Starting the Off-Season

Hey everyone!

Every year, I have the great fortune of transitioning from my summer job to my winter job, where I work both jobs in the months of September and October. By now I’m pretty used to that transition, but I’d be lying if I don’t get slightly overwhelmed at the end of October. Then, when we finally close up the fudge shops for the winter, all of a sudden I have all of this extra time that I don’t know what to do with… so, I do nothing!

Really… I sleep! Naps rock!

Anyway, now that I’ve had lots of time to relax, I thought I’d skim through my camera and my phone’s camera and post a few pictures of Mackinac Island from now, and the past few weeks.

First of all, the fall colors up here have been completely stunning, and I always look forward to the smells of autumn. After talking with my dad, it turns out the fall colors were the reason that our season on Mackinac Island goes through October… back in the day (I’m not sure how far back, but back there somewhere), the tourist season used to end right after Labor Day, and no matter how long the hotels tried to stay open after that, most everything just closed down. But then bus tours from all over started giving a “Fall Colors” tour throughout Michigan, and it’s because of those tours that led tourists through to Mackinac Island in September and October, extending our season. I’m sure that the fall colors look amazing everywhere, but I especially like it here.




Second, Arnold line Ferry was bought by Starline, meaning that next summer we will no longer see the familiar Arnold line name anymore. It’s a sad day and quite a big change to see such an iconic part of Mackinac Island gone. As a kid, my brother and I would sit in the front of the red and green striped catamarans on a windy, wavy day, and pretend that we were steering the ship through a torrential storm. Sometimes I thought we were a starship fleet, steering though a comet storm in outer space (that might have been just me, but I’m sure my brother was playing along with me, too). My guess is that Starline will just rename the boats and keep everything running as usual for next year, but, maybe they’ll do something completely different? I don’t know, and I haven’t really asked around either, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.




Lastly, I do have to admit that part of the reason that I’ve been offline from this blog lately is that I’ve been working on a new one. Since my passion for candy making has gotten stronger this year, I’ve decided to continue it on into the winter months and try to make more candy and sweet goods at home, and being a blog lover, decided to document it all in a new blog. If you’re interested in seeing what I make and bake this winter, please check out my other site at Spoons of Copper – it should be up in the next few days, and if you’re interested you can sign up for email updates! It’s purely a candy and cooking blog at this point, but you may from time to time see a Mackinac Island pic or two…

Let me end this post with just a few more photos from around the island…

An empty downtown
So peaceful!

I’m never downtown in the fall because I change jobs and am at Mackinac Island Public School all day. So I always seem to miss seeing the horses leaving the island… one very lucky day I had some time to leave work early and check my mail, and on the way back, I ran into these beautiful horses! We’ll see you again next year…


~ Heather

November post-season

For the last few weeks, life has been slowing down here on Mackinac Island. We are in the process of winterizing the fudge shops, and the biggest thing left to do at this point is to shut off the water in both stores. For a lot of residents as well, that first time riding your bike through an empty Main St. is music to the ears! After working hard for the season, it’s nice to enjoy that first calm day in the fall. For me, that moment came one night when buying some groceries at Doud’s and riding home through a very quiet downtown.

This week is also a week of transitions, because I’m in the process of moving into my winter housing. Between that, helping my parents make their transition from summer home (here) to winter home (Petoskey), and winterizing the fudge shops (oh… and did I mention raking the leaves? Haven’t done that yet, either…), it’ll be a busy week for me.

I do have a few photos from over the past few weeks here on the island…

Here I took one last walk up to the Grand Hotel during their last week open. I went up to the Cupola bar with a friend to enjoy the view, and fittingly enough, the pianist at one point started playing “The Candyman Can.” I didn’t request it, I swear!

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One of the first days that we were closed for the year, sometime around Oct. 26

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I spent the last week open at May’s Candy shop shining up the kettles. It’s honestly one of my favorite jobs to do!

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One last mopping…

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I think this was during the last week we were open, around Oct. 25. Tourists still enjoying the island, even in the cold weather!

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A sunny, November day with falling leaves.

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About to see a transition into something new for this store for next year…

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Taken this past Saturday, November 8. A view of East Bluff and the marina from the Arnold Line dock.

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Apparently there is a big snow storm coming through Michigan today, so you might see more pictures tomorrow…

And to end this post, I just want to say thanks to those of you who have been following my online story! It was just something fun and creative to do, and I’ll be adding new chapters all winter. Chapter 3 is coming up next, so stay tuned!

~ Heather