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Mackinac Island-Sept-9-11th 1998

 

Our trip report to Mackinac Island

 

 

The vacationers: Mike (hubby-34, myself-35, Cory & Cody-4 1/2) We stayed at Mission Point Resort.

History of Mission Point:

 

Mission Point resort is the largest resort property on Mackinac Island. Along with its unique architecture, Mission Point resort has an unusual and fascinating history.

In the early 1820's, Reverend William Ferry a Protestant Missionary, built Mission House to house and teach Indian children. A few years later, he established Mission Church, one of the first protestant churches in the Midwest. The southeast end of Mackinac Island thus became known as Mission Point.

During the 1950's, The Moral Re-Arnament because involved on the island upon the invitation of the Governor of Michigan. The MRA was a multi-national group, who, led by Dr. Frank Buchman, promoted the philosophy of love, unselfishness, purity and honesty in a world-side evangelistic campaign. It was the ideological alternative to the post World War II spread of Communistic influence. Groudbreaking ceremonies began 1954 and construction soon began on what was to become the MRA's World Conference Center.

The Theater was the first building constructed. Fifty Foot trusses made of Norway Pine from nearby Bois Blanc Island supported the roof and 45 tons of native stone formed the original building. Construction on what is now called Huran Court and the Main Lodge began in the fall of 1955, with the large trusses for the Great Hall being raised in early 1956.

The Main Lobby is one of the most distinctive architectural structures on the Island ( yes--it is spectacular!!!).Nine top majestic trusses, converging at a height of 36 feet, resemble a 16-sided tepee. This structure fulfills the Indian prophecy that "Someday, on the east end of the Island, a great tepee will be erected. All nations will come there and learn about peace.

In 1957, the building which is now Mission Court was completed. Its lobby, known as Johnson Hall, is a prime example of skilled wood craftsmanship and has a five foot marble encased fireplace as the focal point.

The movie production Sound Stage was constructed in 1960. At that time it was the second largest of its type in the world. Universal Studios leased the Sound Stage for the 1979 summer season to produce the motion picture "Somewhere In Time" starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. The entire cast and crew were hosted at the resort, then called "The Inn on Mackinac."

The MRA relocated its operation to Switzerland and deeded much of the property to an organization known as Mackinac Collage in 1966. (Which was located at Stonecliff Manor on other side of the Island --we stayed there for our honeymoon) This educational institute attempted to develop programs in statesmanship and leadership, as well as more traditional curricula.

In 1970, the entire college was sold to a then well-known evangelist, Rex Humbard, who attempted to maintain the facility as a religious retreat and educational institution. It was terminated in 1972 and the Humbard organization began to use the property as a vacation resort. In 1977 the property was sold to a Dallas-based management and investment firm which changed the name to Mackinac Hotel and Conference Center.

The property was sold in late 1987 and renamed Mission Point Resort. The new name reflects back into history when this part of the Island housed one of the first churches and the Mission House, an historical landmark which still stands on the property.

Extensive, multi-million dollar renovations are bringing out the best in these unique structures. "Casual Elegance" is being applied to every aspect of the Resort. Mission Pint Resort is gaining the reputation as the "newest and the finest hotel on Mackinac Island."

 

Day 1 Wednesday 9th

 

We let the boys go to school as it is from 8-11:15. We picked them up and gave them a quick lunch. We headed out about 12 noon. We stopped at Mac - in - Dons in St. Ignace at about 2pm. Ate light and got to the Arnold Boat Line about 2:15. We were first in line to board the boat until a buss came in from a tour. They let them on first--about 55 of them!!! Bummer!! Luckily they all sat on the bottom and we sat in the middle deck--our favorite. We brought the boys bikes and they were loaded and off we were! No matter how many times I see the Mackinac bridge it is still breathtaking!!! The boat usually goes to the regular boat dock on the Island but instead they first docked at a farther away dock and let the bus people off. This took an additional 20 minutes!!! We took the bikes off with us and away we went. We were real glad we brought the boys bikes--its 3/4 mile to Mission Point and on bikes for them it was not hard. We checked in and walked over to our room. We were in the far-away building-Straights lodge. We had reserved a hot tub suite. These were brand new this year. Now here you are going to hear me complain-just bear with me. The room regularly is about 400.00 off season. We had half off with my entertainment card. The room had things broken all over it. The screen door to the deck had a hole in it. Two slats in the boys room were broke throw. The puly for the blinds over the screen door was broke and lying on the floor. We had asked if the hot-tubs were private. Well we were in a corner unit. The second and third floor room on the corner looked down on the hot tub. There was an umbrella over them. I called the desk and told them about all the damage in the room and did I mention that the only door that shut was our closest door and the main door going to the hall? They told me the only other one like it was at the other end with the same wall that end looking down. The next day I kneeled down to retrieve a toy in the boys room and the telephone jack under their night table was bare wires!!!! No cover!!!! the carpeting also was not tacked down on the sides of the room and if you pulled it up you could see those little nails that grip the carpeting. OK--got that off my chest. I figured we got the room for half off so why let it bother me? One other thing I did not like was that two walls in each room were painted dark dark blue. This made the room seem like a dungeon. Our luggage took two hours to get to our room--seems they like you to use Sheplers not Arnold line when you come over. When they luggage arrived I unpacked and organized every ones things and Mike took the frisbee and the boys out. At about 5 pm we decided to go to dinner-we choose the fancy dining room. Kids under 5 eat free (actually they charge a 1.50 service charge each meal--each kid--just about right with the amount my kids eat!!!) Mike started with the regular salad and I splurged and had the ceasors salad. It was great!!! I am on a diet but on this little 3-day vacation I said what the heck-I have lost 32 pds since spring 97! (opps--that is of personal information-sorry!!!!:)))) Anyways-I ordered the prime rib and Mike ordered the Whitefish. They were both good. The boys had hot dogs both nights. We finished with strawberry swirl cheesecake==excellent!!! There was a blind Korean man playing the piano as we all ate. He stopped for awhile and came around to everyone's table and asked how everything was--I thought that was very nice. He was very talented and a very nice individual. I think our meal came to 65.oo. Not too bad. As we were leaving an older couple sitting behind us stopped us and complimented us on how well behaved the twins were during supper. The man said that he wished he had a camcorder as that would have been a good tape on how children should act in restaurants. I thanked them. That is the second time this summer an older couple had complimented us. The other was on a boat ride up to see the Taqaumenan falls last month. They were pretty good that night. I was having heart attacks because the glasses were all long stemmed and they were balancing them. I asked for different glasses and they brought out smaller stemmed glasses!!!!! I also took the silverware away to my side until the mail came--Cody started clanging things right when we sat down!!! After we got back to our room we put the boys in their beds. There were no side rails to borrow so I had four blankets sent up and rolled them up. They both stayed in both nights. After they fell asleep we went in the hot tub for awhile. It was great!!! The stars were out and the weather had been just perfect all day!!! Hot tubs seem to make me sleepy so I hit the sak at about 11pm.

