Mackinac Island & Thunder Bay Resort Photo Blog
Tour Name: Mackinac Island & Thunder Bay Resort
Tour Dates: June 17-24, 2019
Tour Director: Patti Olson
Tour Director Highlights: Spring was late in Michigan, which meant that we were there as the lilac trees emerged into full bloom! The aroma was heavenly and easily masked the normal odors of horse-drawn transportation on Mackinac Island. We had a lot of free time on the island to explore on our own and just relax and soak up some sunshine. At Thunder Bay, we ventured out to visit historic lighthouses, looked for sunken ship wrecks in the crystal clear waters of Lake Huron, and came up close to some beautiful elk.
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A portrait of Edsel Ford, Henry Ford’s son, in his mansion.
This is the ballroom in the Ford mansion. The stone fireplace was brought from a monastery in Europe and is very old.
Edsel Ford’s mansion – it was amazing to tour all the rooms.
The gatehouse entrance to Edsel Ford’s home.
The travelers were awed by the beautiful stained glass windows in the Lutheran church in Frankenmuth.
An inspiring mural of Jesus adorns the ceiling above the altar in the Lutheran church in Frankenmuth.
St. Lorenz Evangelical Lutheran Church was established by the settler of Frankenmuth who emigrated from Bavaria, Germany, in 1845.
Bavarian architecture in Frankenmuth. Frankenmuth is named for the Franconia region of Germany where its settlers came from.
Covered bridge in Frankenmuth.
Note the row of bells above the stage on Frankenmuth’s Glockenspiel. The clock tells the story of the Pied Piper several times a day with life-size carved figures rotating across the stage.
The Pied Piper leads the town’s children away!
Manger scene outside the “Silent Night” Chapel by Bronner’s in Frankenmuth. It is a replica of one at the original church site where Silent Night was first sung in Austria.
Bronner’s Christmas World in Frankenmuth.
It’s Christmas every day at Bronner’s Christmas World – a HUGE outlet for absolutely everything Christmas. Each purchase includes a tract with the real meaning of Christmas.
This must be “north” Frankenmuth with all the snowy characters.
Bronner’s lights up Christmas displays every night of the year. Since our hotel was just next door, we could go out after dark and enjoy a little bit of Christmas in June!
Mackinac Bridge viewed through aromatic lilacs.
These are the winding stairs that lead to the top of the Mackinac Point lighthouse.
Old Mackinac Point lighthouse. Many climbed this tower for a great view of the Mackinac Bridge.
This lighthouse keeper at the Old Mackinac Point lighthouse looks suspiciously like our driver, Bill!
The inside cabin of Shepler’s Ferry. Many rode on the top deck despite the wind as the ferry sped across the water to the island.
This was one of the horse taxis that met our ferry and took us to our hotel.
The Grand Hotel takes horse taxis up several levels!
Red-roofed white buildings grace a hilltop at Mission Point for its hotel and conference center.
The waterfront at Mission Point.
We had such warm, sunny days on our journey – perfect for fellowshipping at the various places we visited.
Ha! We saw 3 of the only 4 motorized vehicles on Mackinac Island. We were glad NOT to see the 4th — it’s an ambulance.
Fireplace lobby at the Mission Point Resort.
Lobby of the Mission Point Resort – such beautiful, old woodwork throughout. The building used to be a college years ago.
A horse taxi awaits its passengers outside the Mission Point Resort. This bench, with a great view of the lake in the distance, was popular with our travelers.
We toured Mackinac Island by horse carts, through the town and into the State Park that makes up most of the island.
Mackinac Island’s iconic rock arch was just around the bend from our Mission Point Resort hotel.
The Grand Hotel’s dining room can seat about 750 people! We enjoyed an elegant and delicious lunch from their bountiful buffet.
Everything in the Grand Hotel was well-coordinated in color and style. This is one of the many lounges for hotel guests to enjoy.
The view of the Grand Hotel grounds and Lake Huron from the tower lookout atop the hotel.
