Grand rapids

Sangrias and Ball Gowns

Saturday was an official “spring day” here in Michigan, so Paul and I headed to Grand Rapids to meet up with some fabulous friends of ours, Doug and Samay, to enjoy the city’s best sangrias at San Chez:

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What an eclectic place! Amazing food (I had vanilla, maple steel-cut oats), free-spirited atmosphere, and the sangrias were to die for!

After breakfast, the boys headed out to visit all of the local breweries while Samay and I chatted and finished off 2 pitchers of sangrias. We have officially launched the tradition of Sangria Saturday.

What else are 2 girls to do on a glorious spring day in down town Grand Rapids after inhaling that much sangria? Shop of course! 

An hour of meandering the shops and streets, Samay wanted to go look at a jewelry store which so happened to be located right next to a bridal salon. Samay dragged me in… I didn’t want to be the “yet to be engaged woman looking at dresses”.  But I was welcomed with open arms, strong arms, that before I knew it had me in a dressing room. 

“Ok, one dress” I said to myself. 

The first dress was an A-line Lazaro that looked gorgeous on the mannequin, but quickly turned into a taffeta monster once I started to dive into it. I swear to God, I thought it was going to eat me alive. It was ginormous, uncomfortable, and I felt like a massive cupcake. 

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This is dress 1. Not me in dress 1 of course. I almost wish I had allowed pictures so you could all laugh along with me.

You know what isn’t fun? **TMI ALERT***Trying on wedding dresses when you are 40lbs over weight, hung-over, haven’t washed your hair in days, on the 2nd day of your period and pretty sure  you need to change your tampon, and needing to poop.  Oh yeah, how is that for the bridal glow.

When I got the first itchy monstrosity off of me, they had 3 more in the dressing room waiting for me. So picture me in the dressing room in a Target bra which didn’t match my polka dot bikini briefs and green and white striped Michigan State calf socks…. unshaven for many moons.  SEXY.

My second dress was a hideous beaded corset top with another A-line skirt. Just no.

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These dresses don’t look like this on normal people with a top knot and no makeup.

As I sauntered gracelessly back into the dressing room, trying not to trip on or rip my third massive gown, the sales woman says to me, “You don’t wear dresses often do you?”.

I raise an  eyebrow at her, because this is the most absurd question I had been asked all day. “What do I look like, a Disney princess? No, I don’t frequently wear ballgowns”.

The fourth dress was actually a surprise to me.  It was a trumpet silhouette and was the most flattering of them all. Not hating it aside, I denied their request for more dresses and raced to the dressing room to escape, passing another incoming bride who was ecstatic to try on dresses.  From the looks of her, not only did she have the bride gene, but she wasn’t hung over, had washed her hair and had probably shaved her legs in the last 2 weeks. I was more than happy to tap her into the “master bridal suite”.

Note to self: prepare for a trip to a bridal salon by shaving, wearing cute underwear, doing your hair and makeup, but never forget to always: 

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And really, at the end of the day, I’ll have fun getting married even if I’m in sweatpants and a hoodie (which I assure you I won’t be). 

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Adventures at Art Prize

Paul and I had the pleasure of heading to the west side of Michigan yesterday for a friend’s birthday party, allowing us to sneak into Grand Rapids on the way home to check out Art Prize.

I have referenced my love for Grand Rapids in previous posts, but I love the city more and more with each visit, and this time was no exception.

Art Prize is an art contest in which artists from around the world create, install, build, etc. art throughout the entire city; in restaurants, businesses, hotels, on the street, in the river, and the public vote on the winner.

This was my first Art Prize experience, and it did not disappoint. Image

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bridge color

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This guy, who was in Founder Brewing Co., was a little bit scary. Very cool at the same time because it was made entirely of natural materials like moss, sticks, etc. (except for the light up eyes).

My angle could have been better on this photo, but he is actually fishing...

My angle could have been better on this photo, but he is actually fishing…

There was an amazing Buddah fixture that looked to be made of hanging tiles

There was an amazing Buddah fixture that looked to be made of hanging tiles

buddah close

Buffalo sculpted out of wood

Buffalo sculpted out of wood

My favorite of the day

My favorite of the day

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There was also a baby panda :)

There was also a baby panda 🙂

The pandas were made out of bike tires

The pandas were made out of bike tires

I am not even sure what this was made out of. Some sort of media art, but it was beautiful.

I am not even sure what this was made out of. Some sort of media art, but it was beautiful.

The art was amazing, but it was invigorating to see the city so alive with energy.  There were people every where! Grand Rapids always has a great vibe, but adding in street vendors and performers gave it a whole new atmosphere.

Juggler

Juggler

juggler bw

street player

And then there is the architecture in Grand Rapids.  There are streets that, to me, feel like Chicago collided with Europe.  It really is a beautiful downtown.

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lantern and molding

police

fire escape

windows

black and white building

Beautiful Grand Rapids

Beautiful Grand Rapids

30 Days of New: Day 19 and 20

I know, I am completely slacking (why am I so inclined to use the term “slack-a-lacking”?… I’m a nerd…), but here is the recap for Friday and Saturday.

Friday was a very boring day in the new events department.  I mixed up a new tempeh spaghetti and Paul and I started a new series on Netflix that is not good, not bad, just semi-entertaining called “Hemlock Grove”.  It is a Netflix original series, and I think it is trying to capitalize on the whole vampire vs. werewolf thing, but in a more gruesome, scandalous, adult way.  It’s okay.

Saturday we found ourselves in Grand Rapids for the “Black Party” at Founder Brewing Company.  Founders makes a really quality line up of beers, and the Black Party is something they do annually to celebrate their darker beers and to tap a few special ones.  I was the D.D., so Paul and our friend Ryan were having a blast sampling all the different kinds of beers (Paul and pretty much all of our friends are beer snobs).

A few hours into the event, I was feeling tired and decided to nap in the car.  What can I say?  My super power is being able to sleep any where at any time, I think a lot of this has to do with George.

When I woke up about an hour later, I decided to do some exploring around Grand Rapids in search of some tea.

I found an awesome spot called Mad Cap where they do single drips for each cup of coffee that is ordered.  It is a very trendy little place with a minimalist approach to their decorating, but just a very cool space.  I then drove around for a little bit just checking out some of the architecture there.

Grand Rapids is an amazing city.  If you are ever traveling around Michigan, I would highly recommend a stop off there.  It has a big city feel in a smaller city space.  It is artsy, has great restaurants, amazing architecture, bars all over, and has now been named Beer City, USA from what I have been told.

Once it is warmer, I am hoping to spend some more time downtown walking around and exploring.  I have been going to Grand Rapids my whole life, but the trips have always been to a specific destination in town and then we head right home (a la Founders trips).  They also host some great races, so maybe I will pick up a half marathon or marathon there this year.

So Saturday was a new, albeit short, adventure around Grand Rapids:

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Mad Cap coffee set up

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My favorite, the view from across the street from the Mad Cap:

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