Sunday, July 6, 2014

A "Grand" 4th in the Rapids!

We Gatchel’s had one of the best 4th of July’s I can recall on Friday as we set out on our Michigan adventure.  It was filled with dolls, legos, beautiful sunshine, a carousel, a river walk, one of the largest urban parks in the country, a covered bridge, ice cream with dino eggs and one of the best fireworks displays I have ever seen.  We had so much fun!

Grand Rapids was gorgeous!  The architecture there was so neat and the downtown area beautifully maintained.  Our Science Center membership scored us free admission to the Grand Rapids Public Museum and the kids (and Grant and I) loved it – we would definitely go back as it kept us busy for over four hours and we could have probably stayed and played longer (Kayla could have stayed in the doll area all day)  We broke it up with a picnic lunch on the river next to the Ford Presidential Museum.  After more fun at the museum, then a walk and coffee break around downtown, we headed to Millienium Park for some play time then we decided to check into our hotel to drop stuff off and figure out where we were going to see fireworks.  We stayed at a Baymont, and the only reason I’m mentioning it is because I talked to Justin, the most awesome front desk clerk ever, who actually advised me to stay away from the fireworks we had picked and to check out Ada instead.  Wow am I glad we did!  It was a great little place only 12 minutes from the hotel where Amway is headquartered.  (Who was behind the fireworks).  We had such a good tiem checking out the town, getting ice cream from Scoopers (Kayla had the dinosaur eggs and Noah had play-doh candy – how fun!  ) and handing together until the fireworks started.  We were close to where they were launching (thanks Justin!) and the 25 minutes show was amazaing.  The finale blew us all away!  Grant did a great job of navigating us out of the crowds and traffic and we tucked two exhausted but very happy kiddos into bed after 11.  What a day!  A poll of the crew reveals the following favorite moments of the day:

Kayla:  The dolls and the carousel
Noah:  The fireworks
Grant:  Playing with the foam dominos with Noah (followed closely by the 1880’s printing machine)
Kristi:  Cudding with my whole crew and watching the fireworks!

Onward to the Cherry Festival!

And we're off!

They're ready :) 

We made it to Grand Rapids!

The entrance of the museum

Mikayla's doll paradise

Grant and Noah at the dominoes

Grant tries out one really big bike

The amazing lego architecture

And they get to try their hand at building

Civil war beards

The lego town locals built for the museum

We of course had to try the gravity well

Picnic on the River

Outside the Ford Museum

Trying on naval costumes

Hey Papa - this is the Polish Legion Hall at the museum!

Moose just for Grandma Koz!

I told ya they were bugs

This was one of their favorite things at the museum - instruments from the orchestra they could play with

Ready to ride the carousel

Penny souvenier cranking


A walk across the river

Coffee break!

Our loot from Grand Rapids

Park time!

The covered bridge in Ada

Ice Cream!

With dino eggs!

And play doh candy

OK, family selfie time at the fireworks- where's Noah?

Hmm, closer


Lost Noah again

Kids with no supervision!

Hey there we all are (mostly)

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