Follow the Yellow Brick Road to… Holland, Michigan?
There are times when Michigan feels like a foreign country to me. Culture is quite different from my home state of Kansas, the views are VERY different, and the people are equally as kind, but say funny things like "pop" instead of "soda," or "party stores" instead of "liquor stores."
It's not uncommon for someone who just moved a thousand miles to feel a little homesick. But thankfully for me, there IS a little bit of my Kansas home right here in the Mitten, right up the road in Holland.
I've never actually skipped down a Yellow Brick Road, but the sentiment is there. When I meet someone NOT from Kansas, they usually inquire about two things - Tornadoes, and The Wizard of Oz.
There are SO many Wizard of Oz museums, stores, and roadside attractions in Kansas, that I've honestly lost count. But what's funny is (and I didn't know this until recently), Kansas is only the home to the fictional character, Dorothy. In fact, L. Frank Baum was living in Chicago at the time he wrote "The Wizard of Oz," and was staying at a family lake house in Macatawa Park, Michigan when he wrote the book.
So, in an odd turn of events, the Yellow Brick Road of my home State of Kansas led me straight to Michigan, and I can walk through the wonderful world of Oz up in Holland!
Built in 2019, the park is now free and open to the public year-round. The Oz Project features a true Yellow Brick Road laid to walk through sculptures of Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Man, a Munchkin, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, a Fighting Tree AND Flying Monkeys.
But the real feature is the 10x12 Living Book - depicting the covers of the book, and filled with annual plants. During the summer, the book is on display in the park, but no fear in the winter, it is still on display in the City's Greenhouse.
Pretty cool display, and a little taste of home for this simple Kansas kid living in Michigan now.