Detroit, Detroit, Got a Hell of a Hockey Team

Trip Start Apr 02, 2011
Trip End Sep 29, 2011

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Where I stayed
Days Inn - Toronto

Flag of United States  , Michigan
Friday, April 22, 2011

Anybody know where the title came from? Yep, a line from an old Simon & Garfunkle tune. Probably should have titled it "Rain, Rain, Go Away!" Left at 7:00 this morning in a pouring rain. Only stopped on me 90 miles outside Detroit. And I'm afraid it's following me. If the game gets rained rained out, I have already decided to go on to Toronto and come back another day to Detroit.

Interesting drive up. Takes about 6 hours, but you lose an hour too. Very pretty I'm sure in the summer and fall, but this rainy day was pretty ugly. Lots of wineries, golf, vacation areas, etc. As I drove into Michigan, I saw the sign saying "Pure Michigan." Show of hands, how many of you have heard those commercials for Michigan with beautiful music and the guy with the great voice telling you of all the great things to see and do in Michigan? I love them. At least I did until I had to wrap my mind around who was speaking. Anyone know? Yep, it's Tim Allen, the comedian from Home Improvement!!! Yea, tough to remember him as Tim the Tool Man doing pretty commercials. Anyway, thought of him.

Pretty easy drive...I-55, I-80, I-94, I-96 to downtown Detroit. We don't often think of the Interstate Highway system in the US. But many of us remember when it was being built in the 1950s and 60s. Started by President Eisenhower. Do you now why? (And just why the heck am I asking so many questions????) Anyway most folks don't know the I-Highway system was built to make it easy to move troops from one side of the nation to the other. Remember, Ike was a General first! OK, that's your history lesson for today.

Saw a couple of cool things on the way up. Knew there was a Paw Paw, Illinois, but didn't realize there was a Paw Paw, Michigan. Quick, someone tell me what a paw, paw is? It's actually a tree with edible fruit, And as I'm sure Cliff Claven would tell you, "It's a little known fact that the paw paw is the largest edible fruit indegineous to North America." Also saw a sign for a great shop Sandy would love...It was called Chocolate Garden! I didn't stop...if Sandy were with me, we definitely would have! She's a confirmed "choco-holic" on a 12-step program for
the disorder...their motto is...never be more than 12 steps away from chocolate!!!

One more story before I move on to food, baseball and beer. You go through Kalamzzoo on your way up here. Just reminded me of what my Mom used to say when were we kids and we asked where we were going when we all piled into the car...Mom would sometimes say, "Kalamazoo to visit the monkeys." I didn't get it for a while, but then it became funny.

Anyway, I defied "She Who Must Be Obeyed." (Jill, my Garmin Girl) a couple of times. I thought it was easier a different way a few times...she finally agreed with me an got me to downtown Detroit. She did sound mad a couple times "RECALCULATING!"

I went straight to Lafayette Coney Island. Got a parking spot right out front...I'll download the picture when I get home. Great Coney Dog,,,hot dog, chili, cheese, onion and mustard. Then I had to sample their competitor next door...American Coney Island. Good too, but I preferred the Lafayette...or was I just hungrier? I don't know. Both were very good.

Then it was drive to the park (half mile) just to scope it out. Beautiful ballpark from the outside. It's sort of sunken down in the ground. Looked very classy. They say it's about 10 years old. I'll get more info on it when I get into it...if I get into it.

Found a place to park temporiaily and a little bar right across from the park...go figure??? It's owned by former Blackhawk Chris Chelios...called Cheli's. Nice people. One bartender went to Spring Training and we went to some of the same games when we were there last month.

Went over and bought my ticket $50 down the left field line, maybe 15 rows back. Absolutely beautiful ballpark. Outside they have probably 40 foot tigers. it's called Coimerica Park and it is beautiful in every way. Built like some of the new ballparks seating people close to the field and a huge jumbo torn board in left field. They did leave the 400 ft dimension in center field as a tribute to the old Tiger Stadium they tore down in the late 90s to build Comerica.

It was Austin Jackson bobblehead night and I got one...not that I really cared, but it was free. Bought a program, but no golf balls for sale. Oh well. And since I was sure it was going to rain, I wanted a plastic bag to put my program in. Not unless you buy I bought a Tiger baseball, thinking Kevin might like it. Put it all in the bag and headed to my seat. Nice folks from Detroit sat next to me. They had a little kid, Marcus.

It rained or misted from the 3rd inning on...but my trusty Redbird jacket, long johns, jeans and golf pants along with a hooded sweatshirt, and I was snug as a bug in a rug. Very fun game...nice people. Friendly crowd. One young lady in front of me wanted to join me on my trips...told her my wife probably wouldn't understand, and she even offered to call Sandy to explain...I declined politely!

Tigers were playing the White Sox. Final score, Tigers 9 - White Sox 3. I'm 4-0 for the home team. As the family with the little kid left, I decided what to do with the bobble head and baseball...Since they came into the ballpark too late to get one, I gave the bobblehead to the kid...the ball too. The parents were very grateful. Then I thought, I'm going to make that a a bll and give it to a little kid at every game. It's $10, so what? And how much joy will it bring to the kid? Hopefull a lot.

Long drive ahead of me to Toronto...4 hours. More tomorrow...if my iPad works in Canada, eh?
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Kay Robertson on

Sounds like I should have been your chaperone!! Not that I would be any help! Glad you're having a great time. Havenit tuned in for a while as we spent some time in Hilton Head (it rained a lot so I had to shop and eat. Maybe you should get the name of the Chocolate place and Sandy and I could place a "mass" order!

Brian Schaefer on

Another great trip report Dave. I love the idea of getting the ball for the kids each game. Your going to make a lot of kids real happy.

Keep up the great reports! I'm not going to get a chance to do something like this for a very long time so I'm living vicariously through you!!!! :)

Sandy Colee on

Good call on not taking the young woman on your trip, Dear! :-)

Janice Kiedaisch on

Hi, Dave! Great to hear from you. Yes, it is still raining in the Midwest; one of the rainiest Aprils in history. Tim Allen is actually from Michigan; that is why his show was supposed to be based there and that's why he was contracted to do the voice-over for the commercial. As for the Eisenhower interstate system, my daughter Shelley who is a history major and a graduate of ISU told me that info last year. I didn't know that either. Must be that all of you ISU grads are so smart.

Janice Kiedaisch on

One more thing about Michigan- the world's largest Christmas store is located not too far from Detroit. I thought that would probably make your day. I think the town is called Frankenmuth.

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