We had a wonderful trip to Holland, Michigan a few years back and we decided to tempt fate and take a fast weekend trip. We had toyed with the idea of going to Mackinac Island, or to Petoskey, Traverse City or in that part of the state. In the end, we decided to stay closer to home, just in case the state became closed again, I did not want to try to fight traffic on two lane roads for four or more hours. Thankfully the worst-case scenario did not occur. Though it was interesting to see how the hotels now have these seals that they apply on the hotel rooms to show you that the room has been cleaned (and sterile?). The first room that we ended up having, thankfully my Bride was not in the bathroom when we closed the door to start unpacking, as the door to the bathroom would not open back up. We had to move all of our luggage and stuff and to make it up to us we had to open up another sterile(?) room only this time it was a suite. I am glad that we were only there for a weekend, as there were just enough towels. The amenities were a rag-tag mixture of assorted brands of soaps, shampoos and conditioners, and this was from a major hotel chain. Walking through the hotel required masks in the hallways and thankfully there was a coffee maker in the suite, because there were no breakfasts being offered. My laptop would not sync with the hotel’s Wi-Fi, but my Bride’s did, so we had to share one computer. The Gods must have been offended, because after we returned home, my brand-new iPhone froze, and the good people on Tech Supported ended up sending me a new phone, and even walked me through the entire conversion, but for some odd reason I ended up loosing all the photos of the trip, plus some additional wine photos for future articles, all in all, I lost about a month’s worth of photos, but I have a phone that is functional.
We had made arrangements to meet a former co-worker of my Bride and we met them for dinner outside of Grand Rapids and on the way to Holland. We met the other couple at FireRock Grille that was running not only the restaurant, but banquets and business meetings at quite a large facility at a semi-public golf course. The weather was nice, so we opted to eat on the backside of the facility overlooking part of the golf course and some residential areas that abutted the course as well. The gimmick for a lack of a better term was the use of the hot rocks that if one desires to go with it, allows one to cook the dish to the desired finish, and we have been to other restaurants that feature this concept. We started off with an appetizer while we waited for her husband to show up and it was a Smoked Whitefish Dip with warm flat breads and Pesto; before masks were the rage in Michigan, Whitefish ruled supreme. My Bride ordered the Salmon Al Pastor, seared Atlantic Salmon, grilled pineapple, Achiote Sauce, Coconut Rice and Citrus-Jicama Slaw. I had the Creole Pasta with Smoked Chicken, Andouille Sausage, Spinach, Tomatoes and a Spicy Cheddar Cream atop Cavatappi. I was impressed that they even had American Wagyu steaks being offered. The other couple had their choices and there were not requests for carryout boxes.
I was trying to find a nice refreshing Summer wine as we were sitting outside and I selected Fleurs de Prarie Cotes de Provence 2019, and Fleurs de Prarie translates into wildflowers evoking the fields and fields of wildflowers found in Provence. The wine is sourced from many vineyards in the district. The wine is a blend of fifty-five percent Grenache, thirty percent Cinsault and fifteen percent Syrah and the fruit were immediately crushed and sent to tank to chill prior to yeast inoculation. The wines were fermented slowly for two weeks in cool temperatures in a zero-oxygen environment to maintain the color and fresh fruit flavors. The wine had bright acidity which was perfect for the day and made it easy to go with an assortment of foods, and the soft salmon color was very enticing with a nose of soft strawberries to entice the drinker and was very refreshing. The wine is made by Les Grands Chais de France and the label was created in 2016 for the Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits. After we said good bye to our friends, it was just a short trip from the restaurant to Holland, Michigan and our little getaway. I am just glad that I saved two of the wine bottles from our trip as is my habit, or I would have nothing to show for show and tell.