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Ritzee Hamburgers

April 21, 2014
  • 1643 Michigan Avenue West
  • Battle Creek, MI 49037
  • (269) 964-4701
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

Daddy daughter dates are the best.  Don’t get me wrong, I love nights out with J and damn do I look forward to them, but it’ s something special when it’s just L and I.

The last couple of months, we have taken advantage of a few of the Knee High Naturalist programs at Binder Park Zoo.  This past Wednesday was the final program for the season so L and I went one last time before the zoo opens for the summer.

Afterwards, I was hungry and J wasn’t going to be home when we got there, so I decided L and I should go get lunch.

When J and I moved from Lansing to Kalamazoo four years ago, our first trip we had to take the long way and do two lane highways the whole way.  Just before we got to the Lansing Road exit on WB I-94 in Lansing, the mattress I had tied to the bed of my truck when flying out.  That scared J a little bit and she wanted to get off the highway.

Our trip took sort of around Battle Creek and we ended up going through the Urbandale of Battle Creek and passing an old timey hamburger joint.  Four years later, I finally found the time to get back to it for lunch.   Read more…

Tibbs Brewing Company

April 19, 2014
  • Tibbs Brewing Company402 S. Burdick Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (616) 762-7397
  • Website
  • Menu (Changes Daily)

I like beer.  I’m just going to throw that out there.  I don’t like getting drunk, but I really enjoy trying as much as I can.  That’s weird because I was kind of a late bloomer when it comes to alcohol.  I didn’t have my first beer until I was almost 22 and even then it was occasional and it wasn’t until we moved to Kalamazoo that I discovered craft beer.

I love the growth of the beer industry in Kalamazoo over the last year or so.  I’ve been able to make it to all of the open taprooms except for one.  Tibbs Brewing is only open on nights that I have to work, so I haven’t found a time to get down there yet.

Tibbs Brewing Company is on the corner of Burdick and Lovell in a small corner space that was last occupied by Barista Blues West.  It’s not a big place.  There’s enough room for a decent sized bar and a handful of tables.  On busy nights, you are really going to be squeezed in there.

I mentioned earlier that that they’re not usually open on nights that I’m off, but this past Sunday was a special night.  REO Speedwagon was playing at the State Theatre next door, so they decided to open up and take advantage of the location.

I had no interest in the concert so I waited until most of the crowd started to file out of the brewery and next door to the show.  I sort of hung out outside until I saw a spot open at the bar then I swooped in to enjoy a couple beers.

The beer menu was pretty limited because Sunday is usually a brew day.  There were only three options.  An IPA, Lovell Double IPA, and Hel-Jen Belgian Tripel.   Read more…

Five Guys Burgers & Fries – Grandville

April 18, 2014
  • Five Guys3090 44th Street SW
  • Grandville, MI 49418
  • (616) 534-3483
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s still really hard for me to pass up a Five Guys.  Even though they seem to be popping up all over the place, I still can’t get enough of them.  I just really like their greasy fares.

Late last week, a co-worker and I were heading back to Grand Rapids from Jenison.  Now, it’s not really on the way, but there is a Five Guys in Grandville that opened up within the last few months.  It’s not on the way…but it’s not too far out of the way either.

I convinced my co-worker to let me stop for dinner.  He didn’t have a problem with it, so I headed towards the 44th Street exit on I-196.

The (so-far) only Grand Rapids location of Five Guys is on 44th Street in Grandville in front of the (somewhat) new Cabella’s.  It’s in a small plaza out near the road that hosts a couple of different restaurants including a Potbelly Sandwich Shop.

I promised my co-worker I would walk back out if the place was packed.  I could see from the large windows that face the parking lot that they were busy, but I didn’t see a line at the order counter, so I went in.   Read more…

Breakfast at Tiffiny’s – Portage

April 14, 2014
  • Breakfast at Tiffiny's3271 W. Centre Avenue
  • Portage, MI 49024
  • (269) 324-5111
  • Website
  • Menu

Last fall, we got L in to a one day a week toddler class that I take her to every Friday.  Some days I go home and take a nap while she’s there.  Some days, I go get breakfast and run some errands.

This past Friday was an errand day.  I needed to pick up some things from Lowes and Meijer, but first I needed breakfast.

I noticed a few weeks ago that Breakfast at Tiffiny’s was opening a second location.  J and I had tried once before to stop in for breakfast, but they were pretty full, so we passed.

The new Breakfast at Tiffiny’s location is on Centre Street in Portage in the new plaza with Centre Street Taphouse and a Biggby.  The space is deceivingly big.  It looks like a small space from the outside, but it’s a long building which has room for a couple dozen tables.

When I walked in, a waitress told me to find a seat wherever I would like.  I went a table in the back near the kitchen.  The middle of the restaurant has a long, two sided bench seat that several tables shares.  The restaurant was not all that crowded, so I didn’t feel bad taking up a four top.   Read more…

Indianapolis Zoo

April 11, 2014
  • Indianapolis Zoo1200 S. Washington Street
  • Indianapolis, IN 46222
  • (317) 630-2001
  • Website

Our little getaway ended Monday morning after an interesting night of sleep.  A king bed would be plenty if the toddler didn’t like to sleep sideways.

