Somewhere in Time

October 10, 2014

Last weekend, my husband and I went up to the Upper Peninsula to enjoy some fall color. We met with some cold and rainy weather instead.

Here we are, crossing the Mackinac Bridge.

For those of you not familiar with our state, the Mackinac Bridge, built in 1957, is a 5-mile-long suspension bridge that connects Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas, as you can see by our GPS. 

The little town of St. Ignace, on the northeast side of the bridge.

You can see the beautiful pines in the background.

We stayed on Trout Lake, at a lovely little restored motel and inn called Birch Lodge. The owners are working hard to re-create the atmosphere it once had, back when one of them stayed there as a child. 

Here are a couple jukeboxes they have kept in working order. They even provide the quarters. For a quarter, you get five songs. I played These Boots Are Made For Walkin' by Nancy Sinatra.

Check out these old menus they've kept, and the prices!

And this breakfast, all for a dollar . . . 

And everything typed on a manual typewriter . . .

This is the old bar area, with a canopy made of small birch logs. An old cash register, advertisements, cigarette and Alka-Seltzer dispensers . . . 

Remember these old lights? And check out the wallpaper . . . 

The inn was originally built to be a TB sanitorium, but it never opened. The rooms, which are being restored, have beautiful old wood floors and lovely antique furniture. The owner showed me cupboards full of old restaurant crockery, some made by Hall, and pristine percale sheets, hand-embroidered with Birch Lodge on them. They were washed in the old way, with a wringer, and then all ironed in a press.

A beautiful long balcony overlooks the lake. I can imagine the original idea was to allow TB patients the opportunity to sit in the fresh air and sunshine, perhaps with a nice warm blanket spread over their laps as they rocked in comfortable rockers and enjoyed the view.

And, oh my, check out these fabulous old advertisements for Spry, found in some of the many old magazines the owners still have at the lodge.

I can't help it -- the editor in me has to say "WE ladies"!!
Now that we're home, the weather is beautiful again.

(The title of this post is from the movie Somewhere in Time, starring Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve, and set on our very own Mackinac Island, which you can see from the bridge, and visit via a ferry. Very charming, with no cars allowed, only horse-drawn carriages, and famous for its beautiful lilacs, Victorian homes, and fudge.)

Have a lovely weekend, friends.


  1. What a beautiful walk back in time, Deborah! I love that the owners of the inn are restoring it using the original style. I am in love with the wallpaper and scenic lampshade - they bring back fond memories for me, as I was born in the fabulous 50's. The old juke box has my Grandmother and Mother's favorite song, 'Ebb Tide' and I learned to play it on the organ as a child. I have never seen the movie, but it is on my list, and now it will be extra special knowing where it took place. Too bad about the weather - hopefully you can go back again at a better time and show us more of the vintage hotel as it is restored. Pretty fall color at home, though. Thank you for the tour. xo Karen

  2. What a great place to visit. How does the inn stay in business with the menu prices of old? I remember watching Somewhere in Time years ago - such a romantic movie. Your purple mums are lovely.

    1. Lorrie, they don't serve food now, just coffee and homemade muffins in the morning for guests. The menus were just saved from the old days.

  3. When I was growing up, our family vacationed in Upper Michigan on 2 different occasions, and one of those times, we stayed at Mackinac Island. We have pictures of us riding bicycles built for 2. I bought a charm of the bridge to add to my bracelet. (I still have that bracelet, although I don't wear it anymore.)

    Your photos are beautiful.

    Have a great weekend.


    1. The 8-mile bike ride around the island is always on our list, complete with those bicycles built for two!

  4. The bridge looks lovely! Awesome that you found a jukebox; they are so fun! And the old prices sound pretty great!

  5. What a fun weekend, Deborah! My husband and I love Mackinac Island. Your title certainly brought to mind Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve and the Grand Hotel...what fun!

  6. Deborah, we are currently on a vacation, leaf peeping. I'm sorry yours did not turn exactly as planned, but those little throwbacks looked totally enjoyable! I love them all, especially.the music. Being the youngest of 9, I remember music from the 50s to now- we had a huge rec room with music going most of the time. Great memories!

