Thursday, June 30, 2016

GR Beer City Ale Trail | New Holland Brewing Company

Last month while we were in Holland for the Tulip Time Festival we stopped at New Holland Brewing Company, another brewery on the GR Beer City Ale Trail, for an appetizer and drinks. Thomas got a flight with 6 beers and we shared the Pepperoni Pinwheels appetizer. The pinwheels were delicious, they're basically like pizza rolls, and way bigger than we were expecting. New Holland is expanding this fall and opening a location in Grand Rapids, which I'm sure will be awesome as well!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tour Guide Round Two

On Monday it was round two of playing tour guide in our awesome city as my grandparents visited one final time before our move and brought my great-grandpa along with them! Actually, my 92 year old great-grandpa was the one who insisted on this trip seeing as my grandparents were just here.

Once they arrived in town we headed to Founder's for lunch. We all enjoyed our sandwiches and the boys enjoyed their beer! Next up on the itinerary was visiting the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. We spent roughly two hours walking around, learning all there is to publicly know about President Ford ;). Afterwards we took a break to check into their hotel and rest for a minute, before heading to dinner at The Mitten Brewing Co where we enjoyed a pizza flight! Six different pizzas and each one was delicious. We ended the evening with a walk to Rosa Parks Circle and froyo.

Tuesday morning started with breakfast at San Chez, the same place we went the last time they were in town! From there, and after a $20 parking ticket, we headed over to Eastown. We walked around, got more macarons, and a few GR souvenirs. Once Thomas got off work we met him at Fredrick Mejier Gardens and Sculptures. My grandpa and him decided they didn't want to do the gardens again so they went to a bar while my grandma and I walked around with my great-grandpa. We took the tram ride and boy is that slow moving! Lol We ended their trip with a late lunch at the Twisted Rooster.

I'm so glad they came to visit us again, especially since we won't be seeing them again for a while and since our living arrangements are still up in the air come July 18th. Now it's time to gear up for our next group of visitors this weekend for our GR Fireworks Party. Nine of our out-of-town friends are coming in for it and I know it's going to be a blast!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Washington DC Days 3 & 4 | Arlington & National Zoo

After all of the walking we did on days one and two we decided to slow it down for our last two days in DC. On day three we headed to Arlington National Cemetery. The weather wasn't the best, cold and rainy, but kind of fitting. Visiting the cemetery with two disabled veterans was an experience that's hard to put into words. It was humbling to say the least. We walked around the grounds, Robert Lee's house, the Kennedy gravesite, and watched the changing of the guard at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Weekend | Weekend in Grand Rapids

This weekend was exactly what we needed after so many weekends spent away! We relaxed, checked items off of our GR Bucket List, went to the beach, and enjoyed the hot weather.

- Started packing
- Had a phone interview (and scheduled the in person interview, ahh!)
- Watched season 1 of Bloodline (such a good show!)
- Grilled dinner and hung out outside
- Slept in until 10am, which is unheard of for us
- Visited the farmer's market
- Stopped at another Brewery on GR Beer City Ale Trail, Elk
- Beat the heat by hanging out in Duke's kiddie pool in the backyard
- Enjoyed an ice cream truck Spongebob

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Michigan | Holland Tulip Time Festival

Holland, Michigan is best known for two things: tulips and Dutch culture! It's an adorable town right off of Lake Michigan and every May they host the annual Tulip Time Festival where they showcase the millions of tulips that bloom. Yes, I said millions. Who knew there were so many varieties of tulips? I certainly didn't! Given that Holland is only a 30 minute drive from Grand Rapids it was a no brainer to check it out.

