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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Burger Tour Day 3, Storage Unit Day 3

HOLLA!!! My vacation is half over. It makes me very sad. I've really enjoyed my time off and I have gotten a lot done so far this week.

Update on the 2011 Burger Tour. Today my sister and I were planning on visiting my storage unit again since today was supposed to be the last day of nice weather. Since we were going to Sparta, we decided to detour to Rockford to continue our burger tour at the Corner Bar. The Corner Bar in Rockford is known for its hot dogs and if you can eat 12 dogs you get your name on the wall. So it was kind of a surprise that they placed in the top five for the best burgers in West Michigan. The menu claims that they have "Dam Big Burgers" (or was it "Dam Good Burgers"?). There is a dam in Rockford so that is how they came up with the catchy title for their burgers. Dianne wanted just a cheese burger and I went with a cheddar cheese burger that came with lettuce, tomato, and onions. Homemade chips were on the side. The burger was very big and I could only eat half of it. It was very good and we felt that it beat out the Choo Choo's burger from yesterday. But we still think that the Brown Bear is taking the top spot so far for flavor and yumminess. Tomorrow we are going to the Station Grill in Muskegon. I've been there once before and the burger was good but I don't think it was as good as the Brown Bear. But we'll see how it is tomorrow. It will be a new experience for Dianne.

When we finished lunch, we headed over to the Wolverine World Wide Shoe Outlet to see if I could find new boots for this winter. I found some slip on clog like ducks there a few years ago and was hoping to find some new ones but no such luck today. It sucks to have such huge feet. Everything that fit was kind of ugly and the stuff that was cute was too small. I guess I need to check out the clown shoe store next. LOL.

So on to Sparta to my storage unit. We dove right in and pulled out empty boxes and empty totes into the driveway so we could get to the small mountain of junk that we still had to go thru. We dug right in and started loading stuff into the car for charity. I cannot believe the Christmas stuff I had that I had forgotten about. It seemed like the car was full in no time so we headed off to Mel Trotter's Mission Store to donate the stuff. When we got back from dropping the stuff at charity, we came back to kind of organize the empty bins and boxes and I just ran out of steam. I could not concentrate and was flitting from box to box. I decided it was time to put the stuff back in the unit and head for home before traffic got too bad. I did find the nativity set I bought years ago that I thought was so cute. Now I can put it out this Christmas and enjoy it. We also brought home a few boxes of books to go thru so I can sell them. It felt so good to come home and just stand in the shower and get the storage unit dirt off me. My sister thinks I should feel good about how little is left but I cannot wait until the unit is empty and it is all behind me. Then I can tackle the next pile of crap that I can find to go thru. It's never ending. NEVER ENDING!!! But I just keep praying for patience and persiverance to keep going and keep elminating my hoard.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Burger Tour Day 2

The Burger Tour continues today!!! My sister and I have sampled yet another burger joint.

We started out the day at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. It's been a while since my sister has been there and she wanted to go so we spent the morning there. It was not busy at all and I always enjoy my visits. The 20 minute movie they have was just starting after we got there so we sat thru that and then headed to the exhibits. I always learn something new everytime I go there and I always get a kick out of the beginning of the exhibits when you step back into the 70's where leisure suits, platform sneakers, macrame and eight track tapes were the norm. When we got to the end of the exhibits we found out that a new traveling exhibit about Benjamin Franklin is starting on Friday. I was bummed that we didn't know about it. But I did find out that the museum is free on Labor Day and even though Dianne is going home on Sunday, I might just take myself down to the museum to see the new exhibit. After strolling thru the museum we went out to see the President's and Mrs. Ford's graves.

