1 august 2007 Sometimes timing works against you. Due to the heat we hung around the motorhome Tuesday and cleaned. So we were ready to get out and do something. We had a Coast Guard retiree dinner planned but wanted to get out before that, so we headed to the Frederic Meijer’s Garden Park in Grand Rapids. This large garden was developed by the founder of the Meijer store chain. It is a large complex that contains a number of indoor and outdoor gardens featuring plants from around the globe. In addition, it has a sculpture garden, children’s garden and a farmstead from the 1930’s. It is a beautiful place to visit, but as I said timing is everything and it was hotter today then yesterday with the temperature in the parking lot at mid afternoon reaching 104 degrees as measured by my auto temperature gauge. As an aside, five years ago we visited in March and it was so cold we were barely able to spend any time on the outside exhibits.
The botanical garden’s variety covered desert to rain forest to urban gardens including a large collection of carnivore plants. The sculpture area included Henry Moore, Rodin, Zadkine, and a giant horse envisioned by Leonardo Da Vinci 500 years ago, and many more. The farmstead depicts a fully self sufficient farm in Michigan In the 1930’s. I noted that they opted for animals on the display that require no attention.
They had a special exhibit about the Cocoa tree and the wonderful products that come from this bean. We enjoyed our free sample at the end of the tour. After taking a short break to recover from the near heat stroke, we headed to Grand Haven for the Coast Guard retiree dinner. The group was largely local retirees, but we had a good time. We sat at a table with a one retiree who started his career the year I was born and retired when I had eight years of service. We were also joined by an active duty ensign who was commissioned only five weeks ago. Several others were somewhere in the middle. It made for an interesting discussion.