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Sat. May 4 to Fri. May 10- Holland MI

Saturday-  We went to downtown Holland, leaving after lunch, waiting for it to warm up. Our plan was to go to the Windmill Island Gardens. A big mistake. We could not even get near to the turn off. The turnoff was closed, as,downtown was a mess with traffic and pedestrians.

So we punted and crawled thru town to try to find parking near the Artesian Market in Centennial Park. We managed to find a parking spaced 3 blocks away and we walked back to the park.

This park is designed interestingly, with a fountain in the center, but the sidewalks leading to the fountain were curved. So we went around the inside of the park, hen we walked around the outside.

We only purchased two items. One was a metal yard sign which says “Another Day in Paradise” for our site in Arizona. The second was a small sign that says “Living the Dream” for our bathroom. We are going to repaint both of them to colors that match the rig.

On the outside of the square, we found a Crepe truck, so we stood in line for a Strawberry, Banana, Nutella crepe, which we split.

We returned to the car, and rather than drive thru town, we drove south and picked up Hwy 40 to Hwy 31, going around town. There is a closed road on this route, but we found a detour around. We are glad we did not do it in the rig, but are happy to drive this detour route in the car.

Upon arrival back at the state park we sat about 15 minutes in line to re-enter the park. It seemed like a lot of people came to the park for the evening. The weather was perfect, with no clouds in the sky and a little bit warmer, with the temps in the 60’s. We watched the Kentucky Derby!

Below is the view of the Big Red Lighthouse from the rig. This lighthouse is not open to the public.


We ate dinner and watched some TV. At 8:30, we walked over to the beach and watched the sunset over Lake Michigan. It was really beautiful. The dogs are not allowed on the beach, so we left them in the rig.

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 Sunday- . We had an easy drive thru town and arrived at Windmill Island Gardens right at 9 AM when they opened. We beat the crowds!


We went straight to the Windmill and stood in line. Later, you had to get a ticket and wait for your line to form. There are only 25 people in a group and 3 groups at a time are in the Windmill. One group on each floor. There are 4 floors, but the top floor is very small and you go up there, then return down to go outside on the balcony.


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Below was the first floor docent.

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We did this tour in 2014. That time the miller was not present. This time we got to meet her. She is the only female windmill miller in the US. She learned Dutch, then went to Holland for 2 years to train to be a miller.


The flour that she makes is sold at the gardens. It is also used by various businesses in town. There is no preservative in the flour, so it must be used immediately or be frozen. There is an oil on the wheat which will go bad if it is not used promptly, which is why most flour has the preservative. We did not purchase any of the flour as we would not be able to use it immediately.

Below is a view from the Windmill balcony.

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Below is the Miller getting the blades of the Windmill ready to turn when the wind picks up later in the day.



She uses the big wheel to move the blades to the position which is best for the turning of the blades, based on the predicted direction of the wind.


Another view from the balcony.


Below is the replica of an Historic Dutch Trade Fair.

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We wandered through the Gardens and the Historic Dutch Trade Fair. The Trade Fair was only available on the weekend, so we wanted to go to the Gardens on either Sat or Sun. Plus, the weather does not look good the rest of the week.

The trade fair was interesting. They showed how the Dutch lived and went to market their goods.



Now for some of the flowers…








Here is Bob trying on one of the hats in the gift shop. He said that the hat was not comfortable….




What we read was that they had planted over 222,000 bulbs…

We left around 10;45 and went to Walmart and returned to the rig. There was no line getting into the park, so Bob took the sheets and towels to a laundromat, after lunch. I did laundry in the rig.

When Bob returned, we took the dogs to the Township Dog Park, which is located in the fair grounds, about 4 miles down the road from the state park.

The dogs had a great time running around the park with lots of sniffing. There were two other dogs in the small dog area. One was a full grown German Shepard, who was very well behaved. The the same owners small dog, who was a little shy, but became buddies with our dogs.

We returned home, fed the dogs, and went to dinner at the Holland Brew Pub. Bob had a flight of beers and fell in love with the Dragon Milk White. Bob had a Ruben which he said was very good. I had the patty melt, which was not great. Adding a lot of ketchup helped.

Bob liked the beer so much, he purchased a 6 pack. We returned home. The sky had clouded up, so no sunset tonight!

Monday- It was a cool day and cloudy, so we went to the Tall Ship today. The ship is located on Lake Macatawa. The entrance to the lake is past the Red Lighthouse, and Holland State Park, where we are staying.

The Tall Ship was a replica of the Friends Good Will. It is kept berthed in Grand Haven, south of Holland, but was brought up for the Tulip Festival. It cost $5 each to go through the ship.


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We were able to tour the inside as well as the outside. The ship carries 6 guys on board who were all knowledgeable about the ship and it’s history. The original  had participated in the Battle of Detroit in the Revolutionary War. The story was interesting, as the ship had been used to ferry goods to Fort Detroit and took pelts back. The man who owned it made lots of money going back and forth. The ship was seized by the British and then the Americans fought, and won the ship. The original owner was never able to get his ship back and it was eventually burned. The descendants of the original owner were invited to, and attended, the christening when the replica was launched.  

