Friday, May 31, 2013

Detroit - And Yes, I Have Pictures

Who knew Detroit would be so interesting? Who knew this post would be so long? (Sorry in advance). We’d gotten lots of warnings to be careful, so I was almost afraid to sight-see. But it turns out Detroit is just a big city and like all big cities, has its good parts and bad parts. We just avoided the bad parts.

We actually stayed up in Madison Heights, about ten miles north of Detroit. A very nice area with a mall close by (so lots of restaurants, too). And we got lucky with the weather. It hovered in the mid sixties, but was sunny so it felt warmer.

Our first stop as tourists was to the Motown Museum. We saw pictures of the small house and thought it would be a short tour. Boy, were we wrong!

Glenn, our guide (who happened to be Stevie Wonder’s Godson), made the tour so much fun. I wish we could have taken photos of inside the houses (there were two), but cameras were a no-no. So no pictures of Michael Jackson’s glittery glove. No pictures of Berry Gordy’s apartment (felt like we stepped back into the sixties!). No pictures of the vending machine (with 47-year-old candy on display) Stevie Wonder liked to get his Baby Ruths from! I’d forgotten what some of those candy labels used to look like.

Part of the tour took us to Studio A, where the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, and numerous others recorded their hit songs. I even got to sing there (with the crowd, that is).

After this tour, we headed to the Ford plant in Dearborn, where they make the Ford F150s. Again, cameras were a no-no, so no pictures of how everything is made. One of the amazing things about this assembly plant is how all the parts match up so perfectly. The bed is in a separate line from the cab, and the different versions are intermingled (for instance, a four-door cab can follow a standard two-door cab and a black bed could be between a red one and a white one), but when they meet up in the middle, the correct bed gets attached to the correct cab. Same with the doors and dash boards and seats and bumpers and you get the idea. All are assembled on separate lines and meet up in one place or another.

This is an Eco plant - Yes, they grow grass on the roof.
It takes about six hours to assemble one truck and they kick out between 615-630 trucks in a 10-hour shift. I couldn’t imagine working in a place like that, but I sure do look at trucks differently now!
Hmmm. Think they want me to buy one?

You might see the restaurant better if you click on the picture.
We ended up having an early dinner at Hockeytown USA (food was pretty good), which is across the street from Comerica Park. Now, I’m a huge Penguins fan and our friends are Blackhawks fans. At the time, the Blackhawks were losing to the Red Wings (Detroit’s team) in the Stanley Cup playoffs (one game from elimination). Our friend really hated being surrounded by Red Wings memorabilia (and I think the restaurant knew this too since he was the ONLY one who got the Red Wings logo on his plate - everyone else’s plate was plain white!). I told him to put out some bad mojo to help the Blackhawks win, so he wiggled his fingers at the establishment as we departed. Must have worked. Blackhawks came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the series (last night) and head to the next round!

On Sunday we took in a Tigers game. If there is a ball park in the area of where we visit during this holiday weekend, we always try to attend a game.
Our seats were six rows from the field. Not bad!
We like seeing the different ball parks, even if we aren’t fans of the team. I’m not a big American League fan, so I had no problems rooting for the Tigers (and they won - which made it even more fun).

Let's see... Fords are assembled in Detroit, but
Chevy is a sponsor of Detroit's baseball team.
Like I said earlier, we were blessed with beautiful weather. In fact, it didn’t rain until Monday, after we had already departed for home. Couldn’t have planned it better.
Got any plans for this weekend? I want to watch the Penguins play on Saturday night, but we have tickets for the Dayton Dragons (who seem to be playing better except when WE go to the game - argh!). Hopefully I’ll be able to catch the end of the hockey game.

Oh, and did you have a chance to check out my cover? In case you haven’t here’s a picture!!






B.E. Sanderson said...

I'm so glad you had a nice time. Madison Heights is a good suburb (or at least it was when I lived in Michigan). Sorry you couldn't get pics inside the museum or the plant. One day when you get a chance you should check out Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum - if you haven't already.

And cool cover, Stacy. Congratulations! =o)

Stacy McKitrick said...

Thanks, B.E. We wanted to go to the others, but ran out of time (since the Motown Museum took lots longer than we anticipated - not that we're complaining, mind you!).

The Happy Whisk said...

Very cool that you had such a good time. That's great. Happy Weekend :-]

SK Anthony said...

Yay for having a great time ;)

Fantastic cover!!!! I have to go check out your info for more details on release and such, best of luck :D

Stacy McKitrick said...

Ivy - You have a great weekend, too!

S.K. - Release is scheduled for January 2014. Won't be long now (although I'm not rushing for summer to be over - honest!).

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne said...

Your cover is beautiful. Thanks for sharing the details of your trip with us. Glad it was fun.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Thank you for visiting, Deanie! It's much appreciated.