When I lived here before, my parents came out a few times, but most of our sightseeing then had been around the rest of the state. We drove to Traverse City, drove up the middle of the state, over the Mackinaw Bridge to the Upper Peninsula (aka the U-P (you say each letter)). We actually drove all around Lake Michigan, seeing bits of Wisconsin, Chicago and we also took a detour to finally see White Bear Lake, MN (just outside of St. Paul), where my Dad grew up. The trip was great.
This time, I thought, it would be appropriate to fill in some gaps of their Michigan experience and have them see more of metro Detroit. Their visit was shorter than the week+ we had before and coincided with a now 17 year old tradition called the Woodward Dream Cruise. This trip would be filled with cars, rather than lakes and wilderness.
Woodward Avenue, "America's First Highway" runs diagonally out of Detroit, cutting through the grid of the mile roads. It actually ends in Pontiac, the town I work in. In 1995 they started a car show which has since grown into a yearly phenomenon of sorts with thousands of cars participating. With my parents in town, I finally got a chance to see it and took them along for the ride. Below are some highlights:
|A shag carpet lined VW bus in the background|
|Most awesome paint job ever - sparkly blue-and purple|
|Red Wings pride!|
Besides being amused by the blue sparkle paint job (detecting a pattern?), I had no idea what it was. After some research, I found that it's a Porsche 917 race car from the 1970s (either that or a high end replica). Read about the crazy specs and history of the 917 here.
In addition to checking out all the cool vehicles on and around Woodward, we went to the farmer's market in Farmington Hills for the best peaches ever (no joke, just bought some on my trip to Ohio this week which were so disappointing), and had dinner at a restaurant 70 stories up in the Renaissance Center in Detroit (where GM has it's headquarters). It's right on the Detroit river and from there you could see for miles. If you're on the proper side of the building, on a good day you can see almost back to where I live which is about 30 miles away. We sat on a side with a view of Canada, had an early birthday celebration for my mom and enjoyed watching the land turn colors as the sun set. We kicked ourselves later that we didn't take any pictures from up there!
All in all, it was wonderful to have them come out and see my new place and drive by where I worked and spend time in Michigan again. The weather was fantastic (dry and not too hot) and the company superb. We blended going out and seeing things with just relaxing really well and the weekend felt nice and long.