UNDER DRESSED. I had on what I like to call my “Little House on the Prairie” dress with brown leather booties. This outfit is anything but swanky. I’m not sure how, but I missed the memo that I should wear my evening gown. You know what you do in an awkward situation like that?? You own it. You walk with a purpose (famous wise words of my mother), with your head held high, like you belong. We didn’t belong, but the wait staff seemed to like us. We even got an extra dessert out of our waiter. My sister and I decided that they were just excited to see normal people among the hundreds of people dripping money. Who knows, but what I do know is that dessert at the Grand Hotel is something to be serious about. We ordered the Grand Pecan Ball, a carrot cheesecake and then an apple/pear strudel with vanilla ice cream. Hands down no mistaking, my favorite of course was the Grand Pecan Ball. Mackinaw Island is famous for it’s fudge, so it only makes sense that this heavenly ball of vanilla ice cream rolled in pecans, drenched in hot fudge and served on a chilled metal plate would be out of this world delicious. Oh yeah. We also found some interesting facts…the hotel has been serving it’s most popular dessert, The Grand Pecan Ball, since 1947. They serve around 60,000 of them a season and in the 2010 season they used 6,000lbs of pecans!
As if my clothing choices didn’t give it away, the picture taking during dinner definitely did, but how can you resist photographing such beauty on a plate:)? Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the glorious dessert. Probably because it was gone to quickly.
Here’s a little tour of the place…
Down the hall with my model sister…she got the memo
Into the Parlor where you can be entertained by live piano playing or maybe a little orchestra.
No fancy hotel would be complete without strange canine art would it? There was actually an entire gallery dedicated to dog art. Weird.
Then there’s this one…who doesn’t love dogs playing poker?
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any stranger, it does…cat head on woman body.
And it’s companion picture, dog head on man body. In a suit coat no less.
We found the ballroom where there were only two brave souls on the dance floor
There were even old fashioned telephone booths equipped with real life landlines (yes, this is my $12 Target clearance dress that for some reason I thought would be appropriate for dinner)
We found gaudy furniture
And an art gallery
These are just a few of the many stops in the Grand Hotel, there’s also a movie theater, a bar with a gorgeous view, a convenience store, a tea store, a wine bar, an Aveda salon, a clothing store, an arcade room, and the list goes on. After a little exploring, we decided to head back to our room to put our street clothes on and hit the town to hang out with the locals.
TO BE CONTINUED……