Grand Rapids, MI

We caravanned our way out of Indy and up into Michigan, with my sister’s family along behind. Perhaps this was one time we shouldn’t have followed the AAA triptik because they sent us via the most direct route, but perhaps not the fastest. Lots of little towns and much time spent in the “Cone Zone” again. Of all of the states we’ve travelled through, I have to say that Michigan’s highways are in the worst shape next to New Jersey’s.
We arrived a little off schedule but still in time to see the “young folks” off for their annual tubing trip. Apparently this event involves lots of beer in blue aluminum cans (bleh), a kids swimming pool towed along behind for the empties, and giggling, but we’re much too old now to understand such things (which is why we weren’t invited, sniff).
My stepmother’s house in Grand Rapids is really lovely. Her sister said that it looks like the whole house is grinning, and she’s right. It’s a very sunny, happy place with lots of windows and vibrantly colored walls. The pack o’ cousins moved right into the third floor office space, setting up wall to wall mattresses. Not much in the way of sleeping happened over the next two nights, but there was much female bonding which is far headier stuff.
The first evening we had a meal of Taco Pie, which is a pretty terrific casserole of cheese, meat, veggies, sauce and tortillas. Second evening was a fish fry of Lake Perch filets rolled in corn meal and spices.
We spent the day in Saugatuck, which is right on the shore of Lake Michigan. Happily we had wandered into town during their “Venetian Festival” which apparently has something to do with Venice, but was mostly a huge number of people, zero parking and a whole lot of artisans selling their wares. After lunch the girls were off like a shot. My brother-in-law and I found a coffee shop, then a bookstore, enjoying an hour or two of “guy shopping”. The only thing we lacked was a conveniently located sofa somewhere.
Next morning, after a breakfast of omelets, it was off to Niagra Falls, NY. Just one night from home!

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