Last weekend, Eric and I had the chance to check out the Ai Weiwei exhibit at Frederik Meijer Gardens. Natural State is his first show in the upper Midwest, as well as the first of its kind for him at a botanical garden or sculpture park, so we were really excited to check this exhibit out in our own city. If you're nearby anytime between now and August 20th, I'd definitely recommend it. Ai Weiwei is one of the most influential artists and activists of our time, and this body of work is so beautifully unique. We loved having the opportunity to see it!
First, we checked out his exhibit indoors, and explored the botanical gardens in search of each of his sculptures. After that, we took a long (wintry!) walk outside in search of Iron Tree, which was acquired and installed in honor of Meijer Gardens' 20th anniversary. It was so great to get outside, and take a walk. In the winter, sometimes we just immediately assume to coop up inside, and even if it was a little bit chilly, I loved getting outdoors to explore! Eric loved it too, because apparently Meijer Gardens is called the "motherland" for Pokémon Go, so he was running around trying to "catch them all". ;)
So yeah, if you're in Grand Rapids anytime between now and August, I'd definitely recommend checking the exhibit out! We really enjoyed our afternoon there. And thank you to Experience GR for having us visit! I haven't talked about this on the blog yet, but after our trip to Nashville, we decided to start a 'year of no vacations' when we got home. It was inspired by our friends we were traveling with, who were planning on doing the same thing. I told Eric I wanted to spend the year staying home, traveling and exploring West Michigan a bit more, and when Experience GR reached out to collaborate this year... it was just very meant-to-be. I'll talk more about this later, but expect more posts this year that are day trips in and around West Michigan! (Plus, this is a major help in trying to pay down debt and save money!)