We had already planned on doing the carriage ride around the island since I knew we wouldn't be able to walk the entire way or bicycle it. The line for the carriage rides was a long one, so we decided to start the day on Main Street, having breakfast. We happened upon Huron Bar and Grill and headed in for a great breakfast. Anthony, our server, was amiable and a great conversationalist. After we discussed the cons of the Island carriage rides and how touristy they seemed, Anthony told us about a different stable, Jack's Livery and Stable. A short walk towards the middle of Island brought us to the stable where we learned that Jack's was totally self-guided, which meant that we drove the buggy around the island.
I have to admit that I was a little leery about Dave driving a buggy when he had not been around horses before. But we were told that the horses knew the Island and were totally safe, so we took the chance. What a great adventure it was! We drove the shoreline and its fancy houses for several miles before heading inland to see the forest of the State Park, as well as seeing the part of the island where the locals live year round.
We started down the big hill towards the Grand Hotel and it was as majestic as I had thought. Just absolutely beautiful. A few more turns and we were back at the Stables. Some pictures of an ecstatic hubby and we were done.
We headed back to Main Street, wandering through tiny little alleys. Our first stop was for smoothies - wildberry for Dave and banana/strawberry for me. I then left Dave seated in a little alcove while I perused through some of the Island shops and picked up a few things. Back to pick up Dave and we ended up, at his urging in a couple of fudge shops. I had no idea that Mackinac Island was well known for its fudge. There were fudge shops every few hundred feet and we got to watch them make it. I got some coconut clusters and Dave his salted caramel.
At this point, it had been six hours and we were tired. So, we headed back to the Ferry landing, hopped on, met our shuttle and headed home. We had two little doggies that were really mad us for leaving them for so long. We had debated whether or not to bring them. We knew that Mackinac Island was pretty dog friendly, but thinking of crowds, horses, etc., made me think that they wouldn't have enjoyed it. And we wouldn't have been able to do our own carriage ride with them along, so we made the right decision.
Dave has fallen in love with the horses and carriages and can't wait to do it again. Guess I'll have to bring him to a dude ranch where he can get up close and personal.