Our Stay at the Shoreline Inn in MuskegonJul 22nd

Alright.  So it’s been a while…sorry!  I’m watching So You Think You Can Dance and I have 20 minutes to write this post before I have to start cleaning!

So our Muskegon trip started on Thursday.  The drive to Muskegon was less than awesome.  We lost track of how many accidents we almost got in.  It was a mess!  Lucky for us, Benn’s a pretty good driver :)

While we were driving through Holland, we saw the huge yellow wooden shoe and we both said at the same time, “I’ve been there!”  It’s at Dutch Village…loved it!  I’m pretty sure Benn and I will be back when we have a family lol.  That’s weird to think…

Anyway, so we safely made it to Muskegon, made it up to our room and walked into a room of smokey stench.  Keep in mind, the whole building has been smoke free since May.  We walked out on our deck and there was a cup of cigs.  Yuck.

The sign in the room said there’s a $200 fine for smoking in the room.  We took cup of cigs down to the front desk.  She said she ended up charging the people in the room before us $500.  That’s great for the hotel, but we had to deal with the smoke.  We got a bottle of febreeze…awesome.

Fortunately, the febreeze type stuff worked pretty well.  Our room was nice, but it just gave us the creeps.  It looked like we didn’t have clean linens.   The carpet was old and ripped.  It just wasn’t very comfortable feeling.

We did have an amazing view of Muskegon Lake!  We took lots of pictures!

I don’t remember what we did our first night there.  I think we went down to Lake Michigan at Pere Marquette Beach.  We took some awesome sunset pictures there!  We had an encounter with a cute little birdie; he was very chatty :)

We ate at Captain Jack’s on the beach for dinner.  Oh man, it was awesome!  They have really good tater tots with cheese.

Friday, we went to the craft show at the Muskegon Summer Celebration.  It was so much fun!  I love craft shows.  We stopped in a booth with canvas prints hanging up in the tent.  The artist, Kevin is from Michigan.  He had just a few prints in his tent, but I pretty much fell in love with all of them.

We bought two canvases!  One is of dune grass and some wooden fence.  The other is of a staircase on the beach.The artist is Kevin Blackmer.  He has a flickr account, you can check it out here if you’d like!

We also bought a few pictures from other booths.  I fell in love with a $100 staircase picture.  We ended up getting the smaller version for $45.  We also got a few 5x7s of staircases as well as a wine cellar.  I really love them.

We also got a few 3x5s of beach related pictures.  I can’t wait to get them on the walls!

For dinner that night we went to a stupid bar, had the worst service, but I had the most delicious pizza I’ve ever had.  lol  I told Benn not to tip our useless waitress but he gave her like 4 bucks.   The cook should have gotten all of that tip.  Ah well.  Life goes on.

And I must be going.  Tomorrow’s my birthday and the fam is coming up to go out to dinner and they’re coming over after.  Can’t wait!  Gotta get cleaning!

Mindy


Our Stay at the Sand Castle Inn in South HavenJul 4th

After spending two days at the Stuart Avenue Inn in Kalamazoo, we drove our happy selves over to South Haven; one of our favorite places in Michigan.  We stayed at the Sand Castle Inn on the North Beach side of the lake.

We had such a beautiful room!  The ceiling was vaulted and circular.  The room was bright, clean, and comfortable.  We stayed from Monday to Thursday.  Amazingly, we were able to get up for breakfast every day.  I seem to enjoy breakfast…I ate so much!

Wednesday morning Benn decided he wanted cereal because he didn’t want the warm stuff they were serving; I think it was bread pudding.  I loved it, but anyway, he got his cereal and came back out to the porch to eat with me.  I decided I wanted me some cereal and he tells me that I’ll probably have to ask for more milk because he used it all for his cereal.

So I ask for some milk and he opens the little fridge and shows me that there’s still milk in there.  I said, “Oh, he told me he just used it all…” and Scott says, “He probably used the cream.”  Sure enough, the tea-pot-sized cream pourer was empty!

That was on expensive bowl of cereal Benjamin had!  The next morning they put out a much smaller cup of cream.  Haha!  How hilarious!

Monday we unpacked the car and sat on the beach for a few hours while the sun wasn’t so hot.  The waves were awesome!  Benn was a party pooper and totally didn’t join me in the waves.  Lame.

I kept myself company by digging a hole to the water and making little sand castles by dripping water and sand between my fingers…something my dad showed me and Eric when we were little.

We tried to get dinner around 10pm.  Turns out South Haven is a ghost town after 10pm on a Monday.  All restaurants stop serving food at 10 IF they’re even open on Monday.  We got Pizza Hut for dinner.  That’s right.  Pizza.  So we took that back to the room and watched The Food Network!  Our favorite channel that we can’t watch because we don’t have cable at the apartment.

Tuesday we walked around downtown and did a wine tasting at the Warner wine-tasting store near the Idler restaurant.  My mom got us a cool wine tasting book where we recorded things about each wine.  We got to taste 5 wines for free.

We ended up tasting a 6th wine for $5…and from that we bought a $45 bottle of delicious wine made from grapes frozen on the vine.  Luckily the wine was half off and only $45.  It’s a dessert wine, so I’ll have to find a recipe for a delicious cheesecake or something.  I don’t remember what the wine is right now…I’ll have to post it later.

