deBoer Bakerij- Holland MI

Last Monday I traveled to Holland, MI for work and had lunch at deBoer Bakerij.  According to the Holland resident I was eating lunch with, this is the only authentic dutch restaurant and bakery in town.

The bakery is located on Douglas Ave and expanded operations in the last year or so.  I ended up trying a croquette for the first time.  Actually I’d never heard of it before, but what the heck I was up for it.  It was ok, one of my dining companions said it tasted like the ones his grandmother made, so I am sure if you like croquettes it is good.  I don’t think I’d count myself among them.  Lunch consisted of a grilled cheese sandwich and BLT soup which tasted fine.

Now your probably wondering, “if everything was just OK why are you bothering us with this?”. Well, I’ll tell you, one word “Boterkoek”, dutch for “butter biscuit or cake”!  One of the most magnificent desserts I have ever tasted.  I still dream about it!!

Boterkoek is a dense cake with almonds and almond paste.  If you are anything like me and you love almond, this is to die for.  I may have to go back to Holland for work next month or August and I am headed back to deBoer Bakerij.  I didn’t have enough time look at their baked goods, but this time I am a woman with a plan, and its all about loading up on the baked goods.

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Greater Lansing Potter’s Guild

Last weekend I wrote that I was spending the day doing a “Be a Tourist in Your Hometown” explorations. The first stop of our day was the Greater Lansing Potter’s Guild.

I am really glad that I went, we were given a tour by a couple of Guild members and it was really interesting.  Turns out it is the only day of the year that the Greater Lansing Potter’s Guild is open to the public.  You can only go inside if you’re a member or taking one of their classes.

I was able to see several examples of member works and watch while two members created their own pieces.  The classes look like fun and someday I hope to take one.  If you have any interest in pottery I’d recommend looking into joining or taking a class there.  They were a friendly bunch and I saw some amazing pieces of pottery.

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This Weekend-Be a Tourist in Your Hometown

This weekend is “Be a Tourist in your Hometown” weekend in Lansing.  About 50 attractions and businesses participate every year and CATA rides are free.  All you need to do is purchase a passport that will get you into any of the participating attractions for free.

I am planning on participating for the first time with a friend I met in my Sci-fi group.  We have not yet decided where we will be going on Saturday or what time, but it should be fun.  I will bring the camera and have a host on new locations to blog about.

The really interesting thing is that I will also focus on whether the attraction or business is wheelchair accessible.  My friend has MS and while she can walk with some assistance, it wears her out.  So I will be pushing her in the chair, I guess we will find out which attractions are accommodating.

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Gone Wired Cafe

I have discovered the center of the universe!  Which incidentally happens to be in my neighborhood at the following address: 2021 East Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI 48912.

Ok, maybe not the center of the entire universe.  Gone Wired Cafe does seen to be center of the universe for many social groups in Lansing.  At any given time there are computer clubs, bible studies, role players, writing groups, and board-gamers huddled in groups at the cafe sharing their common interests.   I meetup with at least two different groups of people at the cafe and have an interest in at least two more.  Unfortunately everyone seems to want to meet on Thursday nights, forcing me to pick and choose.

Gone Wired Cafe is a two-story establishment that I am told used to be a camping store, however I have only ever known it as the cafe.  I love the place, it definitely ranks as one of my top ten places to go.  The first floor is where most of the social groups meet, while the second floor is mainly reserved for students studying.  There is no rule concerning this, it is just how everyone divides themselves up and the layout is conducive to this.

Gone Wired Cafe has a full menu and serves tea, coffee, soda, etc.  In the fall they have a pumpkin soup to die for!  There are a few computers for use and free Wi-Fi.  A couple of years ago the cafe and bookstore (Everybody Reads) installed a set of double doors for access between the two businesses during similar working hours. So if you get bored with your friends you can sneak next door and buy something to read.

If you are looking for a place to get together with friends or to work/study away from the home or office, I highly recommend Gone Wired Cafe.

