Posted on October 21, 2016
Detroit- The Great American Road Trip
I truly expected to have recounted all of our tales from the Great American Road Trip before this week. I will do my best to round everything up in this post. It is not that I don’t enjoy writing about what we did and who we saw, it is a pleasure to share these things with you. However, we are in another phase and have embarked on our next adventure. I want to share it with you as soon as possible.
Detroit has received bad press for a very long time. I am glad that I have come across good news about Detroit many times in the past. Because of that, I went looking for the good things. I received what I was looking for. My uncle and his family live right across the street from Detroit. It was rather a simple process to go and visit a few of the nice things going on in Detroit.
I am always impressed with community gardens. While I did not see many this time around, we did have the opportunity to visit the Belle Isle state Park. The fountains were working, the wetlands were clean and doing their job. The police were out recording a public service message and we were able to participate in the filming. I don’t know if I had more fun with it or Bean.
We went to the Detroit Institute of the Arts, or DIA, and passed a lovely day there. One of the things that impressed me the most was that the entrance is free to the residents of Detroit and a few other suburbs. I know that museums need to make money for upkeep and new exhibits, but the price of many museums keep so many people out who might otherwise be exposed to new ideas and a new world. I am always grateful for discounts and free days at museums. Chicago does a great job at making their museum’s accessible to many, I am impressed with Detroit for doing the same.
While there was so much to admire in the DIA, Bean and her cousin liked the I spy game they have throughout the museum to keep the younger children engaged. They also had a great time at the table of Louis XIV. It was an interactive exhibit where you sit down and pretend to have dinner in the manner of the Royals living in the Palace of Versailles. They brought out many interesting dishes and we changed places at the table a few times to see what everyone else was eating. Another exhibit that seemed perfect for our visit was the American Road Trip. Many photos were collected from different artist who made road trips throughout the United States. They should have asked me to contribute, I have many photos to share!
Michigan Science Center and the Outdoor Adventure Center were perfect for the children…and me too, if I am being honest. Both of these places had so many interactive exhibits that it would have taken a few days to do them all. We were not going to be in Detroit for a long time, so maybe that is why we tried to do both in one day. WOW! I liked both of these places, but I believe that my favorite was the Outdoor Adventure Center. They actually brought the outside in and explained it all. There was the station that contained animal skins, bones and scat. Why do children love poop? The kids also loved the simulated four-wheeler, mountain bike and snowmobile activities. If there wasn’t a long line of children waiting to take a turn, I think I would have jumped on all of them!
We spent time with Uncle Darius and his family at the Arts, Eats and Beats in Royal Oak, Michigan. I was there for the eats. I knew I would not be at a festival with funnel cake, turkey legs and various other greasy foods for a long time, so I happily ate some of it all. Bean rode her first REAL amusement park ride. She has been on so many carousels since the beginning of our travels, I don’t really count those. This time she went on the tower dive, or something like that, where you slowly go up a very tall tower and then it shoots you down to the bottom real fast. I have an excuse about why I can’t ride anything like that, I get terrible motion sickness. Bean went up with her cousin. My poor baby, halfway up, her face changed and she was terrified. She began screaming and crying, but she made it through the ride. When she got off, she ran into my arms and said, “I don’t ever want to ride anything like that again!” I thought, “Yay, I don’t have to go take you to Six Flags.”
We had a lovely time in Detroit and left in the middle of the night again. I couldn’t figure out how to get my GPS working in the rental car for the longest time, so it was much later when we pulled out than I had originally planned. I don’t know if it was better or worse not having the GPS working. The directions had me driving down dark country roads wondering if I was going to make it to a town in time to get gas. We did make it, and when the sun rose in the morning, it was truly breathtaking to see the mountains of Virginia around us. I will tell you about it next week…