Saturday, June 25, 2011

Our Quick Trip to Michigan

My college friend's daughter graduated from High School this spring and we went to her party near Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Since we have a VERY hard time finding several days for a vacation, we tend to take Mini Vacations.  I told the kids that this visit would be a way to visit some place new.

Our trip started in Walker, Michigan.  We visited with their family and friends for several hours.  It was great seeing them again.

We left Walker, Michigan and headed to Holland, Michigan.  

What a neat town!  
Of course, we didn't get to anything until about closing time.  (We seem to do that alot. . .)
But we found some fun stores.  
The next time we go, we will visit the "Windmill Island Gardens".  
The 2 hour tour includes gardens, windmills, a carousel and of course, tulips.

Since everything was closing, we decided to hop on SR 31 and head south.  We stopped for a visit in South Haven, Michigan.

My goal was for the kids to see Lake Michigan.  We finally found a Public Beach and let the kids stand in the water.  Boy was it COLD!!

We walked around and ended up at the restaurant called Clementine's.  I saw an ad in a travel guide and thought we would try it out.  We stood outside waiting for our table for an hour but it was fun just watching the people and the traffic.  What a fun place to be!  Come to find out, someone from our area was there as they spotted my husband while at the stoplight and we were standing outside.  What a small world.

The restaurant in South Haven.  We stood right there on that corner.
The restaurant was started by a gentleman from Auburn, Indiana.  It was  formerly a bank.
Beautiful tin ceiling and woodwork on the inside.

By the time we finished eating, it was getting late.  I intentionally did not make hotel reservations because I did not know where we would be.  Little did I know at the time that we would end up in a place where they were hosting a festival so finding a hotel room was a bit difficult.  Our 3rd hotel, we found a room!  (I have to tell you, lack of planning on my part was driving my daughter CRAZY.)  I just wanted to "go with the flow" on this Mini-Vacation.

In the morning we woke up and left.  I decided to head towards Kalamazoo, Michigan.  I have no idea why but I knew all the stores and places we would like to see would be closed due to it being Sunday so we started head back east.  We also needed to get back home because the veterinary office where we kenneled the dog would be calling between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.

On our drive, we stopped at a little market.  It was very interesting.  They had outdoor plants, expired groceries, fresh produce and a BUTCHER shop.

Plus, we met a man from Kokomo, Indiana.  Lance was wearing his Harley Davidson shirt from Marion, Indiana and the gentleman stopped us to talk.  He grew up in Marion, Indiana.  At the present time, he and his wife work in Kokomo during the week and then they come up to their second home in South Haven.  They have a home with 12 acres.  What a way to enjoy the weekends!

From the edge of Kalamazoo, we headed south towards Portage, MI.

I believe this was "Fish Lake" but I could be very wrong.  
We actually stopped to look at a house for sale.  Cute place for the low price of $325,000.  

From Portage we traveled to Sturgis, Michigan.  Of course, we were trying to find the Harley Davidson shop there.

On our way to Sturgis, we found another public access to yet another lake.

This lasted about 2 seconds.  I got lucky.

We stopped at a Chocolate Shop and purchased my dad some chocolate covered peanuts and of course, we had to try a few things:  chocolate covered oreos for Logan, chocolate covered caramels for Paige, and Chocolate Toffee for me.  (Lance we being good. )  It was called Great Lakes Chocolates & Caramels.  We also visited a fun bookstore called Lowry's.  The had some really fun things.  Next door was also a scrapbooking store.  What more could you ask for - - chocolate, books, and scrapbooking all in one place?!!

We asked about the Harley shop and found that before we left.    We had to take a picture since he wasn't able to buy a t-shirt:

From that point, we just decided to head home.  Since it was Father's Day, we let Lance pick a restaurant to eat lunch.  He made us go to Buffalo Wild Wings in Fort Wayne!!!  Geez, out of every where we had been, we ate in Fort Wayne and at that restaurant. . .okay.  (Lance and Logan loved the place.  Paige and I will pass on the experience the next time.  LOL)

What a great weekend!!  Sure hope the kids thought so too.

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