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Library of Michigan

Genealogy has been a passion of mine for over a decade.  I’ve spent countless hours online compiling my family trees, but I have not spent many hours doing research in libraries.  The last Saturday I spent hours roaming around the Library of Michigan in their vast Genealogical section.  Unfortunately the library is under threats of closure due to budgetary constraints which threaten a phenomenal Michigan treasure.

I’ve been to the Library of Michigan several times doing research for work and have wandered through the aisles looking at the resources.  It wasn’t until this Saturday when I headed over there with a friend that I realized they had resources I couldn’t get online.

It is sad that this resource might disappear. and it will not be from lack of use, there were plenty of people doing research.  If you can, I’d recommend visiting as soon as possible, before it is too late.

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It seems like I spend a lot of time talking about food on this blog.  I really don’t spend all my time eating, I swear.  I did make a point of stopping at “Morsels” on my way out-of-town.

Morsels is a tiny bakery at the corner of Cass and Front in Traverse City.  I discovered it last year when I was in town and made sure I was able to get my little cakes before I left.  Bonus: I just found out today that they deliver locally and by mail!!!

The bakery serves coffee and assorted breakfast and sandwiches, but their real appeal are their little cakes from which they get their name.  They are little bite sized baked goods and come in several varieties.  Each one is $0.79, at last check, and I ordered four.  This time I purchased the shortbread, the dulce de leche, vanilla cupcake, and brownie.  All were very good, but I highly recommend the dulce de leche and shortbread.

As we were leaving town, we stopped for coffee and Morsels to go.  We also ordered  breakfast sandwiches for the drive home.  The sandwich was so-so, I would stick to the baked goods, as the breakfast wasn’t great and you will have to wait (and so will all the poor saps that came in behind you).

If you are in town Morsels is a must try, and try, and try.  Mmmm… I think I may have to try the mail-order…..

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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Since we were in Empire for Asparagus Fest my friend and I decided to visit the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore consists of 35 miles of dune coastland on Lake Michigan.  It is a beautiful area and the photo at the top of this blog was taken last year.

The park promotes four main attractions: The Dune Climb, the Phillip A. Hart Visitor Center, Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, and the Historic Village of Glen Haven.  We realized once we made the decision to visit that neither one of us had the proper shoes to do any trail hiking, so I suggested we stop at the visitors center and pick up the Pierce Stocking pamphlet.  The pamphlet is a nice companion piece put together by “Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes”, which describes each marked stop on the drive.  I think the pamphlets are technically free, however a $2 donation is requested.  I of course provided my $2, I may be frugal but I am not cheap.

The Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is about 7.4 miles and requires the purchase of a pass.  Day passes are $10 per passenger car or $20 for a year.  The drive is pleasant and there are several places to stop along the way to view the dunes and lake from higher ground.  There is a great 1.5 mile trail known as the Cottonwood Trail at stop four.  The trail loops over the dunes and at the farthest point you can see The Dune Climb.  Please, please, stay on the trail, I can’t emphasis how fragile the environment is. We did not hike the trail this time, but I did last year when I visited.

At stop nine is the Lake Michigan lookout, which has a steep slope down to the lake.  You can see a trail from the top to the lake made by people brave enough to venture down the hill.  In theory it sounds like fun, but you also need to climb back up.   At this location there are two wooden structure overlooks that provide different views of the dunes and lake.  However, I am not sure that everyone realizes there is a second overlook.  You can’t see it from the trail or the first overlook and there is no sign, just a semblance of a trail.

Someday I hope to go back and do the Dune climb.  I have a vague memory of climbing the dunes to the top as a preteen back in the 80s.  I have no photos, so I have no proof I actually did it.  I tried climbing it in the late 90s when I weighed about 70 lbs more than I do now, and I am not thin.  I did not make it up the first hill, I gave up half way.  With 70 lbs gone, at least three half-marathons behind me and an inhaler, I think I can do it this time.

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