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We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful entertainment venue

in our Forest Hills Area.  The fabulous Fine Arts Centers Shows this

winter-spring season have something for everyone.  Not only the

headlining events like Amy Grant, and  Whose Live Anyway, the local

high school productions are not exactly the amateur events I remember

from my school days.  The musicals we have seen have had seriously

talented young performers from our local high schools.

There are still quite a few shows to catch this season. If you haven’t

been to our fabulous gold star LEED performance center, you should

stop by and take a look.

It is open every day from 8am to 5 pm with a featured artist-in-residence

work displayed in the lobby.  This month, fiber artist Jo-Ann Van Reeuwyk

displays vessels that explore the concept of containment.

Fine Arts Center Forest Hills MI

February 22 – Forest Hills Central -Evening of Percussion 7 pm

February 23 – Jazz Night 7 pm

March 11 – Cynthia Hagedorn Artist Reception – 6-7:30 pm

March 12-13 – Grand Rapids Balley Company Interactive 7:30 pm

March 25,26,27 – Forest Hill Central MusicalThe Wizard of Oz – 7:30 pm;

+  3:00 pm matinee Mar 27th

April 17 – An Evening with Amy Grant – 7:30 pm

April 18 – Grand Rapids Symphony – Percussion Explosion – 3:00 pm

April 20 – Forest Hill Public Schools K-12 Student Artists Reception, 6 – 7:30 p.m

Thursday, April 29, 2010 – Whose Live Anyway

May 26 – National Senior Health and Fitness Day, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m

June 3  – International Society of Experimental Artists’ Reception, 6 – 7:30 p.m

Fine Arts Center 

We volunteer at the Fine Arts Center and find it a very entertaining and

rewarding way to give back to our community.  We have ushered shows,

taken tickets, handed out programs, placed posters and guided people to

their seats.  The Fine Arts Center is a part of the Forest Hills School

System but must survive financially on its own, which means volunteers

are vital to the program. Without volunteers, it wouldn’t be possible to

fund the shows and events that take place to enrich the community.

Fine Arts Center GR MI 49546
Fine Arts Center GR MI 49546


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The authors of the this blog write about Grand Rapids Real Estate, the Greater Grand Rapids MI area, and what it is like to live in West Michigan. Grand Rapids Michigan is a vibrant, growing metropolitan area with a diverse business community, great medical research & services, numerous universities, plus lively arts and entertainment of all kinds.

We believe: Grand Rapids is a Great Place to Live!

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Westbrook Realty Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

                          Contact Terry   616-292-7263


Held at the Gerald R Ford Presidential Museum in downtown Grand Rapids Michigan

We attended the annual Public Town Hall Meeting that Vern Ehlers held at

Gerald R. Ford Museum on Saturday May 2nd, 2009.  We have a few video

clips of parts of the meeting and the beautiful water fountain outside of

the museum entrance.  The Grand River was at flood stage and the water

covers the sidewalk that is at the river’s edge. 

This was an interesting hour spent among our peers discussing the items

we felt were important to us here in Grand Rapids.  Congressman Ehlers

gave us his thoughts and insight on many current topics.

We were disappointed to see less than 100 people out of a population of

over 660,000 that Rep. Ehlers Third District covers in Michigan.  Although

he was pleased to see that the crowd was bigger than normal. 


Ehlers Town Hall Meeting Grand Rapids MI


Grand Rapids Real Estate ~ Westbrook Realty

Copyright 2009 All rights reserved

Video by Terry Westbrook

Watermark Country Club in Cascade Township has a wonderful pool facility.

We are not members but being members of the golf course we are allowed

to use the facility several times a year at a small charge.

Yesterday was POOL DAY!!   Our grandson, Jeffy is up from Indianapolis for

his yearly “Grandparents Camp Week” with us. The pool is one of his favorite

places to go.

It was in the eighties and humid—perfect pool weather, even though the

clouds looked menacing.  We had tried on Monday but got rained out before

we could get wet. The pool staff keeps  a sharp eye on the weather and closes

the pool if a storm threatens. Watermark has lunch available poolside and

we had hamburgers and a hotdog to keep our energy up for the big day.

