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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stella's Maumee River trip to Grand Rapids Ohio, Part 1

On Sunday, my good friends Jon and Monica asked if we wanted to go out on the boat with them. I would never turn down a chance to get out on the water! I love boating, but have rarely ever had the chance to do it. I also thought it would be great to give Stella one more adventure!

We put the boat in the Maumee River at Napoleon, Ohio. Though the Maumee runs through my city, there is a large dam between the city and where we wanted to go. Doesn't Stella look excited to get going?

Here she is with my son Jared who has become her buddy and partner in crime. They're all set for a day of adventure!

Jon and Monica declined to be photographed close up, and the only picture of me was pretty crummy, lol.

We shoved off from the docks, and we're off!

The Maumee is a pretty big river. This is the only picture I got as we were just starting out, because after this we were going so fast that I felt it was best to put my camera away!

At one point we did slow down a little and I snapped another pic of Jared. My son Sean doesn't like being out on the water, so he didn't come along. Plus he had to work later.

After a nice long trip up the river, we went through a lock and into a canal along side the river. We couldn't continue on the river as there was a dam that boats cannot cross. But what a pretty and quiet canal!

We came to the boat docks outside of a small historic river town called Grand Rapids. It is historic for the rapids and for record floods. The town also sponsors an apple butter festival each October that brings up to 70,000 people to this quaint little town of 1000.

Before heading into town, we crossed the canal to the towpath that separates the canal from the river.

Here is Stella overlooking the river.

My son hopped down to the riverbank so he could take pics of the island in the river with the dam on either side. It's hard to see the dam unless you click on the pic to enlarge it.

You can see the rapids here. It's quite shallow here during normal times.

Some people found a nice spot for fishing!

At the end of the towpath is this gate where water from the canal runs into the river. It's quite a drop.

Here is where the water empties. The water is running pretty darn fast here.

Daredevil Stella snuck away from us and put one little booted foot over the edge thinking that she might jump into the river and test the rapids! Monica grabbed her just in time! No, Stella! That girl, you really have to watch her, but for the most part, she has been very well behaved during her visit with me.

My son and Jon were helping a lady who got stuck in the gravel on the other side of the canal. Unfortunately, I didn't snap a pic of them pushing her vehicle. Turned out she forgot to undo the parking brake, lol.

The downtown stores are so cute, even from the back facing the canal. Here is a mural of a local restaurant and the back patio.

We came into the downtown area through this little park, built in an alley. They had benches, flowers planted, international flags, a drinking fountain, and toilets.

Here is a view of the downtown. See, it really is just a little bitty town, but it is oh so quaint and utterly charming!

Here is the front of LaRoe's Restaurant, the same place that has the mural in the back. It's well known in the area and people drive for miles to come eat there. Jared and Monica are checking out the menu posted in front.

I was so charmed by this cute bed and breakfast The Mill House. It looks so unassuming, but you can click on the website and see how pretty the rooms are. It also has a pretty back yard where an actual mill stone sits. It really was a grain mill in olden times.

There was a Victorian home across the road that just took my breath away! Upon closer inspection, I found that it too was a bed and breakfast, the Housley House. I would gladly stay at either one! But I would want to tour the inside of both, of course.

Nearby was this pretty white building, The Shambles British Tea Room. It's name suggests that the sign was put on there crooked on purpose! It was closed, so we couldn't go in.

Next to the shop is a huge marker, showing how deep floods of days gone by have been. The flood of 1904 was above my head! I'm surprised that it was the highest flood as the flood of 1913 was more known in this area. A huge portion of Ohio had massive flooding. The northwest part of Ohio was once part of the Great Black Swamp. Every spring the town has its annual flood watch where residents watch how high the river rises.

On the other side of the shop is the Old Fashioned Ice Cream Shoppe. This just makes me so nostalgic! Don't you wish they had one of these in every town?

A little further down the street is this sweet bridal shop. Such a well kept building!

Aren't these lamps incredible? There are little touches like this all over the town.

I love these old fashioned window displays.

Can you see the chandelier in this one? Sorry there is so much reflection in the window. Also, there is a cloche over a cake topper. So sweet!

There was so much yet to see, but as I don't want to make this post overly long, you'll have to come back tomorrow for more! We'll be going inside the most amazing general store that I have seen since my childhood, checking out an historic town hall,a park, and a sweet little house before heading back down the mighty Maumee.

Please do click on the links so that you can learn more about this amazing little town. Also, check out yesterday's post where Stella visits Lake Erie.

Part 2 will post on Wednesday around 6:00 PM eastern time.

See you then!


Smilingsal said...

I'm catching up with you. I've finally settled in and have an extra moment. Because of my move, I've only been responding when someone leaves me a comment. As it's been awhile since you've dropped by, I've missed you.

Boy, Kady, you look GREAT. Congrats on that super weight loss.

It looks like you've had fun with Stella; this river outing sure must have been a blast. Take care.

Lindsay-ann said...

Hi Kady
As I read this post I was like wow, wow, wow. You,Stella and Jared were so brave going on that boat. I really enjoyed seeing the river and the little town of Grand Rapids. I would have loved to stay in those bed and breakfasts and look around those cute shops. The Shambles British tearoom must be named after The Shambles which is an old narrow street in the city of York very near here.
I hope that Stella says an enormous thank you to you because you really have shown here a great time. Look forward to part 2.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just ran across your blog about Grand Rapids! I am Kathy, innkeeper at The Mill House! Stop by anytime for a tour! We love for people to see inside this really neat old building and all it's history! Come by for a yummy scone and something to drink!