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Hearthside Grove Sites

I wanted to post some of my images of the sites at Hearthside Grove. Not all of the sites look like these ones, but most of them do. In a way, it reminds me of how Disney might choose to design a luxury motorcoach resort. Everything here was just so, well, perfect!

Harbor Springs Michigan

During our stay at Hearthside Grove in Petoskey, Michigan, we had a chance to tour many of the small towns in the area including Harbor Springs. We were told that there were some summer cottages that lined the waterfront and it took us roughly an hour or so walk that part of the town.

Hard to consider them as cottages. More like massive estate homes.

No people though. The area seemed empty and devoid of life. Except for the occasional vintage automobile.

Here are a few photos of the summer cottages.

Mackinac Island

During our time at Hearthside Grove, we made two trips out to Mackinac Island. We had visited the island once before, many, many years ago.

Shepler’s Ferry took us back and forth both times. On the first leg to the island, we had a chance to get a closer look at the Mackinac Bridge. Big Mac, or Mighty Mac is the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western Hemisphere. The span is almost 5 miles in length.

We visited Fort Mackinac and enjoyed lunch at the Tea Garden. The restaurant offers a wonderful view of the harbour.

Along the main street of the island are some impressive cottages. From where I stood, they appeared to be more like mansions.

Exploring the island by foot is possible. Just be prepared for a lot of walking.

There are no cars on the island, only horses and bicycles.

Some of the houses have a very unique entrance, like this one.

We walked all the way up to the Grand Hotel. We did not go in as they charge $10 USD per person to enter the hotel. They don’t charge you for taking photographs. I suspect this building is one of the most photographed on the island.

Mackinac Island is home to a number of other smaller hotels and inns. They all looked very nice.

Lots of heritage buildings like this old American Fur Company Store from the 1800s.

Walking into the island takes you through Michigan’s first State Park, the Mackinac Island State Park.

Some wonderful views of the pristine waters that surround the island.

Getting back to the main part of the island took us the better part of our second day. It seemed like we had stepped back in time to a simpler age. Quiet and peaceful.

Retirement Card

We don’t have one. A retirement card that is. At least not yet.

When we left Hearthside Grove, we wanted to stay in touch with our new friends. Email is a way of keeping in touch. Our blog is another way of keeping in touch.

Most of our friends had retirement cards. Looks like we will need to make some up as well for the future.

Homeward Bound

Our last day at Hearthside Grove. The weather for the past two weeks has been incredible. Lots of sunshine and very warm temperatures.

The sense of community here has been far different than I imagined. Friendships formed quickly. Dinners, day trips, get togethers, and connecting with people as we walked around the resort.

Ken and Carol, Lou and Pam, Dave and Daphne, Moe and Cindy, Barry and Iris, Gary and Suzan, Rita. These were a few of the many people we connected with during our time here.

Most of the people we have met are retired. Not surprising given that we are vacationing in mid-September. And all have been very successful in their careers. Such amazing life stories.

It has given us a glimpse into what our retirement will look like and we are very excited about beginning that part of our journey.

When we said good-bye to one of our new friends, she described Hearthside Grove as a paradise. And she is right. This has been such an amazing experience for us. We would certainly buy a lot but for the location. As Canadians, we need to winter south.

That said, many of our friends here at Hearthside also have lots in California at Desert Shores and at Motorcoach Country Club. That is where they winter.

We are planning to spend a few months down there at one, or perhaps both, of those resorts in the early part of 2019. I hope we will see many of our new friends again.