Do you love where you live? Cause I love where I live. I have lived a lot of places, but I could not be more content with this place I call home. But the fact I can say that would have blown my mind a mere 6 years ago.
I met my hubby in Chicago. After being raised in Iowa, going to school in Illinois and grad school in Philly, I settled in Chicago. I wanted to be in a big city, but wanted to be in the Midwest. And since I was young, I had always loved Chicago. Living there was fabulous. I lived in Lincoln Park not to far from the lake and could walk or take a bus anywhere I wanted to go. It was the perfect single girl’s life. And even after I met and married my hubby, it was the perfect newlywed life. We had a baby, moved a little bit further northward to Evanston, but it was still city-esque. We loved everything the city had to offer and enjoyed every minute of it.
But the hubby always longed for home. And home was Grand Rapids, this foreign place to me. Frankly when we visited it seemed lame. Stretches of chain restaurants and mass suburbia. Way to many mom jeans and mom hair. Wasn’t that nice and judgy of me? But then the tiny condo we could afford in Evanston began to feel insanely cramped once we began to entertain the thought of another child. And my smart, smart hubby started showing me real estate sights for Grand Rapids. And he did so in the summer so I might forget that winter in Michigan is a NIGHTMARE.
I agreed to give Grand Rapids a shot. IF I got to pick the neighborhood and IF I got a “get out of jail free” clause if I really hated it there. We moved with the stipulation that if I hated it, we would move back to Chicago in three years. After one I told him I never wanted to leave.
I love living here. I love that I am 40 minutes from the lake (and by lake I mean the big lake- Michigan, there are little lakes all over, some mere miles away). I love that I am 10 minutes from a great downtown with delicious restaurants, great theatre, top notch museums and an arena that plays hockey nine months out of the year. Ok so that last one makes just my hubby happy. So it is home now and as far as I am concerned home for good.
But I love it when other people fall in love with it. You see Grand Rapids is FILLED with lifers. Seriously, I cannot believe how many people I meet who have never left here. The retention rate for people here in crazy high. So a lot of people I meet forget what a great city they live in and forget to take advantage of all it offers. A few weeks ago I had the privilege of hanging out with some amazing Chicago bloggers as they discovered my fine city thanks to Experience Grand Rapids. As a former Chicago-an it was so fun to watch them become amazed at all my little city had to offer.
And they went to all the right places. The Grand Rapids Art Museum, for a private showing of the amazing Princess Diana exhibit (which also led to a discussion about Art Prize which is one of the most amazing things Grand Rapids does). Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park with its gorgeous sculptures and state of the art Children’s Garden. We were also treated to a spa treatment at the fancy Amway Grand Hotel and meals at two of my absolute favorite restaurants, The Green Well and Sanchez.
I would love to show off my little city to you. Does your family need a little getaway? Experience Grand Rapids will provide one of my readers with an overnight stay for a family of four at Country Inn and Suites in Grand Rapids, tickets for a family of four to to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and a sturdy canvas tote bag containing an iPod shuffle with a podcast about Grand Rapids , The Polar Express DVD (the book is written by a local Grand Rapids author and Grand Rapids is portrayed in the film) and an official Experience Grand Rapids Visitor Guide.
To win the Grand Rapids Family Getaway head over to Experience Grand Rapids and come back and comment letting me know what you’d like to see or do here (besides hanging out with me!!). For extra entries (leave a SEPARATE comment for each):
- Follow GrandRapidsCVB on Twitter
- Follow The Diaper Diaries on Twitter
- Subscribe to The Diaper Diaries through RSS or email
- Share this contest in some way (Facebook, Twitter, blog post) and leave a link to it in the comments
You will need to get yourself to Grand Rapids to take advantage of this giveaway. Open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be chosen at random and you have until Dec 10th to enter. Several other bloggers are giving away similar packages and I will try and link to them as they go up. Good luck!!
- Dutch Being Me- Grand Rapids Girlfriends Getaway (ends 12/10)
- Hormone Colored Days- Grand Rapids, MI Family Getaway Giveaway! (ends 12/14)
- Adventures in Baby Wearing- A Grand Giveaway: Grand Rapids Family Getaway (ends 12/14)
This post is linked up to Finer Things Friday at Amy’s Finer Things