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RV Log Page # 0032
Monday - May 3, 2010
Let me begin by stating that at times, especially here at the KOA in Allendale (Grand Rapids), the wifi is pretty much non-existant making it impossible to upload to this log, again at times.
Before leaving this morning we had some business to attend to, specifically finding out if the campus at Notre Dame had a post office. And, they did!
After some picture taking we headed north into Michigan and the Grand Rapids area, going through Holland, MI along the way. Enroute we stopped for lunch at a 'Big Boy Restaurant'. It was my first experience there, but Shirlee recalled eating at the restaurants when living here years ago. It was a surprise to me as I had expected a fast food place like McDonalds or such. But what I found was a 'sit-down', get a menu style place with great food and service! We WILL eat at their place again.
The KOA here is a recently acquired campground and is NOT up to par. I already mentioned the wifi (available at the office), but the restroom/showers are more like a seedy county park than a KOA -no shower curtin. ! I won't go into details, but when we respond to their questionaire we will let them know.
We arrived a bit later than expected with no real time to go visiting, but we had plenty of time to get the motorcycle out and put up the big cat cage for the boys. They are loving that!
Tuesday - May 4, 2010
This morning we left to visit Shirlee's mom Mary. After a tour of her living quarters at the Raybrook complex we rode with her to pick up her sister Kay and then on to an Arnie's restaurant to meet with other family members on the Ezinga side. When we arrived we met Al & sister Bea, brother Neal and Nancy,
We all had a great time there with a lot of reminising and laughter, and great food to boot (the bakery was to die for!)!
We parted company and returned Kay to her home and then took Mary back to her place. We then returned to the KOA to feed the boys and then drove back to Grandville, MI to the 'Rainbow Grill' to meet with members of the 'Koole' side of her family, her Aunt Thelma, her son Tim and his wife Jill. Their son Christopher, wife Nikki and daughters Kaitlyn and Sarah were also there. What a good looking family! Their older daughter Kaitlyn had both of her forearms in casts as she had fallen from an exersize apparatus and broken both forearms above the wrists when she tried to arrest her fall. They were incomplete breaks and will heal fast, and in alignment. That's the old X-Ray tech in me talking. The worst thing about her ordeal is that she is a very good softball picther and she has to sit out the games until released by her doctor. Again, Shirlee and I had a great time yakking, except that Tim failed to show as he forgot to check his calender. He heard about that one! After dinner Shirlee & I followed Auntie (Thelma) to her house and visited with her until after 9 o'clock that evening.
We returned to camp and went straight to bed. It has been a long and wonderful day.
Wednesday - May 5, 2010
Ah yes . . . Cinco de Mayo! Today is the day that Geoffrey and Ashley are scheduled to tie the knot on the island of Kauai in the State of Hawaii, and Shirlee and I are awaiting a 'text message' that the deed is done.
We were going to ride the motorcycle to Holland, MI to the Tulip Time Festival. Shirlee said that she had never been to it before as she was always going to school or working. However, due to rain, we decided to keep the mortorcyle home.
When we finally found a place to park the truck - no easy matter in a town full of celebrants - we walked just a couple of blocks down to where there was a parade in progress. We had lucked out and were present for the 'Volksparade Street Scrubbing' parade! It was a lot of fun to watch. Everyone was in Dutch costume with pails of water and brushes and scrubbing the street. There were people pulling carts with small children that were adorable in their own tiny costumes.
Following the parade we entered a pavilion that was full of arts and crafts and foods to eat. We were scheduled to eat supper with Shirlee's mom, Mary, later, so we ate very little there. The little we had were some cinnamon roasted almonds that we could NOT resist!
After returning to camp we then left for town to meet with Shirlee's Mom once again, returning to Arnie's. This would be the final time we would see her during this trip. We had a VERY good time with Mary that included the telling of some untold stories of her youth that were hilarious and were wittily told! It was at about that time Shirlee received a text message from Mr. & Mrs Geoffrey Walters stating that they were, indeed, married on that day at about 5 PM Eastern - 11 AM Hawaiian time. So, after supper the three of us went to the Grand Rapids Brewing Co. that was right next door to celebrate the occasion.
As the evening was drawing down we said our good-byes amid hugs and promises to unite again and headed back to camp.
Thursday - May 6, 2010
This morning we got up and prepared to leave for the Peppermill Grill Restaurant in Standale, MI, another Grand Rapids community, of which there are many. There we met with Shirlee's Dad, John Koole, and his wife Marian, and also Shirlee's 'Auntie' Thelma (John's sister) for breakfast. After a round of funny stories and a huge breakfast Thelma, Shirlee and I headed over to Shirlee's Aunt Win's house to visit. Win had fallen some time ago and was still experiencing a lot of pain and difficulty moving around, but it had not dampened her spirit and sense of humor! She has a large poodle (Nannette) that was very well behaved and is a great companion. After a bit, Win's partner Agatha returned from attending a funeral and the rounds of story telling began all over again. Ag and Win have both dedicated their lives to education, and according to Shirlee were very instrumental in her educational choices. Ag was also an accomplished girls basketball coach and school principle in the greater Grand Rapids area. The two of them are great fun. Note: Win's 90th birthday is May 26th! There is a big open-house planned on the 29th for anyone who wants to attend.
Again it came time to bid farewell to everyone and after many hugs and picture taking we returned with Thelma to where our truck was parked and said our good-byes to dear Auntie Thelma.
We then returned to the campsite to prepare for tomorrow's departure for Lake Leelanau, MI. I wanted to get the motorcycle and the big cat cage stowed before tomorrow, as they take a bit of time each to do, and what with the forecast calling for rain in the morning, that would be two less things to mess with.
That done we visited with our neighbors across the street from us, Tony & Dorothy, who lived in a 'Park Model' home manufactured by Krofp. It was very nice, and had an additional enclosed porch area that made a fantastic large room. We may look at something like this for our future.
Anyway, our visit here was quite a memorable one, being able to see and visit with so many of Shirlee's relatives again.
116 miles today