It was a rare event that we were traveling to a resort for a business meeting and we didn’t make any side business trips. My Bride had a meeting to attend a meeting at two in the afternoon, so we left pretty early in the morning, because it is almost a five hour drive from our house to Mackinaw City and hope that we catch a ferry across the Straits before they start running every hour, instead of every half hour. One of the wisest things was when they raised the speed limit of the interstate to 75mph when you are away from metropolitan areas. It also helped that we took a secondary route for part of the trip to avoid seeing the official state flower of Michigan in full bloom, the orange pylons that indicate road construction, as it was, we still were able to enjoy an eight mile stretch of them. When we arrived at the ferry service, we split into two teams, one to unload the luggage and get it tagged for the right hotel, because who wants to schlep luggage for about a mile? The other went to get the passage tickets and the parking on the enclosed lot for the weekend right outside of the luggage pavilions for the return trip. We made it with time to spare, and ran into some others on the same boat trip, and the water was looking rather choppy, so we ended up on the lower level of the hovercraft in the glass enclosed section of the boat, the brave ones up above enjoyed the bracing temperatures of the Straits.
Arriving in the downtown of Mackinac City is always a unique event, as everywhere you look there are people walking about, as well as watching your step to avoid the deposits left by all of the horses that handle the delivery trucks and taxi services on the island. There are also plenty of places to rent bicycles if one wants, and I have never been on a hovercraft where there haven’t been personal bicycles being transported along with the luggage. The hardest part was keeping my Bride on the straight and narrow to get to the resort, as she had to pass by many boutiques and fudge shops, as we knew that there would be plenty of time for her to shop. The best news was that when we got to the hotel, they had a room ready for us, there was no luggage yet, as we made better travel time than the horse drawn wagons, but I could work on my computer, while she attended the meeting. Our laptops were the only item that we carried with us from the boat. This was the first time I got to really see how big the main structure was and it seemed like the corridors went on for miles, afterwards we discovered a short cut, back to the main entrance.
That evening there was a wonderful dinner event waiting for us, in a part of the resort that we had never been to before, overlooking the water. There was a private bar, very well stocked and a big appetizer table set up for noshing with an assortment of finger foods to get the taste buds rolling. The dinner started off with a nice salad, but I was able to request early enough a salad without cheese and some Italian dressing, and the Italian dressing may have been the most used dressing on our table. We had a choice of an entrée from whitefish, airline chicken or a small filet, and all the dishes were plated with the same potatoes and vegetables, I guess for ease in the kitchen. My Bride of course had the whitefish, and it was such a large piece that so did I, and I had the filet, and I shared it with her, so we had our own version of “surf and turf” and both dishes were cooked perfectly, which is quite an accomplishment considering the size of the room; I might also add that the people that had the chicken were raving about how well it was cooked as well. For dessert there was cherry pie and chocolate cake, set up as help yourself, so most took a little bit of both. While the majority of the imbibers were enjoying cocktails, there were some beer drinkers and yes, there were some wine drinkers as well. Several people had asked me, if I was going to take photos of the wines, and I told them that I did it early when we first got there, so as not to impede the flow of traffic at the bar. The choice of three wines for the evening were all “house wines” as they carried the Mission Point label. The Mission Point Mackinac Island Cabernet Sauvignon and the Mission Point Mackinac Island Chardonnay, both carried a California AVA. They both said on the back “Cellared and bottled by Free Run Wine Company, St. Helena, California” I could find no information about this winery, other than a web page, and I sent a letter requesting some information, but I never heard back from them. I could presume that perhaps they do a bulk wine and then do limited private labels for different restaurants and hotels. I will say that the two wines were very drinkable, we started off with the Chardonnay and finished with the Cabernet Sauvignon. Just for the sake of a complete report, I had a glass of the Mission Point Mackinac Island Special Selection Late Harvest Riesling produced by Black Star Farms on Old Mission Peninsula in the Traverse City area of Michigan and I have written about Black Star Farms quite a bit recently. I was expecting a much sweeter wine, so I was pleasantly surprised that it was off dry, even though it said “late harvest” and even my Bride didn’t mind it. The weekend was off to a great start.