Detroit Road Trip: An Introduction
I didn't want to blog while we were away—heck, I haven't wanted to blog in a while!—but I found myself wanting to share our Spring Break road trip to Detroit (yes, Detroit!) as it was happening, so I ended up pecking out emails to my mom and sister from the car, hotel rooms, rest stops, and even a Ford factory. Since I was doing this on my iPhone and iPad, I came home with a pretty severe case of tendonitis in my right hand, but feeling like I'd gotten a bit of my narrative mojo back. About halfway through the trip I decided to post the emails to my blog upon our return, when I'd be able to properly link to the photos I took in context.
Over the next couple hours I'll be posting the emails and photos the detroit road trip 2012 category. Since the front page of the blog puts the posts in reverse chronological order, I recommend reading from the category page, where they will appear in chronological order. I'm going to post the emails with their original dates, so it's going to look like there are suddenly a bunch of posts appearing from earlier in the month. I thought about back-dating this one so that it would appear first there, but I think I'll leave it as is so it stays at the top of the front page as a sign post.
So why Detroit? I think the idea was first planted by my hockey teammate, carpoolmate, and friend Shelly, who took a vacation entirely by Megabus back in the fall, making a stop in Detroit. I remarked that I'd never been, and I was intrigued by the bus road trip concept. Al and I started talking about doing something similar, and the Beaner put in that he would really like to go to Detroit to see where cars were made. We were a little nervous about heading north for spring break rather than south, but since the Beaner's spring break was relatively late, we thought there was a decent chance the temperatures would be above freezing, and possibly well above.
When Megabus tickets finally went on sale for the first week of April, Al waffled a bit on the itinerary, I think failing to fully grasp that the biggest benefit of Megabus, aside from not having to drive ourselves, was that if you were the first to book, you got the cheapest fare. He also wasn't fond of the inflexibility of the departure/arrival times (in fact, this may have been the biggest factor, rather than indecision). Within a couple days, the fare for the three of us had gone up to about what Al figured we'd spend on gas, and we decided that if it wasn't going to save us any money, we might as well have the flexibility to stop when and where we wanted by driving ourselves. We considered changing destinations as well, but the Beaner was pretty set on Detroit.
It may help to know when reading the first email that Al was in a car accident not long after we'd decided to drive instead of bus; he wasn't hurt, but our car was totaled. We ended up buying another used car, a few model years newer than our old car, to replace it. I thought it was a really nice car, a practical car for carrying hockey bags and golf clubs and teammates, but it was also a small SUV, and I had trouble adjusting to the fact that I was now an SUV driver. It felt a bit surreal, like it couldn't possibly be MY car. I did suspect, however, that it would make a great road trip car. (One of my mental criteria while we were car shopping was, "can I see myself driving to Detroit in this car?")
When we returned, Shelly asked, "does it feel like your car now?" I think the first email answers that question.