Wednesday, July 29, 2015


In anticipation of changing time zones, we ate and went to bed early on our last night in Chicago.  Then we were up and off by 8am. The departure is complicated slightly by a foot race that resulted in our planned route being closed off. But, being Sunday, traffic was light and we were able to just take a few local streets to get around the race.

Just south of Chicago the highway passes through Gary, Indiana. It is not at all picturesque. It's one of those places you wish you didn't even have to drive through. We arrived in Detroit well before check-in time so we left our car at the B&B and walked to the nearby Detroit Institute of Arts.   

We wanted to see the Diego Rivera Murals and were very pleasantly surprised by the other great artwork and the descriptions throughout this teaching museum. We especially enjoyed the many displays that featured the nearby work with areas highlighted and notes about a particular design aspect. Diego's Detroit Industry fresco cycle is his tribute to the city's manufacturing base and labor force of the 1930s. It is considered the finest example of Mexican mural art in the United States, and Diego is said to have considered it the best work of his career. Personally the ones in Mexico City have more appeal to me.

Dinner was Greek at a restaurant, Santorini Estiatorio, in Greektown. We found the restaurant on-line and later discovered it was hidden by a large casino. Parking was easy though.  For dinner we had Keftethakia (spiced meatballs with pita bread) followed by Pastisio (macaroni, bechamel sauce and spiced meat) and Kefta Kabab (served as a sandwich) and a fine bottle of red wine Nemea Greece (an Aghiorghitiko 2010 from Domain Skouras St. George).
Spiced Meatballs
The Inn on Ferry Street was very nice.  We had a large room with an external sitting area with comfortable chairs and lots of light. Breakfast was waffles and berries, Muy rico!
The Inn on Ferry Street...4 historic houses plus two carriage houses 
Before heading off to Canada the next day visited the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. The museum is one of 3 features of a larger complex/tour program. The museum focuses on industrial, agricultural and cultural firsts and what followed - planes, trains, cars, and machinery (agricultural and other). In addition there is Greenfield Village (an assemblage of historical buildings arranged as a village with costumed staffers, aka Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts) and a truck factory tour. This was definitely all worth 1-2 days. We gave it a morning. Fortunately there is a 1 hour "Insider Tour" which helped assure we got to see the highlights of the museum.

The museum contains many rare exhibits including John F. Kennedy's presidential limousine, Abraham Lincoln's chair from Ford's Theatre, Thomas Edison's laboratory, the Wright Brothers' bicycle shop, and the Rosa Parks bus.  The museum, officially named "The Edison Institute" was dedicated to Ford's longtime friend Thomas Edison in 1929.

Thomas Edison's autograph made by shovel for the dedication.
Look behind the exhibit to get an idea of the immensity of this museum.
George Washington's camp bed (folds up into it's own trunk).
The first machine to produce ruled paper.
The Rosa Parks Bus...she was sitting in a "legal" black person's seat.
But when another white passenger boarded and had to take a seat in the front row of the black section,
Rosa "should have???" moved back to be behind him. She didn't. The rest is history.
VW Camper. Similar to the one Pat's parents loved.
Display of souvenir flags from the Roadside America exhibit.
The flag for Maine features "TelStar".
Who recalls that the TelStar tracking station was in Andover Maine???

The main entry to the building is an exact replica of Independence Hall!!  Ford wanted to buy and move the original to Dearborn but had to settle for a copy...complete with any variation from the architectural drawings that they discovered. Later, this copy served to provide details for renovations on the original.
Museum Entry...a precise replica of Independence Hall.
Bottom Line:  We were quite surprised and impressed with Detroit. We expected it to be dilapidated and sad. But instead there was as much roadwork going on there as everywhere else ;-) ...yep, we've seen enough roadwork for a lifetime on this trip. Truly, we drove around quite a bit (but not into the real neighborhoods) and were more reminded of it's great history than of it's current sad economic story.

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