We took a couple of pictures, so you can see what a great place it is.

view of pools

This is a shot of both pools, the adult pool with slide tower in back, and

the kid’s pool in front. There is a putting range behind the storage

building in the background for the kids to use.

kids pool

The kids pool is THE MOST popular area – a small slide, 2 water shooting

animals to ride,and the dumping pails tower in the center make this fun

for big and little children.

lunch area

The pool house has a men’s and women’s locker room with showers,

toilets and changing stations.  An additional restroom is located close

to the pool. Grilled burgers and other lunch favorites are available until

the pool closes at 8 pm.

sand & play structure

The sand box is a draw for big and little children.  A small play structure, a

large play fort with slide, and a swing set are all set in this huge sand box.

Jeffy is on the right heading for the water spigot, he is excavating a water

trench with buckets and shovels.

TW at the driving range

That’s me taking a few swings at the driving range – just over the fence

from the pool.

The Watermark Residences

The Grille at Watermark

Watermark Country Club

If you would like further information about Forest Hills Homes, please

contact me directly:  1-888-240-1968

Grand Rapids Michigan Real Estate Westbrook Realty

Copyright 2009  All rights reserved

Photos of Watermark pool area by Bonnie Westbrook

As bizarre as this sounds, that is exactly what is being promoted

by the Kent District Library’s One Book One County Reading

Program for Saturday, January 10th.

The book that will be chosen for this year’s program will be unveiled

at the John Ball Park Zoo’s Aquarium building at 11:00 am.

Besides announcing the new book for this year, the zoo staff will

give tours and presentations, and the zoo will be free from

11:00 until 2:00 pm for visitors.

Winter isn’t the usual time you think about going to the zoo, but

lots of animals are more active in the winter months, such as

the tigers, who have warm coats and like cooler weather.  

Grand Rapids Ada Real Estate ~ Five Star Real Estate

Copyright 2009 ~ All rights reserved

We had an interesting start to our day. We had a sit down talk with William Seidman,

commentator for CNBC, former FDIC chairman, and Grand Rapids native son. 

 Well, we were sitting in the audience with about 200 other Grand Rapidians while Bill

told us how he believes we got into this financial crisis.  He was scheduled to talk about

 which candidate would be the best one for our financial times.  With all that has

happened in the last few weeks, his advice was sage and to the point.

                   Check out their financial advisors.

Neither candidate is a businessman or financial expert, so they will be getting lots

 of advice.  Try to find out who is advising them and vote for the one whom you

considered to be well advised.  He also said we are in uncharted waters with this

whole mess. It will take some original thinking to get us out. And we need to come

 out of the “PANIC STAGE” we are in now.

We caught a few minutes of Bill’s Talk at the GVSU downtown campus that you can

 see on this short video:


Grand Rapids Ada Real Estate ~ Five Star Real Estate

Copyright 2008  ~ All rights reserved


We are very fortunate to live in a community with a fabulous public school

system.  One of its more popular assets is the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center. 

 This venue hosts Broadway Shows, a Gallery for local artists, High School

 Musicals, Grand Rapids Symphony, Grand Rapids Ballet Events, and other

local school shows. 

We are new volunteers at the Fine Arts Center and have learned a

lot about its background and what keeps it running.

Forest Hills Fine Arts Center Ada MI

Forest Hills Fine Arts Center Ada MI

A list of over 300 volunteers are unpaid staff that help host all the shows.

Even though this wonderful building is part of the Forest Hills Public School

System, it is expected to operate at a profit.  The only way to do this is

keep a small staff and have community volunteers man the events.  This

keeps the cost of shows at a level where it is affordable and gives us a

wonderful building to host our local artistic events. 


 This is the Fine Arts Centers Fifth Season Subscription Series:

Clint Black                                 Sept 21

Michael McDonald                   October 24

Three Dog Night                      November 7

Movin’ Out                                December 7

Golden Dragon Acrobats      February 3

Phoebe Snow                           March 1

We just went to our first volunteer event a few weeks ago, Forest Hills

Central High School’s Bandtasia.  Forest Hills Central’s marching

band puts on this show for the local community to strut their stuff.  We

thoroughly enjoyed their performance.

We made a short video of some highlights, if you would like to take a look

at our excellent community arts resource- The Fine Arts Center:


Grand Rapids – Ada Real Estate  – Five Star Real Estate 

 Copyright 2008  All rights reserved

photo of Forest Hills Fine Arts Center by Bonnie Westbrook


Robinette’s Farm Market is a favorite Grand Rapids destination for families,

shoppers, sippers, pie aficionados, hay ride enthusiasts, and just plain folks. 

