Day Trip: Greenfield Village

The day after our Grand Rapids trip we decided to go to Greenfield Village. My parents have a membership that they basically never use unless I orchestrate a trip there. Well… that’s not entirely true because we go there to see Santa every year but that’s a post for around Christmas time. The warm days are coming to an end so I wanted to squeeze in as much fun as we can before it gets too cold. So I ran the idea by my mom and she was all for it… my boys love the place… and Betsy has never been so it was all the more reason to go.

My oldest, “D”, made it a point to let me know that under no uncertain terms can we go if we don’t have licorice. “Its tradition” he says to me… ha! Who knew he paid attention to such things lol. So here I am the night before scrambling out to Krogers to make sure we have a bag to bring with us. In the morning I had no troubles getting them up and about and I slapped a couple water bottles, the licorice, and some granola bars into a bag and we headed off.

fountain

When we got there we headed towards the farm area first. Its always neat to see the volunteers dressed in costume working around the farm. On this particular day they were rounding up corn stalks and tying them into bunches. Inside the farmhouse the ladies were busy cooking “dinner” …at 10am …lol. They explained that after a busy day working on the farm they all sit down to dinner at around noon. Crazy!

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Then onto the boys favorite area, the Liberty Craftworks District, where they have the pottery, print, and glass making. The volunteers were extra talky and really went into every detail and my kids just ate it up. In the pottery shop we watched as one was making a teapot, another a decretive plate, and another a Halloween-themed jack-o-lantern. In the print shop my youngest, “B”, was able to go behind the railing and make a print in the press to take home. The printer volunteer was very informative and explained the origins of several commonly used terms that stemmed from print making. Did you know that “mind your p’s and q’s” is what the printer would say to his apprentice because the “P” and “Q” tiles looked so much alike? Neither did I lol. And finally the glassmaking area… my kids would spend the day in there if they could. When they were younger we used to have to drag them out or bribe them with candy lol. Today they were making a vase and we got to see most of it. The announcer mentioned that during lunch breaks they made the Christmas ornaments and “D” was determined that we were going to stay to see that. I convinced him there was too much else we had to see and we moved on.

betsy clock branden

The rest of the village is mostly houses and such. We listened to a lot of presentations, the boys asked a lot of questions and normally I would be all about it but on this particular day we had a time deadline and with most of the day gone already I began to grow a bit impatient and needed to hurry them along a little bit. It seemed like every time we turned a corner there was another volunteer with a 10 minute story, great for the education, bad for the time crunch. Interestingly enough we did walk into a house around noon and the people inside were, in fact, eating dinner.

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LUNCH TIME! Actually I dread this part of the day… you see “D” is what you might call a picky eater. And no, not in a “I only eat chicken nuggets” kind of way… no he is a gourmet connoisseur of fine traveling foods and has this thing where he can zero out THE most expensive thing on the menu… and want that along with appetizers and side orders and any other thing he can come up with to annoy me. He seriously wanted like a sirloin steak or whatever, a side of mashed potatoes, a chicken Caesar salad… he rattled off a few other things but I was too steamed up to listen any longer. I’m trying to put my foot down but its getting more and more drawn out and I’m starting to seriously lose my cool until FINALLY we get him to agree on a hot dog with a side of mashed potatoes. I have to admit, the food there is very good and not too over priced as food tends to be at such places.

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After lunch we only had about a half hour before go time so we breezed through the train depot and remaining houses, made a pit stop in the gift shop (I got a handmade glass pickle ornament I’ve been wanting for years… a story for another time) and headed off home. All in all it was a good trip. Yes I lost my cool but with my kids it wouldn’t be a trip without it lol.