We kept following the “With Liberty and Justice for All’ exhibit (which by the way, is very informative and interesting, and I skipped over a lot of other really cool historic pieces) and came upon the bus that Rosa Parks was riding in December 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, when she was arrested for violating the “Jim Crow laws.” The fact that this happened in my mother’s lifetime is something I’ve never been able to wrap my head around, It wasn’t that long ago…
Random stuff I just know: Rosa Parks later moved to Detroit (I think it was very soon after the boycott of the Montgomery bus system) where she lived until her death. And she worked for John Conyers, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and ran unsuccessfully for mayor twice; once against Coleman Young and then once Young retired, he ran against Dennis Archer and lost. (Yes, his wife was Monica Conyers who, years later, was convicted of bribery – oh, Detroit politics.)
Rosa actually lived in Riverfront apartments until her death, which I feel like is a popular apartment complex for suburb kids to live in when they move to the city (I have a lot of friends that have lived there), as well as sports stars (I know Cecil Fielder had a place there, among many other Lions and Tigers players) and even Aretha Franklin once lived there. Oh, and at one point Mayor Coleman Young lived in Riverfront, too.
Yeah, that was a tangent, but here’s Laura sitting in the seat that Rosa refused to give up, where I prefer the back of the bus, apparently.
Laura and I checked out a few more things at the museum before it closed and the headed back to Farmington Hills as we had dinner plans for my friend’s birthday. When we got back to the hotel, we changed and put on our going out (?) clothes.
My mom picked us up so we didn’t have to drive (as we were going to drink a little) and we drove to Uptown Grille in Commerce Township for dinner. Uptown is a pretty good bar/restaurant. It’s huge, spatially and has a huge menu with lots of choices. In addition, they have a pretty good rotating beer menu. Also, I’ve always had good service here.
I got the seafood trio and a beer sampler.
After Uptown, Laura and I decided we were going out. Now, all week my mom had been ironically joking with us that we’d love Staying Alive (some 70’s theme mega-suburb bar in Novi), but of course we skipped it and did something I’ve never done before – did a pub crawl in Downtown Farmington, Michigan. Spoiler alert – it was really fun.
Our first stop was an old favorite, Basement Burger Bar. We grabbed a spot at the bar, and ordered beers. Their beer list is really good (I’m pretty sure I said that before).
We were tired from our long day, and excited to get back to the hotel and fall asleep to Forensic Files again. We called an Uber and it was there within 10 minutes. The ride back to the hotel (at 12/Orchard Lake) from Downtown Farmington was just $10.
The next morning Laura and I checked out of the hotel, then grabbed my sister, and met my dad for breakfast (I mean, we had to ask him about his knowledge that Laura may be our secret illegitimate sister). We went to Breakfast Club in Farmington, which is one of my favorite breakfast spots, and a breakfast/lunch only cafe with quaint tables and daily specials.
I orderd a made to order omelette (which is huge) and a side of the tomatoes au gratin (which is a house specialty). Breakfast Club also gives you chocolate covered goodies when the bill is delivered, and today it was pretzels. Pro tip: sometimes the wait is a bit long, but you can call ahead and put your name in if you’re on the way.
We picked up our neighbor Zack (he’s 13) and his cousin and took them to Zap Zone for some laser tag and go-karting. Truth be told, Ashley, Laura and I just wanted to play laser tag and Zap Zone in Farmington has a really good set up. It’s multiple levels, and hiding spots, and it was really fun. The first round we played was against a ton of kids, but luckily the second round had some more adults (like us!) to play with. I’m a big laser tag fan but I do always find that it’s usually kids playing and not adults. I think it’s about time I started playing paintball instead. I’ll be totally honest and admit the reason I’ve never really played is because I’m a little scared of getting hurt. I can be a bit of a wimp! But I discussed it with the girls and Laura said if you use somewhere like propaintball you can find the best equipment and that way you should be fully protected and it shouldn’t hurt. We will see…
We also did the indoor go-karts, as well as watch the kids play some games.
After ZapZone, I had to take Laura to one of my other favorite childhood spots, Marvelous Marvin’s Mechanical Museum.
Marvin’s is museum made of old school arcade games that you can actually play. I can’t even describe it, but there are a lot of very unusual games that come from all over the world, and are now privately owned by Marvin. Personally, I love the old boardwalk type of games (think back to the move “Big” with Tom Hanks). Also, the games that claim to shock you WILL SHOCK YOU. Literally. I warned you.
Marvin was there when we visited, and he showed us some of his favorite games and told us fun stories about some of the games, as well as a little bit about the museum.
A few thoughts about this trip. Yes, I am biased. I love Detroit. I think if you ask any of my friends or co-workers to describe me, I guarantee “She loves Detroit.” will be one of the first things they say. It’s true. It’s actually quite embarrassing when you know that this will be a possibility, but everyone knows just how much I love the place. I reckon my friends or co-workers would even decide to customize a sweatshirt from somewhere like Imprint (learn more here) with those words printed across the front so that everyone else will be able to see just how much I love it. I’m not even going to lie, I would definitely wear something like that. But that’s because Detroit is so amazing. It gets a bad rep, and you know, it’s had hard times (for many, many years). But really cool things are happening here. Restaurants are opening. Neighborhoods are turning around. Industry is coming back. And, from a tourist perspective, it’s not overcrowded and not too expensive.
Visiting our world class museums (Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan Science Center, Detroit Zoo, Henry Ford & Greenfield Village, Ford Factory Tour, Motown Museum, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Cranbrook Art Museum & Institute of Science, I could go on and on), taking in a game (we’re such a sports town), or watching a show in the second largest theatre district in the U.S. – and there’s always the casinos.
OK, I’ll stop getting all I heart Detroit, but seriously, I heart Detroit.