You can’t have Holland without Amsterdam – Arkansas Times

Observer and I hit the road recently for a late summer vacation that we could have used about two months earlier. Trips for June and July were unexpectedly canceled and we were left wiling away most of the summer in scorching hot Arkansas waiting for our time to get away. 

When the date finally arrived, we loaded up the car to the brim and made our way up to Michigan. It’s too far for us to drive in a day, so we stopped in Champaign, Illinois. It might be a nice town, but I wouldn’t know. All I saw was our Holiday Inn Express and the Subway sandwich shop where we ate dinner. 

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The next day we made it to our destination: Holland, Michigan. Never heard of it? Most people haven’t. It’s a small, interesting town in southwestern Michigan that sits on Lake Michigan. The town’s Dutch influence is everywhere. Like Deboer Bakkerij (that’s “bakery”) and Van Wieren Hardware. There’s even a wooden shoe factory and a tulip festival. 

Thanks to Michigan’s legalization of recreational marijuana in 2018, the area is also home to another Dutch staple: marijuana. A billboard for a dispensary read: “You can’t have Holland without Amsterdam.”

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