2010 Michigan Suburban trip

June 16

I woke up during the night and didn't go back to sleep for awhile, so I wasn't surprised when I woke up at 9:30. I hopped in the shower and got presentable. I was worried I might have kept the others waiting but everyone was barely moving around themselves. I had leftover chicken and dumplings for breakfast.

Today our adventures will take us to the city of Holland. We've got a couple different places we want to visit. Because we were all slow and lazy today we didn't hit the road until 12:37. That's late even for a group of lazy vacationers.

Our first stop in Holland was for fuel. We stopped at the same station we did the other day. No Michigan smoking rules were broken today though. I'm surprised how good of mileage the V8 Suburban gets. It has variable cylinder technology...at times it will cut back to 4 cylinders for better fuel mileage. I really like the technology in this Suburban. But that doesn't stop me from teasing John about its 22-inch wheels. Yo.

Holland, MI. 13:33 - Our first adventure of the day was at Windmill Island. This is obviously a take on the city's name. The weather was cloudy and cool and nice for walking...which felt nice after the drive up.

The village has shops and a small greenhouse. I found pins in one of the larger stores...as well as some good tasting chocolate-covered peanuts.

After browsing the shops we headed towards the main attraction...the windmill. This authentic windmill is over 240 years old and was brought from The Netherlands.

Our tour guide was cute and very informative. The tour goes up three stories. She explained the windmill, the milling functions it performs and the various pieces of equipment used in the milling process, the Dutch culture and customs, and answered questions.

I'd never given much thought to windmills but seeing and hearing about them picqued my interest. I loved the mechanics. This one was used as a mill, but many others are used as water pumps to keep the low lying fields clear of water and for water management for farming. A view from the third story deck.

This wheel is used to position the windmill into the wind. The whole upper portion of the windmill turns. Fascinating.

After the tour we were treated to some authentic Dutch dancing. During the clogging one of the girl's wooden shoes actually cracked and broke in two. She kicked it off and kept right on going.

As explained by this sign, this old spar from the windmill has bullet holes in it from World War II.

After the windmill visitation we crossed a walking bridge and headed to the gardens area. John and Mike explored the tent structure in the background while I checked out a gazebo and used the restroom. We all met back up in the informational/office building. At 15:53 we were back in the parking lot and heading out.

We had time to kill before our next outing so we went to Walmart to buy some supplies. John and Debby really like the floorplan of our house. We talked about measuring the rooms and drawing the house plans, so we bought a measuring tape.

16:39 - For tonight's entertainment we will be taking a dinner cruise onto Lake Michigan courtesy of Holland Princess.

Passengers weren't allowed to board the ship until 17:30, and even with killing time at Walmart we still had about 45 minutes to wait. We walked to the end of the pier and sat on the benches. It was peaceful watching the river slowly flow by. This is the same river that makes Windmill Island an island. A guy down the pier was fishing. I nodded off a time or two in the peacefulness.

As boarding time approached we meandered to the boat. We watched the crew arrive and start to set things up. At 17:30 we were allowed to board. We went to the lower deck where we sat at our assigned table. It didn't take too long to fire the engines and head towards the lake. Dinner was served and quickly eaten. I was hungry.

After dinner we retired to the upper deck for sightseeing. The sky had cleared and the temperature was perfect. We looked at the numerous large houses and probably a hundred sailboats racing around. After an hour or so we reached the lighthouse then Lake Michigan.

We made a loop into the lake then turned around. On the way back they had karaoke and several people partook. None of us. We just took everything in. The boat docked right at 20:00 and by 20:06 were in the Suburban and headed back to our house. We stopped briefly at the store in Glenn before getting home...and doing nothing the rest of the night except some laundry and relaxing.

59 miles.

Click here for our next day's adventure.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9

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