We drove into town, parked the car, and just started walking. We walked through the neighborhoods and then ended up on 8th Street, which has a ton of shops and restaurants. The Tulips were everywhere we looked! We stopped a New Holland Brewing Company for lunch and then walked around for another hour. Unfortunately, due to our lack of researching/planning, we never made it to the windmills. I guess that just means that we'll have to go again :) My favorite tulips were the neon pink ones!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Midweek Ramblings + Purchases

GR Sunset: How beautiful does the sunset from last night look over the Grand River?! What's even better is that T&I are getting anniversary pictures taken tomorrow night at roughly the same time on that blue bridge! I'm crossing my fingers for another gorgeous sunset!
Job Hunting: Unfortunately, the two interviews I went on last week didn't pan out and I'm still on the hunt. This has been way more difficult that I could have imagined, especially when it was so damn hard to get into grad school in the first place, but I need to keep reminding myself that it'll all work out in the end. Whoosa Whooosa (anyone know what movie?!)
Packing: Now that we're less than a month out from the move it's time to start packing. I packed two boxes in the office yesterday and then felt completely overwhelmed. Overwhelmed about everything related to this move.
Dog Friendly Restaurants: Last night we had to be out of the house so that the new tenants could measure the rooms. Of course we walked downtown and decided to stopped at One Trick Pony for a drink. We sat on the patio since we had Duke with us and our waitress brought him a bowl of water and bone from the meat market. He loved the bone and we loved it because it kept him occupied!

Besides a $230 tire the only thing we purchased this week was T's outfit for our pictures tomorrow night. I also booked myself a hair appointment at Bang BlowDry Bar here in GR and a makeup appointment at Sephora. These pictures better turn out amazing ;)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Washington DC Day 2 | Tours and Army Buddies

We were up bright and early again on day two. After walking 10 miles on day one we were still pretty tired, but really excited to tour the White House! Our tour was for 9am so we grabbed breakfast and headed towards 1600 Pennsylvania Ave!

We had to go through 3 separate security lines and metal detectors before we were able to enter through the East Wing. Once inside we stopped at the gift stand and then made our way through the "approved areas." We saw the East Colonnade, East Garden Room, Vermeil Room, China Room, Library, East Room, Green Room, Blue Room, Red Room, State Dining Room, and exited out through Entrance Hall. The tour took us roughly an hour and it was amazing to see such an iconic building!

Washington DC Day 1 | The Mall

I can't believe it has taken me well over a month to start these recaps.. #fail, but our trip to DC was wonderful and I need to write out all of the details before I forget. A couple of things to mention about this trip: it was Thomas' first time in DC (my third) and he is a huge history buff so we knew that it'd be a great trip no matter what!

The main reason we booked this trip was because we got $88 round-way flights from Detroit to Baltimore, which is a steal! The flight was just over an hour and once we landed in Baltimore we took a free shuttle to the Amtrak station where we boarded a train to DC for $7 each (the train ride was roughly 40 minutes)! This is the cheapest way to go! Despite all of the moving parts (airport, shuttle, train, etc.) it wasn't difficult or overwhelming.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Weekend Recap | Another Metro Detroit Trip

After five weekends away I'm really looking forward to spending four straight weeks in Grand Rapids. However, we still had a good weekend in Metro Detroit despite a crappy ending.

We didn't head east until midday Saturday which was a mistake, because we got stuck in crazy traffic and then had to go through a bunch of construction. We also had to stop at the Howell outlets to pick up a shirt for our anniversary pictures we're taking this week. As soon as we arrived at my in-laws we headed downtown for dinner at Compari's. We treated them to dinner for Father's day and got stuck paying $27 for three full caesar salads when we ordered three side salads, which was frustrating (the salads cost more than our pizzas)! Oh well, we still enjoyed dinner and the company.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

GR Beer City Ale Trail | Founders Brewing Company

Next stop on our Beer City Ale Trail is Founders Brewing Company. Around here Founders is referred to as "The Beer Mecca." It is Grand Rapids' iconic craft brewery; the brewery that people travel from all over the country for. It has received numerous awards/titles: World's 3rd Best Brewery, they produce 5 of the World's Top 100 beers and one of those, KBS, was even voted America's Best Beer on It's a BIG deal around here and one of our favorite Grand Rapids spots!

They always have something going on. On Monday evenings they offer discounts on almost all of their beers. On Tuesdays they have open mic night, live acts on Thursdays and Saturdays, and a Jazz concert one Sunday every month! Not to mention their big events like the KBS Release Party or Founders Fest. It's safe to say that it's Thomas' favorite beer in the city and my favorite atmosphere.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Grand Rapids Beer City Ale Trail

Grand Rapids used to be known as Furniture City, but now it's known as Beer City USA. There is a craft brewery on almost every corner and people travel from all over the country to visit our awesome city. The majority of them are coming for one thing... BEER! I swear every time we drive around we see a new brewery popping up.

