Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Day 1 Toronto to Kalamazoo

September 2016 - Toronto to Minneapolis

We are doing this trip because John is going to the Ryder Cup (golf) tournament in Chaska Minnesota and I am going along for the ride.

In case you are interested the Ryder Cup is...

The 41st Ryder Cup Matches will be held in the United States from September 30 to October 2, 2016, at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, a suburb southwest of Minneapolis. Europe enters the competition as the cup holders, having won in 2014 in Scotland for their third consecutive win.

The Ryder Cup is a biennial men's golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States. The competition is contested every two years with the venue alternating between courses in the United States and Europe. The Ryder Cup is named after the English businessman Samuel Ryder who donated the trophy.

The plan was to start September 27 and go from Toronto to Kalamazoo leaving around 9. We were in the car by 8:45 and had planned a stop to pick up a prescription. Onto the Gardiner highway and I realize I forgot my camera battery charger! I blame it on this cold I got on the weekend. John graciously turned around and we were back on the road around 9:30.

Heading to Sarnia to cross the border.

Stopped for gas just before noon and decided it was a good idea to grab lunch while we were there.

Turns out there's a toll booth just before the duty free in the Canadian side that took forever to get through. The cost was $4.00. The number of transports on the road were ridiculous.

On our way to the border.

Through customs.

"Kalamazoo" was originally a Native American name although its exact origin hasn't been pinpointed. Some say it means "the mirage of reflecting river," while others say it means bubbling or boiling water.

I had booked us into the Kalamazoo House Bed and Breakfast based on their incredible Tripadvisor reviews. What a delight!! We were greeted by manager and chef and given the grand tour.

The Kalamazoo House was built in 1878 for the family of David Lilienfeld, a wealthy German immigrant who with his brother William owned the Lilienfeld Brothers Cigar Company, the largest company of a thriving industry of cigar makers in Kalamazoo prior to 1900. Mr. Lilienfeld also imported beer and whiskey, and operated an upscale downtown drinking establishment called The Brunswick. For the second 50 years of the home's life, beginning in 1932, visitors to the house were attending funerals of Kalamazoo residents as the house served the community under the caring oversight of the Donovan family, as the Donovan Funeral Home (later Donovan-Betzler).
When the building was slated for destruction in 1985, to make room for a proposed parking facility, it was saved by prominent local restorers and turned into a hotel named "The Kalamazoo House"—after the city's impressive first hotel from a century before.

They don't serve alcohol but you are more than welcome to being your own and use the glasses etc from their bar area in the sitting room.

We headed out for  a stroll and dinner. We are right next door to the Institute of Art but it was just closing.

P E O P L E By Kirk Newman

This guy is quite a character, with the paper bag on his head.

Bronson Park

It's where the district's namesake and city founder, Titus Bronson, spent his first night, where Abraham Lincoln once spoke, and people of all persuasions have come to air out their viewpoints.

"Children at Play," by Kirk Newman. This group of bronze figures of children stands in the reflecting pool on the west end of the park.
 No water when we were there.

The Fountain of the Pioneers was previously listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Bronson Park Historic District, but was approved for individual inclusion on the list of historic places deemed to worthy of preservation.

The fountain in Kalamazoo's Bronson Park, which has generated controversy over how it depicts a settler and a Native American.

The Fountain of Pioneers, designed by Alfonso Iannelli and installed in 1940 in the downtown Kalamazoo park, depicts a settler standing above an Indian in full headdress. Iannelli said in a 1940 statement that the statue is meant to convey "the advance of the pioneers and the generations that follow, showing the movement westward, culminating in the tower-symbol of the pioneer while the Indian is shown in a posture of noble resistance."

Disabled Veterans monument outside Kalamazoo County 8th District Court, facing Bronson Park.

One of Kalamazoo's most notable features is the Kalamazoo Mall, an outdoor pedestrian shopping mall. The city created the mall in 1959 by closing part of Burdick Street to auto traffic, although two of the mall's four blocks have been reopened to auto traffic since 1999.

 We found Bell's Brewery and stopped in. No gluten free beer or cider.

The Union for dinner.


  1. What a great trip...I remember when the Ryder Cup in Rochester at Oak Hill.

  2. Quite a trip to make. I've been in Michigan several times, but never that city. The veterans monument is quite vivid.


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