 

Day two--Mackinac Island

 

I awoke early at 6:30am and did something I have never done before on vacation--I went to the exercise room and got my daily treadmill exercise for the day. My husband thought I was nuts. It felt real good thou. I came back to the room and the boys were already up. So Everyone got dressed and we went to the same dining room we were in last night. They have a different sitting area for breakfast. Its nice because the windows face the lake and its all windows. Breakfast was a buffet. It was very nice buffet. Everything you ever wanted for breakfast and more. The boys are not big breakfast eaters so the free breakfast worked well for us. I think the bill was $25.00 for breakfast. How come I can never get my scrambled eggs to turn out like the good ones at a restaurant? There eggs and fresh squeezed OJ was excellent. We then went back to our room and got ready for our bike ride. We went to the activities center and could not get a bike with a basket on it (I needed one for water bottle and jackets). This was a little irritating. Every other place you rent bikes from has loads of baskets and they only had ONE with a basket!! Unreal!! So the boys rode and we hiked back down to town to rent a bike there. We went to the place we usually use and rented to one-speeds. Mine with a basket. The rate was 4.00/hr. They ask for a 40.00 deposit for both bikes and deduct how long you have the bikes when you get back. We headed left toward the library and the outer trail that goes around the Island. The wind was against us and it was a little chilly. Their is a refreshment stand half-way around the Island and that was the goal and depending on how the boys did we may try to do the entire 8 miles around. We took frequent breaks and the boys did ok. We decided to turn around and go back after the refreshment stand as it was still against the wind and going back the wind pushed us. We were really proud of the boys for going that far. We could coast alot but with their little bikes and legs they had to go at a good pace. I went as slow as I could when they started complaining-to a point of almost tipping over! They are building a new house in the new subdivision, I took a picture of it and will get it up on my site shortly. I am sure it will be about 750,000 and up. Right on the water. I figure if you can afford a house like that you can probably hire someone to deliver your groceries and do your errands as you would not have a car. Must be nice.

We returned our bikes at about 11:30am and let the boys pick out one toy each from one of the many junk stores downtown. They each picked out an 98 cents item.(So glad that cheap things satisfy them!) That being down we went back to the room. We rested for awhile and none of us were hungry so we went to the main pool area and went swimming. Cory loved the pool. He was allways afraid of the pools until this year--now I have to drag him out!) It was heated and it was a gorgeous day. We stayed there for 2 hours and went back to our room. We used the Hot tub for an hour. That was alot of fun. The boys actually liked it. We would love to put one on a new deck but can not agree where to put it. We then washed up and went to the Round Island Bar & Grill. Alot less formal. I ordered the Potato skins and they were great. Mike got a huge hamburger. He said it was delicious. The boys had their usual hot dog. I had dessert and it was fabulous!!! Wet Brownie with Ice cream and hot fudge sauce! I thought I had died and gone to heaven!!! Glad they don't serve that here in my town--my diet would be shot! The boys were alot more crabby this evening and hard to take at dinner so we went back to our room and vegged out. The boys watched Disney and then went to bed. We did the hot tub again and called it a night. The weather was perfect our whole trip.

 

Day 3--and Home

 

The boys were up early again so they had twinkies and I packed us up. We were heading downtown by 9am. I figured the stores would be open--well life is a little slower on the Island--nothing opened till 10am!!! I usually get fudge on the way out and had a couple other things I wanted to get. We went to the harbor park and let the boys play at the play area for awhile. At 10 we went down again and found a "Mackinac Island" penny press--so we got about three for each boy--they love watching those things. The stores in September have all their stuff marked down so I picked up two shirts for the boys for school with Mac. Island on it. We got our fudge and waited for our boat to come. It was so nice we decided to ride on top--well when we turned to get out of the harbor the wind hit us and we could hardly talk to each other!!! We managed to get ourselves down to the second deck. It was wavy and windy and being inside worked alot better. Took us about two hours to get home. All in all it was a nice get away. I hope they work on improving those rooms. I was going to write a complaint letter but why bother. They have no comment cards so its just too much work. Hope you enjoyed reading. I will put the Island pics up on my web site in the next couple of days along with this report!

Click buttons below for pics!!!

 

 

 

Day One Pics

Day 2 Pics

Day 3 Pics

 

 

 

 

 

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