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heading north

This past long weekend (Thanksgiving, for us), I took another one of those bus tours and headed north to Sault Ste Marie for viewing of the autumn colours. Unfortunately, due to the weather turning colder faster than normal and it being windy, by the time we got there, not only did we miss the peak viewing, most of the leaves had already fallen. And to top it off, we got snow.

It has been at least 20 years since I've been that far north and I visited places where I've never been before so all in all, it was a nice 3-day trip.

First stop was Parry Sound. Cottage country on the shores of Georgian Bay. Took a boat tour of the 30,000 islands. In the ~90 minute boat ride, we went from sun to overcast to rain to hail and back to sun.

Next stop was Sudbury. Spent some time at Science North and then a quick stop at Big Nickel. I remember, when I was younger, going down into a nickel mine but I guess we didn't have the time.

Arrived in the Sault Saturday evening. Sunday was taking the train into the Agawa Canyon. Unfortunately, due to the snowfall the night before (first time it snowed on Thanksgiving weekend in 24 years!), they had to close certain sites.

We crossed the border -- fastest border crossing ever! -- into Sault Ste Marie, MI. Monday, we headed to Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel.

Sunrise over the water. Mackinac Island is basically located where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are joined.

Less than 1,000 people live on this island year-round. No cars are allowed so transportation is either by walking, biking or by horse.

I loved the houses on this island. I want every single one of them!

The Grand Hotel, which is what the island is famous for.

The movie, Somewhere in Time, was filmed here. I watched the movie years ago and I remembered reading how it has a very loyal fandom which have meet-ups at the hotel. There's even a small monument on the spot where the 2 leads finally meet each other! Awwwwwwww

The plague reads: "Is it you?" At this site, on June 27, 1912, Richard Collier found Elise McKenna

And that's it! After that, it was 6 hours back to Toronto via Flint, MI where we stopped for a late lunch and we crossed the border into Sarnia.

I have almost exhausted the Chinese bus tour LOL There is still the east coast tour I definitely want to take, perhaps next summer. The only other one I have my eye on is the cross-country tour -- bus from Toronto to Vancouver and then fly back. It will allow me to visit Saskatchewan (so I can mark that off the list) and I've only visited Alberta (Edmonton, Calgary, Banff) once and that was way back in my early teen years. Also thinking that I could combine it with California -- fly from Van to LA or SF and then back to TO. Hmmmmmm, I like that plan :)


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 12th, 2012 04:08 am (UTC)
Cool! Even past peak, that's more fall color than I'll see.

Aw, you went to Mackinac- such a groovy place.

Weirdly, I still remember as a little girl in Michigan, my dad showed me Sault Ste. Marie on the map and told me to pronounce it and I mangled it!
Oct. 12th, 2012 03:20 pm (UTC)
Mackinac is very pretty but I can't help but shudder at the thought of living there through the winter!
Oct. 12th, 2012 11:39 am (UTC)
OMG, I am so jealous that you went to the Grand Hotel!!!! I LOVE THAT MOVIE!! I think Mackinac Island looks so idyllic and perfect...I would kill to live there. What fun. All your pictures are great! You still got some fall folliage in! You're just having bad luck with your timing. First the cherry blossoms and now the leaves. ;)
Oct. 12th, 2012 03:33 pm (UTC)
They played the movie on the way up which, at first, I thought was strange cause they usually play Chinese movies. Then I looked at the itinerary and it made sense. The map we got even had a legend with the movie locations marked. The island and town is very pretty but the winter! I don't think I could live there through the winter. I want those houses though.

Yeah, my timing has been pretty bad, hasn't it? Although I could've just stayed home and visited High Park for both cherry blossoms and fall folliage!
Oct. 12th, 2012 09:58 pm (UTC)
Oct. 14th, 2012 01:41 am (UTC)
Really? The trees at my parents' (in Markham) have already turned. Perhaps it's the type of tree?
Oct. 14th, 2012 02:29 pm (UTC)
Yep. Some of them are turning, but they're turning a weird yellow colour or a red that looks kinda dirty. None of the vibrance I expect out of fall!!
Oct. 13th, 2012 04:54 pm (UTC)
Aww I love Sault Ste Marie! I went a long time ago and we did the Agawa Canyon tour and drove into Michigan. Great pics!
Oct. 14th, 2012 01:42 am (UTC)
Thanks! The Sault and surrounding area is definitely pretty but I don't think I could handle a winter up there!
Oct. 14th, 2012 01:31 pm (UTC)
I saw that it snowed in Sault Ste Marie and wondered if you saw it or it was after you left! Brr.

I am as jealous as Lori that you went to Mackinac and saw the Grand Hotel. I got chills reading that they they actually have a plaque on the spot that reads "is it you?" The island and the houses do look spectacular as well.

And you saw some pretty nice color, it seems. Things here have been changing weirdly too, probably due to the drought and then the early freeze.
Oct. 15th, 2012 11:19 am (UTC)
I love that they have a plague commemorating the place where they met! I think they should do that for all OTPs (if possible) :)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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