Our first couple of days on our Michigan trip were really relaxing, as they were all about family. My grandmother is 97, so she isn’t really out partying, unless you count her semi-regular appearances at church. She lives in a very small town (population about 1500), so there’s limited opportunity to do much of anything. Her town consists of a bank, grocery store, hardware store, gas station, library, post office, coffee shop, second hand clothing shop, all in one pizza, hotdog, sandwich, ice cream restaurant and three antique stores. And that’s pretty much it – it is truly a one stop light town.
I wandered over to both cemeteries during those couple of days; the old cemetery with lots of Civil War Veterans (they stopped burying people here in the 50s or 60s, I believe), and the new cemetery with several Civil War Veterans and many other historical graves, but current burials as well. Sadly, the old cemetery has deteriorated since I was there last, with somebody doing rubbings on the older gravestones that have left ugly marks. Many of the stones have fallen over, and graves have sunken. There are several stones stacked against a tree; their bases lost to time.
My grandfather is buried at the new cemetery, so I always like to go over and say hello. Plus, I find cemeteries to be very peaceful, so I’m always happy to go and wander among the graves. I always explore the older graves; and this cemetery has several from the 1800s. Many are in very good condition, and I enjoy reading the names and dates. Some are in bad shape, having fallen over and sunk into the ground.
I also got very familiar with the Panera Bread in nearby Kalamazoo, because it has Wi-Fi and Grandma’s internet service was on the fritz. I spent over 3 hours there working on a job application; I must have done well on it, because it was the application for the job I now have! Jon and I also visited Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo with my cousin – I considered it a treat after having wrapped up my application. I had been before with my cousin, but it was Jon’s first time. He was very impressed with the beer and the atmosphere. I love the quirky look of the bar, the collection of African masks, and of course, the beer.
We tried a couple before we settled on our choices; I had the Thump Yer Pumpkin Ale, which was a light beer with a hint of sweetness and flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg. It is a seasonal ale, so it isn’t available all the time. Jon had a glass of the Oracle – a Double IPA; also a seasonal beer, available in the late summer, early fall. It is made with Pacific Northwest hops varieties, and has citrus flavors mixed with extreme bitterness.
We were there in the later afternoon, before the after work crowd showed up, and it was pretty quiet. It was certainly someplace we will head back to next time we are in Michigan!
Have you been to Bell’s Brewery or had their beer?