Thursday, June 24, 2010

With John and Judy at Meijer Gardens

Yesterday we went to Grand Rapids to take a tour of Meijer Gardens and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.  Today I'll just show some pictures of the Meijer Gardens.

We went there at the invitation of friends John and Judy.  We met them a month ago when they were here in Haas Lake Park RV campground.  Both grew up near Grand Rapids and recently sold their home there (and are on their way to becoming full-timers).
We met at Meijer Gardens and spent the day with them.  They are such nice people!  We had a great time!

Meijer Gardens is named after its largest benefactor and local billionaire grocer Frederik Meijer.  He has a chain of regional stores that have done exceptionally well.  In 1995 the Gardens opened on the 132 acres of land that was donated by Meijer.  It is now the 2nd largest tourist attraction in Michigan.

We started out with a brief introduction with a volunteer docent.
 We first saw the Perennial and Bulb Garden which is housed in the big glass building.
Throughout the grounds, the works of interior designer, artist and glass sculptor Dale Chihuly were on display.  His creations on loan to Meijer Gardens.
Some of these reminded us of colored Hershey kisses.

Here is a sculpture made of polyvitro, which is a polymer plastic that is lighter than glass.  Chihuly developed it to create very large pieces which are blown and shaped in a similar procedure to blown glass.
In another part of the park, the "American Horse" is a sculpture by Nina Akamu who is American.  It is 24 feet high and a reproduction of a Leonardo Da Vinci statute.  Another copy was made for display in Milan, Italy.
The place is run and operated by a cadre of professionals and volunteers.  A few of the sculptures are more traditional including the "Mad Mom" and a seated Frederik and Lena Meijer.
A few of the other sculptors are a bit different with the "Red Reeds", a wood horse and the stainless steel tree.
All in all, if was a very fascinating time.  I normally am not that much interested in horticulture, arboreums and such, but it was a great time.
The Chihuly displays were amazing and we could have picked up a nice small one for only $6500.
If you are ever in the area and can stop by to see the Meijer Gardens I highly recommend it!

That is about all I want to show for today, tomorrow I'll put have some more on the rest of our great time with John and Judy in Grand Rapids.

Thanks for following on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

3 comments:

  1. Enjoyed the pics of Meijer Gardens, it really is a pretty area. I agree with ya'll, there were some very colorful hershey kisses in the water.
    You guys take care.

    Mike & Gerri

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