Today Grand Rapids is a fascinating little oasis of art and culture amidst agriculture. There is a rich history of furniture design and production, several art museums and galleries, a thriving farmers market culture, money for the most incredible YMCA in the country, I'm sure of it, a number of universities, sweet places to eat, what looks like a cutting edge children's hospital and oh so much more. Upon our arrival I was chomping at the bit to catch a few hours of exploring before the fleeting light left us in darkness and in need of rest. My family, not so much. I promised samples of Loves Ice Cream or the Grocer's Daughter Chocolate, playing in parks and adventures in museums, but what my girls really wanted to do, I mean really Really really wanted to do was draw for a few hours, swim in the pool, explore the lobby of the hotel in all its splendid grandeur and eat take out sushi, so rather than struggle, coerce, cajole I let it be. They felt like they had just arrived at a little magical hub, a sort of Eloise meets some unknown swimming adventure story. They wanted to settle into this place, to draw what they thought its visitors of yesteryear might have looked like, to find a space of sanctuary in their momentary home. And so my illogical bribery with sugar lost an unnecessary battle and I took up the mantle of the loan adventurer.