ON THE WAY TO MACKINAC: A JOURNEY BACK IN TIME
Today, Lauren, four of our kids, and I are flying to Chicago and then on to Mackinac Island to “premiere” Bringing Back The Old Hollywood at the Annual Somewhere in Time weekend at the magnificent Grand Hotel.
We left Portland at the crack of dawn to fly to the Windy City where we’ll board a smaller 8-seat plane for a 2-hour flight over the Great Lakes to Mackinac Island.
I’ll never forget my first trip in February 1979 to scout Mackinac as the location for Somewhere in Time.
When we landed on the tiny airstrip, the temperature was in the 20s. We were met at the airport by Dan Musser, the owner of The Grand, and a fellow named Dan Dewey, who went on to become our location manager.
As motorized vehicles are not allowed on Mackinac, we climbed into a couple of elegant horse-drawn carriages and quickly bundled up with warm blankets for the scenic, 20-minute ride to the Grand Hotel.
As a California native, I had never felt as cold as I did on that February morning so I kept thinking about how wonderful it was going to be to get inside the warmth of the Grand and to see it in all its splendor for the first time.
Riding up to The Grand was, and still is, an awe-inspiring experience. Built in 1887, it has the longest porch in the world and sits like a shining jewel on Mackinac’s highest point.
Walking up the stairs to the entrance, my breath seemed to turn to icicles as son as it left my mouth but, only steps away, I knew there would be warmth.
Unless there wasn’t.
As we walked into the lobby, it was actually colder inside than it was outside. “Of course”, it hit me. They don’t heat the hotel in the dead of winter. The Grand is only open from May through October so heating the hotel in the winter months would be foolish and wildly expensive.
Mr. Musser had arranged, however, for us see what the Grand would look like when it was open and we had a jaw-droppingly impressive tour.
Tonight, when we take that carriage ride from the airport, the temperature will be much, much warmer, and The Grand will still be in full swing as it nears the end of its season. Still, I can’t wait to arrive again and get that first feeling of stepping back in time to an age of elegance, grace, and style.
Much more in the next few days about Bringing Back The Old Hollywood……Somewhere in Time.