2011 California to NY, Alfa Romeo, Cross Country Drive, Drives

California to NY 2011 – Day 9: Holland MI to London Ontario

After too many days of getting up early, offered a horrid motel “continental breakfast” and hitting the road, I thought it would fun to explore Holland MI for a few hours. If my Dutch companions were getting homesick perhaps this exploration of a Dutch settled town would give them a quick reminder of home. Downtown Holland was just as nice in the daytime as we sipped our espresso while walking through a local market. Our next stop was Nells Dutch Village Theme Park and Shopping (Welkom to Nelis’ Dutch Village Theme Park & Shopping in Holland, Michigan). At the ticket gate we were told of a special deal; $15 for both the village and the nearby Dutch windmill. Dutch people love discounts so we purchased both tickets and entered the Dutch village. It did not take too long for our already low expectations to sink even lower. This “recreation” of a Dutch village consisted of 10 or so miniature and very fake buildings. Seemingly re-created from an insane person’s memory of what they think they saw in Holland while they were tripping on acid. I’ve seem more realistic villages at a miniature golf park. Inside each building was a shop selling “authentic” Dutch gifts. Quickly finding the exit we jumped back in Giulia and stopped at Windmill Island to check out the poorly maintained, but authentic Dutch windmill. With the Dutch boys unimpressed, we hit the road heading east again this time with our sites on Canada and a quick detour to Grand Rapids for a visit to Founders Brewing Company. (Founders Brewing Company | Brewed For Us. Enjoyed By Everyone.) This brewery was to be the highlight of our day. Huge and very comfortable inside we tasted several of the beers and all were great. Of particular note was a hot pepper IPA. An interesting combination that was great in small tastes but would become obnoxious in pints.

Back in the saddle, heading east the scenery became progressively more depressing as we passed through the outskirts of Detroit, passing through Flint then onto the very depressed border town of Port Huron. At this point we were actually looking forward to crossing the border, seeing new sights in a country other than the USA. Within 10 minutes of our entry our excitement became tedium when we realized the vista was nothing but corn on this highway and the speed limit was unbelievably low. As darkness fell and we explored the very ugly and creepy city of London. As we were in search of dinner and a hotel we were became very eager to return to the USA. Even the endless desert highways of Nevada were better than this.

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