Tag Archives: Grand Rapids

The Autumn Leaves Up Close in Michigan.

It’s Autumn in Pure Michigan. Corn mazes are forming, apple cider is pouring, college football is in full swing and the transition from summer to winter has begun in earnest. Autumn in Michigan also brings the changing and falling of the leaves. While out-and-about in Ann Arbor, Detroit and Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas, I’ve had the chance to see the leaves of Autumn up close.

Why not start out with the best of the best. I came across this tree randomly while driving around the small-town of Rochester. The bright orange and other colors caused to me to get out of the car and just walk back-and-forth, park underneath and enjoy what this time of year brings.

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

You never know what colors and Autumn beauty you’ll come up to when your out on the open sidewalk, trail and dirt road. πŸ™‚

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Two skylines, two cities, two countries, the open water and Autumn straight ahead on Belle Isle in the Detroit River. Not bad! Hello Windsor, Ontario, Canada and Detroit, Michigan, United States!

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn, Detroit, Windsor skyline

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn, Detroit, Windsor skyline

On another part of Belle Isle I came across the unique trio of Autumn, beach and skyline.

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn, Detroit skyline

Some Autumn joy was to found in Michigan’s second biggest-city, Grand Rapids, too along the Grand River opposite the skyline.

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn, Grand Rapids skyline

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn, Grand Rapids skyline

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn, Grand Rapids skyline

The colorful leaves and the open water formed a relaxing duo.

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Unfortunately the leaves can’t stay on the trees forever. After a short time and/or a gust of wind they make their way to the ground. Their beauty doesn’t disappear right away though. I felt like a kid, ready to just jump in any pile I came across. On grass that is.

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

More beauty of the season. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Michigan, fall leaves, Autumn

Winter and cold weather may be coming, the warm air of summer may be in the rear view mirror, but to see the Autumn leaves up close in Michigan, that’s a great price to pay.

Where have you come across Autumn beauty in your travels? Do you have the chance to experience the changing of the seasons where you live?

#ElCafeDe2013: The Coffee of Grand Rapids.

Those that know me know I spend a lot of time at coffee shops. I’m usually working while enjoying the coffee and atmosphere at various establishments. On a weekday morning recently I decided to make an enjoyable day of working and enjoying coffee from various places, while at the same time be out on the open road. I got up before the crack of dawn and made the 2+ hour trek over to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Upon arriving in town at day break, I headed over to my first stop of day Wealthy Street Bakery. I started at a place I knew would serve a great latte. One of their homemade cinnamon rolls sat alongside. The work day was rolling now in style! Checkout my previous post for more on this popular neighborhood bakery.

Wealthy Street Bakery, Grand Rapids, Michigan

After a couple of hours I moved a few blocks down the old-school red bricked Wealthy Street to The Sparrow Coffee Tea & Newstand.

The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand, Grand Rapids, Michigan

The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Their name says it all with an expansive offering of coffees, teas, magazines and newspapers along with pastries. The artsy and fun atmosphere inside definitely would help to get the juices flowing as I was going to be in web design mode. To help the cause, I was Looking for something a look stronger at this stop. Their signature “Betemoth”, a shot of espresso deliciousness, was the choice.

The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand, Grand Rapids, Michigan

The cream and sugar stand at Sparrows caught the eye as well as…

The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand, Grand Rapids, Michigan

…their outdoor seating area. A great spot this time of year to enjoy a caffeinated beverage and the Autumn leaves of the neighborhood.

The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Morning became afternoon so I decided to leave the Wealthy Street neighborhood area and head through downtown and across the Grand River to The Bitter End Coffee House.

The Bitter End, coffee, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Upon entering I immediately noticed the old-school art covering the walls of the 100-year-old building. It had the immediate feel of being in a college town as it was filled with students from the nearby Grand Rapids campus of Grand Valley State University. An aspect I don’t come across very often with independent coffee shops is that they are open 24/7. If you have that middle of the night craving in western Michigan, you know where to go now.

The Bitter End, coffee, Grand Rapids, Michigan

I went the specialty coffee route this time, getting one of their signature lattes, the Macaroon Carabella. It definitely hit the spot.

The Bitter End, coffee, Grand Rapids, Michigan

The best was saved for last. I jumped back across the river in the late afternoon into the heart of downtown and came up upon Mad Cap Coffee.

Mad Cap Coffee, Grand Rapids, Michigan

I had been there before, but just to grab a coffee to-go. It was time to enjoy their coffee experience and finish my day of work. I poured over (no pun intended) their pour over offerings and decided on the Luis Reinoso. All the words in its description “delicate, citrus, stone fruit, chocolate” caught the eye. I wandered over to the counter to watch my drink and someone else’s come to life. Can I have them all I said to myself haha.

My coffee arrived in a beaker reminding me of chemistry class back in high school. I appreciated the coffee even more after watching it up close be made.

Mad Cap Coffee, Grand Rapids, Michigan, pour over

Mad Cap’s coffee is roasted on site and great care is taken into making each individual coffee. The award-winning knowledge of the baristas also enhances the coffee experience. The open, modern and minimalistic atmosphere, with people working and engaging in conversation made for a great environment to get what I needed done. Being on a corner and with lots of windows, it was great watching people come-and-go through downtown too.

Mad Cap Coffee, Grand Rapids, Michigan, pour over

What a great day! I got to be out on the open road. I got to experience some coffee shops for the first time and got to know others better. I got a lot of work done while consuming a lot of caffeine, meeting lots of new people along the way.

Another working day like this will be in the cards soon I’m sure. The fun part is who knows where that will be! πŸ™‚

Photo of the Week: Running into a Grand Rapids City Shot.

On a recent day trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second biggest city, I ran into this city shot while on Wealthy Street just east of U.S. Route 131. I was standing on a bridge overlooking the skyline, Heartside Park and the bricked Ionia Avenue. You never know when a photo will present itself.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

#ElCafeDe2013 Coffee tip of the week: A Pastry Along For the Ride.

You’re at the coffeehouse in the early morning hours, before it’s even light outside like I was a few months back at Wealthy Street Bakery in Grand Rapids, Michigan and your wondering why.

Wealthy Street Bakery, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Wealthy Street Bakery, Grand Rapids, Michigan

It was on recommendation to check out this Heritage Hill neighborhood gem first because of the coffee. I went the specialty coffee drink route on this day and the CafΓ© Vienna.

Wealthy Street Bakery, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Also my friend said, you gotta try the pastries which leads to my next tip. If the opportunity presents itself…

#Tip 4 …a pastry should come along for the ride.

It did on this morning with a ham & cheese croissant. A tasty compliment, it helped wash down the caffeine deliciousness. πŸ™‚

Wealthy Street Bakery, Grand Rapids, Michigan

The danishes, scones, rolls and other breakfast pastries all looked good as well. Wealthy Street Bakery also provided a relaxing atmosphere to get some work done. πŸ™‚

No matter how early in the day it is, nothing beats a great coffee drink with something just as good to wash it down with.

What kinds of pastries do you like to have with your coffee?