Monday, July 21, 2014

11th Anniversary Vacation - Part 1

Have you ever noticed that when I go on vacation my recaps are multiple parts?  I take a TON of pictures and don't want to overload you! 

A few weeks ago Mr. J and I went on a long weekend. We decided to go up to Grand Rapids, Michigan. I had read that it was a great location to go for breweries. When we got our guide it said "A great place for a beercation"  We loved that.  So we loaded up the truck & set out after my morning run.  We didn't really have an agenda other than we knew where we were staying on Friday night. We decided just to head towards our hotel and see what we found.  We found a great little western wear shop just off the highway in the middle of nowhere. I don't remember what it was called or where it was located (blog fail!) but we had a really fun time! 

Mr. J & the big letter J!

He probably won't appreciate that I posted this BUT he was having fun trying on boots and this is the pose I got when I told him I wanted to take a picture.  I love this man!!

Our first stop was the Grand Rapids Brewing Company (or GRBC if you are a local). We weren't very hungry but thought we would grab a drink and sit down and relax while.  Since I'm gf (gluten free) drinking beer is out of the question but most places have either cider or wine and I will gladly drink either! I got a wonderful blueberry cider from a local company and Mr. J got a flight of assorted beers. It went from light to dark and even a couple were fruity.  It was a nice way for him to try a little bit of what they offered without ordering an entire beer.  And the wood carrier was too cute! He enjoyed almost all their beers (he isn't a fruity beer fan) and even said how nice the brown ale was! 

Next we went down the road to HopCat Brewery and decided to have dinner. I unfortunately didn't take pictures of our food?! I don't know how that happened other than I was just SUPER hungry.  Our waitress was AWESOME!!  I asked her about the gf drink options and not only did she drink me out an entire different drink menu (with TONS of cider!) but she also pointed me away from the things on the food menu that were NOT gluten free.  That is really helpful because I didn't want to spend my vacation sick! I also wasn't sure which cider to order, as I had already tried the blueberry I didn't want that or just a plain apple again, she pointed me towards this "Totally Roasted" cider by Vandermill Ciders. She described it tasting like candied pecans with a hint of cinnamon & vanilla.  I said "You had me at candied pecans!". I thanked her several times for the information.  This was an AMAZING cider! It reminded me of the German roasted almonds that you get at the fair.  YUM! It was awesome!  I also ate an olive burger with Swiss and blue cheese (thankfully the blue cheese didn't bother me). Obviously I ordered it without the bun and with a salad on the side since their fries were beer battered. It was AWESOME! Mr. J had a bacon cheese burger & the fries and said both were lovely. I don't remember what he had to drink but I'm guess some kind of beer! They actually run a special that is beer & a burger for $7! What a great deal for a giant burger and tasty beer!

The next morning we needed a good hearty breakfast because we were going to be busy during lunch. Before we left home we looked on Yelp to find a good local eatery.  We searched our hometown first to make sure that it would pull up a good one and the top restaurant was one of our favorite local breakfast places so we decided to trust it when it told us to go to the Real Food Cafe.  It was in a very residential area about 10 min from our hotel. And from the outside it didn't look like much so we weren't sure what to expect.  Let me tell you! This place is AMAZING!!  They make everything from scratch! The bread was fresh from a local bakery, they had fresh local baked goods including cinnamon rolls the size of your head (a post about that coming soon!). I ordered a southwest scrambler.  It had eggs, onions, tomatoes, and fresh made chorizo. This was the best chorizo I've EVER had!  It was super fresh and the taste was not harsh or too hot.  Just delicious.  This plate was empty when I left!

So far out vacation was off to a great start! Especially after I saw this Michigan sculpture! It was made of wood & metal and was just beautiful.  I asked Mr. J if he could get one for our house but he didn't seem too excited. Oh well.  Up next is day 2 & 3 of our vacation.  Stayed tuned because we get a little crazy! Ok, we don't, we are old but we did make a dinner reservation for 8 pm!  YEP!  We stayed out LATE! 

Love, Lacey