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Rainy Day Leads to New Discovery on Summer Vacation

It's hard to know what to do for a vacation during a pandemic (if anything). My family and I decided to go to one of our "tried and true" summer getaway destinations over the years - Holland, Michigan. We spent a long weekend there a few weeks ago in July.

While up there, we were able to spend a day (social distancing) at the beach and exploring the shops in downtown Holland, MI (with face masks on). We also had plans to go hiking one day, but it was raining so my wife Kara suggested we visit the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park that she had heard good things about -- located a short drive away in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, which opened in 1995, has five indoor theme gardens, outdoor gardens, nature trails, boardwalks, and sculpture collections and is one of the most significant sculpture and botanic experiences in the United States.

To make things a little more interesting for the kids, we turned our visit into a photography contest - where each of us tried to capture the most beautiful picture of a scene, sculpture or flower at the park. I've included some pictures from our trip below . . .

My favorite area of Meijer Gardens was their Japanese Garden. This is a picture of the pond in the Garden. You could walk along a path around that pond to look at different types of oriental and Japanese plants and flowers. Absolutely Beautiful!!!

This appears to be a giant sculpture of Buddha's (meditating) head on the ground. As you can see, it was a picturesque scene that attracted the Ritchie Papparazzi.

This is an actual-sized replica of a horse statue that Leonardo da Vinci had been commissioned to do in 1482 by Duke of MilanLudovico il Moro. This statue is known as "Leonardo's Horse". The original horse statue was not completed before an invading army caused the project to be abandoned. Kara and the kids posed with this giant horse statue.

Irises happen to be one of my favorite flowers for three reasons:

1. My grandma Walker had purple irises growing around her house when I was little;

2. Irises are one of my wife's' favorite flowers; and . . .

3. They smell really good!!

We really had a good day for pictures. It had rained earlier that day - so all of the flowers had raindrops on them still - and it wasn't too hot!

Usually I would be scared if I came up on a pack of wolves - but this wolf pack wasn't too scary. . .

This Garden Park really reminded me how beautiful nature really is . . . . A river of white flowers flowing down a hill at the Park.

Addison (15) and Jackson (13) standing in front of a statue. Addison and Jackson are smiling but the statute is not!

Some Yellow Flowers - with the Ritchie Family walking in the background.

Another pretty flower after the rain . . .

Meijer Gardens is worth the trip if you are ever in Michigan. We spent about 3 hours looking around - but you could easily spend a day there. There are also many greenhouses and other special exhibits to view.


This article is a service of Attorney Chad A. Ritchie and the Ritchie Law Office, Ltd.

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