Pretty flowers greeted us in our rooms First Lady Suites
Stefania wrote a lovely post about our visit to Mackinac Island, where we stayed at the beautiful Grand Hotel. She's right that our mere words and photos can't do it justice, and you really must visit yourself to experience the magic.
Early morning on Mackinac Island, Michigan
Thank you, Stefania, for leaving the stories about our Somewhere In Time shenanigans to me.
Leave Your Mustang on the Mainland, There's No Drunk Driving on Mackinac
It was so hard to leave our Mustang in the parking lot!
In the last Ford-y Whatever post, we had just gravel sprayed out of Danielle Wiley's driveway, and were driving up to the top of the peninsula, to get the ferry to Mackinac Island. Four hours and a few ballsy red Ford Mustang V8 powered slow-driver-passings later, we were on the boat, sipping adult lemonade beverages (thank you Meijer & Skyy Vodka!) We arrived too late for the fancy dinner at Grand Hotel, so we had a tasty meal at a restaurant by the dock, and then caught a "taxi" to the hotel.
Since Mackinac is a car free island, that means that everything is done by horse-drawn carriage, including taxis. Also you smell horse shit everywhere.
On our slow, fragrant, horse-drawn carriage ride to the hotel, we met Transient Waiter Dude, who works on Mackinac Island six months out of the year, and then goes to somewhere warm like Florida to work the other six months. He shared this nugget of wisdom with us:
"Yeah, it's a party town. Thirteen bars and no cars!"
I been repeating that like Rainman for the past week. Sorry if you're infected now, too!
We Had No Idea Someone Made an Iconic, Late 70s, Time Travel, Romance Film Here
Self-portrait by Miss Jane Seymour, hanging outside the Somewhere in Time Suite
It didn't seem like much of a party town when we got to Grand Hotel and it was pretty much shut up for the night at 11 pm. That didn't stop us from exploring the hallway outside of Stefania's suite.
I'll tell you all about the hotel rooms in my Uptake Hotel review -- we were both in suites and they were spectacular. But the important thing is that Stefania's suite was located a mere two doors down from the Somewhere In Time Suite.
Grand Hotel knows why so many crazies -- yes, I mean us -- come to this place. It's to catch a glimpse of the magic smoldering intensity of Jane Seymour and time traveler (WITH HIS MIND) Christopher Reeve. And they feed it to us with a spoon.
For example, there is a plaque outside of the Somewhere in Time Suite, identifying it to all who walk by. Of course, you'd kinda have to be blind to miss it, because the hallway walls outside of the suite are plastered with paintings -- many of them created by Jane Seymour herself -- of Elise McKenna and Richard Collier. They even have one inspired by the photo that that captured Collier's heart.
It was getting close to midnight, and we were pretty excited as we took iPhone pix of the amazing art (no, really, check out the photos, you're amazed, right?) but it didn't get out of hand until the twins showed up.
Is Any Vacation Complete Unless You Meet Twins?
Another self-portrait, in the role of Elisa McKenna, by Miss Jane Seymour
Two 4'8" ladies in their dinner finery -- nice pearls, kicky black skirts, well coiffed hair -- came running up to us and said, "It's your first time, isn't it! We can always tell! Isn't just spectacular! Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!"
What could we say? We squealed back at them. I may have jumped up and down a little.
"We've been here five times now. You'll have to come back, everyone comes back. They are so nice here, you can ask the cleaning staff to let you see the Somewhere in Time Suite! And they will upgrade you to a better room if they have one, for free!"
(We didn't have the heart to tell them that we each had our own suite, courtesy of the very generous folks at Grand Hotel.)
Then they told us the amazing story of how they are twins, and one of them is a six year cancer survivor, and her husband ("He's my hero") brought her to Grand Hotel after she first got her diagnosis, because if she was going to die, he wanted her to experience her life-long dream to see the Somewhere in Time hotel.
(Squeal!!!!! We've dreamed of it, too!!!!! What a great husband!!!!!)
Cancer survivor lady was actually kicking cancer's butt for several years, and had just done another round of chemo. They were at the hotel to celebrate the publication of her book of poetry, which we saw later in the gift shop. It Was Written In The Capitalization for Emphasis School of Poetry. Also, A Lot Of Jesus.
Just as the four of us were (insincerely, but what the hell) planning a future night of barhopping, from the bowels of the suite with the misfortune of being next door to the Somewhere in Time Suite came, "SHUT UP YOU STUPID DRUNKEN WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
We're not dumb, we scattered down the hall, whispering our goodbyes. It might have been a ghost, or an angry guest, or even the untethered spirit of Elise McKenna. (Not that Miss McKenna would ever use such language!) We weren't waiting around to find out.
On the Set of Somewhere in Time
It's Bob Tagatz, showing us into the Somewhere in Time suite!
The next morning, after a delicious room service breakfast, we met Bob Tagatz, the Grand Hotel concierge, official historian and chief blogger. Bob gave us a personal tour of the Somewhere in Time Suite, and told us a few secrets about the film.
Bob said that Jane Seymour has been back several times, and she's just as gracious in real life, plus, such a talented artist who donated those works inspired by her role in the film. He also told us that the little boy who played Young Arthur has been bringing his family to Grand Hotel for years.
Also, I'm now going to sell my plasma so I can come back for the INSITE (International Network of Somewhere in Time Enthusiasts) Somewhere in Time weekend. It sounds just too fantastical to miss! Bob said that many -- even most -- people stay in vintage dress for the whole weekend!
After our fun meeting with Bob, we went for a bike ride around the island, avoiding horse poop and getting a little sunburnt. We saw the spot where Elise says, "Is it You?!" and the place on the stairs where they talk, and the Esther Williams pool, which has nothing to do with Somewhere in Time, but played a big role in a different film, This Time for Keeps.
Magic. Using Just Your Mind.
The movie that started it all.
That night we got all dressed up for our five course dinner -- btw, booze is not included, which we absolutely aren't complaining about because we were comp'd everything else, but fyi to other visitors -- and ate a bunch of delicious and rich food. Then we immediately changed into yoga pants, and went to my room to drink vodka soda cranberries. After watching the sunset from my deck, we called housekeeping and had them bring us a copy of Somewhere in Time, which is ONE MILLION TIMES EVEN BETTER when you've just spent the entire day wandering around Grand Hotel and Mackinac Island.
- The lobby is exactly the same.
- The dining room is exactly the same.
- The porch is exactly the same.
- We may have seen Young/old Arthur on the grounds.
- Or it may have been his ghost, since he died recently. And there are a lot of ghosts in that hotel.
I was tempted to take the DVD home with me (why do I feel like I'm constantly admitting to shoplifting urges when I blog?) but of course I didn't because it would have been stealing, and I don't do that. But it would have been cool to have the Grand Hotel copy of Somewhere in Time, right? Right?
Next Time We Don't Bring Any Change With Us
What's this? A penny? Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
We were sad to leave on Monday morning, and we'll definitely be back. But we had to give back the Mustang, get a Taurus SHO, and meet the famous Scott Monty ... and the soon to be infamous Fake Scott Monty.
To be continued...