A day at The Henry Ford

Okay, so it was just a few hours at The Henry Ford. The day before we had cruised the Lake Huron shore on a nice section of the Dixie Highway and then had settled in at a KOA at Holly, Michigan. I often stay at those cute little cabins at KOA campgrounds and have found them to be cozy, inexpensive, and clean. One reason they work out well for me is because of my chemical sensitivity. Remove carpet, drapes, upholstered furniture, and bed and bath linens from the picture and you eliminate fragranced laundry products, carpet shampoo, anti-stain treatments, and smelly bath products. I had given Steve the selling on KOA cabins while I was on my trip out west in August, and he was all ready to give one a try. Of course, anytime you recommend a tremendous restaurant or lodging and take your friends there, it's terrible that time. This was the shabbiest cabin I've stayed in, for twice the price of all the others. I'll leave it at that.

We'd been up late the night before getting settled in and catching up on laundry, so we just plain slept in on Thursday - Henry Ford day. We finally got going and grabbed coffee, fruit, and pastries at a convenience store. Also we had an hour or more of driving into Dearborn since we stayed out in Holly, and the traffic was horrendous. But enough of all that.

The Henry Ford is magnificent! Dearborn surely is the city of Henry Ford. The museum complex is huge and we found ourselves wishing dearly that we'd allowed at least one whole day for it.  At least being a weekday afternoon, parking was handy and the museum wasn't busy.

The museum itself is a wonderful Colonial Revival building. Detroit architect Robert O. Derrick copied Philadelphia's Independence Hall for Henry Ford, and construction began in 1929. I get sidetracked by architectural details and could easily have taken photos for an hour just getting into the building. 

Steve knew I'd waited years to see the Buckminster Fuller Dymaxion House, and so we headed there first after getting our admission tickets. I was excited. Fuller was a Southern Illinois University professor (my alma mater). In Edwardsville we are so fortunate to have a Fuller-designed geodesic dome (on the SIUE campus). And, it was my great honor some years back to meet Shoji Sadao, the architect who worked with designer Fuller on three amazing geodesic domes - the Geodome at the '67 Montreal Expo, the Spoleto Festival dome in Italy, and our very own Center for Spirituality and Sustainability (formerly the Religious Center) on the SIUE campus. So I was ready. And it didn't disappoint.

We also perused cars, planes, trains, steam engines, and neon signs. We never did get to the furniture and the gift shop. This is a truly amazing and satisfying museum, well laid-out with good signage and outstanding lighting. And there are nine acres of displays! Between the two of us, I'm sure we took hundreds of photos. Here are a few.

When we left at 5:00 pm closing time, we drove into downtown Detroit for a few photos.

And then we were off to Royal Oak for a special evening. Steve and I headed for Tom's Oyster Bar to meet up (for the first time in person) with my dear friend and fellow Arcadia author John Schultz. We spent a wonderful evening enjoying good wine, excellent food, and fun and stimulating conversation. Of course we had Arcadia books for each other, and the three of us traded stories for a couple hours as if we'd known each other for years. 

After the class act of The Henry Ford, the impressive and prosperous city of Royal Oak, and the fun evening with John, Steve and I drove back north to Holly and retired to our "cute little" shabby cabin. Great planning, C.

Next post:  a day on the Old Chicago Road.


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