Tag Archives: travel

Fall for Michigan

Plan your fall touring of Pure Michigan.  Visit the 1850s Fallasburg Pioneer Village which is on the National Register of Historic Places in MIchigan. The village nestles in the northeast corner of Kent County.

Just cross the Covered Bridge into the village and step back in time.

One of the best times to visit this area is  in its autumn glory with all the harvest festivals , farmers’  markets and local produce abundance.

Explore local history, sample local food and craft beers and breweries, chat with local authors.  Learn  how to can pickles or how to make salsa.

Step out of the ordinary.


via September message from FHS president

Earth Day 2017

Celebrate Earth Day

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – As the nature awakens, we celebrate Earth Day today. The first widely recognized Earth Day was held in 1970 when an environmental Teach-In group planned an event for April 22.

But every day is an Earth Day celebration to recognize the greatest resource of all, and that is our planet Earth.

To celebrate the Earth Week, I started my annual walk to the Franciscan Life Process Center (FLPC) on Monday. The 1.8 mile hike on a gravel road has been a staple of my mental and physical sanity since 1995 when we moved out into this northeast corner of Kent County in West Michigan.

I marveled at the untouched nature coming to life; plants vigorously emerging from the wet dirt from yesterday’s rains, robins hopping under the pine trees among the new ground cover.

Crisp morning air and dew covered the new grass and stems.

The area consists of preserved farmland thanks to late philanthropist Peter Wege, apple orchards, woods and streams. Wild flowers are now popping out in the woods, and morel mushrooms are around the corner, or should I say around the stumps.

I love the farm markets with the local produce starting soon with local asparagus.

Different trail systems like the Fred Meijer River Valley trails and Lowell Area trials meet here at the confluence of Grand River and Flat River. We’ve been blessed with an abundance of natural resources from the Bradford Dickinson White Nature Preserve in Lowell Township, Wege Wittenbach AgriScience center, Sessions Lake and Fallasburg Park. Hundreds of inland lakes dot the picturesque region.

The Midwest entices with its variety of seasons, landscapes, Great Lakes and diverse communities.

For more info on the trails go to:


Land Conservancy of West Michigan


Wittenbach/Wege Center


Franciscan Life Process Center



Copyright © 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

A love to travel

Czechs love to travel

Burgas boasts beaches like Sunny Coast on the Black Sea.
Burgas boasts beaches like Sunny Coast on the Black Sea.

As I write in my memoir “Greenwich Meridian,” Czechs have an obsession with travel; partially due to the fact that during communism, travel was only allowed to the countries in the Eastern Block. And just like with anything else, what is prohibited attracts the most.

The only semi-capitalist country that the government allowed people to go to was Yugoslavia, and even that one required exit visa. For a Czech person, Yugoslavia was expensive. So, they canned their food and bought potatoes to bring with them. Usually, they slept in tents there.

But, it was a yuppie thing to do. Because of my immigration past to the USA, I was not allowed to go to any Western country, and not even to the coveted Yugoslavia. I just heard about it from a friend at school who went there the year Elvis died.

On the other hand, I’ve been to two Eastern European countries, and that was Bulgaria in the summer of 1982, and Hungary in 1987.

My husband Ludek and I took a train from Prague to Burgas on the Sunny Coast of the Black Sea. We travelled the distance of 811 miles for two days and one night.

The train became very local in Rumania. It stopped in every village, where people were either begging for food or selling some. You could see gypsies on their wagons, and we did travel through the Transylvanian Alps, home of the famous count Dracula. The train had trouble climbing up the hills and the curves. You could see both locomotives chugging the long train from the back cars.

Bulgarian ceramic pitcher.
Bulgarian ceramic pitcher.

Somewhere along the way in Rumania we stopped for a break. We walked into a store to buy some food for the road, and it was completely empty. I wondered why it was opened.

Sunny Burgas welcomed us with a surprise. The vacation was advertised with a stay in a hotel in a Czech travel catalogue. The reality was a trailer camp. I remember crying.

Bulgaria also had so called Russian toilets which were just holes in the ground with two sidesteps to put your feet on. Much like in the rest of Europe, all the restaurants were directly on the beach.

My favorite food was chorba, a hearty stew with home made bread. I’ve been making it ever since. I bought some Bulgarian ceramic souvenirs that I brought with me to the USA.

People were friendly and we spoke Russian, which we all had to learn in schools of the Eastern Block. It came in handy. After many years, when I returned back to the USA with my family, and met a Russian man in a store, I could not remember anything except for “Zdravstvuj tovariscz” which means hello comrade.

…….. to be continued

Copyright © 2013 story by Emma Palova