The Grand Life of My Bucket List

The view at breakfast in the Grand's dining room.
It was two against one, but I stood my ground outside the Grand Hotel.  What if I never made it back to Mackinac Island?
“It’s only $10 per person to enter,” I said.  “It’s worth it to walk inside the lobby and sit in a rocker on that beautiful porch.”
My husband didn’t buy it. Our 12 year-old grandson sympathized with Grandpa. 
I made a split second decision. No well-fed, grumpy old man was going to stand between my bucket list and me. “Okay, see you two later.”
I walked up the steps past the young woman who guarded the door, entered the scent of lilies and roses, and paid my non-hotel guest fee at the floral counter. The first necessity for a woman with a bucket list is to have her own cash on hand. She never knows when and where opportunity will knock. 
Harp music wafted the length of the lobby and drew me closer to the musician wearing a long, black dress. The tinkling of spoons on china cups and saucers brought tears to my eyes. There, in the midst of teatime within the Grand Hotel, gentle conversation and laughter surrounded me, one of millions who have treaded upon her carpeted geraniums.
I vowed to return with my ideal tea-mate. The second necessity for a woman with a bucket list is to have a companion with whom to share common interests—particularly, one who with a nose for affordable deals.
Compelled to behold its preserved, pristine tradition, I aimed for the famed dining room. “There’s nothing like it in the world,” I’d often heard.
Truly, one forgets the rat race with carriages and the clop of distant horse hooves. A waiter dressed in a tuxedo granted I enter the sea of fanned napkins and sunlit goblets on tabletops. With the Straits of Mackinac outside the window, it seemed a dining room in a cruise ship.
“See you next year,” I said to the waiter.
Dear Reader, four weekends ago my Art Buddy and I drove north through the most beautiful autumn colors for teatime in the Grand’s lobby.
“Would you ladies like to start with champagne?” the waiter asked.
“Yes, please,” said my friend.
“No thank you,” I said.
“Would you prefer Sherry?” he asked.
The word recalled an elegant feeling from a forgotten source, perhaps from a poem or passage in a novel.  “Yes, please.”
The Sherry and tea went quite agreeably with the savory and sweet delicacies on our plates. The harpist, dressed in a long, red gown, was unaware she partook in a heart’s desire fulfilled.
Carol and I carried our second glass of champagne and Sherry onto the longest porch in the world and pulled rockers close to the front. We sipped and admired the panoramic view of land, water, bridge, and sky.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to eat dinner tonight,” Carol said.
“Oh, we’ll walk off our tea.”
The third necessity for a woman with a bucket list is a hearty appetite for the grand life.