Independence roadtrip - Friday July 1st part one
Published on July 8th, 2011 @ 08:58:00 am , using 1020 words, 4794 views
Friday morning came early.
No matter when we get to sleep, we seem to be incapable of waking up later than 6 or 6:30.
Rise and shine, said my internal clock. I made us our usual roadtrip coffee in the hotel room, thanked Jon for the nachos last night and his kind babysitting of the me that didn't pace too well, and vowed to do better.
We planned to go West, young reader, to New Holland Brewing Co this fine morning. There was a chance of thunderstorms, as would follow us through this whole roadtrip, but that never seems to stop us.
I get my Timbuk2 bag set up for the journey:
Michigan breweries book - check!
Sunglasses - check!
Payment forms - check!
Tattoo balm - check!
My tasting notes are gone. My red spiral notebook is on the lam somewhere in Grand Rapids.
Jon and I focus - where did I last physically touch it at?
Well, this is never a bad thing. It's a nice place and more beer is there.
A Nice Town with One Rude Person
I'd been to Holland, MI ages ago when my mom and I used to take roadtrip vacations up and down the coast of western Michigan. So some parts looked familiar as we drove into town.
The main part of the downtown had lots of interesting shops - a really nice mix of seemingly upscale places and smaller mom-and-pop owned establishments.
Perfect! We can walk around downtown until New Holland Brewing Company opens.
We stopped into the Alpinerose restaurant (web link omitted, since they push music).
What's a girl to do?
I resisted though, as on roadtrips a rule *generally* is 'no dessert'. Alcohol + dessert = a morning of large amounts of regrets.
I'm 40. This morning I felt 80. Whatever I had done to myself the night before, it had given me veins under my eyes that looked marker-drawn, and a sort of weak-kneed walk, punctuated by the fact that though Alpinerose had coffee, it was not what I consider good coffee. So coffee, denied.
But they had some Tazo herbal tea. That would work.
We made our purchase and I asked the person at the cash register and by default the gentleman helping her what interesting things were around / what nice places there may be to walk before New Holland opened.
Well, the gentleman asked, what *kind* of interesting places were we looking for?
"Maybe someplace that tourists tend to miss"
"CityVu bistro, two blocks down thataway"
Cool - food is good (made a mental note).
The lady behind the cash register let me know about some local places to see - meanwhile a woman to Jon's left was really excited that we wanted to walk, and had just the place/places for us to see.
I'm trying to follow 3 conversations at once, luckily one is about my hair and I'm used to that. But generally I'm failing. The Nachos last night were magical, but not magical enough for this.
We sit down and I let Orange Herby tea work its mojo on my tired brain. Thank you Tazo.
The Nice Woman sits down with us and we chat. Her and her husband are dining outside, she will make notes and tell us exactly where the cool park/walking stuff is and be right back.
This could not be better. Being active while you roadtrip is crucial to keep your brain sharp and the liver functioning correctly. Second only to proper hydration.
Jon and I chat, use the restroom, chat more. We figured she was going to make a couple of little notes.
She came back, and sat down. We got a really nicely detailed guide of where to find the walking paths she talked about, rainy day stuff to do in Holland, a concert in the park that night, and where the state park was and how great it would be to watch the impending storm roll in from the park.
Good people exist. =)
She also raises some of her own meat, has a small garden and supports local foods. So Serendipity again raises her beautiful face towards us. We talk for awhile, and she excuses herself to go out and eat with her husband on the patio. Thank you again to her - you are a bright spot of sunny goodness in Holland.
We amble down the row of shops and pick up some interesting candy bits from Fabiano's Holland Peanut Store. Jones Soda fizzy candy, REAL black liquorice cats, 2 truffles. They make it difficult to choose just a few things...
We see that it's about to pour, but we also know that we Really Must Walk.
I divest of everything that can be damaged by rain, and we head off a couple of blocks thataway to the park.
We've both got our raincoats on, and we find the park and walk. I didn't have my phone, so I can't post the photos, but part of it has a boardwalk that goes through cattail reeds and through a small forest. A gorgeous walk on a pretty-but-gonna-storm morning.
Time passes and we're on the main strip of downtown Holland again. New Holland is about to open.
My friends, I'm used to some weird comments - because I don't look normal. If you take one part of how I look, you can make a judgement on me based on that, but you'd be totally incorrect.
This is around, hm, 10-11am. The town is filling up, mostly with polite sane looking people.
Then -- I'll warn you, this is not family friendly --
A young bro-loooking teen drives by, full car, window down, and informs me that:
"Your hair looks like a smurf came on it"
My jaw tightens. I've heard that line before. Some lame comedian, and this bro thinks he's being clever. But he's just being judgemental.
I want to go all Tank Girl on him. But it's not worth it.
My point of anger is mostly that this is in the middle of a Nice Place, with Nice People - and he's more out of place than I am. *smile*
On to more plesant things as the day continues...