Monday, October 24, 2016

Muskegon, Michigan

Our last stop in Michigan was in Muskegon which is on Lake Michigan.  We stayed at a nice RV park that wasn't very crowded but normally would be.  

That's because it is directly across the street from the Michigan Adventure Amusement Park.   Since the kids are back in school the amusement park was closed and our RV park was nice and quiet.

We toured the town and found a nice beach for the pups to enjoy the water.  We also saw several houses that were historic sites called Hackley and Hume in downtown Muskegon.   In 1887, Charles Hackley purchased the lots on which the homes now stand. He immediately sold one and one-half of the lots to his business partner Thomas Hume and homes were designed and built between 1887 and 1889.  Between the two homes was a 'City Barn' shared by both families.

The City Barn housed horses, equipment, and two coachmen, who each had living quarters upstairs.
The homes have been restored to their 1890s appearance and are a unique example of Victorian architecture and late 19th century interior arts.

Other older homes in the area are also being renovated.

Downtown Muskegon is an old city that is being brought back to life.  Artwork and quaint shops and restaurants are found in many areas.

 We stopped for lunch at a local brewery and found out we could buy the beer there but had to go across the courtyard to a restaurant to buy something to eat.  I sampled a beer called O.C.P. that was the result of a challenge by the brew maker's wife to create a beer that tasted like an oatmeal creme pie.  Using oats, marshmallow fluff, and other secret ingredients, a new brew was born.

Not bad.....and it went well with the pizza!

Also saw this sign posted that  grabbed my eye.

On our last week in Michigan, we debated whether we would stay in Muskegon or Grand Rapids and decided on Muskegon.  While there we heard about an Art Prize contest going on in Grand Rapids so we drove over.   It is about an hours drive from where we were staying.  We asked about the art fair and were given directions to an area where you could sign up to receive an app that would guide you throughout the city.  It was pretty cool.  I have to say, if we could do it over again, we would have stayed close to Grand Rapids.  It is a very vibrant, bustling city with many more things to do and see.  Most of our day there we walked around and checked out all of the artwork.  Every business, restaurant, store, and office building had the art on display and the name of the artwork and artist along with a number to vote for your favorite.  There are multiple prizes but the two top winners each receive $100,000 for their piece.  There were many  beautiful items and many that were also a little strange.  We also got to see the winners from last year.

This was one of last year's two winners.  The piece consists of a photo on the left hand side and as it moves across to the right the detail expands into a quilt.  It was magnificent.    

Below are some of the other art pieces currently in competition that we saw throughout the city.  As they say, art is in the eye of the beholder.

These were faces made from hair, hairspray, and sewing pins.

Broken Doughboy -  Oil on canvas.

Called 'Make A Wish', it was created from high gloss enamel acrylic paint that was dripped onto canvas.  This was my favorite.

Outside the art museum the kids could get pony rides on this colorful fellow.

South Pointing Chariot

Starting Over

Time Capsule

This artist had a statement with his work.  He said, "Over the past year, my six kids and I painted over 1,000 rocks and they were painted in matching pairs.  Every rock you see here in the Children's Museum has an identical matching twin rock.  We took those matching rocks and hid them all over Grand Rapids.  See how many you can find".

They even had cars that were painted as art pieces.

Roots Rust Revival. This piece was actually found outside a local brew house called Founders Brewing Company.

A very popular hangout.  Since we were in the neighborhood, and it was lunch time ..............

The Captain decided to start with an appetizer that was much larger than we had expected.  It was a popular beer cheese dip with red peppers, spinach and pieces of toasted bread.  
What can I say.......we forced ourselves.

We decide to split a sandwich for the main course.  This was called Red's Rye.  Made with roast beef, capicola, muenster cheese, red peppers, tomatoes, and chipolte mayo on Polish rye.  Yummy!!!!

Other views of Grand Rapids along with more artwork.

One place we didn't get to tour was the Gerald Ford Library.  Another reason why we wish we had stayed closer to this town.

This piece is called 'Fountain of Tears' and was made from glass ashtrays to represent those who have died from cigarette smoke.

The Pearl Bridge spans the Grand River  in downtown Grand Rapids.  Early residents of Grand Rapids had to cross by boat or horse drawn sleigh in winter until 1858 when the first covered bridge was built here for $16,000.  

Sharing an ice cream sandwich.

A Babble of Birdzels

Red Wine and Roses

Shiny Seed

The Last Whistle
 We left Michigan and headed down to Indiana to get some new captain chairs for the rig since ours were pretty well worn.  From there we headed east towards Virginia to see our younger daughter and family.  That's where we had begun our summer trip four months before.

The drive was beautiful and we enjoyed the mountains.   

We stopped at Summerwind RV park in Meadow Bridge,West Virginia.  The elevation was 2,500 feet and we had a beautiful view of  the sunrise while we were there.

We were also lucky enough to meet some new friends in this park, Paulette and Mark Kaler.  They were headed to an FMCA Rally in Lewistown , WV.  The Captain and I were walking the pups and started talking to Paulette.  Turns out they also have a 2007 Phaeton Tiffin  like we do and they are from Boiling Springs, SC.  That evening we enjoyed a few spirits together and the Captain and I didn't even scare them off !  Always wonderful to make new friends!

The mountains were beautiful the morning we left with fog creating an amazing cover.

Are we there yet?
After a week visit with the grandkids we finally headed back to South Carolina.   I apologize for this blog getting out so late but between doctor appointments, seeing other family and friends, and just getting back to normal, the days (weeks) have flown by.  This will be the last blog for our 2016 trip.  Our next journey will be back to Mission, TX, and the beautiful Rio Grande area when we start out again in January.  Hope all of you have a wonderful holiday season and hugs from the four of us (have to include the pups).  Peace! 

Oh yes, just couldn't forget one more art piece from Grand Rapids, Michigan.  What can we say........

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