We woke up feeling nice and fresh. Maybe our bodies are getting used to sleeping in the tent! Whilst Stef was packing up the gear, I started on the tent. Funnily enough, it’s a lot quicker to get it into pieces than to put it up…The packed up tent got thrown into the boot followed by the rest of the equipment such as fold-up chairs and the cooking utensils and food. We jumped in the front and I asked Stef for the keys. She didn’t have them. I knew I didn’t have them. We’re in the middle of a forest and we’ve only gone and lost the keys. Panic started to set in and Stef asked me if I’d taken them out from the hanging pocket in the tent where we keep them for safe keeping…DAMN IT!!! Back to the boot I went, I took everything out, unpacked the tent, unrolled it and there they were. In the hanging pocket. With all the hassle – it was quicker putting it up than it was packing it up twice! I blame Stef for not reminding me to take them out in the first place.
Finally on the road, we made it to the next state. We now had 20 of them under our belt. They call this one Michigan. For the photo, we tried to do some type of cheerleader formation. As you can see, neither Stef nor I have any training or experience in it whatsoever.
About an hours drive, we made it to what I wanted to do in Australia, however, it just never happened. It was blueberry picking! We pulled up and were given a small bucket. You paid per pound and the berries were half of the price they are back home in the UK. With blueberries being one of my favourite fruits, this was great! To get to the “picking” spot, we had to walk past many rows of blueberries, which made my mouth water.
We got to the spot and started going crazy – like farmers on speed! Obviously the best ones were the biggest and bluest. Once I’d stripped one branch, I went on to the next. I did have to do one important thing before I started on a new branch. The taste test. I’m sure you weren’t allowed to but I didn’t want nasty tasting ones! We filled up our bucket and wandered back. This is where I noticed my tongue was bright blue like I’d been licking out Smirfette. As I didn’t want to get in trouble, Stef did the talking when it came to paying. It was only a few dollars. Bargain.
Next on the list, Stef led us to a small town called Saugatuck. The plan was to catch the person ferry over the river, where we will be greeted with a huge sand dune. It’s a tradition to roll down as fast as you can. It was a very small town and looked very homely. Apparently it was voted the best place to have a weekend away in the States. We parked up and walked to the ferry. It was a nice sunny day and I couldn’t wait. As we got closer to it, it didn’t look that busy. It wasn’t busy for one reason. It was closed. There was a sign on it that said it wasn’t in operation due to high wind. High wind? The water was calm and the leaves on the trees were not even moving! We reckon that the captain just wanted the day off and spend it in a beer garden somewhere!
It was lunchtime so we walked over the road to Wicks Park Bar and Grille to grab some food. It was recommend in the Lonely Planet Guide so it couldn’t have been that bad. With my stomach still full of hundreds of berries, I still had room to polish off a burger.
Last stop of the day was Holland. No not the country, but a small town. We visited the Windmill Island. As Holland is known for it’s great windmills, how could we go wrong? We pulled up and paid our entrance fee. The attendant told us that we had 5 minutes to get to the windmill for a traditional Dutch dance. Having not seen one before, I power slide into a parking space and we jumped out. Luckily, it wasn’t far and as soon as we got there, 4 young girls came out of the windmill all dress in the Dutch clobber, including the wooden clogs! The dance lasted a few minutes and was quite different from the dancing you’d see on Britain’s Got Talent (but at least they didn’t give us a sob story like on BGT like their brother dying in the war or that their dog has ear cancer).
After the dance, they took us into the windmill and gave us a tour. It was an actual working mill that produces flour during the day. The mill started its life in the real Holland and was shipped over, piece-by-piece, and assembled there. Holland soon banned the export of its mills, as they were becoming a great tourist attraction. The tour went from floor to floor and there were five of them in total. It was quite interesting to see how the flour was made and how technology has made it easier for them.
After the tour, we started walking around the garden. For a place that is known for it’s windmills, in a place called “Windmill Island”, we were a bit disappointed that they only had two of them – and one of them was a miniature one! They had a street that resembled the old building of Holland. I don’t like to moan, but they went on about the Tulip. I don’t know if it wasn’t the right season to grow the flower, but there were none! There were plenty of other flowers but just not them! It was a nice place though and worth the visit as I can cross off “been to the top of a windmill” from my list of things I’ve never done before.
We spent the night at a motel chain called Americas Best Value Inn in Grand Rapids. We were told that the air-con was not working. We really couldn’t be bothered to find anywhere else and after getting to our room, it was still a lot cooler than the outside.
We didn’t rush the next morning as we had planned to do absolutely nothing apart from drive to the next hotel, Victory Inn, which was in the next town, Dearborn. The only time we left was to get a feast from Taco Bell and also a Frozen Yogurt from Yogurtopia. It seemed like there were thousands of toppings for the FroYo. Obviously every one I picked was fat free and went well with the chocolate, oatmeal cookie and cake batter flavoured yogurt…