Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Our Mini Spring Break

 It's that time of year, spring break, what to do when you can only go away for a few days. Krista had been asking to meet my bff from elementary school, on through middle school and high school so I thought maybe a trip back "home" was due. I had a wire working class so we couldn't leave until Sunday but that gave us plenty of time to see quite a bit. The time went fast but we sure packed a lot in! Not much has changed in Wyoming, MI, that's for sure. Except for the Studio 28 closing, I suppose, everything else was pretty much the same.  We saw the old house, the old elementary school, the middle school and high school (all of which were exactly the same except for a planetarium that appeared to be missing from the HS), the old neighborhood and my bff's old house so they could see where used to walk each other "half way". Then we were off to see the old BK that I worked at and noticed the old "Chicken and Egg Roll" was still around (impressive, good for them).

Dinner was great, as usual time evaporates when you see a great friend and it's just like old times. We turned into a couple of giggling school girls which thoroughly entertained my 15 yo. We got to visit her sons, who we hadn't seen in, well, 14 years. It's interesting to see how children turn out from baby to young adult. Her eldest is handsome, artsy, wants to be a tatoo artist and do piercings. The youngest, also handsome, is very athletic and a big basketball star. We were so busy talking I forgot to take pictures!

Monday we did a great tour of Calvin College, Jer's alma mater. It was a perfect venue to show Krista an example of a small private school. They have an amazing new arena and sports complex. We were able to walk the entire campus, see the dorms, library, where Jer had his classes and the Chapel where they hold daily services for students.
Then we were off to tour Grand Rapids. GR has changed a ton, there was much that was the same but the new construction was very impressive. MSU is building a medical school there, Grand Valley State College has built a huge new facility, there is a new hospital and a lot of other new buildings. By appearances it looks like GR is booming. Speaking of booming, anyone know what is up with this huge table and chairs on top of this bridge?

We found my grandparents tiny old house, drove through East Grand Rapids, Heritage Hill, Gaslight Village, found the houses he used to live in, his sister used to live in and even the house that his mother lived in when she went to Calvin and then had her first job as a school teacher.
The kids loved the Grand Rapids museum. Here's Claire learning how they made pills in pharmacy in the old days (Streets of Old Grand Rapids exhibit). They had a huge exhibit for Amway, Furniture City, Bugs (not as impressive as I had hoped I have to admit - perhaps I'm spoiled by some of the exhibits in Chicago or maybe I was just tired by then), the zoology exhibit was one of my favorites as it relates directly to Michigan and some of the Mastodons they found there. Apparently there was even an Ocean right where I used to live and one of the Mastodon skeletons was found not far from where I grew up. How cool is that?

Next we were off to meet friends at the Beltline Bar for wet burritos, yum! Sorry, no pic of the restaurant but I did find a great pic of their burritos! I almost forgot - lunch was at YesterDogs, one of Jerry's favorite hotdog places while in college (umm, I don't want to know what was in the chili sauce they put on those things).

Tuesday morning we left for East Lansing to visit Sparty and
the campus of Michigan State University. Go Spartans! It was almost 70 degrees and the campus was all abuzz with the MSU basketball team being back in the Final Four! I tried to tell my husband that it just wasn't possible to walk the campus like at Calvin, he thought I was exagerrating. We had lunch at the Student Union, walked over by my gorgeous first dorm to Sparty (now fake sparty I guess as old sparty is being showcased in the new section of the football stadium) bringing back fond memories of sleeping outside overnight to protect him from the Wolverines and their inclination for painting him blue and gold when they were in town.
We walked along the Red Cedar over to Shaw hall so Krista could see where her parents met when they lived in the same dorm and then it was off to the bookstore to get some mementos and Final Four gear.

We had to drive the rest of the campus, as I said I was NOT exagerrating about not being able to walk everywhere we wanted to go, we marked our trip on a campus map later and Jer finally realized that we only walked about a 10th of it. It's beautiful though, even in early spring - pre flowers blooming and grass turned green. We drove to the Kok's farm. Here's William with Uncle Steve- I mean Uncle Andy (William was having trouble keeping his uncle's straight). They have 3 full grown cows and 3 calves so the little ones helped feed them and then took turns on the tractor before Katie insisted that she was done sharing her dad.
The fun ended when Claire was bitten by the outdoor farm cat, she can't resist smothering animals with love and this time she hugged a little too hard I guess.

We were off to the hotel for a last swim and to get packing for the trip back home.

We decided to go to Saugatuck for a hike through the dunes to the beach. It's so beautiful on that side of the lake. The water is clean, the sand is like sugar, the sun was shining and the weather was warm. We couldn't ask for anything better.

No comments:

Post a Comment