Gone and Back Again

Friday, March 22, 2013
I assure you, I did not fall off the face of the Earth this week. Honest.

I've been off in the lower peninsula of Michigan with my mom visiting my brother and his plus one (Ashley). While I intended to post a couple times over the course of the trip, I got really involved with doing nothing during my downtime and the aforementioned blog posts only got written in my head. Bad on me.

I got back to cabin in the late afternoon yesterday after a full travel day that started a 4 a.m. (CST) so I'm having a less than stellar day today while I get my land legs under me again after a week at (the proverbial) sea. Funny, how a five day trip always really amounts to a seven day vacation because the day both before and after coming and going end up blurry messes.

It's a 15+ hour drive to Grand Rapids, MI where brother lives, so we opted to fly from Minneapolis. While flying does cut down the amount of actual travel time (the flight is just over an hour), it still ended up being a 13+ hour journey from my doorstep to brother's on Saturday between three hours of car time, a 2.5 hour shuttle ride, the hour flight, and various "connecting" time. *yawn*

View from our MSP gate on Saturday
At the Meijer Gardens on Tuesday
Grand Rapids isn't exactly a tourist hot spot, but we managed to find quite a few public attractions to visit. On Sunday, once brother got back from work mid-afternoon, we headed over to the Meyer May house just east downtown. The house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the early 1900s and is now maintained by the Steelcase Corporation. After enduring what seemed like an excruciatingly long audiovisual presentation on the house's restoration, we got to tour the house's stunning interior. That said, I forgot my camera back at the apartment. Oops.

On Sunday, we also baked a delicious (if I do say so myself) loaf of Irish Soda Bread to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. 
There was quite a bit of downtime during our visit and took advantage of the quiet time spent chatting and watching Netflix to build up my inventory of owl coffee sleeves for the Etsy shop
I also introduced their cat to the pleasures of playing with yarn. He loved watching my mom and I knit! (If you follow me on Instagram -adawrites - you already know some of this.)
On Monday, my mom and I headed over to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in downtown. If you were naming underappreciated presidents, Ford (a Grand Rapids native) would probably top the list, but the museum is actually quite fascinating. We were also lucky enough to visit when a selection of Madeleine Albright's extensive pin collection (which she wore on state visits to communicate her emotions about a particular meeting or issue) was on display in the temporary exhibit space.

We were treated to some pretty spectacularly snowy/miserable weather during our visit, but on Tuesday we braved the crappy weather and headed over to Meijer Gardens to view the special butterfly exhibit. I took way too many butterfly photos, so I'll write more on that in another post. 

Outside on the garden grounds. Yuck!
We made it to Marie Catrib's (a place Andy and I meant to hit up on our last visit) for supper on Tuesday. Just as we were finishing our delicious dinner (the cafe specializes in imaginative sandwiches) the sun finally popped out for a beautiful magenta, purple and gold sunset. 

Waiting for a table at Marie Catrib's
On Wednesday, Mom and I headed over to the Grand Rapids Public Museum to enjoy their hodge-podge of exhibits. (Sadly, Furniture City - a highlight from the last trip - was closed for improvements.) A high point of this year's visit was the special exhibit on the Titanic, which featured artifacts that have been recovered from the shipwreck. If this exhibit ever rolls into your town, I highly recommend it.
Main hall at the Grand Rapids Public Library
Although our flight on Thursday morning was delayed slightly for de-icing, we made all of our connections easy-peasy yesterday.
Waiting to be de-iced at the Gerald R. Ford Airport
Whenever I return from a trip, I'm always reminded of that old quip: North, South, East, West; Home's Still Best.

P.S. All that time knitting gave me an opportunity to work on designing some new items for the Etsy shop. Hint: if you're a tea drinker, you'll love them. Check them out!


  1. Quite a travel! The Irish Soda Bread looks amazing. Yummy!

  2. It looks like you had a nice little getaway! I can sympathize with your long traveling woes--- we traveled forever to get to Singapore!

    The photo of the cat with the yarn is adorable!


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