After the wine tasting, we went to lunch at Captain Nemo’s.  It’s a small sit-down joint that has quite an ice cream menu.  When Katie and Devan and I went to the spa across the street from Nemo’s we had lunch catered in from Nemo’s with our spa package.  Well, it was delicious, so I knew I had to take Benn there during our honeymoon!  Our food was delicious.  Benn had a two hamburger patty sub sandwich, and I had a veggie grilled cheese.  Benn felt that a lot of their food was home made and hand sliced.  We’ll have to go back for their ice cream sometime!

Tuesday was also Grandpa Dale’s visitation.  We drove back into town for that.  Grandpa passed away early in the morning on our wedding day.  It was a sad morning, but I think we’re all happy that he’s back with Grandma.  We like to think that they were able to share in our special day with us :)

Tuesday night we went to dinner at Martell’s in Kalamazoo.  It used to be the Black Swan.  We went here to find out what they could do for us for a rehearsal dinner.  Since we didn’t choose them, we wanted to eat a dinner there sometime anyway.

Benn ordered a pork shank and I ordered prime rib and a glass of Merlot.  Both dishes were delicious!  Our waiter had a few recommendations for us; one was the wine which was so good with the prime rib, and the other was chef’s special, two giant raviolis with bruschetta on top (which is tomato and onion and basil maybe?)  The raviolis had 5 different kinds of cheese.  So good!

That was probably my favorite meal from the whole trip!  We missed the sunset driving back to South Haven, but I have a video of it.

Wednesday morning we had breakfast and went for a walk on the beach.  It was so relaxing.  The beach was pretty much empty.  There were bulldozers making the sand flat on the private beaches and some other kind of raking machine working on the sand.

We just sat and watched the water for a little while.  It was very romantic :)   We walked back to the room to get ready for the funeral.  Grandpa’s friend, Matt, gave a beautiful eulogy.  The service was given by Grandpa’s pastor.  Grandma and Grandpa’s headstone is very pretty and I loved that it had pink flowers in the flower holder.  I don’t know who put them there, but it made me think that it was something Grandma wanted and Grandpa was okay with pink because he loved her so much.

Wednesday evening we went back to South Haven to watch the sunset.  We made it to that one!  I had so much fun taking pictures with Scott’s DSLR camera.  Benn and I decided to use some of our wedding money to buy one.  I can not wait!  If you have any recommendataions, please let me know.

Thursday morning was our last morning in South Haven.  We rented a kayak across the street.  It was a double…thank goodness…turned out it was exhausting and I probably would have had trouble making it back to shore without Benjamin rowing with me.

We walked it down to the public beach right down the road from the rental place.  We could have rented wheels, but we didn’t really know what we would have done with them.   We actually could have done a lot of things with them…like taken them with us or put them in the car.

So we put it in the water.  I sat in front, Benjamin in back.  We had life jackets on and I brought my camera in my Vera Bradley ditty bag so as to not get it wet.  That bag is awesome, by the way. :)

I’ve never been kayaking.  Benn’s wanted to take me for a long time, and we finally got to go!  It was so much fun!  The water was pretty calm for us, which was nice.  We hit a few waves, but it was refreshing!  The rental was $25 for 4 hours and we were out there for a bout 2-2 1/2 hours.  It was tiring! I took a lot of breaks, while Benn paddled on.   Going back to shore was the hardest because the waves were trying to take us back out.  We made it though!

We stopped for lunch at Clementine’s.  We got onion rings and melted cheese with breadsticks.  Yum!  I got the Tugboat Annie steak of course, and Benn got a lunch special…which was some kind of sandwich.

After that we made our way up to Muskegon for our next interesting adventure.

More to come!

I think Benn will be working on a website for people to post pictures of the wedding so we can all share pictures with each other.

Mindy


Our Stay at The Stuart Avenue InnJul 1st

We stayed at the Stuart Avenue Inn for our wedding night and Sunday night.  It’s a B&B in the Historic Stuart District in Kalamazoo.  The house is old and creaky, but it’s beautiful and the owners are wonderful!

The room we reserved was the Garden Room, which was in the separate house.  I called to ask about late check-ins and she found out we were staying there after the wedding and she upgraded us to a different room for free!  We ended up staying in Ruth’s Room.

They are currently renovating the house.  Our room was freshly painted with new linens.  It was so beautiful in the morning.  We woke up to bright sunshine in our yellow room both mornings.  It was relaxing and made us want to have an eastward facing room in our house so we can always wake up to sunshine!

Sunday morning we just barely made it to breakfast!  We thought it was from 9-11am but it was really from 8-10am.  We were so happy we made it to breakfast because Dana, the owner, made us apricot french toast.  It was amazing!  There was a layer of cream cheese, french toast, an apricot and apricot syrup.

Sunday we had a brunch and Benn and I opened presents.  Grandpa Johnson, Chad’s dad, made brisket for us, Grandma Hegedus made us cookies, Grandma Dee made us some salad and mom made the rest of the delicious spread.

It was nice being with our immediate families, but it was anything but relaxing.  We both were a little overwhelmed, but it was fun.  Scott and Stacy let us borrow their digital SLR camera to take on our honeymoon.  Oh my gosh, it’s so much fun!  I LOVE IT!  It’s such a blast!!  We’ve taken over 700 pictures!

Let’s see, Monday morning we had an omelet and a scone.  Yum!  Breakfast was so good! We packed the car and took a walk in the garden.  They’re still working on it, but it was pretty!

We loved every minute at the Stuart.   We learned a lot about the house, too.  It used to be owned by the Bartletts and then the Upjohns.  I took some pretty cool pics!  I’ll post them a little later.

Thanks for reading

Mindy