Not always obvious to visitors, this tower lookout atop the Grand Hotel is such a pretty place to view the island and water. The 2-story glass chandelier graces the center.
After a very filling buffet lunch, we took time to lounge in the rockers on the Grand Hotel’s front porch.
An iconic view of the longest porch in America at the Grand Hotel. It used to cost $10.00 just to walk along it if you were not staying in the hotel.
The Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island.
Mackinac Island’s main street was full of bicycles, pedistrians, and horse taxis. Even though it was early in the season, it was hopping with activity.
We could walk from town to the Mission Point Resort, past the fort, 2 historic churches, and many, many lilac trees in full bloom. Beautiful!
This is the interior of St. Anne Catholic church on Mackinac Island.
This is the Mission Church at Mission Point on Mackinac Island. It’s very “Presbyterian” with box pews and no decoration inside. It is open to the public for quiet prayer and meditation.
Shepler’s Ferry gave us a quick ride from the mainland to Mackinac Island.
“I don’t know, dear. He looks a little hungry!”
This bear doesn’t look too scary… He patiently stood for photos at the Call of the Wild Museum.
These polar bears were scary – one could not see them until walking into an icy cave! Surprise!
It’s always great to make new friends on a Bob Neff Tour! Even four-footed, furry ones.
Our first night at Thunder Bay Resort included a marshmellow roast and s’mores. Sunset was very late in northern Michigan, so we had our campfire way before twilight.
The Shipwreck museum in Alpena, Michigan, is very well done. While we were onboard this ship model, there was a terrific and loud thunderstorm that rocked the boat!
We had a 2-hour cruise in Lake Huron to visit several shipwrecks from this glass-bottom boat. The waters were calm, and the sun was warm.
The Old Presque Ile lighthouse. It’s not as tall as the new one, but climbing to the top gave impressive views.
The taller New Presque Ile lighthouse. The lighthouse keeper’s home, now a museum, was open to tour.
Our “taxi” to dinner and elk viewing at Thunder Bay Resort.
Part of the elk herd at Thunder Bay Resort.
This male is still in “velvet” and the sun shone through it so beautifully.
Dinner in the Log Cabin included many well-preserved animals.
Elk antlers are incredibly heavy! We all got to pick up just one of an elk’s two antlers.
We had a howling good time at Thunder Bay Resort!
Our group after a delicious dinner in the Log Cabin at Thunder Bay Resort.
There are no moose in the elk preserve at Thunder Bay Resort, but this huge bull watched over us during dinner.
The Log Cabin dinner venue at Thunder Bay Resort.
At Thunder Bay Resort, we rode horse-drawn wagons to view the elk preserve and a delicious dinner in the log cabin.
A statue of Henry Ford outside the museum of American Innovation.
Two-thirds of our group spent an afternoon in Greenfield Village while the others explored the Henry Ford Museum.
Ah, summertime on the front porch swing! Warther homestead by the museum.
One of the joys of touring is having time to get to know fellow travelers in a relaxed setting.
Warther Museum – Frieda Warther’s 73,000-button collection is artistically displayed.
Warther’s wife collected over 70,000 buttons, which she displayed in colorful and creative designs.
Passengers enjoyed a warm summer morning to explore the grounds of Warther’s home and museum.
Travel tip: take a photo of each place you visit so that you can remember later the details of the site.
This is the inside of Warther’s workshop where a multitude of Indian arrowheads are artistically on display.
Intricate detail including ebony “coal” in the coalcar.
A fascinating and awesome working model of a mill where Warther worked as a young man.
Cut from one block of wood, all these pliers were released at once after multiple, careful cuts into the wood block. Absolutely astounding.
Look carefully under the ivory train — the trestle bridge is made of ebony “bricks” with ivory as mortar.
This working model is carved totally of ivory!
The Warther Museum is located across from the family home and is a great tribute to his unique talents.
Master wood carver Warther not only carved wood and ivory trains, he collected real railroad cars on his parklike estate.
Warther’s workshop where he carved so many tools and trains.
Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan
Living the Tour Director Life—With Patti Olson
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