After the museum we headed out to our second burger joint on the 2011 West Michigan Burger Tour. Choo Choo Grill here we come. Luckily when we got there there as an open booth that we could slip right into. In case you have never been there this is a very tiny restaurant. I think it might hold 18 people total at one time. My sister had an olive burger with cheese and I had the Depot Burger which was a deluxe burger with ham and cheddar cheese. It was very good but I have to say it was not as good as the Brown Bear's burger that I had yesterday. We played tourist when we left there and I made Dianne pose for a picture on the steps under the awning.

Since we were halfway to Sparta, we decided to head up to my storage unit up there to get rid of more stuff. We didn't stay long but we did pack up a bunch of stuff that belonged in the dumpster and some books that I am going to sell. It's amazing the stuff I have. This storage unit has made me realize that I have accumulated way more than I ever needed or wanted. Plus I know that the stuff that is going away will never be back and I will never be going down this road again. I have a much more critical eye when I look at things now. Retailers are so good at marketing crap to the vulnerable masses. I don't want to be a collector of crap again.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Let the Burger Tour Begin!!!

It is day four of vacation and we finally went for our first burger on the West Michigan Burger Tour. My friend, Deb, joined my sister and I to kick off our burger tour. We decided to hit the joint that was claimed to be the best by the news anchor at WZZM TV. Like he said, they were all good but the station made him pick a winner. The first place winner was The Brown Bear Tavern in Shelby, MI. When we walked into the bar, the first thing you notice are all these different chandaliers hanging from the ceiling. So totally unexpected and out of place but yet they all looked like they belonged there. The Brown Bear is known for the Bear Burger which is a one pound burger. Lucky for us, they also have a Cub version which is a 1/2# and a Wimpy version which is a 1/4#. We all opted for the Wimpy burgers. Dianne and Deb both ordered the olive burger and I ordered a Pine-a-Pino burger which had ham, pineapple, lettuce, tomato, onion, and bleu cheese crumbles and jalapenos. I asked for it without jalapenos but unfortunately, they left the pineapple off as well. But the burger was delicious even without it. They claimed on the menu that they used top quality meat and it made all the difference and I have to agree the meat was excellent. They also had bakery buns which were yummy too. Like Deb pointed out the condiments did not take away from the flavor of the burger itself. We all agreed that the burgers at the Brown Bear were excellent. We would all highly recommend the trip to Shelby for a burger at the Brown Bear.

We decided since we drove all the way to Shelby we might as well walk thru town. (It's like a block or two long.) They had a nice Good Neighbor Pharmacy so we stopped in. The cashier was very friendly and greeted us and told us about the sales that were going on. Dianne and I both ended up buying a Tervis tumbler.

Our next stop was the Shelby Gem Factory. We were greeted by Larry Kelly who started the company. He ushered us into a theatre to watch a 10 minute video about how their synthetic gems are made. When the video was over we oohed and ahhed over the gems themselves in the showroom. The gems there are really beautiful at a fraction of the cost of the real thing. According to the guy we spoke to in the showroom some of the stones they produce are stronger than the real stones especially the softer stones like amythests and emeralds.

Our next stop was Country Dairy in New Era. We missed our exit to get off at New Era and had to take a 5 mile detour to get there. We especially wanted some cheese curds and ice cream. We knocked around the store and picked up some cheese curds, aspargus brats (can't wait to try them), and garlic chive cheddar cheese. Then of course, we ordered hot fudge sundaes. Gotta say, those sundaes were delicious. We decided not to go on the tour of the dairy because it was getting kind of late and we didn't know if we really wanted to spend $6 a piece for the tour. So we headed home however we some how ended up back in Shelby. We were going in the wrong direction and didn't even realize it. Plus it was only like a couple miles down the road to the dairy that we had gone at least 10 miles out of the way on the way there. We all burst into laughs when we realized where we were.

It was a really great day. The weather was perfect, the burger was perfect and the sundae was perfect. We had a great time.

Tomorrow it's off to the Gerald R. Ford Presidental Museum and the Choo Choo Grill for another burger. Stay tuned for updates.