  7. Thanks for sharing all the nostalgia with us, Deborah. Even though we lived in Michigan for a brief time, we never did make it up to the Upper Peninsula. I know you and your sweetie had a good time together, but it's always so nice to come home, isn't it?

  8. Sounds lilke you had a delightful getaway. Always nice to have one of those, even though the weather was less than ideal. Susan

  9. Deborah, as I sit by the fire resting from a very long day your post brings delight to my soul. First of all, Somewhere in Time is my all time favorite movie. I just love Jane Seymour! She is a beautiful lady, and a lay indeed.
    My husband, Stephanie and I visited Mackinac Island some years ago and so enjoyed ourselves, especially the bike ride around the island.
    That motel sounds interesting, just lovely. My father had a jute box for years and sold it last year as he and my mother are down sizing. Memories, so many memories.
    I agree with Karen, you and your husband need too visit that motel again so you can share with us as they progress.
    Your flower garden looks beautiful as fall is here.
    Sweet blessings, Debbie

  10. Dearest Deborah,
    First thought that came up was that of one of my dreams; Lilacs blooming on Mackinac Island... But for that you are four months late I guess!
    That is really stepping back in time and you showed us lovely photos.
    For a first-time reader your opening sentence should also have added: in the State of Michigan (USA)... Lateron it became clear but at first I had to guess!
    Enjoy a lovely fall weekend. Here it is very warm for days, like summer but with low humidity. That's such a bliss.

    PS For a European it is awfully hard to sing the songs that they have on Karaoke machines but I did sing along Nancy Sinatra's song: These Boots Are Made for Walking!

    1. You're right, Mariette, about identifying Michigan and US. How fun that you tried to sing that old song!

  11. What a wonderful trip, sounds like my type of place with all the vintage paraphernalia.

  12. What a beautiful trip this sounds Deborah! I would love to visit and stay there. It must have felt like going back to quieter, relaxing times. What a delicious menu too! Your garden looks so beautiful, still full of colour.
    Have a lovely weekend
    Alison xx

  13. A shame that you had rainy weather for your stay but at least the inn provided some interest. Here we are in the north for Thanksgiving where the leaf colours are usually spectacular but many of the trees are already bare. Well, at least there's no snow yet.

  14. What a lovely getaway! When I saw the pictures of the suspension bridge, I had to do a double-take. It looks so much like the Forth Road Bridge (connecting Edinburgh and Fife) which I've travelled many times.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  15. What a great and fun place to visit...definitely a walk back in time. Love the old prices!!
    Mary Alice

  16. Deborah what a sweet place for a retreat!
    So happy you and hubby were able to enjoy this happy place together!

    All my heart,

  17. A lovely visit with you as you shared your trip. What fun to go back in time. And yes, I remember that lovely old movie with Jane Seymour. My good friend still has a copy of the movie, now that I know the bridge... makes me want to invite myself over and watch it with her.

    Wishing you a happy weekend...

  18. Hi Deborah, what a lovely time you had on the island. Love the back in time pics. I love the movie Somewhere in Time and the music score I play on the piano. You enjoyed a wonderful time even with the weather conditions. Thank you for sharing.
    We are in the Hill Country tonight and it rained all the way here. See you next week.
    Hugs and Blessings

  19. So nice that you and your husband got to get away. Love hearing about history and geography from other states. I've not been to your neck of the woods yet :)

  20. Oh, the photo of the bridge brought back wonderful memories of my 30th wedding anniversary tour, as I called it. Part of it was spent in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and part of it was spent on Mackinac Island at the lovely Grand Hotel. Such a beautiful place.

  21. It looks like a wonderful place to visit Deborah. What a fun place to dine in. So nostalgic and retro. I am sure it was lots of fun. Very beautiful.


  22. Fun to see this post, Deborah. I lived in Calumet as a child & have very fond memories of the UP. (I might have said that before.) Have been over the Mighty Mac only once, but it's quite the experience. Loved your Lucy & Ethel post, too. Be blessed! Bess

  23. What a wonderful trip! The lodge looks perfect -- how I wish it were closer to where i live :) We've always wanted to visit Mackinac. Someday!


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