So the people at ExperienceGR decided to create the Grand Rapids Beer City Ale Trail, a "trail" of 40+ local breweries, cideries, and distilleries. FORTY!
Click these images to make them larger
Then they took it one step farther and paired up with 23 of those breweries to create the Beer City Brewsader Passport. At each of the participating brewery you get your passport stamped and once you receive 8 stamps you earn a free Brewsader t-shirt!

Even though I'm not a beer drinker, I still love checking out the different atmospheres and food. Of course Thomas enjoys the beer for the both of us! We've already been to 15 of these locations, but I guess we'll have to go again now that I got my hands on a passport... darn! ;)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Playing Tour Guide in Grand Rapids

Last week I got to play tour guide when my grandparents and two of their friends came to visit Grand Rapids! I had such a great time that I think I could make a part-time career out of it ;)

The first thing we did when they arrived in town was head out to Grand Valley State University in Allendale, about a 20 minute drive from our house, to check out the campus. Our family friend's daughter is thinking about attending GVSU and they wanted to see the the library their daughter raved about. Side note: I am currently writing this post at that library, because we lost power at 4am and it hasn't come back yet! The library is impressive and if my classes were in Allendale I'm sure I would've spent a lot of time there.
From there we headed to lunch at The Twisted Rooster, which is an awesome local restaurant that features local ingredients! Next up was the Fredrick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. We spent all afternoon walking through the gardens. Everyone was really impressed, especially with the new Japanese Garden. I will write a separate post on the gardens soon! 
My Grandpa practicing his Tai-Chi moves lol

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Weekend Recap | Metro Detroit Edition

Another weekend spent in Metro Detroit is in the books. As always, it was jammed packed and we got to see all of our favorite East side people :)

We spent Friday night catching up with friends and drinking. We had an awesome time playing the "Ronald Reagan" game and cheers-ing to Gordie Howe and Muhammad Ali. We even stayed the night and Duke did great! I never know how he's going to react being in a new-ish environment for a longer period of time, but he was fine.

On Saturday we headed over to Thomas' cousin's house for his annual Flag Day party. They have an awesome pool and it was definitely utilized seeing as it was over 90 degrees! We also admired the bar Matt made, how sweet is that?!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Midweek Ramblings + Purchases

Moving: As of now we don't know where we'll be living come July 19th and I can't express how stressful it is. We're currently in limbo while I'm applying for clinical fellowship positions, because we have to go wherever the job is and as of now it doesn't look like Grand Rapids will be that location. Thankfully, we have a friend who said we can live with her for a couple weeks once our current lease is up and while Thomas finishes his semester. It is so draining applying to multiple positions a day and having nothing come of it... yet.
One Tree Hill: I've restarted the series on Netflix, while I'm unemployed / have ample free time, and I'm loving even more than I did the first time through. I'm currently on season 7, right after Lucas and Peyton left, so  I have 3 more seasons to go. It takes me back to high school, watching the episodes with my best friends, and I can't believe how much of the storyline I forgot. It'll always be that one special show for me!
Visitors: Tomorrow my grandparents and their best friends arrive in town for two full days of all things Grand Rapids and I can't wait to play tourist guide :) The weather should be beautiful and we have a lot of fun things planned!

Boyfriend Shorts: After purchasing (and returning) 4 pairs, I have finally found a pair! These ones from Old Navy are perfect; they actually fit me well and were only $13!
CND Vinylux Nail Polish: I heard about this nail polish from Youtuber MakeupbyTiffanyD and love it! For me, it doesn't last a full 7 days but it lasts longer than "normal" nail polish does (around 4 or 5 days). I purchased 4 colors- Cream Puff, Cake Pop, Hot Pop Pink, and Powder My Nose.

I used to write Thursday Thoughts posts, but recently saw this "style" on Annaliese's blog Southern Belle in Training and thought I'd try it out! Definitely check out her blog if you haven't :)