We like to sample the wonderful home baked fruit pies, donuts,

bear claws, and other bakery goods. And of course, the fresh apple cider. 

In fact, on weekends in season, you can see the old fashioned apple press

at work.

Located at the East Beltline at Four Mile Road in northeast Grand Rapids

Township, Robinette’s is a farm market that has diversified to anticipate

their customers needs.

Their newest venture in the big red barn is Robinette Cellars,a wine tasting

cellar, which they have added to their repertoire. They feature Michigan wines

and Cider, the typical red and white table wines, a hard cider, and cherry wine. 

For the more adventurous, they also offer a sweet Pear Wine, Mirtillo Wine

made from Michigan blueberries, Cyser, a blend of apple & honey wine,

flavored with dates and raisins.   MMMmmmm, that sounds good, not sure

I got to taste that one.

Robinette’s offers old fashioned hayrides on their wagons in the fall, they

have lots of pumpkins for holiday decorations, and of course, the apples,

cider, and all things made from them. 

We stopped a few weeks ago and took a short video so you could see the

activity on a beautiful fall day.  If you haven’t been to Robinette’s Farm

Market for awhile, you might consider a trip for lunch or a weekend drive.








Grand Rapids Ada Real Estate ~ Five Star Real Estate

Copyright 2008 All rights reserved   Video by Bonnie Westbrook

No remuneration or compensation was given for this recommendation of

Robinettes’ Farm Market.

As twilight falls late at the riverside, music is filling the air, and the

weather is balmy. This is the fabulous setting for the outdoor

River Beat Concert Series at Leslie E.Tassell Park on the

Thornapple River in downtown Cascade this summer,

called RiverBeat.


 These are the 4 dates to put on your calendar:  

   June 26th, July 10, July 24, and  Aug 14. 

June 26th – The Icicles – As heard in Target Commercials

July 10th – New Reformation Band – Classic Dixieland Swing

July 24th – Mustard’s Retreat – David Tamulevich & Micheal Hough

August 14th – Old time Country by 3 Contemporary Gals – Winner of Ed McMahons Star Search


 The Cascade Community Foundation is the sponsor,  along with other

 local contributors that help defray the cost.

So if you are thinking about what to do on a Thursday night

in Cascade, what could be better than a FREE concert at the park ?  

Look for us…. We’ll be the pair on the blanket with liquid refreshment & munchies!



If you would like information about Cascade Homes,

please contact your neighborhood specialist,,

toll free at 1-888-240-1968 ext 1  Terry


Terry Westbrook  – Five Star Real Estate –

 Copyright 2008  All rights reserved

March is SugarBush Time in Grand Rapids Michigan. We are fortunate to have Blandford Nature Center, a 143 acre natural site in the second largest city in the state. And all this month on Saturday and Sunday (*except Easter weekend) there will be a SugarBush Festival with the smell of maple syrup cooking in the air.  This fresh maple syrup is available to eat at the annual pancake breakfast.  So, you can have some real maple syrup on those pancakes! If you have  never had one of nature’s sweetest treats – make it a point to sample:

           The Annual 2008 Pancake Breakfast is March 15th from 8 AM to 12 PM

                     1715 Hillburn Ave. Grand Rapids Michigan

                       Admission: $3 Adults  $1 children

                                blandford sugar shack gr mi

       If you are interested in Maple Sugaring Facts, here are a few to consider:

  • Tapping does no permanent damage and only 10 percent of the sap is collected each year. Many maple trees have been tapped for 150 or more years.
  • Usually a maple tree is at least 30 years old and 12 inches in diameter before it is tapped
  • It takes 30-50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup

  Much more information is available at the Michigan Maple Sugar Association

Volunteers are needed to run the sugar bush and help with all the facilities. A perfect way to learn all about this process, a hands on education for yourself and your children/grand children.

* Easter Weekend, Blandford Nature Center’s 5 miles of Nature Trails will be open for self-guided tours.

Mixed Greens has more information on volunteering, Blandford Nature Center,

and Sugar Bush Fun.

Copyright by Bonnie Westbrook 2008                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Contact us at : 1-888-240-1968 x 0   

Westbrook Realty ~ Grand Rapids Real Estate        

sugar shack photo courtesy of mixed

Grand Rapids Photos


July 2018
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