Friday morning we headed out on our annual Mother/Daughter Road Trip. If you recall from years past, you know they are all about coffee, food and beaches.
This year it was more coffee, food and shopping, with a little bit of beach.
First stop: Saugatuck
Why have I never thought to turn a rusty old propane tank into a jack-o-lantern?
After perusing many a posted menu, we decided on Grow for lunch.
The waiter was attentive, the food and the vibe were just right.
Tasty little potatoes, Michigan made sausage, a delightful dipping sauce and carrot pancakes. Oh, and fresh lavender lemonade.
Most of the patrons were dining al fresco, but we liked the calm inside. You don’t get much complete silence these days and I loved it, though my daughter would have preferred a bit of mellow folk music. Are you listening Grow?
Lunch, shopping and then a really fun, really fast dune ride.
Those aren’t trees, they’re the very tops of trees. Cottonwoods – the only tree that can survive being buried in 100 feet of sand.
Singapore, Michigan – a fledgling resort town – is completely buried under the dunes. There’s a school, a church, a hotel under there. In the 70’s the very top of a 3 story building was still visible. Not anymore.
The buggy driver said the area was a vast pine forest until the trees were harvested to help rebuild Chicago after The Great Fire in 1871. With the trees gone, there was no root system to hold the top soil in place. Sand from Lake Michigan blew in and buried everything. Only the cottonwoods survived.
A 1959 Michigan State University project to plant grass in order to stabilize the dunes is gradually bringing top soil back. The aim is to restore the land to forest.
And that concludes your dune education. Unless you want to read about the Sand Dune that Swallowed a Boy.
After the thrill ride we drove thirty minutes up the coast to Holland.
Dinner was at Butch’s Dry Dock, as seen while shopping across the street.
Neither of us snapped a picture of our ultra flavorful Campanelle with basil cream, zucchini, summer squash, tomato and goat feta paired with a glass of Terra Di Briganti Falanghina, Campania, IT 2015 because the lighting wasn’t suitable, but take my word for it, it was beautiful. And delicious. We were very happy.
In the morning we grabbed a miel to go and walked several blocks to the Farmers Market.
It was a perfect Farmers Market morning – crisp, sunny, 46-degrees-but-with-a-hot-cup-of-coffee-in-hand.
And the colors were beautiful.
When I was in Holland last January, there was only one downtown coffee shop, now there are two hip newcomers.
Look at how cute this place is.
Of all the coffee joints in all the towns in all the world, The 205 is our new favorite. Definitely the winner of the trip.
Kombucha and sparkling cascara on tap.
And complimentary honey cookies.
They even have a cool floral mural.
After a morning of farmers market strolling, shopping and coffee bar hopping, we headed further north to Grand Haven.
I’ve taken you there before.
It’s still a very tasty sandwich.
And it’s still a beautiful [board] walk to the beach. My phone tells me we walked over 8 miles that day. I believe it.
The aged, crumbling pier is being restored, so no walk out to the lighthouse this time.
We took a nap upon checking into our hotel in Grand Rapids and then immediately started researching places for dinner.
One of the highlights of staying in downtown GR is walking across the blue bridge to dinner.
But our feet were tired so, even though it was only 1.2 miles away, we drove to the trendy new Downtown Market for pizza. It has greenhouses on the roof.
For dessert we were going to have a pour over for two and creme brulee at a fancy restaurant near the hotel, but then we noticed the flavor choices at Love’s.
I chose a half scoop of cardamom orange blossom and a half scoop of chocolate coconut curry. Individually they were very good. Combined they became a delightful couple. My daughter chose a half scoop of basil and a half scoop of roasted strawberry balsamic. The basil was really good alone (she let me taste it) but the strawberry/balsamic wasn’t quite right. Combining the strawberry with the basil, my daughter assured me, made it much better. Really good.
We love Loves.
Feet somewhat recovered, we took the beloved walk across the beloved bridge to listen to a bit of street music. Two young women on a street corner killing Riptide by Vance Joy.
A homeless man asked me if I smoked dope.
Do I look like I smoke dope?
“Look into my eyes,” he said, as he stared into mine.
“You don’t believe me?”
I wanted to tell him how old I am. But I suppose old people smoke dope.
First order of business Sunday morning was Madcap for another miel.
As I drank my heart began to transform into a Michigan Mitten.
My daughter staging a photo of her pour over. She hates everything about this pic but it’s my blog.
From Madcap we walked back across the river to try the brand spanking new Rower’s Club.
Love the table.
Miel to go.
Last stop: Wolfgang’s. Of course.
Reflecting back we decided we’ll spend more time in Holland next year, where there is food and coffee yet to be tried.
We ❤ Michigan.