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10 Years…..

April 11, 2018

We’ve been in Michigan ten years.  March 29, 2008 is when J and I first moved to Lansing.  I started this blog not long after.  My first actual post was on April 1, 2008, but my first restaurant visit blog post was ten years ago today…April, 11, 2008.  It was The Nuthouse Sports Grill in downtown Lansing.  I’ve blogged about that place on two more occasions since that initial post.  The first one was bout a year later while we still lived in Lansing.  The second was in 2012 after we had moved to Kalamazoo and I went back for work one night.  The Nuthouse was the first restaurant we ate at in Lansing and one of my favorite restaurants from our time there…so it was a good place to start.

I had gotten the idea for a blog when J and I lived in Morton, IL just outside of Peoria.  The Internet was different then.  Myspace was still a thing and restaurants weren’t using it like they use Facebook now.  Finding menus online was sometimes a maddening experience.  I used to write quick little reviews for We8There.com but blogging was just becoming popular.  I wanted to  have a place where I could post those menus if I had to.

I had been contemplating joining the Peoria blogging scene.  There were a couple of political pundits that really made blogging popular and I thought I could capitalize on their success.

J was looking for a job though and I had always planned to go with her.  I decided to wait until we figured out where we were going next.  Turns out, next was Lansing.

We spent about a year and a half in Lansing.  In that time, I published 1,031 posts on Midmichigandining.com.  I treated the blog a little different then.  It wasn’t just about restaurant and entertainment spots in the area.  There was more commentary, press release, and somewhat newsie posts.  I didn’t have a full time job when we lived there so I had a lot more free time to write and post.

We moved to Kalamazoo in September of 2009 after J got a transfer.  MidMichiganDining.com wouldn’t work in Southwest Michigan, so I created a whole new blog.  I kept the old one up so I could link back to it.  I probably just should have changed the address but, you know, hindsight.  Also looking back, I should have picked something other than SWMichiganDining.com….I mean, I like to block about concert venues, sporting arenas, and other entertainment options in the area even if it doesn’t include food…so the “dining” part of it gets weird.  You’ve also probably noticed I blog when I travel so the “SW Michigan” part doesn’t really apply there although the majority of what you read on this blog is from Southwest Michigan and does have to do with dining.

I kept doing what I was doing for a while but then I got a full time job and we had our first kid in 2012 and the time for writing was getting harder and harder to get.  I still liked the restaurant part of it so I found time…and I still do, to write those posts.

Why have I done this for ten years?  I like to eat.  I like to explore.  I think J does too.  We get excited about restaurant openings.  We’re not regulars at any restaurant in town because we like to try new places.  We like being the people that our friends ask for recommendations or ask what we know about a place they’re thinking of taking a date or out of town guests.

The big reason I continue to blog is because this blog is my journal.  The last ten years of our lives, from J and I dating and making a big move and commitment to each other when we moved to Lansing, to the day I proposed to her, to the day we got married, to the first night in our new house in Kalamazoo, to the nights each of our kids were born and all of the wild adventures, road trips, vacations, and trips to see family in between, they’re all documented on these two blogs.

I like to share my experiences because we love what what Michigan has to offer.  I’m careful about how I word things when I don’t like something because an Internet post can ruin a business and who am I to destroy someone’s dream over what could be a misunderstanding or a difference of opinion?  I’m not a critic.  I don’t like using the word “reviews.”  I like to eat and I want other to find the great things about what we have in this community.

I know there are a few people that have read this blog from the beginning and that always surprises me.  I’ve never used any of our names yet there have been enough clues for a handful of people to figure it out and we’ve actually become friends with some of them.  I don’t get anything out of this other than the memories and the record of what we’ve done, where we’ve gone and what we’ve eaten.  There are no ads on this blog that are mined (WordPress puts some in, but they get that money, not me).  I have only accepted a free meal once and I felt dirty about it.  Nothing I wrote was a lie…I meant every word of it, but it just didn’t feel right.   I’ve turned several offers to “review” a place before they open and I will continue to do so.

This blog isn’t the most highly trafficked food blog on the Internet.  I get about 500 page views a day which, again, always surprises me.  Some days, 100 of those could be me.  I get lost in reading some of my old posts and before you know it, an hour is gone.

I have no plans to stop doing what I’m doing.  When J tells me she’s tired of me taking pictures at restaurants, I’ll stop then.  I hope I’m helping people with this blog…both restaurant owners and diners looking for someplace unique or someplace they may not have thought to try on their own.

So, if you’ve made it through this post, thanks for reading.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. LMH permalink
    April 11, 2018 12:05 pm

    Thank you for the past 10 years. I read every one of your posts and they inspire us to try new restaurants too! I’m grateful that you are still continuing on with this adventure.

  2. Primis permalink
    April 11, 2018 5:12 pm

    I frequently refer back to this blog if we’re going to be somewhere in the BC/Kalamazoo area, and I also refer to it when we go out of state like Tennessee and St. Louis where you happen to have been and blogged about. It’s super valuable to know what exactly is on the menu and to see a pic or two of the interior of a place. Also, it’s good to know if there’s kid-friendly food/a kids’ menu.

    We’ve definitely hit places I wouldn’t have tried if it weren’t for a review here though.

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