We spent this past weekend in the gorgeous city of Grand Rapids, MI, the second largest city in the state after Detroit.
Matt's unit had a post-deployment Yellow Ribbon Program event, which is a "Department of Defense-wide effort to support National Guard and Reserve Service Members and families with information on benefits and referrals before, during, and after deployments."
I do think it's wonderful that they have these for the soldiers and their families. We had one last year for Matt's unit prior to their deployment and we received a slew of information and support. Last year's event took place in Lansing, where Matt and I used to live, but we were thrilled that this one took place in Grand Rapids, especially because the event was held at the exquisite Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. It was so amazing to be able to stay there for two nights--for free!!
The original hotel--The Pantlind--opened in 1913. Within the next ten years, the hotel was ranked as "One of the Ten Finest Hotels in America."
Since then, the hotel has seen several additions, but the magnificent lobby of the original hotel remains:
The glow and the ambiance was so incredibly lovely!
Our room was in the new section of the hotel, on the eighteenth floor.
We had a wonderful view of the city and the Grand River.
On Friday night, we were able to meet up with our close friends, newlyweds Nick and Jaela.
After the program stuff finished for the day on Saturday, all of us husbands and wives in Matt's section went out to eat. It was great to enjoy one another's company on the other side of the deployment!
Our group then took a leisurely stroll through the city streets. It was a splendid summer's evening and it was such a joy to take in the scenes of beautiful downtown Grand Rapids.
Hoping you all enjoyed beautiful summery weekends, too!