In planning the trip to Chicago, I figured that as long as we were that far around the lake, let’s continue on and see the family in eastern Michigan…Detroit suburbs. And was that ever terrific fun! Thanks to all those cousins big and small.
Since we moved to Wisconsin, we’d been meeting up in Alpena where the parents/aunt and uncle lived and some cousins, but we’d not been to the Detroit area and sheesh! after 30+ years of marriage to Mr. HP, you’d think I should see the house and town in which he grew up.
Yep, typical midwest small town home, but the man sure got excited…”here’s where I went to school” (it’s now a green park space), “there’s so and so’s house, and there’s the somebodys’.” I’m guilty as to not remembering all the names of folks he mentioned, though some I’d heard over the years. “Yes, there’s where Dad took the train into the city every day“-I saw the station, crossed the tracks-it’s very downtown and loud and commuter-y still. The man had more smiles on his face visiting the now more vibrant town of his youth than when we visited the summer house in Port Elgin, Ontario. Good to see. If you watched Home Improvement, a TV series in the ’90’s, this was the same town. (Pretty sure not much if any was filmed here, just a fun note for the family.) Royal Oak has changed and grown-more bars and restaurants downtown and yes, even tall buildings. I think we have lived and still somewhat live in a town similar. Suburbia, small town style.
What’s to see in Detroit? Well, top of my list was the MOTOWN MUSEUM!! The man was hesitant as he worked in Detroit during the ’60’s and well remembers the riots. Unsure, we asked the cousins..and sure enough, a fishing buddy suggested it to Cousin D, so we three trooped off. In a word or more…DON’T MISS IT!!! There is serious history here and we had an incredible tour guide. No photos could be taken inside, but let it be said, that from this house (yes, it was a house first and second as well), amazing talent was found, born and produced. Just in the background on the left is the edge of the Henry Ford Hospital proudly titled in the Ford script everyone would recognise. We are in serious auto industry area-names and titles of buildings.
Wanting to continue the “music tour” I said we should head to The Hard Rock Cafe. Yes, I wanted to go and collect a pin from there. This meant heading way into the heart of the city at noon-ish lunch and peckish folk hour. Let me say, my man is a sweetheart, but I think he was kind of curious about it too. Let me further say, not only was this not the hour to visit, but Detroit has not kept up well with the likes of Chicago, San Francisco or Milwaukee with parking garages. Finally I shall say that downtown not only has The Hard Rock Cafe and plenty of bars, restaurants, they have a huge roundabout aptly named “the Circus,” AND a turn off to take the tunnel to Canada (passports left at home last minute, although we thought about it..next time!!)
BUT…the Lions’ and Tigers’ (no Bears, they’re in Chicago) stadiums are there, and a Redwings Hockey shop? restaurant? Dang!
Feeling fairly peckish ourselves and before the hangry mode set in, and there being no parking, we said goodbye to downtown and headed back to the house. We took a way that had us cutting through Wayne State and we saw those new freshmen moving in. Yes, that was going on up through the weekend throughout Michigan. We had a fine lunch back in Royal Oak.
There’s some really neat places in Detroit, some areas that have not survived the car industry moving on and loses and there are some places still dangerous to visit and have not recovered from those riots in the ’60’s. Definitely more to see, do and I plan on going back.