Mio and Grand Rapids, MI

Mio, is a…  Mio is a LITTLE town!  If you’re talking about small town America, this is it.  About 2000 people live there.  The town is about in the north-middle of the state.  If you’re from Michigan you tend to use your left hand as a map.  Hold up your left hand, right where your middle finger joins the rest of the hand is Mio.  It sits just outside of Mio Pond, a small lake created by the Mio Damn.  Mio is popular among people who enjoy the Au Sable and is home to a handful of B&B’s, including Teaspoon Antiques & Bed & Breakfast and the Pinewood Motel.  I’ve not stayed at either so will leave it at that.  I will point out that Mio is where a famous murder occurred. (yes! Murder in friendly northern Michigan!!)  The book: Darker Than Night, by Tom Henderson provides the nitty-gritty.  And yes, it’s gritty so don’t read this if you’re prone to nightmares.

Grand Rapids –  Most people think that Lansing or Flint, maybe Ann Arbor or Jackson would be the second largest city in the state.  Wrong, it’s Grand Rapids.  Here’s the other odd thing about Grand Rapids.  No one thinks about it.  Look in the news, no one talks bad about the city.  Nothing about crime, poverty, crazy politicians, schools going down the tubes, nothing…  That’s because Grand Rapids is a nice town…er, city.  It is.  There’s great shopping, nice stores, super places to eat, lots of pubs and bars with great menus and music.  The downtown has the Gerald R. Ford Presidential museum and Grand Valley State University, one of the top 100 universities in the country.  Right outside of town is Western Michigan University and just thirty miles away is Lake Michigan.  There’s even great fishing, right downtown!  If you can’t find something to do in Grand Rapids, it’s your own fault!

From Wikipedia:   “Grand Rapids is the second-largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan, and the largest city in West Michigan. It is located on the Grand Riverabout 30 miles east of Lake Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 188,040. In 2010, the Grand Rapids metropolitan areahad a population of 1,005,648, and the combined statistical area ofGrand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland had a population of 1,321,557. Grand Rapids is the county seat of Kent County, Michigan.

An historic furniture-manufacturing center, Grand Rapids is still home to five of the world’s leading office furniture companies, and is nicknamedFurniture City. Its more common modern nickname of River City refers to the landmark river for which it was named. The city and surrounding communities are economically diverse, based in the health care, information technology, automotive, aviation, and consumer goods manufacturing industries, among others.

Grand Rapids was the home of the Mayweather boxing family: Floyd Mayweather, Sr., his brothers Jeff and Roger, and his son Floyd Jr.; World Championship Boxer James Toney; singer and songwriter Anthony Kiedis; filmmakers Paul and Leonard Schrader; singer Al Green; and U.S. President Gerald Ford, who—along with his wife Betty—is buried on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museumin the city.”


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