Today my alarm went off bright and early, and I was sound asleep! I was up until almost 12:30 am last night blogging, so I knew I wouldn't get much sleep. I think I hit snooze five times before I finally got out of bed. We were planning on catching the 9 am ferry to Mackinac Island, so I needed to get everybody up and going earlier than usual!
I got myself up and got the kids going. We are not used to getting up and out the door by a certain time! We had some trouble getting ready. I wanted to leave by 8:30, but we really left about 8:40. We were having trouble with Christian getting himself ready (this happens ALL THE TIME) and Megan was getting mad at him, so we had to tell Megan to just take care of herself and let us take care of Christian. I know she is only trying to help, but it wasn't helping at all! After we had two kids in tears, we were finally in the car and on our way to the dock!
My friend and I decided that we were going to take a slow ferry to Mackinac Island this morning. This would take about 40 minutes. On the way home, we were going to take a fast ferry that would get us back in 15 minutes PLUS it took a detour under the Mackinac Bridge. This way we got a little of both ways!
When we arrived at the dock, we were there only a few minutes before they started boarding. We all got on and enjoyed our ride across Lake Huron to Mackinac Island. I had no idea what to expect when we got there. My friend brought up the idea of going there, so it wasn't even on my radar of places to go. This island is unique because no motorized vehicles are allowed there. The most popular modes of transportation are horse and bicycle. Right away, you could smell the horse poop! You could buy a horse drawn carriage ride to take a tour of the island, but we decided against that. You could also rent bicycles. Since there were 16 of us (our family and my friend's family), I wasn't sure how that would work either. Could you imagine 16 of us trying to get around on bicycles??
Since we were not going to pay for a horse tour or to rent bicycles, we decided to stay on foot and we headed to one of the main attractions of the island- Fort Mackinac. This was a fort that was built by the British during the Revolutionary War in the late 1700's. It was then turned over to the Americans after the war, but taken back by the British during the War of 1812. After this war was over, it was turned back over to the Americans and it was under their control until the fort closed in 1895. It was an amazing place!
We toured many original buildings in side the fort, saw a rifle and canon demonstration, and just learned about life during that time. I thought the park service did a great job putting everything together and making it very user friendly. I was thoroughly impressed!
After we were done there, we headed back to the main street for lunch. The kids wanted pizza, which is actually the cheapest way to feed this crew! Micah was not happy during lunch. He usually naps from 10:30-12, but he didn't fall asleep at his usual time, probably due to the rifle and canon demonstrations! He was having quite the fit in the restaurant while we were waiting for our pizza! Once he got his food and ate, he was much better! I had to set him in a chair beside me in the restaurant. They didn't have any booster seats or high chairs.
After lunch, we decided to go see a place called arch rock. This was about a mile away and we decided to take a path that had no steps. We had Micah in the stroller, so we wanted to avoid steps if we could. We found arch rock and saw it. The girls decided to pose each other there and take pictures with the lake in the background. I wish I had some pictures to show here!
We left arch rock and headed to a place called skull rock. When we were about halfway there, Megan realized that she didn't have her bag with her purse in it. She had been using this bag also to put her camera in when she wasn't using it. Matt, Courtney, Kaelynn, and Megan all walked all the way back to arch rock to get her bag! Luckily, it was where she left it! Unfortunately though, they had to walk an extra mile or two.
Once we were all back together and had some snacks (fudge and pretzels), we headed off to another fort on the island. This was called Fort Holmes and was on the highest point of the island. This was 325 feet above sea level. On the way there, we let Micah out of the stroller to walk. He has give a new name to Ana. Her name is Baba. He was saying, "Baba" all the way up the hill up to the fort. Once he got to her, he gave her hug and then walked away. We let him run around the fort with the girls awhile.
We took some pictures of the fort and overlook and then headed off again to see another rock and another lookout. Again, more pictures. It was getting to be about 4:30 at this time and our ferry to return left at 6:30 pm. We decided to start heading back to the town because we wanted to go through a few more buildings on market street that we could get into with our tickets to the fort.
Up until this time, Micah had still not napped. Around 4:30, he was getting pretty still in his stroller. Matt laid him back a little and within 5-10 minutes, he was finally asleep! We passed a cemetery on our way back to the main street and went down a very steep hill.
Once we were on Market Street, we went through a church and grocery store, which had the original floor in it. We learned about a doctor who discovered many things about our digestive system. We went through an old house where a couple young ladies, who were dressed up in traditional dresses, taught us about sewing and cooking in the 1800's. The kids finished off her bread that she had made over the fire. We finally watched a blacksmith do some projects in a blacksmith shop. Whew! While we were in the grocery store, the lady there, who was dressed in costume, was showing the kids some old musical instruments, such as a fife. She played a little tune for the kids, but woke Micah up in the process! I ended up putting him the front carrier and he went back to sleep. I didn't take him out of the carrier until we were halfway home on the boat!
Now it was about 5:30 and we had about an hour until departure. I told the girls that we could go through the souviner shops to see what they had. Of course, the girls were asking for $27 sweatshirts! No way! I did find the clearance rack and they had two t-shirts for $10. Miki and Courtney found matching tie dye t-shirts and Megan and Kaelynn found two matching gray ones. I thought that was a pretty good deal. Christian was begging me for some toy, which I said no to (even though he continued to argue with me and I eventually sent him outside to be with his dad.)
Our ferry arrived around 6:15 and we all got on. We all wanted to ride on the top, but the seats were filled. I ended up sitting right outside the area where the captain sat. I faced everybody on the boat. This was the fast boat, so we went pretty fast. We detoured by Mackinac Bridge, so that was pretty neat!
We got home about 7. We made some dinner and I chilled out in my camper all by myself for awhile. There are just some times when I need some downtime for myself! The kids were all outside learning how to fight with sticks. The men eventually started a campfire, so some kids had smores. The sun sets really late here, so I think they all came in about 10:30 pm. I got Micah to bed and the others are in bed too. I am sure we will all be sore tomorrow from all the walking. Matt has a fitness app on his phone and it said he walked 22,000 steps. We figured this was about 10 miles!!
Tomorrow we had a pretty low-key day. We are moving 60 miles to Taquenomen Falls State Park, which is further north in Michigan. We will be there until Friday. Before we leave here though, I need to find a laundromat and do some laundry! The children are starting to inform me of the number of pairs of underwear that they have left!! State parks do not usually have laundromats, so I found one about two miles away. I am not sure how we are going to make this work, but we will somehow!
Ok, off to bed!