After touring the Grand Hotel, we headed back to the main part of town, along the waterfront. By this time we were feeling peckish, so ducked into the Yankee Rebel Tavern for a bite and a beverage. It was good enough, a bit overpriced, but that’s to be expected in a touristy spot.
After our late lunch, we wandered the streets and shops. It is so odd to see nothing but horse drawn carriages and bicycles! There were taxi carriages, “drive your own” carriage rentals, carriage tours of the entire island, and you could just rent a horse to ride. All of those horses leads to a lot of horse poo, but fortunately the island employees full time pooper scoopers! Trust me, they can’t really keep up with the load, if you know what I mean.
The slight but pervasive manure fragrance was almost overshadowed by the slight but pervasive fragrance of fudge making. Mackinac Island may not have invented fudge, but it seems to be the epicenter of fudge cuisine with dozens of fudge shops in a few short blocks. I was informed that approximately 10,000 pounds leave the island daily with tourists, leading the islanders to dub us “fudgies”. The shops create their fudge offerings in full view — boiling up the sugary mixture in copper kettles, pouring it out onto large marble-topped tables, then working the fudge into loaf shapes. Every shop we visited had two or three men working nonstop making the confection, creating endlessly fascinating culinary theater. We found if you worked your way through the shops tasting samples, you don’t actually need to purchase any!
After poking into various shops and experiencing a sugar rush from all of those fudge samples, it was time to head toward the ferry. We loaded up our bikes and boarded the ferry for home. Later, in honor of our visit, we re-watched the movie “Somewhere In Time”.
It seemed fitting.