The kids and I took a trip to Meijer Gardens to visit the Butterflies are Blooming exhibit. Before I get started, let me just get one thing out of the way:
BUTTERFLIES FREAK ME OUT
As a kid, one of my favorite books was “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”. Some of you might think my feelings about butterflies would prevent me from liking this story but it doesn’t. I think this is one of the most mis-interpreted books in children’s literatue. The moral of the story has nothing to do with becoming your beautiful self, nor is it a nature lesson. Quite simply, the point is that you should, if desired, eat like a total pig because you will feel better the next day. Then you should take a long nap. Words to live by.
Anyway, back to the Gardens. It was a big deal that I went, because I am going to have to take some Benadryl just to get rid of the hives after I finish writing this. To me, butterflies are not beautiful. They are flying worms with big, freaky wings that look like giant eyeballs. They evoke in me the same reaction most people have to bats. Think of a bat flying right up to you and people giving you dirty looks for swatting at it, then telling you to stay still so it can land on you. Insane.
My kids loved the butterflies. We actually got to see some hatch (which I thought was disgusting, by the way but that’s just me) and dry off their wings. And my love for my kids allowed me to overcome my fear, as I was able to coach A.P. into getting a butterfly to land on his finger. I wanted to squish that nasty thing off of my beloved firstborn’s hand more than you can even imagine, but he was so excited I couldn’t do it. The kids had an absolute blast, and for that reason I am so glad we went.
From there we went over to the Kent ISD complex. It’s pretty much across the street. Here are directions. That is the home of the Kent Career Technical Center, which is a pretty neat place. They teach high school kids some very useful trades such as health, banking, food service, cosmetolegy, and several more. Naturally, practice makes perfect so they have a Culinary Cafe that is open for lunch, as well as a Bakery.
The bakery has very tasty, and very inexpensive items. They are all fresh and delicious; a loaf of fresh bakery bread for $0.50?? Get out of here! A bag of cloverleaf rolls for $0.75? Seriously. Good stuff. What is available on a daily basis varies, but they will do special orders.
There is a sit down restaurant in the Culinary Cafe but it was not open when we were there. There is also a cafeteria that serves food al a carte. This is crazy cheap and really good. We got two servings of home made mac & cheese, a huge piece of pizza – like a quarter of a pizza, and the biggest, fanciest twice-baked potato I have ever seen for $6.50. Total. We were stuffed and had leftovers. Call ahead of time about the Cafe hours to make sure they will be open when you get there.
KCTC has some other public services available too, here is a link with that information. Enjoy!