Thursday, 26 April 2012

To Holland without a passport!

Holland, MI, that is :)

Friday, 20 Apr 2012

We set off at 4 pm for Middlebury, IN, where we stayed the night at the Country Victorian B&B.

Lorie and Arnie who run the B&B had such a nice place! We could tell that they have put in a lot of effort and attention at the details that make the place so pretty and comfortable. Below are some photos I took at night and the next morning when I woke early and walked around the house.

It's an old house dating back to the late 1800s. The porch would be lovely in warmer weather!

Sito and I took the English Room on the ground floor - I'm lazy to climb stairs hoho! It has a blue theme, with decorative plates hanging all over. There's a fake fireplace that got too hot for us in the middle of the night! The bathroom was nice - with enough hooks for towels! :)

This shows C's pink Peppermint Room with a pink bathroom just outside - we loved it! And also T's Serenity Suite with a really nice sitting area - but my camera sucks!!

So anyway, we checked in pretty late at 9pm eastern time due to a jam back in Chicago and one of the few neighbourhood places still open for a decent dinner was Rulli's. They got one of our orders wrong and brought out both orders but charged only one - we were quite happy.

Sito and I watched the last bit of Aliens vs. Predators in our queen bed before we slept - it felt small as we've been sleeping in a king bed in Evanston but it was so comfortable!

Saturday, 21 Apr 2012

While waiting for breakfast to be ready, some of us sat around in the cosy living room.

Source: C

Us at the breakfast table! It was so nicely decorated with real flowers! And note the pretty cloth covers for the juice (and water, not in picture). Behind us was a table full of snacks for guests. On the other side was a little bay window which was like a gift shop, and a counter for water and hot beverages.

Source: C

Our breakfast! Fruit cocktail with whipped cream and a scone, and a quiche of sorts with crispy bacon. Very yummy and filling :)

Satisfied, we set off for our destination - Holland, MI!

But before that, we took a slight detour to drive along the Amish Heritage Trail using a map and an audio guide I downloaded onto my phone! It was mostly nature and endless country roads - yes we sang that song!

We started out from Essenhaus near our B&B. There, we saw some Amish people and a carpark for their horse buggies. I bought a small loaf of whole wheat bread! :)

Next stop was Goshen. Um, I forgot what we saw :p

The next point was Nappanee. We passed by some cows on the way there.. And we stopped at the Amish Acres where we played with some puzzles at a gift shop. The shop also sold Amish dolls - without facial features "to follow the belief of the Amish people, not to be vain and prideful".

We drove by Wakarusa where there was a Maple Syrup Festival - looked quite interesting but unfortunately, we were running late so we drove on without stopping.. Same for Elkhart..

And finally, we arrived in Holland! We walked around looking for lunch...

Source: C

.. and found it in Froggy's! They mixed up a lot of orders. And while the burgers looked quite good, my Philly cheese steak fell way short of expectation... But well, they have vinegar over fries chips! :p

Source: C

We decided to go for the Windmill Island Gardens instead of the free park. And it was a good choice! So pretty! :)

Love these tulips! Thought the black / dark violet ones were very interesting..

And the girls with the flowers! :)

C took a really nice shot of the group against the windmill using her tripod. We were almost in old Holland!

Source: C

Took a tour of the windmill. This was our guide on level four, I think... The windmill is still in use but not this year as the miller is away on maternity leave!

Finally a shot of the windmill from the front.

I had to run off to the toilet - ya, drank too much and baby was on bladder *.* - before rejoining the group at the big plot of tulips behind the windmill.

Source: C

And this is a candid shot of us leaving the area. I really like it :)

Source: C

After visiting the greenhouse and the gift shop, where I bought some Oreo cookie fudge, we set off for home via Saugatuck. The town area is really small.. We had only one aim - to find ice-cream!! Sito had a strawberry cream ice-cream. The shop also has many chocolatey sweets, like these cute "bear claws".

And then, we headed back to our car, walking along the dock. And we saw this:

Singapore Yacht Club?!

Well, there is a ghost town of Singapore just north of downtown Saugatuck. Apparently, there is nothing there now - everything was burnt down in 1871 and then buried by sand dunes! Some guy must have been to Singapore and named the town after us.. I mean, it's not some angmoh name but Singapore lor!!

Another candid shot by C - yup, it was cold...

Source: C

And so we left for home. We were supposed to have dinner in Michigan City along the way but none of us was hungry by the time we reached this Greek restaurant. So we drove on to Chicago and ended up in Sun Wah at Argyle! I'm not a big fan but surprisingly, C was rather taken with the roast duck :p

Ok, ending this post with a reminder of my spoils! Finished the bread yesterday - with peanut butter, no less - but the fudge is still in the cabinet.. I really shouldn't be having such sweet things but I figure, no harm having a tea spoon here and there! :p

So I guess this trip is the last of our trips in the US - for now anyway... We're rather tired after three consecutive weekends of activity - two for me cos I didn't go to Vegas. In any case, I'm due to fly home soon so let me be a good girl, rest at home and get packing!

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