So, I actually took Thursday and Friday off of work last week so that I could go to Stampshow in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Stampshow's the biggest show held in the country (except when there's an international show) and always good fun. I was sort of weirded out by the fact that it was being held in such a small city. It's usually located someplace major, but this worked. Grand Rapids is absolutely lovely and I went for several walks along the river.
It is also the site of the Ford Presidential Library. I decided to skip the show on Saturday morning and hit the library instead (it was across the street from our hotel). As a politics student and presidential library virgin, it seemed far more important to take advantage of the opportunity. I can't say that it was the best ever museum in the world, but was generally very well done. It must be incredibly hard to do the text for those exhibits because your audiences are soooo diverse...from presidential scholars to tourists who've hardly even heard of the former president. There were times when it seemed as though they were assuming a greater level of familiarity with the Ford administration then I had, but I still liked it. The big highlight (para mi) were tools from the Watergate break-in. Sweet! They also had a fairly ordinary white metal staircase that turned out to be the staircase that used to be atop the US Embasssy in Saigon...the one in the photos of the last few moments of evacuation from Vietnam. I couldn't decide if that was really creepy or really cool, but it was moving in an entirely ordinary "dude, it's just some stairs" kind of way.
The show itself was ok. I rejoined (for life!) my guatemalan collectors society and found a few neat items. I even paid in Euros at one booth, which was a bit strange. But, hey, I'm down to a 5 euro note.
On the way back we stopped for fruit! Mmmmmmm, Michigan blueberries and peaches and the most wonderful nectarines in the whole world! Saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Duchess that night and really rather enjoyed it (although I'm still on the fence about the oompa loompa(s?)). Johnny Depp was fantastic, but that's sooo not a kid's movie.
More later on the Irish fest.