Springtime means spring sports! I am a proud father of an amazing daughter in her freshman year at St. Johns. It's exciting to be able to watch her play volleyball, basketball and soccer in the springtime. Despite a slow start to sun filled spring days, we have mostly lucked out with soccer. On one particular day in April, the Redwing (St. Johns) JV Soccer team hosted the Lansing Catholic Cougars. My daughter (27) scored the first two goals in a 3-1 win! St. Johns has some of the best sports fields and facilities in the area and there's always a game to watch during the week. As the editor of the local sports website, I'm happy to point you in the right direction for schedules.....
Downtown St. Johns
When I was young, I made the mistake of getting a tattoo on my back that, let's just say, didn't turn out so well. This spring I finally had the chance to cover it up. After 30 years of people asking "what is it" when they saw it, I wasn't about to make the same mistake again. We are fortunate to have the talented artist, Charli of Ink Craft Studio, right here in downtown St. Johns. I think she did an amazing job and the tattoo highlights the time I spent on the board of directors for our local swim club, the St. Johns Sea Lions. I wanted it to represent the strength, commitment and community we were able to achieve with this team, a team formed in 1976 and a team that continues to make me proud every day.
Ink Craft Studio is just one of the small businesses that have revitalized our downtown area. New coffee shops, brewery's, boutiques and art studios have all added to the historic retail shops and restaurants and have made it the great spot it is to hang out during a spring day. It's only a few blocks away from the Inn, so make sure to ask Kjersten and/or Greg about some of their favorite recommendations.
I spent 23 years working in the golf industry as a Golf Professional. I started my career in Florida, but most of my career was spent in Mid Michigan, including four years as an Assistant Professional and the last two as the Teaching Professional at the local championship course,The Emerald. Last year I made the decision to leave the business and at 50 years of age, apply for reinstatement as an amateur golfer and give a shot to competing and putting in some time at trying to improve my own game. It's an opportunity that I am very grateful for, one that takes me back to my youth and the memories spent learning the game from my father and grandfather.
I was excited to learn that my Amateur Status was reinstated in early April and I would be able to compete in my first tournament in 23 years at my local course, right here in St. Johns! The Spring Medal Play Tournament was put on by the Greater Lansing Amateur Golf Association (GLAGA) on April 29th and 30th. The 36 hole event was a grind, with cold and occasionally rainy conditions. I was happy to finish third in the Championship Flight (one shot out of a playoff), but was most excited with the chance to return to competition and to have my wife and daughter come cheer me on during the final round.
Make sure to take advantage of The Emerald Stay and Play package offered by the Nordic Pineapple, the "Gem of Mid-Michigan" offers some of the fastest greens you will play and a terrific layout!
Things to Do
I am lucky enough to have a large group of friends in St. Johns and they're a big part of what makes living in a small town so great. Recently we celebrated the 40th birthday of one of our friends at a great new venue, just outside our town. Lansing Shuffle is a great new "food hall and social club" that's just a 25 minute drive from the Nordic Pineapple. With indoor restaurants, full service bars, featured artwork, live entertainment and outdoor seating, it's the perfect spot to enjoy a spring or summer evening. We enjoyed a private room and the outdoor patio with a great view of the Grand River and the Riverwalk. I highly recommend giving it a try when you're in town.
The Kind of Town You'll be Visiting
Despite being one of the best springs I can remember, it has not all been perfect. This is the first spring my family has spent without my father, who passed in January. His last few years were spent at home with my mother, a lifelong nurse, who provided tireless care at home.
What I'd like to do now is give my mother some of the retirement she deserves. One of the first things we did was give her a night in the Purple Viking suite. I knew it would be a good chance for her to rest and that she'd be in good hands at the Nordic Pineapple. She really enjoyed her stay and looks forward to another visit. Sometimes it's just nice to be taken care of.
We have an Upper Peninsula trip planned for later this summer and today we're actually picking up a three wheeled bicycle that I hope she really has a chance to enjoy. I'm looking forward to the small rides together around this small town, on the trail that runs through it, through the many parks and even cruising our downtown.
This is the kind of town we live in and I sure hope you enjoy it when you visit.