Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mini In-state Vacay

The day after I finished my summer classes, Josh and I headed off for a little over night trip to Holland, MI. Neither one of us had been there before, and there are lots of touristy things to do, as you can see. It was HOTTT outside but beautiful and I had a lot of fun... I think Josh did, too.

Our first touristy stop was Windmill Island Gardens, which has, well, a lot of gardens and a windmill. Surprising, huh?
The windmill is completely legit and came over from the Netherlands to be rebuilt in Michigan. They actually still use it to grind flour, and we were given a tour (a very, very hot tour in an old windmill with no air flow) to see how the grinding is done.
This is a view from the deck of the windmill. The white tent you see is where they have wedding receptions. The gardens are absolutely gorgeous in spring when the tulips are blooming! I'll actually be attending a wedding here next Memorial Day : )
There's a replica of a dutch village on the island, too. Inside are little shops, exhibits of Dutch clothing and historical items, and the bridal room for weddings.
The windmill is over 7 stories tall! This was taken from the deck of the windmill - the same place where I took the picture of the entire island.
After leaving the gardens, Josh and I stopped for lunch at New Holland Brewery I had the baked potato pizza and Josh had a Caesar salad.
Mmmm delicious! It had goat cheese which I adore.
Yummy microbrews - So refreshing after being out in the hot sun!
I found a tasting room for a local winery in downtown Holland, and Josh humored me by tasting a few wines. Surprisingly, he actually liked some, and we ended up buying 3 bottles! We purchased Warner Vineyard's Traminette  (similar to a gewurztraminer), Sangria (always a favorite), and Blueberry Wine (mmmm tasty).  After our little buzz wore off, we headed for Dutch Village, which is a small theme park set up as if it were a village in the Netherlands. It was kind of cheesy, but we went all-in and acted like tourists!

Josh got weighed to make sure he wasn't a witch/wizard. Luckily he wasn't! He even got a certificate to prove it : )

Not a witch!
They did a demonstration of how to make wooden shoes by hand...
But this is the machinery they use to make the wooden shoes sold at Dutch Village.
I never realized the shoes could be so beautiful! I actually tried a pair on and they are surprisingly comfortable! A little clunky and hard to walk in, but kind of cool.
Josh tried on a pair, too!
They had huuuuuuge street organs (this is one of the small ones) that were still working! Josh is doing a great job as Vanna : )
You can see the large street organ in the background here. Every hour they have demonstrations of traditional Dutch dances, wearing clothing similar to the period. I think 3 wooden shoes flew off the feet of the dancers as they were dancing! These girls can really kick their feet...
There also was a petting zoo... and Josh scooped up this sweet little baby bunny. It was for sale, but he said we couldn't have it : (

 I'll have to do a separate post on all of the amazing stores in downtown Holland... there are just too many to talk about in one post! 
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1 comment:

Laura said...

Looks like a lot of fun! If you love goat cheese, put Greece on your to see list. TONS and tons there.