Waking up at 5 a.m. to board a train going towards Chicago on a weekday isn’t normal, but while visiting your collegiate brother it is.
This past week I decided that I would go visit my brother, the former ESG webmaster Cody Kimball, to spend some time with him and scope out the city of Kalamazoo. What I didn’t expect to find was the perfect example of a college town.
My trip started with stepping off of the Amtrak platform and into my brother’s car, where we promptly dropped my luggage off at his apartment complex and went to the Western Michigan University campus for a tour.
If you’ve never been WMU, it would be a trip worth taking just to see the architecture on campus. Whether it’s the second story, inter-building sky walks or rhythmically timed fountain pools, your aesthetic side will be reveling in the beauty, and that is just in the arts college.
Following the tour, we decided it had been way too long since the two of us had something to eat. We decided to pick up a friend and head to Bilbo’s Pizza in a Pan on Stadium Drive. As many “Lord of the Rings” fans have already recognized, it is a fantasy themed pizza joint with what is probably the best pizza I’ve had.
It actually seemed like in Kalamazoo all the restaurants knew who they were catering to. A separate day we stopped in at Menna’s Joint, a Dub shop with the slogan of “The only legal joint in town.” Opening up at an unset time mid-day, closing up past midnight, and serving amazing munchies, the workers being average college students.
If you aren’t looking to eat out but want some good food, there’s also no lack of farmer markets on the city outskirts that sold us some amazing apple-black raspberry cider and honeycrisp applesauce.
On the final days of the trip, my brother and I went around to see the attraction of the town. The top by far was the “General Store,” a store with all the materials needed for home brewing, and the Air Zoo, a museum focused on the history of aeronautics and aerospace.
Even if you’re not an aerospace enthusiast, the museum has something for everyone, from the first manned flight to the international space station. Cody and I, however, spent a fair bit of time in the flight simulations for the F-16 fighters with the full rotational sphere.
If you’re looking into WMU to transfer to, stay the full weekend. You won’t be at a loss of things to see and do.