Anyway, we got our stuff together and loaded up the car a little after 9:00.  We got up and going because we wanted to make one more stop before we headed back to Kalamazoo and the weather was working against.

The Indianapolis Zoo isn’t too far from downtown Indianapolis.  It’s on Washington Street inside the White River State Park.  There’s a huge parking lot between the zoo entrance and Washington Street that costs $6 to park for the day.  As I alluded to, the weather was pretty crappy and it was a Monday morning, so we had almost the entire parking lot to choose from.

We were meeting another family from our Sunday excursion.  They were in town from Florida and still had one day until their flight back.  We got a text from them that they were there just as we were pulling in to the parking lot.

I was able to find a coupon for the zoo on Visitindy.com for $2 of admission.  Prices during the week are a little bit cheaper.  Entry was $12.45 for adults and $9.45 for kids.  Unfortunately, our membership to Binder Park Zoo didn’t give us any discount, but we could use that coupon for $2 off each admission bringing the total down to a little over $28.

Once everybody was inside, we walked up to the first exhibit which was the Sea Lions.  It was feeding time and they were barking and begging for food.  L and her new little friend were pointing and yelling, “they’re barking.”   Read more…

Scotty’s Brewhouse – Downtown Indianapolis

April 9, 2014
  • 1 Virginia Avenue #100
  • Indianapolis, IN 46204
  • (317) 571-0808
  • Website
  • Menu

The Children’s Museum wore our butts out.  After a long day of playing (over 4 hours), we headed to our hotel in downtown Indianapolis.  I got lucky with a Priceline Express Deal and scored the Hyatt Regency for just $62.  We checked in to the hotel and L crashed..hard.  Once she was asleep, J and I were able to turn the lights on, watch TV, and have a conversation and L didn’t even move.

We finally woke her up after about an hour and a half nap.  We were all pretty tired and we wanted to make sure she went to bed at a decent time since the three of us were sharing a King size bed (the downfall to the Express Deal….don’t get to pick room type).

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Indianapolis for work.  My co-worker and I had planned on staying the night, but we decided to just drive home.  Before that trip, I, of course, scouted out some places to eat, so when J and I went back a few weeks later, I already knew what I wanted for dinner.

Scotty’s Brewhouse is a small Indiana chain owned by the people that own Thr3e Wise Men Brewing.  The downtown Indianapolis location is a little over a block from Bankers Life Fieldhouse on the bottom floor of a multi floor office building on Virginia Avenue.  It was about a three block walk from our hotel room that took us right past Monument Circle.

We walked in to the hostess area a little after five on a Sunday night.  The place was packed, but that had everything to do with the Pacers game that would start in an hour just down the street.   We decided just to stay.  We put our name on the list and they told J they would text her when our table was ready.  That gave us the opportunity to go back outside to wait.  It was a gorgeous night out and there is a large outdoor patio with a fire pit and pretty comfortable couches that weren’t being used for service, so we waited out there.  It gave L a chance to run around and somehow, run in to one of the little boys we went to the museum with earlier.  His parents had the same idea and were heading in to put their name on the list as we were playing outside.   Read more…

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

April 9, 2014
  • 3000 N. Meridian Street
  • Indianapolis, IN 46208
  • (317) 334-4000
  • Website

Way back in 2011, when J was pregnant with L, she joined a Facebook group for Mothers expecting in January of 2012.  Over the next several years, the group all got to know each other and their families through the power of social media.  Only a few of the ladies had actually met each other and it has prompted a few get togethers for families in different parts of the country.

This past weekend, one of the ladies from Florida was going to be in Indianapolis.  She put out the call to see if anyone wanted to meet up.  J wanted to, but Sunday is a hard day for us even though it’s our only day off together.  I get home after midnight from work the night before and J has to be at work very early in the morning on Monday.

About the middle of the week, J realized she had Monday off.  She asked if I’d be interested in a mini road trip.  I wasn’t going to get much sleep Sunday night, but it would do us good to get out of the house and get L around kids her own age.

We got our butts up before the crack of dawn Sunday morning and headed off on the four hour trip from Kalamazoo to Indianapolis.  Our final destination, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

We arrived to the Museum, located on Meridian Street on the north side of town.  We found out later in the day it’s only about a ten minute drive from the heart of the city.  We were a little early as the museum doesn’t actually open until 10:00, but the free parking ramp across the street was already open.  We easily found a spot near the second level sky walk.  It also just happened the another member of our group pulled in right behind us.

After getting L out of her pajamas and in to some real clothes, we headed across Illinois Street via the sky walk to the museum.  The lobby and ticket area is on the main floor, so you do need to walk down a ramp to get back down to street level.  The big centerpiece of this area is a giant Bumblebee (from Transformers) that is probably pretty close to “life size.”   Read more…

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