View from the back: The Grand Hotel


A visit to the Grand Hotel would not be complete without a tour of the gardens. After walking through the public parts of the garden that anyone can see from the sidewalk, I took a stroll back into the woods at the garden’s edge and discovered what I had long suspected existed, but had been unable to find before: the secret geranium burial ground, the Grand Hotel private greenhouse.

Reserve geraniums, waiting to be called up to the majors.

After having little success myself keeping potted geraniums thriving for an entire summer, and wondering how the Grand Hotel gardeners managed to keep their geraniums so robust, I finally deduced that they must keep a secret greenhouse  supply of geraniums to replenish the sickly ones throughout the summer. Turns out I was right, although I guess the greenhouse is not all that secret, since I was able to stroll right in.

Grand Hotel carriage, from the back of course.

© Huffygirl 2012

View from the front: The Grand Hotel


The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island is one of the most lovely Victorian buildings in Michigan, and boasts the world’s longest porch.  The graceful porch with its light blue ceilings and yards of red geraniums is an inspiring  and relaxing place to sit on summer day, with a great view of the gardens, other island buildings, and the Mackinac Bridge. Although there are many fetching flowers  surrounding the property, the red geranium is the theme flower of the Grand Hotel, and is featured prominently on the porch and in the decor of the building throughout.

The iconic red geranium.

Looking up from the gardens below, guest room balconies and the Cupola Bar.

Wizard chess anyone?

© Huffygirl 2012

View from the porch: Island vacation


Busy marina.

Sit back and relax with me on a lazy summer day on Mackinac Island, Michigan. I didn’t have to move to get these photos: I just watched as the world of Mackinac Island passed by my vantage point on the wide veranda of The Island House Hotel.

Departing ferry and Round Island Lighthouse.

New bride’s ride.

Porch railing flowers.

Taxi driver.

No rest for a busy harbor bee (look closely!)

© Huffygirl 2012