Grand Rapids is gorgeous


Today was a day of bicycling around to different parks, plus a vegan bakery.

It was a good day.

First I stopped at a nearby locally owned natural food store, Harvest Health Foods, where I discovered a very decadent locally made cookie called a Fugly Chocolate Chipple. (Any old-time vegans reading remember those amazing Liz Lovely cookies? This was similar… and made right here in Grand Rapids!)

Then I headed north to Riverside Park, which my friend Karleen had recommended. It was lush and beautiful, with a great bridge in the middle and Canada geese roaming around. I sat on several benches and enjoyed the feel of the place.

Then I went back south, toward downtown, to grab some late lunch.

I had hoped to hit up the vegetarian Egyptian restaurant A Taste of Cairo, but sadly when I arrived at 4:10, the owners were just leaving. (Google Maps had erroneously told me they were open until 6:00.) I grabbed a hummus and fatoush wrap at another nearby restaurant, and then biked west to reach the vegan (and gluten free) bakery called Rise Authentic Baking Company. The large selection in their two cases made it hard to decide, but I finally landed on a “Mostess” cupcake, and enjoyed it while recharging my phone.

Then I was able to reach my next destination of Millennium Park, about a half-hour ride away, entirely on car-free paths through adjoining parks, which was very pleasant.

Millennium did not disappoint. It is a huge park with many forested trails, beautiful bridges, and sunny areas near various lakes and creeks. I basked in the feel of it for a couple of hours, alternating between relaxing on benches and pedaling around the various paths.

By the time I got ready to leave, I found myself in a golden-hour paradise along the creek. The tree groves were absolutely magical in that light.

Tomorrow I will meet up with Karleen, to visit the Meijer Gardens and the beach town of Grand Haven. We also plan to visit a vegan Ethiopian restaurant for lunch. The rain early tomorrow morning is forecast to clear up before we head out. Should be a great day!

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