Sunday, July 29, 2007
Coast Guard City USA
Friday we traveled to River Pines RV Resort, which is close to Coast Guard City USA, otherwise known as Grand Haven, Michigan. Every year for well over 80 years Grand Haven has been putting on a festival to recognize the US Coast Guard. After 38 years associated with the Coast Guard, it seemed about time to attend one of these festivals.
After setting up on Friday, Anneke checked the internet for traditional Dutch stores in the area. Since this area was largely settled by Dutch immigrants, we found several to choose from. We headed out to one near Grand Rapids and stocked on all our favorite Dutch treats- aged Dutch cheeses, stroop waffles, various cookies and mints.
We saw that the campground was having a community campfire and social gathering. This seemed like a great opportunity to have a fire without actually having to get it going. It turned out to be a very enjoyable evening sharing campfire cooking ideas (along with samples) and the travel stories of around 15 our fellow travelers and campground staff.
Grand Haven proved to be yet another quaint, well kept lake shore community with a bent towards many festivals to keep the town going. We checked out the locations of the various scheduled events and purchased advance tickets for the entertainment performances that we were sure we wanted to see. The first of these was Saturday evening and was a parrot head style concert by the Son of Beaches band that mostly played Jimmy Buffet tunes. I became a real Buffet fan while working in Miami and it was a great time. The concert was held along the waterfront in great weather. It addition to the concert, there was a steady stream of boats going back and forth. The evening was capped off by a performance of the Western Michigan fire burners, who thrilled the crowd while performing acrobatics while handling various burning objects.