Sunday, July 28, 2013

Small-town Saturday

"Ain't nobody celebrate a festival like those that live in a small town." - Me

Ok, so that quote really isn't from anyone famous, but it's pretty darn accurate.  Small towns take their celebrations seriously, none more than Grand Haven and it's famous Coast Guard Festival.  As this weekend is the kick-off to a week full of carnival rides, caramel corn, concerts, and crazy tourists, I thought I would start off by sharing how we spent our opening day weekend...


Grand Haven, Michigan...Home Sweet Home

1. The Coast Guard Run - no, I'm just kidding.  It started at 7:30 and it's 3.2 miles...both of which are beyond my scope of interest.  But some people ran, and I'm sure they had fun...but it was running. For 3.2 miles. So probably not.

2. The Farmer's Market - This really is where we began our morning.  It's lovely, with its flowers and fruits and veggies.  I was tempted by the blueberries which are perfectly in season...but of course, in true VanHekken fashion, we only made two stops...at the VanderMill booth to get 1/2 dozen freshly baked donuts (Sidenote: we also stopped here because our darling friend Sam works here and texted us at 6:30 AM to let us know he would be at the farmer's market today.  6:30. AM. Anyway, 1/2 dozen VanderMill donuts and a gluten-free strawberry and banana muffin...which was delicious by the way...but probably not as delicious as the donuts...and we were done with the market.  Sorry fruits and veggies, that's not really how we roll.

Our almost-empty bag of VanderMill cinnamon donuts

3. The Children's Parade - We headed from the Farmer's Market to the parade, which I'm sure is actually designed by dentists in order to draw in customers...seriously, the amount of candy that was chucked out of fire trucks could cause decay enough to leave every dentist in town busy for the rest of the year.  We hooked up with some friends to watch the various church groups, schools, and the Home Depot pom pom girls march through the streets, but really, the highlight was the local horse group who brought a donkey with them...the donkey, in apparent donkey fashion, stopped directly in front of us and for a solid 5 minutes refused to move.  The first minute was funny...and then it just wasn't.  It did however make me want to step into the street and say to the handler, "Hey, can you please just move your a$$?"  But A.) I would NEVER use that kind of language, and B.) I think he was probably using worse language in his mind already, so it really wouldn't have helped.


Patiently awaiting an onslaught of candy


The stubborn-as-a-mule parade moment
4. Baseball - After the parade we headed to a friend's house for a little family lunch followed by sandlot-style baseball.  We had an assortment of kids and dad's playing a variety of positions, and I like to think that I played the role of Wendy Peppercorn to Chris's Squints pretty well.  (Please tell me that you understand the reference...if not, go RIGHT NOW to a video store to rent The Sandlot.  Seriously. Right Now.  Anyway, it was very quaint, and even the dads played...which was great...until today, when I will have to slather icy hot all over Chris's non-16-year-old shoulder.

Carson pretending he's Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez

5. Friends and Pickles - Finally, we finished the day with a good ole small town cookout.  Burgers on the grill with friends, the Tiger's game on in the background, and homemade pickles.  Yes.  Homemade.  They were amazing, however, it did bring out a new understanding of how un-vegetabled my kids are:

Kaitlyn: You MADE Pickles?
My friend Amy: Yes, haven't you ever made pickles?
Carson: You can MAKE Pickles?
Amy: Yes, try one
Kaitlyn: Oh my gosh, I didn't know you could MAKE pickles!
Our friend Sam (who texted at 6:30 in the morning): Where did you think pickles came from? The ground?
.....
Yes, that is the end of the conversation, because obviously my kids thought pickles came from the ground, and me, well being born and raised in Holland, Michigan, I just assumed that they came from the Heinz Pickle Factory on 17th street.


Amy's soon-to-be-famous homemade pickles

6. Sunday - Our small-town Saturday has continued with a small-town Sunday - church, the Car Show, a slow stroll through The Bookman, where I was the only one even remotely interested in purchasing a book, and brunch at the Morningstar...each of us declaring that ours was possibly the best thing we have ever eaten in our ENTIRE LIVES!  (Although, Kaitlyn did order the lemon poppyseed pancakes stuffed with fresh blueberries and topped with homemade raspberry sauce, which I secretly think were the best...but I'm definitely not telling her.) Here's a link to their menu, just so you can see how awesome it truly is!

Best moment of the day - Chris and Carson enjoying the car show
 Now we're home for a Tiger's game, a nap and a book (just me, of course) and we'll probably wrap things up with an evening on the boardwalk for Worship on the Waterfront.  It's a chilly but grand start to Coast Guard Week...and I fully expect that in the next week there will be a blog post about "People who wear things at small-town festivals that they totally shouldn't."  But until then, enjoy the rest of your weekend...I know I'm enjoying mine!

Lots of Love,

Small Town Girl

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