Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Small town living and why I love GRR

There are a lot of things I miss about SoCal like my BFF Lynn and her family, high tech companies and ocean surf.   When we moved to Grand Rapids, we really had no idea what it would be like.  Honestly, we thought it would be like LA with less traffic.  Well, we were wrong.  There are so many things that we love about living here.  Paul had a new colleague move to Grand Rapids recently.  Helping him (and his family) integrate into the community has been fun.  We had so many terrific things to share that I decided to put it in writing.  Or blog.  
Benefits
1.   Everything is accessible in 20 minutes or less.  Really.
2.   Best beer on tap.  Visit Founders.  You won't ever want to leave.
3.   We have a terrific local store, Meijer- great groceries, produce, health and beauty supplies.  They have it all and at terrific prices.
4.  We have great entertainment here.  Major shows, bands and concerts come through Grand Rapids.  Since moving here, we have seen The Who, Elvis Costello, The Police, Fleetwood Mac, the Stanley Cup, great hockey, symphonies and orchestras.  All at extremely affordable prices.
5.  Good art and resources here - modern and traditional art galleries for adults and kids, a zoo and the Frederik Meijer Gardens.
6.   45 minutes to Lake Michigan.  3-4 hours to Lake Huron.  2 1/2 hours to Chicago and Detroit.
7.  We experience the most stunningly beautiful seasons that I have ever known.  Spend a few weeks here during the fall and you will see what I see each year.   God's handiwork with a paint brush.
8.   We have great small, local stores like Art of the Table, Wealthy Street Bakery and Bigby Coffee.  We try and frequent them often.  
Drawbacks
1.  It is unfortunate but we have horrible airline service in GR.  Most expensive travel that we have ever experienced.  Hopefully adding additional airlines, it will drive prices down.  I would do ANYTHING to have SouthWest here.
2.   Really expensive auto insurance.  No fault is not our friend, at least to our pocket book.
3.  Bad roads due to wildly fluctuating temperatures between the summers and winters.  The potholes here would be considered small ponds in other states.
4.  People outside of Michigan think Detroit IS Michigan.  It is not. We are NOT Detroit. Most of the state is really NOT Detroit.
5.  We have not outlawed smoking in public places.  That will ALL CHANGE on 5/1/10.  Woo hoo. Way too long.

Come visit us, won't you?  Visit Michigan for ideas to experience #pureMichigan.   
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