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Monday, July 25, 2016

Summer in Muskegon, Michigan

July 2016, 7 nights over 2 different weeks and weekends

I have provided information about the Muskegon area a few different times in other blog posts. I am sharing new information in this post. The easiest way to find more information about a topic you are interested in, is to click on the label(s) at the bottom of this post (e.g. trail, lake, campground, etc.).

Smash Wine Bar and Bistro

We stopped at Smash Wine Bar and Bistro located downtown Muskegon on a Saturday for their Bloody Mary special - $5 for this delicious beverage, which came with a beer chaser. We were impressed, and definitely plan to stop here again! The excellent service matched the good quality beverage.

Smash Bar Bloody Mary photo taken
before we received the beer chaser
There was not anyone sitting outside when we arrived, so we went downstairs and had our beverages at a table in the bar area. We later learned the patio is monitored, and we could have taken a seat at a table on the patio/sidewalk, and someone would have been out to greet us.

We did not have anything to eat this visit (other than the snacks in our drinks), as we had just eaten lunch at Se4sons Gastropub. The Smash Nacho plate looked fabulous, and I imagine that is what we will try next visit.

Se4sons Gastropub via Lakeshore Trail

We rode our bicycles on Lakeshore Trail from Fisherman's Landing to Se4sons Gastropub. I noticed a couple of new signs on the trail, which provided great information for people not familiar with the trail or downtown. You can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Benzie County, Michigan / Upper and Lower Platte River, Platte River State Forest Campground, Lake Township Park

July 2016, Weekday-weekend, 3-nights

View of Platte River across the road from site 17

Platte River State forest Campground, Sites 18 and 17

This was our first time staying in Platte River State Forest Campground. Not many State Forest Campgrounds offer campsites large enough to accommodate large RVs, and I could not find much information about this campground or kayaking the Upper Platte River before our stay. I had found one vague reference to 45' sites (not on the state forest website), so we decided to arrive with our kayaks on Thursday evening - hoping to find a suitable site, and hoping we could access the river from the campground.

Labeled campground map; click to enlarge
There are 26 sites in this state forest campground. All of the sites are located across the road from the river except site 16. Site 16 is not right on the river, although it does offer an excellent view of the river without the road in between. It is possible I do not have the site numbers on the photo above exactly correct; however, they are all labeled in the correct locations, as I am referring to them in this post.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Grand Rapids, Michigan - GRR / Crowne Plaza - Grand Rapids Airport

June 2016, Weekday, 1-night, King executive guestroom #539

Sunrise from guestroom
I have stayed in this Crowne Plaza many times. We had a few new experiences this time, so I am sharing that information below. You can find more information about this property in my previous blog posts at the following links: February 2016, club floor guestroomJanuary 2014 and August 2013, king guestroom and king club floor guestroom; December 2011, king suite; May 2011, king guestroom; and August 2010.

Arrival and status perks

I redeemed 20,000 points for a king executive guestroom, which I thought was a great value. As a Platinum member, I received my choice of an on-property goody bag or 600 bonus points. The bonus points posted to my account the day I checked in. I received access to the Club Lounge, although I am not sure if that was a Platinum perk or a guestroom perk. It seems like an executive guestroom would include access to the lounge.

Guestroom 539

This guestroom is on the top [5th] floor in the C-wing section of guestrooms. There are only four floors of guestrooms in the north section (D & E wings), so the fourth floor is the top floor in those wings. A guestroom diagram is provided in the blog posts from February 2016 and January 2014. We stayed in a guestroom on floor 5 once before, although I could not find a blog post with pictures for that stay. It must have been a long time ago, as I only recall a few vague details. I usually request an executive or club floor guestroom, and this was the first time I recalled any differences between the guestrooms. I think I will always request an executive guestroom for future stays!