A Grand Celebration

Judy Kurth shares the story of a memorable trip with her family to Mackinac Island for a 50th wedding anniversary celebration.

Flickr Photo Credit - Kelly FedewaLast year, as my husband and I started thinking about our 50th anniversary and how to celebrate it, we decided it would be best spent celebrating with the entire family. As the kids and grandkids grow up it seems to get harder and harder to get everyone together. We started looking at places like Washington, DC and Chicago as options for a weekend getaway. After many discussions with our family, we realized our celebration destination was right here in Michigan…on Mackinac Island. Throughout the years of family travel, all of the kids have been to Mackinac Island but never to as truly a grand destination as Grand Hotel.

With the first telephone call, the staff at Grand Hotel started the planning. Listening to everything we wanted for the weekend getaway and celebration dinner, the staff put together a fantastic vacation for everyone. From an informal evening at the Jockey Club to our celebration dinner, and a variety of activities throughout the weekend, the staff covered all of the details.

Flickr Photo Credit - Roger MulderWhen the weekend finally rolled around, the family was excited to make the trip to Mackinac Island. The kids came in from California and around Michigan to head to the island. As we boarded the ferry, I could tell it was going to be a fun weekend just by watching the kids. We had made the right decision.

The history and allure of the island and the hotel were huge draws for us. There is truly something for everyone here. Throughout the weekend, the kids and grandkids explored the hotel, learning about its history. The kids spent an afternoon horseback riding, the girls went shopping, and everyone enjoyed the carriage rides. Time was spent relaxing at the pool and taking leisurely bike rides around the island. It didn’t hurt that the weather cooperated too. It was a beautiful getaway. The relaxed atmosphere of the island made it possible for everyone to enjoy our time together.

In the evenings, the entire family gathered for dinner. We enjoyed many of the hotel restaurants including the Jockey Club and the Main Dining Room. The highlight of the trip was our celebration dinner on the third night. Grand Hotel arranged for the Pontiac Room, a private dining room with a spectacular water view for our family. I surprised my husband Phil with a video tribute to both he and our family. There were laughs, tears, and cheers as the family watched together.

After dinner, we spent the evening dancing to the music of The Grand Hotel Orchestra, followed by a visit to the Cupola Bar for a night cap.

Looking back, this was a truly unforgettable experience. I now sit and look at all of the wonderful pictures from the weekend. Thanks to Grand Hotel arranging for a photographer, another one of the details the staff made sure to take care of, we have beautiful family photos to remember the celebration. Thanks to the Grand Hotel staff, nothing was forgotten. We’ve already recommended the trip to a number of friends and hope to visit the island again soon.

Phil and Judy KurthPhil and Judy Kurth celebrated their 50th anniversary in July, 2010, at Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. They reside in Okemos.


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