Next, we attended the Quilt Show. The quilts were beautiful and we were each given a ballot to vote for our favorites.

This first quilt was at the entrance.

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There was an exhibit of old sewing machines.


A quilter using an old machine.


Below was one of my favorites. It was made from the quilters father’s ties, after he passed, and was sewn in his honor. I thought that was nice…


There were some unique quilts.


The quilt below was one of three. The first was made by grandma, the second by the mother, and the third, the one below by the 11 year old…


Here it is in finer detail…


All three of the quilts were very similar. I thought this was very nice…

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The one below was made from a wedding dress…


The one below was my very favorite. It was made from a downloaded pattern. It was made with over 5 miles of thread! Bob was really impressed with that fact. There was a huge number of pieces, but I cannot remember how many, but it was a lot!


I went back and checked to see who won the contest. None of the quilts, here in the blog, won…

Since it was still cool and cloudy, we decided to go for soup. We went to a restaurant named Zoups, which is a chain. They serve soup, salad and sandwiches. They have flights of soup, like they have for beer. We each chose to have a 1/2 sandwich and a cup of soup.  All were excellent and we will go there again!

We returned and walked the dogs. There were a few showers. It remained cool and ugly, so we stayed in….

Tuesday-  It was another ugly day. There was not a lot going on, so we decided to go to the Civic Center for the Marketplatz. They had a lot of Dutch items, of course, made in
China. They did have a guy demonstrating making ( and selling) wooden shoes.

The lunch at the Marketplatz was a Dutch food buffet, $14 each. The lunch had split pea soup which was excellent, although it was very thick. They had salad, meatballs, a “pig in a blanket” which was a sausage in a phyllo type dough, and meat platter with gherkins and come cooked cabbage. The dessert was various Danish cookies.  Drinks were water and soda.

We ate at long tables while watching dancers. There were adult dancers and children.

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Since they kicked a lot, we were waiting to see one of the wooden shoes flying into the audience. Evidently, this does happen on occasion!

We stopped at Walmart  and Petsmart on the way back.

Wednesday- Another dreary day. It was not supposed to rain until the afternoon, so we decided to go south to the town of Saugatuck. We walked through the town. Most of the stores were not open. We did try, and purchase, this Cherry Reduction Vinegar. Wow, was it good!


We could not find an open restaurant, so we went to the town of Douglas, just across the river from Saugatuck. We stopped at The Farmhouse Deli. This place was awesome. We each had a sandwich and shared a bag of cherry flavored chips. Bob had a ham and cheese and I had a BLT.

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We returned to the rig and walked the dogs. We had a quiet afternoon. We decided to go out to Crazy Horse Steakhouse & Saloon. When I went to Yelp to get the directions, they asked if we wanted to be on the waitlist. I said yes and signed in. We went to the restaurant and had a real problem getting parking! It was so crowded. Because I had done the wait list, we waited about 5 minutes, instead of about 45.

The food was very good and lots of it. We both took home leftovers for tomorrow night’s dinner.

Thursday- One of the things we have been working on over the last few days was our health insurance. We are trying to figure out the deductibles. The numbers are not adding up. I printed out all of the EOB’s and Bob had started an Excel spreadsheet.

Since it had rained like crazy this morning, Bob took the opportunity to call our insurance to try to figure out what is going on… He spent about 45 minutes on the phone with them. They did find some EOB’s that were wrong. They had also, on Jan 1,  changed Glucometers, so Bob has gotten that situation fixed. Still, the numbers do not add up. For some reason, my deductible has not changed. They could not explain that, but noted that the family deductible had changed.  Basically, we do not trust any of the numbers!

We had a quiet afternoon and evening at home.

Friday- We decided to run to Grand Rapids today. It is only about 20 miles north of Holland,  but the interstate is closed in one section, so we had to follow a detour.

We stopped first at Costco. We purchased a few items, then went to World Market. I have been looking for the wine that I purchased in California, Tropical Mango Moscoto. When I checked where it is sold, I found that it is sold at World Market. So we went there and I found 3 bottles of the Mango, one bottle of Passion Fruit, and one bottle of Strawberry.  At Costco it was $9.99. At World Market it was $11.99. They had specials and a discount with their rewards card, so I signed up and received lots of discounts.  I purchased all of those wines. The also, right next to the Tropical brands, had the Oliver Cherry Moscoto! Since that is a local vineyard, I doubt I will find that in Arizona, but I may find the Tropical brands! Wahoo!

We went to Brown Butter Crepes for lunch. The food was very good! It is a very small restaurant, but they turned over their tables rapidly, so no one was waiting.

We returned to the rig and took the dogs to the dog park again. We run Koda as much as we can! We ate leftovers for dinner and went to view the sunset again!



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