Monday, July 16, 2007

Eastward Ho - Day 2

We got a bit of a late start heading out of Geneseo. Kurt says I’m a different person when I’m on vacation, since I want to get up and go where usually I prefer to laze around. If we've got miles to cover, I want to get on the road!
Our first stop was at the National Sand Dunes Park on the Indiana shore’s of Lake Michigan. I’ve always wanted to stop and see them when I’ve been on my way east, but I’ve never been able to spare the time. We hit the gift shop first and got information. We also picked up a really neat National Parks passport book. The dune’s parks were incredibly busy. Many of them were closed because the parking was full. We weren’t able to get to the beach that had been recommended to us, but we did make it to see Mt. Baldy. This is a live dune that is growing and shifting and threatening to take over the parking lot and potty area. Mt Baldy is blocked off in an effort to save her, so we walked around, up and through the woods to descend to the beach. It was gorgeous. Lake Michigan is very very blue and very very cold! We waded a bit then headed back over the dune and had a picnic lunch on the road.
Michigan is full of fruit orchards and deer from what we could see. Kurt napped quite a bit, but did manage to come awake in time to see a sign for an Air Zoo and space museum in Kalamazoo. We spent a few hours there. Kurt was more into than I was (of course). Yet, it was interesting. They had all kinds of planes and space craft. The walls were covered with realistic murals. The Air Zoo also has air themed rides such as a hot air balloon and little planes for kids. For bigger kids there is a space shuttle going to the International Space station as well as flight simulator for an F-14 tomcat (think TOP GUN). I sat those out but Kurt had a great time doing nose dives and barrel rolls. The zoo also features a WWII aircraft hangar and a simulated bombing run of a B-17 bombing run of Nazi Germany. It was 3-D and the true story narrated by the sole survivor. I did go on that one. It was really meaningful because of what’s going on now, and also because my Great Uncle Glenn went down in one of those during the war.
We only had about 45 min to go thru the second building which featured more space stuff. I looked everything over quickly then waited for Kurt outside where there was some fresh air. The Air Zoo is much like the National Air and Space museum in D.C., but I thought it was much better because it isn’t so stinking crowded! However, their moon rock in encased in glass, where you can touch the one in D.C.
We were at the Air Zoo until it closed then we got back on the road. We had a super yummy supper at a Bob Evans. You can never go wrong with a hot turkey sandwich!
We decided to drive to Detroit. Kurt was sleeping when we got into town. We ended up getting into an argument about where to find a hotel. We had a lovely (and thankfully) short tour of the burned out, abandoned, boarded up and still being inhabited section of the city. We quickly got back on the freeway and headed for the museum and downtown district. I hadn’t made a hotel reservation because I wasn’t sure how far we’d get. We ended up in a very expensive Courtyard by Marriott. I only got a room because there was a cancellation just as I inquired. The woman who checked in before me almost came unglued. She’d been trying to get a second room for months. We just happened to decide to spend the night in Detroit while the 98th annual NAACP convention was there, along with a Tigers game and an airshow. The room was nice, the hot tub was cold, and the bed was soft. Plus I should be getting bonus Marriott rewards!

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