• Elisabeth Bachmann

A Week Back in Grand Rapids

When you travel, do you get a feeling of dread when it comes time to leave? I know I do. Right now I am sitting in a plane and writing this blog post while looking over the clouds. You can’t tell from up here, but there was a severe wind advisory during take off — which was very turbulent. My family was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to get back to North Carolina for Thanksgiving. Luckily, I’m well on my way. As long as I run through the airport to make my connecting flight without bulldozing anyone. I guess this is what it’s like to travel to the midwest — obnoxiously long layovers or sprinting through the terminals in unfortunately high booties.

Either way it was worth it to spend time with him during my holiday break. We did four really fun things that I wanted to share: 1) the International Wine, Beer, and Food Festival 2) taking Layla on a hike 3) the Grand Rapids Brewing Company happy hour and 4) HopCat happy hour.

On Saturday we weren’t to the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer, and Food Festival. Meijer had little plates of food that were just inexpensive and filling enough to keep everyone sober enough to keep trying other drinks. They kept telling us we could eat the flowers on the plate — I’m not so sure about that, but he did it and seems okay. Some of my favorites included alcoholic Strawberry Whipped cream from Liquor Whipped, and a mead cider called Necro from B. Nektar.

One of the best parts of the event was all of the stickers on display. To be honest, we took so many stickers from all of the vendors that we don’t even know what beers/ciders they identified. It was a lot of fun though, and I’m looking forward to coming up with an art project to use them.

Monday we took Layla (see image below) on a hike near Ada, MI. It was a much needed outing for her because she doesn’t particularly love living in a one bedroom apartment where she only gets to walk on a short leash on the concrete in a downtown area. The nature was beautiful for us too, but it was so cold (Southern girl tries to tolerate Michigan cold — yikes).

Also, Layla decided to roll in a dead opossum. It took five scrub downs with two showers to get rid of the stench. We’re not sure if the smell is ever going to get out of the car. On the plus side, her coat is shinier and softer than its been in a long time — and she seems somewhat calmer than she was before.

After the hike, we went to one of our favorite happy hours in Grand Rapids at Grand Rapids Brewing Co. They have half-off all appetizers and half-off beers that are six dollars or less. This is the perfect deal for two twenty-somethings that are just starting out on their own. We also decided to try a flight of beer.

I personally loved their house made seltzer, the nitro coffee stout, and the princess lemon sour beer. Honestly, the Nitro Coffee Stout may be one of the best beers I have had. This happy hour is not hyped up enough in GR, and if you’re in the area you should definitely check it out — and get the Brewers Board and the Local. (This is not an advertisement, just a glowing, unpaid review.)

Yesterday, we visited HopCat for their happy hour. Although I didn’t love their happy hour special as much as Grand Rapids Brewing Co., we still had a great time. We tried their mini burgers, pretzel bites, and cheese curds — appetizers were half-off and their beers were $1.50 off each. I also tried their hard seltzer and their S’mores Stout. The S’mores Stout was really good, but I am definitely glad I got it as my “dessert beer” because I could not have drank it and eaten at the same time.

Overall it was a really fun trip where I got to spend time with my boyfriend, hike, and try new things! I can’t wait to move up to Grand Rapids more permanently — less than one month away. :)

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