The first adventure that we embarked on, was the Frederik Meijer Gardens. All 132 acres are filled with beautiful and exotic flowers and trees. Dozens of sculptures, small and huge, are scattered throughout the site. It was a nice place to wander around for a couple hours and literally, stop and smell the flowers. A scorching day kept our visit short, however.
After the Gardens, we went to check into our hotel, the Amway Grand Plaza. This early 20th century styled building backed right up to Grand River - not the road, the actual river. The room we stayed in was large, clean, and comfortable; however, the extensive room service was what sealed the deal for me, even though we didn't use it - it just looked fantastic. Restaurants, shops, a pool, a roof-top tennis court and exercise rooms were all added bonuses.
|The lobby of the Amway Grand Plaza.|
|It's been proved to be true.|
Catching a late lunch/early dinner, we headed to the Sundance Grill & Bar which prided itself on American food with a south-west flavor. Keeping within my usual style, I was the last to order as I couldn't make up my mind between all of the tempting options. When I finally decided, the lucky dish was a Bombay salad. Including chicken, fruit, pecans and coconuts, it was definitely the right choice. Although, everyone else's meals were the right choices as well because they were all delicious.
The remainder of the day was spent swimming, exploring the extensive hotel and getting in a pre-race run. While breathlessly stumbling along behind my friends, I had the chance to see all the character that the city offered. Being a Saturday evening, the beautiful, stone churches were dotted with weddings upon weddings, people were strolling the streets and the overall atmosphere was content.
Following the saying of "Life is short, eat dessert first," we headed to Kilwin's for some ice cream and then for an actual, late dinner. We decided to go on a "blind date" with a restaurant, just heading down the street and dining at the first place that appealed to us. Finding most places closed - as it was 9 o'clock - finally, we stopped at Marado Sushi. Not knowing all that much about sushi, except that I didn't like it raw, I ordered fried sushi. I know, I know. Sushi is one of those things that shouldn't be fried...well, that's what I thought. Just like anything I ever blog about, it was indeed fantastic. The meal came with free chopstick lessons from our animated waiter and we all become pros in no time!
|Lining up, ready for the start!|
Stuffed after our midmorning meal, we headed back to the hotel to wash all the color from our hair, hands, necks, feet, and just about everywhere else. The car was loaded up and we were homebound. And that was that. Grand Rapids is a beautiful city and there will definitely be a breakfast scramble waiting for me upon my return.