Monday, June 10, 2013

Day 22 - Mackinaw City & Holland

This is a decent size lake at a place called Cadillac in Michigan - a serene part of the city next to the main street

Now.....pick the one who has the green-finger? In Cadillac, Michigan

Fishing in the fountain? Cadillac, Michigan

Check out the park bench in Cadillac, Michigan

Playing with statues in Cadillac, Michigan

Ralph having a break along Highway 131, Michigan

Very similar to the Murrumbidgee River at Wagga Wagga - peaceful but the currents are another story. At the Riverside Park, the Muskegon River at Big Rapids, Michigan

Same location as above - a good warning to those who are foolhardy to try and take the chance of swimming in the Muskegon River, Big Rapids, Michigan

Nelis' Dutch Village and Shops, James Street, Holland, Michigan - it's free to enter and walk around

Next to Nelis' Dutch Village and Shops - notice the pay booth pass the arch - it's not free to enter, Holland, Michigan

For $9.50 USD all you can eat at a Bistro Restaurant near our hotel Holland, Michigan. Anne checking out her choices!!!!!!!

It was sad leaving the Mackinaw/Mackinac district today, we had such a great time at a great place. Nevertheless we had to press on. Leaving at 8:30 am we drove down the I-75 for a distance and veered west to Cadillac in Michigan. There was a sign that we passed through the 45 deg north latitude which marks  a spot half way between the North Pole and the Equator - wow!! We stopped at a town called Cadillac for a break and a walk around. A nice town with a nice name - did not see any Cadillac cars! Continuing southwards we stopped at Big Rapids for lunch next to the Muskegon River. The river is a extremely fast flowing waterway system and anybody would be crazy the swim in that river - some have with fatal results. We made our destination at Holland at 2:30 pm, checked-in to our hotel and toured the town. Naturally with a name of Holland, the area was settled by the Dutch. Names like van de Kolk, Boer and many with van in their names were plastered on signs and letter boxes. The main tourist attractions are the Windmills Island Gardens with an impressive windmill and a village with Dutch influences. Serious dollars to pay if we wanted to enter these we avoided these. There was a shopping complex next to the Dutch Village which was free, so we wandered around the shops and even bought some clothes for our grandson Lakeyn. We even tried to see Lake Michigan to no avail. Private houses have been built to prevent any viewing spots but....there was a park that allowed visitors to see the lake - yes there was a fee to enter this public park! Everywhere we went you had to pay if you wanted to enjoy public tourist sites - talk about being greedy! Holland has a lot of empty wholesale and retail buildings. There are many buildings that are boarded up which once were restaurants and other businesses. We assume that the poor US economy was the cause for these closures. Tomorrow we head off to Chicago. A short trip driving through the maze of expressways, tollways etc etc. We are staying at a B&B very close to the centre of Chicago. It will be an easy venture to hop on a "loop" train to go to the guts of Chicago. Therefore our priority is to bed Ralph down for three nights in a nearby safe car park and use public transport. Hopefully we'll have WiFi tomorrow to continue our daily blogspot input. Cheers.  

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