Biggest Ball of String

Our road trip adventures, quirky roadside attractions, generally in the United States or Canada (and with occasional travel off the mainland into Hawaii, Alaska, Caribbean and Europe – so far)

More about Michigan – Grand Rapids

on January 23, 2013

On that 2004 cross-country one-way road trip I’m always talking about (just mentioned again in my January 20th blog), after we left our disposable car in Omaha, Nebraska, we Ada Bridgeraced across Iowa to the Bridges of Madison County – trying to get there before sundown. (Again – a story for another time.)

With that theme in mind, I was happy to find out about the Bridge of Kent County, the Ada Covered Bridge, built in 1867, across the Thornapple River.   It’s 14 feet wide, and 125 feet long.

I’m not sure why I’m drawn to covered bridges, but I’m not alone.  There is a “National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges“, which publishes a World Guide to Covered Bridges, a quarterly magazine, and a newsletter.  And, for me, it’s not because of the movie (“Bridges of Madison County“), which I haven’t seen…but I do confess – I did read the book…a devastatinglty romantic story..  BUT, I read the book AFTER I’d been to Madison County in Iowa…sigh….Playing on the Bridge

Technically, it seems, the Ada Bridge is a replica – the original being destroyed by fire in 1979 – but this one is so great! it looks old and weathered… I guess 1979 is on the “older side”, but compared to 1867, it’s brand new!

According to this website  there are 7 in Michigan, and ANOTHER one really near by that I didn’t know about… will have to check it out next time…

Ada BridgeAda Bridge

We got to go “Root Root Root for the Home Team” at a hockey game – Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Toronto Marlies…

The Griffins are the farm-team for the Detroit Red Wings.  Being from Calgary, I can’t really offer an opinion about the Red Wings, but since Abbotsford Heat wasn’t playing (apparently, they are the farm-team for the Flames), I could feel perfectly fine about rooting for the Griffins!  (Marlies are the farm team for Toronto Maple Leafs.)

The game was FUN!!! So much energy – the crowd was good, the players were good…

The only moment of tenseness came when Peter stood up, cheering loudly for Toronto’s scoGriffins win!re.  He was the only one in the stadium.  So funny!
I laughed until I could barely see the game!

AND THE HOME TEAM WON!!! WOO HOO!! (Sorry Peter.)

Fight?Score?

Grand Rapids, which, according to the 2010 Census has a population of 188,040, and a lot to do there. The http://www.experiencegr.com/ website talks about beaches, and parks, and art.  Golf, historic sites, nightlife, and family fun.

As discussed, January 20th blog, we did see frozen beach on Lake Michigan, and we have experienced all kinds of family fun!!
____

It’s tricky to blog about a trip that was mostly about visiting friends, and less about sight-seeing… I mean – if my blog was ABOUT visiting friends, that’d be easier… but since it’s primarily about places we’ve been, I’m finding it…well – difficult.

We were in Michigan for about a week and did so many things! But mostly visit-y stuff.

On our last night in Michigan, Shannan invited over our closest Michigan friends.  (Yes, this was our first real visit to Michigan, but surprisingly, we’d accumulated a good social group, mostly while we all happened to be visiting Alaska!)

So, two of the girls at our Going Away Party, were Rachel and Kate. (To avoid confusion between me and the other Rachel, we Alaska crewhad to find her a nickname…which we did… but only after I vetoed ME being called “Big Rachel” and “Old Rachel”.)

These two are probably in my Top 5 FUNNIEST people I’ve ever known in my entire life. (I would say they were THE funniest (along with Shannan, of course), but I don’t want to be in trouble with the others who would make the list.)

Kate (who, by the way, is an avid traveller and has many, many adventures – In fact, judging from her Facebook status updates, she can have adventures driving from her house to work each day) made me laugh SO HARD at the party, that I couldn’t even talk to say “I can’t breathe – someone get my inhaler.”  It was completely worth it.

And, what did she do that made me laugh that hard? She was doing an impression of ME,  of something that Iditarodhappened in Alaska.  A million times, I’ve told this story (of her doing the impression), and I can’t do an impression of me, as funny as she can.

It goes something like this (this is the background/setting):  We were out on a lake, in the freeeeeeezing cold, waiting for the dog sled teams & mushers to go racing by (during the Iditarod – topic coming up very quickly in my future blogs).  The Iditarod 2 years before, I was SO COLD the only thing that warmed me up was Peach Schnapps.  So, this year, we came prepared (although it turned out to be much warmer anyway.)

Back to the story – Kate (being me) says: “Peter….” (Peter was standing about…20 feet from me, from what I can remember.) No answer. “Peter.” No answer.  “PETER!!” No answer. FINALLY “PEEEEEEEEEEEETERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!” Peter says, “What?”  and Kate, with my best, whiny, hair twirling voice: “I’m thirrrrrrrsteeeey!!”

… SEE?? It is not NEAR AS FUNNY when I tell it!!!!

_______

DSC07581Speaking of “thirsty”,  we had drinks at The B.O.B. Brewery, before the Hockey Game. “B.O.B.” is an acronym for Big Old Building, which is surprisingly more original than I thought!  (It IS big – 70,000 square feet (21336 square meters) – and it IS old – built in 1903!)

It was originally built as the Judson’s grocery warehouse ~ now, there’s an array of lounges, a brewery and a restaurant.

We also went to San Chez Tapas Bistro. I can’t remember – it sort of seems like that was the same day, too.   That was my first time with Tapas, and I’m happy to have been initiated into the Tapa World there!
San ChezTapas
And, at some point, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the same day, we had SUPER YUMMY and very picturesque sushi at Seoul Garden.
Yummy sushiYummy Sushi
After a lovely time, which always seems to be too short, we eventually had to leave.   Sometimes, you have to go home, just to have a chance to sleep!
Minneapolis, I thinkCalgary Airport

Besides, our puppies were at home, waiting patiently for us. (Not so much – they always have puppy sitters, and I imagine that, though I miss them terribly, they miss us for..maybe a day… It takes us 3 days to break the good habits that they’ve developed while we’re away!! 😀 )Daisy & Coco

Sunday, I think we’ll be talking about something Calgary.

It is the Ice Sculpting Festival at Lake Louise, still, this week/weekend. I’m not sure if we are going or not, but I might have that to talk about!!

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2 responses to “More about Michigan – Grand Rapids

  1. Shannan says:

    Hee hee- the stories made me laugh! I’m going to see where the other bridges are in Michigan. Maybe make a weekend trip this fall.

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