Holiday Inn Express. After dropping our bags off we walked across the street to Mackinaw Pastie and Cookie Co. for a quick lunch. It was aight. If you're in that part of town, need food in your stomach quickly, and want to eat a pasty (pronounced "past-y", not "paste-y") just for the sake of saying you've sampled this traditional northern Michigan staple, then go here. If you're a purist who wants "the real deal", whatever that is, you should probably go somewhere else.
Shepler's Ferry, where we purchased two-day round trip passes for $41 each. You'll find that Shepler's is very much about efficiency and convenience, with boats leaving from the city and the island every 15-30 minutes depending on the time of day. The boat that Ma and I boarded and went way faster than we'd anticipated; the ride was so much fun! Flying by Mackinaw Bridge, with the boat bobbing as wind and sea spray slap you in the face; it was like being on a water ride at an amusement park! We made it to the Mackinac Island in 15 minutes or so.
Doud's Market to sustain us, and setting off on what was supposed to be our 8-mile adventure at around 5:30pm.
Ma had been waiting for me that whole time, and we caught a boat back to the island together. From Shepler's we rode a shuttle back to the hotel, which was driven by an energetic older husband and wife team (he drives, she keeps him company) from Ohio. They'd visited Mackinac/Mackinaw so often over the years and came to love it so much that they decided to move there, and now they spend their working hours welcoming people to the area and sharing their enthusiasm with their passengers. It was more engaging than your typical shuttle ride, that's for sure. I only wish I would've remembered their names. Since neither Ma nor I had eaten in hours, once at the hotel we hopped in the car to head back downtown for some food. Oreilly's Irish Pub was one of the few establishments still open at that time, which was around 10:30pm. Google told me that the place closed at 2am, but didn't tell me that the kitchen actually closed at 11pm. So we arrived just in time to sit and rush to order something. Ma got a burger and I got their poutine topped with pulled pork. I haven't tried la poutine québécoise yet so I'm not sure that what I had measured up to the original, but it was delicious. Fries, gravy, little cheese curds, and pulled pork with a glass of ginger ale make such a satisfyingly unhealthy combination at night on a long-empty stomach!