Mr. Chris goes to Michigan (or How I Spent My Summer Vacation in Grand Rapids)

Hello Friends! Welcome to yet another post on Chris Lackie – The Blog!

My family and I recently returned from a trip to the fabled Americas, where we spent a few days visiting a friend in the magical land known as Grand Rapids, Michigan.

As with any trip to the U.S., the first step was crossing the border. Since we decided to visit my aunt in Windsor, we were going to be crossing at Detroit. Now, the last time my wife and I went through the Detroit border crossing the guard who “greeted” us was… how do I put this?… A dick. Here is how our conversation went:

Guard: Turn off the car and give me your keys and passports.

We turn off the car and hand him the keys and our passports.

Guard: Citizenship?

Us: Canadian.

Guard: What is your reason for coming into the United States?

Us: Visiting family in Sarasota, Florida.

Guard: How long will you be there?

Us: A week.

Guard: What’s in the car?

Us: Clothes and some granola bars.

Guard: What else?

Us: Nothing else.

Guard: What else?

Us: Uh… we have some CDs to listen to on the way.

Guard: What else?

Us: We have wallets with a small amount of cash.

Guard: What else?

Us: Nothing.

Guard: What else?

Us: Our clothes are in suitcases.

Guard: What else?

Us: We are also wearing clothes.

This went on for a long time as the guard continued to ask what we had in the car and we started listing the various items of clothing we were wearing.  This portion of the conversation concluded after we noted that we were both wearing shoes.

Guard: Pop the trunk.

Us: We can’t, you have to use the key.

Guard: Pop the trunk.

Us: We don’t have a button to pop the trunk. You have to use the key which you are holding in your hand.

Guard: Pop the trunk!

Us: We can’t. You have to use the key. You are holding it in your hand.

After successfully opening the trunk and going through our things (which I assume he did to ensure that our clothes were in fact in suitcases), the guard gave us our keys and passports and told us to go. Which we did very quickly.

Now this time around we were ready. My wife and I went over everything in our possession and made a list that we could easily recite to the border guard. We were prepared to tell him about every little thing that was in our car. If he wanted to know, we could have told him how many diapers and baby wipes we had. Here’s how the conversation went:

Guard: Passports.

We hand him our passports. I note that he did not ask for our keys.

Guard: Citizenship?

Us: Canadian.

Guard: Where are you going?

Us: Grand Rapids to visit a friend.

Guard: How long will you be there?

Us: Until Thursday.

Guard: What are you bringing with you?

Here we go. We prepped for this.

Us: Clothes, toiletries, baby toys…

Guard: Regular stuff?

Us: Uh… yes.

Guard: Good bye.

He handed us our passports and we drove away, happy that this border crossing was stress free. A great success! Our happiness was compounded by the fact that our son slept through the border crossing and most of the way to Grand Rapids!

We only got to spend 3 complete days in Grand Rapids (and it rained two of those days), so we didn’t get to see a whole lot, but we did manage to go to the Grand Rapids Art Museum which has an… interesting collection of pieces. They had an exhibit called “Michigan Modern” that looked at… things. For example, here is my wife looking at one of the pieces.



Fun fact: That is not a real window.

This exhibit also had old boats, tents and children’s play sets. It was not what you would call exciting. In their regular collection however, there was one piece that caught my eye.

More Art.

More Art.

I can’t remember the artist’s name or the name of the piece, but I think it was created by covering the canvases in charcoal and erasing part of it to create the smoke effect. I think it’s pretty cool.

The next day we made our way to a beach on Lake Michigan. It was super hot and the water was super cold, but we still had a good time. Here I am having a good time with my son.



Of course, as a Canadian one of my favourite things to do while in the U.S. is to buy things you can’t purchase in our home and native land. For example, I am a big fan of the different pops (sodas, for you Americans) that they have south of the border. Did you know that they have Coke Zero in vanilla and cherry flavour? They’re delicious. I am also a big fan of all the delicious breakfast cereals they have. You can get regular old Cap’n Crunch here, but in the U.S. you can get all these different flavours:

Aye Aye, Cap'n!

Aye Aye, Cap’n!

Can you believe they accidentally made a cereal out of just Crunch Berries? What a horrible (and delicious) mistake! And sprinkled donut flavour? I’ve always thought that Cap’n Crunch and donuts would make an excellent combination.

And as you all know, I am obsessed with Funko Pop Vinyl Figures. I took this opportunity to pick up some figures that are only available in the United States. I am especially proud of this one:

Stay Puft Mad!

Stay Puft Mad!

It’s Stay Puft and he has been lightly toasted! Isn’t that awesome! I also picked up some other guys, which I’m sure you’ll hear about in the near future.

And that is it for my Michigan adventure. So until next time…

Oh wait! I almost forgot.

Last week my wife and I celebrated 5 years of marriage (awww). To celebrate, we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy. It was really good. I found myself laughing out loud a lot and actually caring when bad things happened to good people (or walking trees). It was so good even my wife liked it (and she hates everything). Even if you don’t like these types of movies, there is a good chance you’ll like this one.

Okay, that’s all for now.



3 thoughts on “Mr. Chris goes to Michigan (or How I Spent My Summer Vacation in Grand Rapids)

  1. One time when my in-laws were crossing the border, after a long list of questions, the guard asked “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”

  2. Pingback: Visiting the Green Mountain State | Chris Lackie - The Blog

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