Grand Rapids: The Best People on the Planet!

I must backtrack a bit.  Before making three jars of delightfully tart jam, Rachel and I went to my favorite restaurant (luckily my favorite restaurant is in my favorite city,) Marie Catribs.    I have had lunch at Marie’s several times (try their Adult Grilled Cheese and their chocolate pudding,) but I had never had the pleasure of trying her breakfast!  I got a meal called “The Soo Lox,” which was a bagel with cream cheese, capers, and salmon that is cured in-house!  Coupled with their chunky spiced potatoes and a pot of Turkish coffee, I can’t decide whether I like breakfast or lunch better!

After a day of jamming out, Rachel and I decided to make fried green tomatoes and WATCH Friend Green Tomatoes, which I had never seen before!

They were way good, just another Rachel-recipe to tuck into my brain for later!

While we are chalking up a list of favorites, my favorite pastor, Rob Bell, just happens to have a church in Grand Rapids (well, just outside!)  called Mars Hill.  I did a good portion of my Religion Major thesis on Rob (as well as Donald Miller) as he pertains to the Emerging Church Movement.   I’ve been following Rob since we watched his NOOMA series in high school, and I’ve read all of his books.  I like his thoughtful and outside-the-box theology.

After that, I got to see my friend Derik, whom I spend a Summer with at camp!  I had always wanted to try Yesterdog, but I knew that I needed to experience it first with Derik, because it’s his favorite!  Yet another of my favorite people who happens to live in Grand Rapids!

Moving right along with wonderful people met at wonderful eating establishments is seeing Mark at The Sparrows!  I swear, I had coffee there three times in one weekend, and I am very impressed with their latte art abilities!   Mark has just gotten back from NYC, recording an album with producer Chris Zane (of Passion Pit and Mumford and Son’s fame!)  Check out his band, Stepdad, so you can say “Dude, I knew them before they got famous!”

After coffee, I rapped up the night at Stella’s, a bar downtown with a great vegetarian menu and arcade games, with soon-to-be Funniest Person in Grand Rapids, Ryan Lathrop, Rachel, and Mark!

Fast forward to mid-week, Ryan, the first guy with the beard, went on to the finals of the Funniest Person in Grand Rapids competition last night!

Again, there were amazing times with friends to be had with my improv friends (oh, and Gina, my old roommate!)

A staggering percentage of my friends are either from, or have moved to Grand Rapids.  Just another reason it’s my favorite city on the planet!

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