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Potawatomi Zoo

August 22, 2014
  • 500 S. Greenlawn Avenue
  • South Bend, IN 46615
  • (574) 235-9800
  • Website

This summer has been pretty busy for us and zoos.  L loves going to see the animals and J and I enjoy checking out new places.

Last weekend, was the first weekend in a while where we didn’t have family commitments, so I asked J on Saturday if she wanted to get up on Sunday and take a day trip to South Bend.  She was excited to check out a new zoo and so was I.

The Potawatomi Zoo is in the Potawatmi Park on the east side of South Bend.  It’s in a pretty heavy residential  neighborhood and quite a ways from an expressway, so it takes a lot of weaving to get back to the large park.

The zoo opens at 10 AM and we had planned on being there close to that time.  We arrived to the park about 10:15 after a few potty breaks.  The parking lots in front of the zoo entrance were already starting to fill up.  It appears others had the same idea we did.

The Potawatomi Zoo is on the Association of Zoos & Aquariums reciprocal list which always works in our favor as members at Binder Park Zoo.  Admission is $8.50 for adults and with our half off with the Binder Park membership, we only end up paying for one adult.  Two and under is free, so we were able to get in for the price of one adult admission.

The Potawatmi Zoo is one of those deceptively large zoos.  It’s not huge, but it’s much bigger than it feels when you first look at it.  The zoo is situated on 23 acres of land and it holds the honor of being Indiana’s oldest zoo.   Read more…

Bistro on the Roll

August 20, 2014
  • Bistro on the RollVarious – Food Truck
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49001
  • (269) 547-7913
  • Website
  • Menu

Last summer, the City of Kalamazoo introduced Lunchtime Live on Friday’s during the summer.  They invite a number of food trucks then provide some entertainment in Bronson Park for a couple hours.  J and I took advantage of it a couple of times last summer, but we were yet to make it down to the park this summer.

This past Friday, I sent J a message around 11:30 asking if she’d like to me L and I for lunch.  She was up for it, so when she was bout to leave work, L and I headed downtown.

J beat us so she got in line at the Twisted Tail to get some of their fantastic Bacon Mac & Cheese.  While she was waiting there, I headed over to Pig Out, Take Out to get J some Pig Out Fries.  I was going to pick up a sandwich from there, but there happened to be another food truck just down the street from them that I haven’t tried yet….so of course, I go for something new.

Bistro on the Roll is an upscale sandwich truck that seems to have just popped up this summer.  I saw them for the first time about a month ago Fontana Chamber Music in the Park concerts.  We had brought some sandwiches from Penn Station with us that night, so I didn’t even walk over to see what they had. Read more…

Bert’s Bakery – Westnedge

August 15, 2014
  • Bert's Bakery4419 S. Westnedge Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 349-2091
  • Website
  • Menu

Balloons and cake.  That’s what we promised L if she could go three days without an accident.  It took a couple tries, but she did it and we lived up to our end of the bargain.

We made a stop at Party City in Portage to pick up her balloons.  She picked out two Frozen balloons and they lady blowing them up gave her a pink one and a blue one to go with them.

As we left Party City, we started talking about where to go for cake.  I figured we’d just do something from Harding’s or Meijer like we usually do, but J said she had heard Boonzaaijer Bakery did mini cakes that you could just walk in and buy.  Unfortunately, they are closed for a while according to a sign on their door, so we needed a back up.  Luckily, I always have a back up.

After striking out at Boonzaaijer, I turned the car back towards Kilgore to the shopping center on the corner of Westnedge and Kilgore right at the city limits.  There’s a bakery that has been there for a while but with us not living on that side of town anymore, we haven’t had a reason to stop in.  Read more…

Moe’s Southwest Grill – Portage

August 13, 2014
  • Moe's Southwest Grill6225 S. Westnedge Avenue
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 459-1555
  • Website
  • Menu

Parenthood comes with celebrations that would seem odd to non parents.  Lots of celebrations for things that we all wish we got prizes and stickers for.  Right now, we’re going through the potty celebration with L.  A couple weeks ago, she told J she wanted to wear undies, so we put her in them and hoped for the best.  We made a chart where she got a sticker for every time she successfully made it to the potty with a goal at the end of cake and balloons.

She made the end of the chart over the weekend and L told her if she had no accidents over three days, we’d get a cake and balloons for her.

When L got home from work on Monday, we lived up to our promise.  We took a trip to Party City in Portage to get L some “Frozen” balloons.

On the way, we needed to get lunch.  We were all hungry and since it was L’s special day, we went to her favorite restaurants.

Somehow, Moe’s Southwest Grill became L’s favorite place for lunch.  When the first area store opened up on Stadium Drive near our house, it quickly became a go-to for a quick lunch.  We all enjoyed the food and L loves it when the employees yell out “Welcome to Moe’s” when anyone walks through the door.

