First of all, I can't believe I've reached my goal. I can't believe this is the last Day of Happy. I'll write more about it in my final blog post, but it's unbelievable how quickly time passed. Go me!
I remember so clearly where I was last New Year's Eve. With my parents and sister. We spent the holiday in Lake Tahoe. Me, being the crazy person I am, decided to kick it up a notch this year and go to someplace even colder! Mackinac Island! And I'm going to tell you ALL about it, because that's what aspiring photojournalists do.
For some crazy reason, I successfully convinced my friend Amanda to come with me. We were originally going to go up to Mackinac over spring break (lets still go, Amanda!) but couldn't wait that long :) We're both thinking of working up there this summer, and I wanted to show her the island.
We hopped on the bus from Milwaukee to St. Ignace, a ride I've taken plenty of times. I used to work on Mackinac a few summers ago and I had to come home a few times on the Indian Trails bus. Both our buses were overnight. I'm so lucky that I can sleep anywhere. Literally anywhere. Amanda slept for most of the ride too, until we stopped in the middle of the night and a crazy man with a possible weapon got escorted off the bus. Serious!
We arrived in St. Ignace this morning and then took a cab to the airport. The lake was too frozen over to take a ferry so we had to take a plane over, even though I was really hoping we would be able to take a snowmobile across. We got to read up on our airplane news while we waited for the plane.
This was the plane we took! This was so exciting for us. The plane held maybe 10 people, including the pilot, and luggage.
It was actually pretty scary.
We made it!!
It was so interesting seeing Mackinac in the winter. The last time I was on the island was two summers ago, when I worked at Seabiscuit and for Andrejka Photography. I wrote a few posts about our vacation three summers ago - check it out here and here.
After we showered and got settled at Bogan Lane Inn, we went exploring!
We met up with my old friend Ian. Get it, because I've been friends with him for a while, and he's old? Ha ha.
We walked up to the Grand Hotel. The yellow umbrellas and American flags were gone, the rocking chairs were waiting inside, and everything was boarded up. The whole island was a ghost town.
It was FREEZING. Absolutely freezing. You can't tell just by looking at the photos, but our half hour adventure was plenty of time being outside.
I was really surprised that Doud's Market was open. There were only two restaurants open on the island - the Mustang and the Village Inn. I guess I assumed everyone was hibernating. We took advantage of it and bought overpriced Poptarts and chips.
Later that night, us three had dinner at the Mustang.
Then we drank and hung out a bit until midnight! Instead of dropping a ball or watching the ball drop at Times Square on TV, a huge crane dropped a makeshift, glittery turtle right in the middle of the street! The turtle is significant to the island, but I forget why. I loved it - turtles are Delta Zeta's mascot! I'm just glad it wasn't a real turtle.
And, honestly, the rest of the night was a blur. Thank god I took pictures!
I saw a lot of people I knew from when I worked on the island, and even ran into my old roommate, Chelsea!
The next day we hung out at the Mustang for a bit while we waited for our taxi. We met some new friends, like the two goofs you see behind Amanda.
And before we knew it, we were taking a taxi to the airport and were on our way home.
I had such a great time this New Year's Eve. Mackinac Island is my favorite place in the whole world. It trumps Dublin, Warsaw, New York City, and Belfast. I have so many good memories of this island, and I'm so fortunate that my family and I got to vacation there a dozen or so times, and I'm so lucky I got the opportunity to work and intern there. I'm also so glad that I had Amanda with me this trip! We braved the cold together and went on a semi-spontaneous trip up north to the best island ever :)
And, when I got back to Whitewater on January 2nd, I got new cabinets in my apartment! DLK workers put in new cabinets and a new sink when I was on vacation. I was SO excited about these pretty new cabinets. They're lighter than my old ones, and they're not as fancy as my parent's new kitchen, but they brighten up my kitchen a lot.