Sunday, February 15, 2009

I love Detroit!!

Okay, I love Detroit. It's an absolutely wonderful city. Really, it is. As a child, growing up in "Fashionable Ferndale" I learned to fear the city. The city was somewhere you didn't go because it wasn't safe. I can only recall a few times as a child, making a trip into the city. We went to Joe Louis arena for a Sesame Street show, Cobo Arena for the auto show and a winter festival, and went to Belle Isle a few times but that was it. I remember on our trips to my grandmothers house in West Virginia stopping by a gas station in Detroit to fill up and I was petrified that my dad was going to be killed. Yup, I had a wild imagination. So I never thought too much of the city. About four years ago, I went to a conference in Detroit with a few coworkers and one of them took us downtown and I was impressed. Maybe the city wasn't so bad? It was gorgeous but there were still a lot of building vacant. I've been battling with cabin fever the past few weeks so I thought we needed to get out of town but to where? Detroit! I thought we could go get some good Thai food and then come home. I did some researching and found that Detroit had a ton of microbreweries so that was the plan. After thinking about it, I decided maybe we should do an overnighter so when Chris got home on Friday, I got him to find us a place to stay in Detroit. He was hestiant at first but I'm like if you pick a fourstar in Detroit, it will be safe, really! He put a bid in for a fourstar hotel in Detroit and it gave us a reservation at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel. I was excited because I heard awesome things about this hotel from my sister. She talked about it having this huge ballroom so I knew we were in for a treat. We get there and the place is absolutely gorgeorus. The inside was completely redone and modern. They remodeled the ballrooms and all I can say is wow! I was impressed. We spent the rest of the night peeping around and chilling out in the Motown Bar at the hotel.

We got up the next morning and I was dying to go to the Eastern Market. It's a farmers market and they sell everything. In the winter they don't have so much but the summer, the place is packed. Chris bought two of the largest pommengrates that I have ever seen. We got breakfast at a deli across from the market and it was super. Local, organic food with homemade breads and meats. Detroit can really cook. I got an omelet with homemade italian sausage, basil, red bell peppers, and asiago cheese. Chris got a ruben. It was terrific and the total bill was $15. Unbelieveable! because we would be paying more for organic, local, homemade food if it was in Grand Rapids. We then went to Belle Isle because I haven't been there since I was eight. On our drive into the park there were so many beautiful homes that were abandoned and boarded up. It was a sad sight to see. These once majestic homes now sitting vacant was heartbreaking. We get over to the island and it was pretty desolate. I had heard that they closed the acqurium and zoo so the only thing that was left open was the conservatory. It's over 105 years old. I had such vivid memories of the place as a child with all the plants so I was excited to see it. We pull up to the building and no one is in the parking lot. I sent Chris out to see if it was open and it was so we went into the building. We were told to sign in by a grumpy woman. I got in there and was overwhelmed. It just hit me that one of my favorite memories as a child was reduced to this. Belle Isle was awesome, what had happened to this place? Why was everything closed? It was sad. I don't know why I got so emotional about it but I did. I walked through the conservatory enjoying the trees but when I got out, I just started bawling. Chris just looked at me wondering what the heck? It's just one of those things that when you see something that was so grand in your mind and see the realties of it now is semi-shocking. I know, it's strange. We drove around the island and it was beautiful but what a waste to see all the vacant buildings at the zoo. Really, this island was amazing at one time. It was just sad to see. It was getting close to 11:00 so we headed off to Traffic Jam and Snug. They were closed so we went across the street to Motor City Brewing Works. I was the DD today no drinking for me today. He got a sampler. It was a cool building and the interior was awesome. Very rugged by artsy. We stayed there for an hour then we headed back over to the Traffic Jam and Snug. This place was cool. Chris got some more samplers and we bought some homemade bread there. Apparently, they use the wheat products from the beer to make the bread and it's amazing. We bought some spinach parmesan bread and some cheese bread. From there we headed out to the Detroit Beer Company. I was getting hungry so we got some soup and it was amazing! Chris sampled some more beers and then we hit Atwater Block Brewery. It was a cool brewery that was huge. We ran into some fellow microbrewery lovers and chatted for an hour. I loved this because I forgot how friendly Detroiters were. They really are. Every place (except the chick at Belle Isle) was so friendly. It was nice to see because you don't get this type of reaction in most places. Our last brewery stop was the Dragonmead Microbrewery. This was a pretty neat place and they had fresh made soda's so you could bring the kids there. I opted for a Lemondade Soday and it was terrific. So that was our brewery hop. I had a ton of fun and Chris enjoyed himself.

We then opted for some Thai food and we got take out. I got a Pad Pak with medium spice and it was terrific. Chris got a seafood combo hot and all I can say is that we didn't have enough milk in the house to calm down the taste buds. We stopped at Trader Joes on the way home and I think I got sensory overload there. With it being Valentines day, you would not have known it. The place was packed beyond belief. People bumping into you, reaching over you, etc. We got what we needed and left. It's usually a great buying experience but it was too much for me!

Needless to say, I didn't go to WW this week. According to my scale, I might be the same. Yeah! I'm debeating if I'm going to hit a Sunday meeting for ww. I might just wait until next week. We'll see. The workouts were good this week. Waking up early is good but I find myself turning in around 9:15 pm. They sent out an email for the graduate class so it looks like they are going to try to have a 5am class. Now that is going to be hard but we'll see! Take care all-Kellie


Parky Squirrel said...

That sounds like fun. I've never been to that part of the world, but now if I do it's good to know that it might not be as bad as my imagination thinks it is. My ventures to a big city is usually Seattle.

mel said...

It sounds like you had sooooo much fun (despite the disappointment of the conservatory)!!!