When I think of Mackinac Island, one word comes to mind: nostalgia. More than most places on earth, Mackinac Island seems full of memories from childhood: taking carriage rides (no cars allowed on the Island), eating fudge (“fudging up,” as my family called it), biking the loop around the Island (always with a stop at the Somewhere in Time rock), and so much more.
There’s something so familiar and comforting about returning to Mackinac Island, and that’s true in sad times, too. Last fall, my family converged on the Island to bury my grandfather. He had passed away a few months earlier, so rather than being an occasion for mourning, it felt more like a celebration. It was really lovely.
While there, I remembered again how much I love this place. All of the nostalgic things from my childhood remain – the smell of fresh-cooked fudge, the clip clop of the horses, the grand old porch of the Grand Hotel – but I also looked at it all with a fresh eye, too. My sister and I tried to figure out what the most “foodie” things we could eat on the Island were, and I – well-trained by years of devoted Instagram use – appreciated all the colorful, picture perfect houses in a way that I hadn’t before.
More than most places, Mackinac has a frozen-in-time quality that will always be special to me. Though signs of the times creep in – the Starbucks on main street certainly wasn’t there in my childhood – my favorite parts of the Island will be the ones that haven’t changed. Nostalgia at its finest, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.