After a very quick two and half weeks (where does the time go?) Sean and I are in the Detroit airport heading back to Hong Kong. In the two weeks we were in New England, to Sean’s great delight, he clocked about 1,500 miles in his car as we were bouncing between my work offices, family homes and friends holiday parties. Although leaving the US will be a welcome relief to our waistlines, I love being home and already miss our family & friends.
After Christmas, my parents had to travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan so Sean and I decided to join them on the road trip and then fly out from the local Detroit airport. The drive is about 750 miles/12.5 hours by car. My mom planned the route to go up through Canada so we could stop in Niagara Falls, which Sean had never been to. We were there the day after Christmas, so we got to see the falls with a bit of snow and ice. Fun fact of the day: In 2012, Nik Wallenda became the first tightrope walker to cross the Niagara Falls in 116 years (first time this was done was in 1859 which is insane). He had permission from both US & Canada sides to cross, however he was required to carry his passport to present it upon entry to the Canadian side of the falls.
One of my old roommates Cara went to University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, so I was excited to see the school. Compared to my old college which only had 12,000 students (and most commuted), UM is huge with about 46,000 students. The campus buildings were beautiful brick and stone and sorority/fraternity houses were like little mansions, just as you’d see in films.
Detroit was only about a 30 minute drive from Ann Arbor so we decided to go explore on a free day. I know of Detroit as “America’s Motor City”, as it was king of automobile manufacturing in the US. I also know that it was a city hit hard after manufacturing and the auto industry declined, which was the backbone of the city. Driving through, this is completely evident with whole blocks of buildings completely abandoned or in disrepair. It’s eye opening.
Despite this, Detroit still has a lot of character and charm. We visited the Renaissance Center, headquarters of General Motors. These are beautiful buildings which look out across the Detroit river to Canada. They are redoing the GM exhibit, but it will open in Spring 2017, and will definitely be a great stop if you are traveling through.
We also visited the Detroit Museum of History and a few other local places such as Motor City Brewery. As this was a short visit, we didn’t get to visit everything we would have liked to, such as the The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant or see a show at Fox Theatre. Guess we must travel back!
We also indulged in some local cuisine, most notably coney dogs. #wheninrome So-called “coney islands” restaurants are typically Greek-American owned diners that in addition to coney dogs (hotdogs topped with chili, cheese, and raw onions) they also serve an eclectic menu with everything from gyros and Greek salad to burgers and breakfast plates. We of course had to try out the coney dogs, but also tipped our hats to Greece and went for the Greek Saganaki “Opa” flaming cheese dish.
After a great few last days, we are on our way back to HK. We are excited to get back to non-freezing temperatures and of course see KB (King Bailey), who has been living it up in his kennel (we received photos of his Christmas ham dinner). We are excited to get back in time to spend New Years Eve in HK… hopefully we don’t let the jetlag get the better of us. It’s always so much harder when both Sean and I are jetlagged together – we are like enablers for each other, which both of us giving in to just wanting to sleep.
Hope everyone has a great start to their 2017. Happy New Year.