Recently, I was invited by Meagan Francis who coordinated a Girlfriends Getaway weekend sponsored by Experience Grand Rapids. I’ve never been to Grand Rapids, Michigan but when you add “girlfriends” and “getaway”…I was in.
And…what a fabulous weekend it was. There’s nothing like taking time away from your busy schedule to enjoy a little time with girlfriends. I was blessed to be able to bring one of my best friends, Leslie Jones from Junior High to experience Grand Rapids with me, along with some other social media women for a fun-filled weekend.
We had no idea what to expect but we were in for exploring a city just a little over three hours drive from Chicago. As we pulled into downtown Grand Rapids, I couldn’t believe how quaint, clean and easy it was to get around and find our destination. I immediately noticed the city’s architecture had a lot of character and charm; and the scene at night was pretty lively. Leslie was just as impressed.
It’s not a hick city that I had envisioned; it certainly gave off a good first impression, but we had a whole weekend to find out what Grand Rapids had to offer its visitors.
Because of heavy traffic coming from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, unfortunately, we missed dinner with our group at the Grand Rapids International Food & Wine Festival. However, with the many restaurants in the area to choose from, we opted for a quiet- intimate dinner at the Chop House across from our hotel.
We began our weekend early on Saturday at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, with a tour of the Princess Diana exhibit, “Diana a Celebration.” I was in awe and moved throughout the exhibit as I caught a glimpse into her life and work as a compassionate humanitarian. Collections of her personal belongings were showcased (journals, gemstones, the royal wedding gown, her crown & hand written notes to name a few of the 150 objects exhibited).
Tears welled up as I watched Princess Diana’s funeral with Elton John singing Candle in the Wind and recalling the tragedy that shortened the life of an amazing human being; an ordinary woman who became extraordinary, full of grace, and had a global impact on the lives of many.
The Princess of Wales’ legacy continues to live on and the world gets a peak as Diana, a Celebration goes on tour to select art museums around the world and currently at the Grand Rapids Art Museum until February 16th.
We had a fabulous lunch at The Green Well which is known for serving healthy entrees such as the Quinoa salad, which was out of this world. Speaking of Green, I was surprised to learn that Grand Rapids is known for being one of the Greenest cities in America!
After lunch, we shopped at several boutiques right on the same strip as The Green Well. I especially loved PINK BLVD, très chic…known for being the “driving force in fashion.” I’d say so myself.
With a few hours to spare, we took a wonderful tour of Frederick Meijer’s Gardens & Sculpture Park where they were getting ready to usher in a Winter Wonderland theme showcasing Christmas trees from around the world.
Leslie and I headed back our hotel at the Amway Grand Plaza where a spa treatment awaited…followed by a nice little nap to get us re-charged for the evening. Can’t have a getaway without a little pampering and some R&R.
We wrapped up our day with a delicious dinner at Sanchez, a Tapas bistro. The ambiance was perfect as we tried several unique tapas dishes. The Gran Paella-Oman Lobster also known as Lobster Casserole (lobster tails, shrimp, assorted sea food, chicken and saffron rice) is one of the entrees that I recommend.
Grand Rapids, Michigan is full of surprises. Big names like Amway and Frederick Meijer (founder of Meijer grocery) are seen on buildings around the city. It’s also the home of Chris Van Allsburg; author of the popular Christmas book, Polar Express (Grand Rapids was in the movie).
This city exudes a warm atmosphere that awaits new visitors like myself. Leslie and I were exceedingly impressed by Grand Rapids, from the moment we arrived to the moment we departed.
Did I already say that it was a fun-filled weekend?
Check out this short video of our girlfriends getaway…
Giveaway: You have an opportunity to Experience Grand Rapids Girlfriends’ Getaway!
- Girlfriends’ Getaway Package Contents Included in gift bag tote:
- An iPod shuffle with a Podcast about Grand Rapids
- 2 Adult Tickets to the Grand Rapids Art Museum exhibit Diana: A celebration
- The Accommodations Certificate for a 1 night stay at the Gatehouse Suites
- Official Experience Grand Rapids Visitor Guide
*Transportation & meals are not included.
Giveaway will end Saturday, December 18th at 11:59 CST. Winner will be notified via email. (Open to US residents Only).
1. Leaving a Comment, ei: “a girlfriends getaway is just what I need.”
If you would like to have more than 1 entry: (Please leave comment for each).
2. Tweet this give away: Experience Grand Rapids Girlfriends Getaway GIVEAWAY http://goo.gl/RfxsC via @duongsheahan (if you are on Twitter).
3. Share this Giveaway link on Facebook: http://goo.gl/RfxsC
Here are other opportunities to win by others:
- Hormone Colored Days- Grand Rapids, MI Family Getaway Giveaway! (ends 12/14)
A Grand Giveaway: Grand Rapids Family Getaway (ends 12/14)
Winner Update: Congratulations to Lori Wikel for Winning this Grand Rapids Girlfriends’ Getaway!!
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Timestamp: 2010-12-19 20:07:50 UTC
Disclosure: Girlfriends getaway weekend was sponsored by Experience Grand Rapids (all expense paid) and they also provided this giveaway. I was not compensated to write this post, but I love to share new discoveries with my readers and was given the opportunity to host the giveaway. All opinions shared are my own.