Friday, August 26, 2011

VACATION AUGUST 2011

Hey, hey, hey...it's vacation time!!! Six years ago my sister and I took vacation this very same week in August. We went to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and had a great time. We were planning on doing that again this year but we didn't have the extra cash to spend so she came to Michigan yesterday and we are just hanging around here. Our main goals are to clean out my storage unit in Sparta and to complete our West Michigan Burger Tour. One of the local TV stations had a contest to find the best burger joint in West Michigan then they visited the top five burger joints and picked a winner. So now we aim to visit the top five places and pick our own winner. The contestants are the Brown Bear Tavern in Shelby, the Station Grill in Muskegon, Goog's in Holland, Choo Choo Grill in Grand Rapids, and The Corner Bar in Rockford. Their pick was the Brown Bear in Shelby which is known for it's one pound burger. So stay tuned for our reviews.

Six years ago when my sister and I took vacation one of our fondest memories was staying in a hotel across from the Soo Locks in Sault Sainte Marie. We both love the locks and it was so nice looking out our windows and seeing the locks and the ships going by. If you've never been there, it is definitely a place you should visit at least once in your life. Put it on your bucket list for sure. So while we were there Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. This time around Hurricane Irene is going to hit the east coast. When ever we had the TV on while we were on vacation six years ago it was pretty much non stop hurricane coverage. My sister is already searching the TV for hurricane programing.

Speaking of the hurricane one of my best friends is an insurance appraiser. My friend, Deb, (that just moved here from Denver in June) was called out this morning to head east. I called her this afternoon and she said they were packing up the camper to head to Richmond, VA, tomorrow morning. We stopped to see her and Gordy for a few minutes this afternoon. She said they could be gone for a few months to a year. I hope it's a quick trip for them and I hope they are home soon.

So stay tuned for more of Bev's Wild Adventures. I mean what could be more adventurous than a burger tour? TTFN!!! (Ta-ta for now!!!)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Crap, Crap and More Crap

Hello to all my friends from Bev at Crap Central. So as many of you know I am a recovering Crapaholic (or hoarder if you prefer). I have a storage unit in Sparta that I have had for oh I don't know maybe six years now. My goal is to elimate this storage unit and I have been working hard on it when I can but as many of you are aware, it has been an unbearably hot summer. The last time I went to the unit was the second weekend of June and loaded up my trunk with 15 boxes of stuff to go thru. Well they rode around in my trunk up until the last weekend of July. The only reason I unloaded them then was because I got up at 6:30 in the morning on a Saturday to move my car back in front of my building (they were redoing the parking lot and I had to park away from my building that night). I decided since it was only like 80 degrees instead of 90 and I hadn't taken a shower yet, I would unload my trunk. Plus I had a primo spot right by the stairs.

So I decided I had to do something with it today and I tackled some of the boxes in my kitchen. I threw away pretty much all of two boxes really quickly. Then I started on a box that was marked "Living Room-Unpack" so I was thinking it was from when I moved from my house on Preston to my Mom and Dad's house in 2001. Yeah, NO!!! It was stuff I packed up in 1986 when I moved into my house on Preston. OMG!!! I had three beautiful stacking ash trays. I can't tell you the last time someone smoked in my house. An alarm clock that was probably one of the earliest models of digital alarms. A Santa bank with $2 in quarters in it, a wooden ANR semi model, a really fancy cut glass candy dish, a pine cone (from where? not sure), a cute donkey figurine and my favorite, a figurine of the RCA dog. He's on my shelf now. The donkey is going to work tomorrow to live with my Smart Ass and Dumb Ass statues. So anyway I have a couple of boxes packed up for charity and I huge bag went to the dumpster. I also got caught up on my shredding today. That felt really good. I have been putting it off for along time and it is finally done. YAY!!!

So small accomplishments today put I am really pleased with what I got done today. Just praying for the strength to carry on and keep on keepin' on. So if you could say a prayer for me too, I would appreciate it.