Friday, September 5, 2008

On the Road in Michigan & Canada (part 1)

Here I am in Detroit, Michigan on week 2 of traveling. Last week was Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love and home of our founding fathers. I had a lot of work to do so I had to do the speed tour on 5 hours' sleep and in the 2 hours of free time I had before I had to get back to the airport (see the delirious picture of me at the Liberty Bell). The good thing about being completely exhausted and delirious in another city is that you sometimes stumble into places that you're not supposed to be without even knowing it. Such as the Constitution Center. I somehow wandered in the wrong way and wound up seeing the whole exhibit (although backward) without having to pay admission.

Tips for visiting Philadelphia:
If you want to tour the Franklin Mint, don't bring a camera...because they won't let you in : (

Other traveling tips: 

1. GPS is a must-have. I don't know how I've lived my life without this. The person who invented the GPS should be awarded the Nobel Prize. I am currently looking into getting one surgically implanted in my brain. If anyone has any info about how I can achieve this please forward it to me! 

2. If the lock on your suitcase breaks and won't open and your house-keys are locked inside, there are plenty of airport employees who are more than happy and willing to break it off for you. As one security employee said, "We love to cut locks!" Thank you JFK airport for your determination and enthusiasm.

3. Don't fly Delta. Always a nightmare. Every time.

4. If you must travel, the best way to do it is on someone else's dime!

So now here I am in my Detroit hotel suite which is bigger than my NY apartment. So far I've been to Detroit, Lansing, Troy, and Dearborn. Detroit happens to be the hometown of my mentor and exhibit mastermind extraordinaire, Paul Orselli. Yesterday, on Paul's recommendation, I went to the Henry Ford Museum which was really impressive. I saw the "Chocolate" traveling exhibit. Which was great for many reasons but mostly because they have a delicious chocolate bar at the end. Yum! I love exhibits with food. I also saw the chair that Lincoln was assassinated in, Rosa Parks bus, the DC-3, the Kennedy presidential limousine, Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion House (I'm a Bucky fan so this was my favorite. Bucky Fuller was a mastermind designer who was way ahead of his time), the Allegheny Locomotive and oh could I forget the biggest weiner I've ever seen.
I also took a tour of the Ford Rouge factory which I have to say was pretty boring since there was no production going on. If there was, I would have seen them making the Ford F-150. Instead, I saw an empty factory and wasted $7.50. Although, they do have a pretty interesting multi-sensory theater where they spray you and heat you as if you're the Ford being made on the assembly line. This was the second of 2 movies that you watch on the tour and I'm personally not very fond of exhibits with lots of videos. If I wanted to watch a movie I would have gone to a movie theater and not a museum. Since I was the only person on the tour (usually a good indicator that it's not a great exhibit) I had my very own tour guide and I learned that it's called "the Rouge" because the factory runs over the Rouge River. Which got its name because of the color it turns due to the red clay and minerals it picks up turning it red in color. Ok so maybe that was worth a buck seventy-five. If you're really into cars then you might enjoy this tour. But for someone like me who doesn't even own a car, then the chocolate exhibit is much more appealing.

Tomorrow, I'm going to the old car show at Greenfield Village, which has people dressed in period costumes from the 1800s (kind of like the Old-Bethpage village restoration) and also houses the Wright Brothers workshop, Thomas Edison's laboratory and George Washington Carver's cabin.

Then I'm off to Canada!

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