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What do cowboys, vampires, zombies, and frat boys have in common?

17 Apr

You can find them all at the Double JJ Ranch!  Or, at least we did on our recent trip.  For the kid’s spring break, we decided to spend our money locally, and head to Rothbury, Michigan to the Double JJ Ranch (Yes, I know that makes four JJ’s — that’s still what they call it!).  With an indoor waterpark, old west town, highly rated golf course, and more, a good family vacation was assured.  Plus, we were able to bring along our dog by staying in the cabins (rather than the hotel). So, now you know where the cowboys fit into our puzzle.

Vampires.  My daughter A is *obsessed* with arcades.  When she found out there was an arcade at the resort, she wanted to live there.  She had brought all her tooth fairy money, as well as all the change she has scarfed up our change bowls, and was ready to blow it all.  And what did she buy her hundreds of tickets she won?  Bouncy balls, little stuff animals, candy, and VAMPIRE TEETH.

These teeth became her favorite new toy. A and R invented a new game in the cabin called “Vampire house” — A was the vampire, and R was her guardian.  Or maybe her butler.  I’m not sure which. 

In honor of full disclosure: I have a bit of a vampire obsession myself, and I wondered — as my 6-year-old daughter was announcing “I’m a VAMPIRE!” — how much my obsession had influenced her.

Zombies. We spend one of the warmer days walking around the old west town (named the “Back Forty”), and once my son R spotted the photo-op coffin, he was instantly transformed into a zombie!  
And, of course, once there is one zombie in the midst — the virus quickly spreads. Soon the old west town was infested with zombies. 

I’m so glad my kids have good imaginations.  🙂

Frat boys.  These were not a figment of my kids imagination, but they did make a big impression.  After 2 peaceful nights in our cabin, a large group of college students arrived, taking over several of the cabins nearby. 

While I am one to allow respectful people to have a good time as much as they want — these kids were NOT that.  They blasted music at all hours of the day, despite the resort staff coming by numerous times asking them to turn it down. 
After one night of feeling like I was living in a dorm, plus an afternoon of my son NOT getting his nap, I — along with every other family in a cabin nearby — requested to be moved.  We had our last night in a large, nice condo.
My kindergartner, upon returning to school on Monday, was asked to write about her spring break.  Did she write about the water slides?  Arcade?  Vampire teeth?  Nope.  “We got to sleep at the top of the cabin. There were campers.” Her detailed picture shows the “campers” — our frat boys, their loud music, their bonfire, and their red beer cups scattered on the ground.

Tell Me Thursday: Rosie’s Diner in Rockford, Michigan

15 Apr
To start out our vacation last week, we needed a lunch stop.  My husband has become an avid fan of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, so I’ve used our vacations as opportunities to check out a few of the locations.  We’ve already hit spots in Baltimore and Chicago.  Last week, I traced our trip to the Double JJ Ranch in Rothbury, Michigan, and found Rosie’s Diner just north of Grand Rapids.  

This is your old school fifties diner — even the booths are original.  They are TINY!  The menu has your typical diner breakfast and lunch items — omelet, pancakes, and french toast for breakfast (all day long);  hot dogs, burgers, and sandwiches for lunch.  Plus, they do the old fashioned fifties diner items like made-from-scratch shakes, malts and floats.

Their specialities, according to Guy Fieri, include the onion rings and the Cobblestone french toast — so we had to order those.  The french toast was A-MAZ-ING.  A sweet cinnamon bread, french toasted, with apples, walnuts and brown sugar!   The onion rings passed my key test — the onion did not fall out of the breading;  John decided he preferred the onion rings at Blimpy Burger (another Dive pick by Guy), but I thought they were splendid.

The kids had to get their standards:  mac and cheese and a hot dog.  However, they did try an old fashion shake with a twist:  Amelia requested marshmallow flavor. They loved it.

And this is my picture from Wordless Wednesday.
At the end of our visit, we got our obligatory picture as evidence that John had eaten at yet another one of the restaurants on “the list.”