Not long after the Stadium Drive Moe’s opened, a second location opened on Westnedge in Portage.  The store took over the big glass building in front of Toys R Us that most recently housed a Happy’s Pizza. Read more…

Hovey’s Pizza & Grinders

August 11, 2014
  • Hovey's PIzza & Grinders226 Enterprise Drive
  • Three Rivers, MI 49093
  • (269) 273-1111
  • Website
  • Menu

I wish I could spend every weekend on the lake.  As a Michigander, I feel a little left out when all of my friends go to their family’s lake house for a quick weekend.  My family is not from around here…and we don’t have a lake house anywhere, so trips to the lake only happen about once a year.

When I say “my family” I mean my immediate family.  My dad’s cousin actually does have a lake house near Three Rivers on Pleasant Lake.  For the last two years, we’ve been able to get my whole immediate family and my dad’s cousin and her husband to meet up for a day of jet skiing and boating…as well as drinking and eating.

We grilled burgers and brats for lunch after a couple hours of swimming and attempting to ski.  When dinner time rolled around, I asked what the plan was and was told we were thinking pizza.  My dad’s cousin only had a couple of menus to places in the area and one of them she said took forever..the other was Little Ceasears.  I knew we could do better than that, so with the last ounce of battery life, I quickly searched for pizza places in Three Rivers.

The best hit I got was for a little place on the north end of town.  I got the name before my phone died and told J to look it up.  She found the Facebook page and they posted a pretty good deal just an hour earlier, so we all decided that Hovey’s Pizza & Grinders was going to be our place.

Hovey’s Pizza & Grinders is in a strip mall just off of Main Street near where Main meets up with US-131 on the north side of town.  The strip mall is anchored by a Goodrich movie theater and the address is actually on Enterprise Drive which intersects with Main.   Read more…

Wingstop Crestwood

August 11, 2014
  • Wing Stop13211 S. Cicero Avenue
  • Crestwood, IL 60445
  • (708) 385-9464
  • Website
  • Menu

One of my favorite days all year is the day that my dad, brother, one of my best friend from grade school and I go to a White Sox game.  It’s a tradition that we started at my bachelor party five years ago.   No strip clubs for me.  I just wanted baseball and beer and that’s what I got.  Since then, we have made it a yearly tradition for the four of us to get together, get wings and beer and do our best to stumble in to US Cellular Field for what passes for baseball on the South Side.

That very first year, I stumbled upon the best wing place ever.  We used it for the next three years, but last year, it abruptly closed and didn’t pop back up anywhere.  We scrambled for a new place last year that I enjoyed but everyone else was “eh” on.  So, this year, I was on the look out again for someplace new.

A few weeks ago, J and I were driving down Cicero Avenue in Crestwood for something and out of the corner of my eye, I spotted the word “wings”  It turned out to be a chain I had heard of, but have never actually been to.  I got online to see if they did large orders.  They did and we found a new wing place for this year’s trip.

Wingstop on Crestwood is on busy Cicero Avenue just to the just south of Cal Sag Road.  It’s in a small strip mall with a few other business, but along that stretch of road, it sort of blends in with it’s surroundings.

I was meeting the rest of the gang at 3:30 at a gas station on the corner of Cicero Avenue and 167th Street near the Intersection with I-57.  That meant I needed to pick up wings around 3:00.  Around 1:00, I got online and put in my order.  I asked for it to be ready by 2:45.

The order was for 75 classic wings.  I could have gotten up to five flavors, but I stuck with four because both my dad and I really like Garlic Parmesan wings.  I ordered 30 of those while getting 15 of the other three flavors.  Those flavors were Louisiana Rub, Mild, and Hickory Smoked BBQ.   Read more…

Hitts The Spot Cafe & Ice Cream

July 30, 2014
  • Hitts The Spot1053 E. Wilcox Avenue
  • White Cloud, MI 49349
  • (231) 689-5080
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

You know how I’ve said many times I never know where I’ll end up for work?  Yeah.  It’s been one of those weeks.

On Monday, a co-worker and I were quite a ways north of Grand Rapids.  We were heading home on M-37 in northern Newaygo County when she asked if we could stop for dinner.  I’m not really familiar with that area, so I said we could look for something.

Whenever I drive through an unfamiliar town, I head towards the main business district.  I did the same once we got to White Cloud, but didn’t really see a lot.  I was starting to give up and just keep heading south when the co-worker noticed a sign in front of an ice cream joint.  They were advertising chili dogs.  She didn’t want chili dogs, but figured if they had that, they might have burgers.

The old, white building is called Hitts The Spot Cafe & Ice Cream.  It sits on Wilcox Avenue which appears to be White Cl0ud’s downtown area right across the street from the Newaygo County Complex.

They have the traditional walk up ice cream window, but there is also a little cafe with a dining room and table service attached to it.  They had a menu hanging out front and they did have burgers among other things, so we went inside and put in an order to go.

I sort of skimmed the menu, but all I really wanted was a burger.  I ordered the 1/2 lb hamburger with cheese and bacon (both extra).  I then upgraded to a basket to get fries and slaw but asked them to just keep the slaw.   Read more…

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