Tuesday, January 03, 2006



I spent New Years Eve in the heart of Dutch Reformed country, Grand Rapids MI. The Detroit Red Wings #1 farm team, the Griffins play there, and we thought we'd check out a couple of the prospects who will likely be in Detroit next year. It turned out to be a very interesting evening!

The Griffs have a section of seats in the corner of the rink that go for $5 if you order in advance online. Sounded like a great deal, so I ordered 5. Turned out to be an even better deal than I could have possibly imagined!

When we arrived after the two hour drive from South Bend, we went in to Van Andel Arena (virtually every public building downtown has either the Van Andel or De Vos name on it, in honor of the founders of Amway) and attempted to find our seats. We could find no row R in section 220. We tracked down an usher, who told us we would have to take the elevator.

We got on the elevator, and at the next floor the door opened and a VERY well dressed woman of middle age got on the elevator. She took one look and asked us "are you folks lost?" We told her that the usher had directed us to take the elevator to our seats in section 220. She told us that you couldn't access section 220 from the elevator, that there must be some mistake, and demanded to see our tickets. She looked at them for a long few seconds, got this look of angry, bemused disgust on her face, and said "oh, I guess that's right". The elevator opened, and we walked out to find ourselves in the luxury boxes! We had our own box approximately 20' x 10', with exactly five seats in it! Apparently, this section is normally reserved for parties with wheelchairs. It must have been the only row in section 220 with 5 seats together when I ordered tickets. So the computer assigned these five seats to us. My daughter-in -law commented that she had never felt wealthy before!

We must not have displayed the proper wealthy Calvinist decorum during the match, because people in the other luxury boxes kept eyeing us suspiciously. But we had a great time, it was an exciting game, they had a nice fireworks show afterward, and the food at the arena is excellent!

Downtown GR is exceptionally nice, but a bit haughty. We went across the street to a building called BOB (Big Old Building) that houses a number of bars and restaurants, only to find that they were charging a $30 cover just to enter the building. Exiting patrons told us all the restaurants inside were charging covers too. We checked out a number of downtown bars to discover $20 - $30 was pretty much the going cover. We did mange to find a Friday's downtown, so we celebrated the incoming New Year there, complete with complimentary glasses of Korbal. We managed to stay awake during the drive home, and arrived a bit after 3 am.

New Years day I was up at 9 preparing our belated Christmas brunch and dinner. Brunch consisted of a crustless Quiche with Ham, Onions, and red Bell Peppers, plus Biscuits with homemade Sausage Gravy. Dinner included an 8 lb boneless Ham cooked in 7 Up, a 12 lb Beef Briscuit, Au Gratin Potatoes, Skillet Beans, Green Beans, home made Potato Rolls, Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie, and Pudding Cake.

I was so glad to get back to work to recuperate!

Hope everyone had a great holiday! I'll have more to say later, so much juicy news the last few days, but wanted to get a post in before ya'll forget me!

Lucky you!!! It sounds like a great time. I loved when the Blackhawks farm team was in Indianapolis. We would try to get to a game every year or two, and it was always great fun. I never ended up with the rich people, though. I'm glad you had fun! Oh, and I finally have a real format and aim to my blog, so I will really be posting more!
you're not so easily forgotton, my friend.
Juicy news??? I'm soooooooooooo excited! Sounds like you had a great time in GR watching your fav sport! What a wonderful way to spend the holidays.
gp - I like the new look ofyour blog, although I miss the knitting and photo albums! But I'll be glad to se you posting more!

mr. a - can you give me a clue as to how to pronounce Patychky? They were a hit, but everyone kept calling them "those Polish thingies", cause i had no idea how to tell them what they were called!

dal - Don't be too excited, its political juicy stuff!
I will still include my knitting stuff, and post albums and stuff, don't worry :) I haven't put everything on there that I want yet. BTW, I knitted a bunch of stuff for Christmas, but forgot to take pictures before giving them! Oops!
I hope that snooty bitch had nothing to eat on Sunday but cake and hot beer. :)
Well, aren't YOU special!!
My NY's was okie dokie. Had some champaign and got lots of kisses from some cute 20-somethings! Can't beat that with a stick.
Forget you? Never... Sounds like you had fun.

I read the title to your post really fast and thought you were going to comment on Calvin and Hobbs.

It's gonna be a rough year. I can tell.
You'll NEVER get a deal like that again! Sounds like you had a blast.
forget you? Never!!!
I'm glad you tried the patychkies. You can pronounce them pat-itch-kees......but to lots of people around here, they are also known as simply meat sticks. They rock, don't they?
Happy New Year! Glad you got to see how the other half lives. :-) I've also gotten behind in my posting, soooo busy at work these days and at home. Planning on a major post this weekend, um, the one I didn't get to last weekend.
Every now and then a blind hog finds an acorn in his fodder. I am glad this Bear had a good new year start.

Crustless Quiche??? Is that an omelet?
Wow, great luck on the seats. When my workteam went to a game they had completely taken out the seats where we were supposed to sit for some party. We did get other seats before the game started but it was pretty weird.

I'm glad you finally found a place to hang out for NY. And yes, this town is owned by Amway. I'll be seeing West Side Story at the DeVos next month. :-)
Wow - what a deal! It sounds absolutely decadent - good for you!

Did you watch the world junior game last night? I saw the last peroid. Just to tell you how much of a bubble I live in, I didn't realize it was here in Vancouver until afterwards. I should have gone! Alas, scalped tickets were going for $1000 and they jacked the parking prices up to nearly double.
Yes Squirl is correct, VanAndel and Devos own this town in many ways. What gets on most of our nerves here in the non-Calvanist group is that these places were named when much $$$$ was donated by either of them, not when they were dead ya know, as some legacy thing. Egotistical Snobs!
When the Grand Rapids Public Museum was re-located, it was re-named The VanAndel Museum....veryy annoying!!!
Many huge Amway conventions are held here. See the connection?
Good to hear from you, Papa! Looking forward to getting frustrated with you this year...
Hey Bear! Where the devil are you? I keep checking back, but no new posts. :-( Miss your articles.
My dear, favorite Mark Spurrier, Celtic music and Guinness?! Absolutely! And if you were 20 years younger and a right-wing Republican...I'd say yes! LOL! ;)
vv - I'm in recuperation mode, back soon.

nic - under the influence of enough Guiness, I might seem 20 years younger and conservative... that count?
You betchya! ;)
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