The original plan was to piggyback a Cancun vacation with a conference Chris had to go to for work. But the drug war spread out, some tourists died and his company decided maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to have a “diversity forum” there. So we had the time off, and no where to go…. ROAD TRIP! Chris has wanted to see a Red Wings game at the Joe Louis arena, so we figured, why not head out to Detroit. A stop in Cleveland on the way, a few days in Detroit, stop in Columbus on the way back- not a bad trip.

First of all, there really isn’t much in the big expanse of PA between Philly and Ohio. At least on the way to Cleveland we passed some greasy spoon truckstops, but from Columbus… nothing but Cracker Barrels. That part aside, it was a really great trip. I took tons of photos, the album is over on flickr. Here are a few of the highlights.

So excited to be road tripping! (NASA lander behind us)

The Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland. Really really fun! It was right next to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which neither of us really had any drive to go to. Plus, it was rather pricey. The Science museum was only $8 and had the added bonus of a special NASA exhibit, instead of the Springsteen exhibit at the Hall of Fame. We got there an hour before closing, and had the place nearly to ourselves. Great interactive exhibits, really interesting and would be fantastically educational for kids.

I got on the jumbotron with my sign!

We spent a few days in Detroit. We stayed right downtown, and wandered around there for a little bit. The city felt a bit desolate, lots of boarded up shops. Turns out a lot of the shops are in inside malls, all connected by walkways- so its a bit tough to find places unless you know what you’re looking for.¬†We went to a Red Wings game the first night, had a blast. The next day we went to the Ford Rouge Factory tour- but couldn’t take any pictures of the assembly plant. Then we drove out to Grosse Pointe in search of yarn store with local fibers. The store had moved without updating their google listing, so we went on a bit of a drive up the coast. It was super foggy, and absolutely beautiful.

hanging out in the fog

The Edsel and Elanor Ford House. A random place we drove by on our way to the yarn store (my souvenirs for the trip!) and stopped by to kill time before the Cadieux Cafe opened. We didn’t go in the house, but did the walking tour, despite the fog. I think I actually liked it better because of the fog- felt like a fairy tale. It was definitely a posh place, I could see the wealthy Grosse Pointe mansion dwelling ladies having tea there and discussing charity auctions.

Belgian Feather Bowling. I have a whole bunch written up over on flickr about this… so fun! The Cadieux Cafe is apparently the only place in the country where you can play this. The freelance editor at work told me about feather bowling, and a few days later Chris and I saw a hockey game where the away announcers had a little segment about what they did while in Detroit, and included feather bowling. Sold us. We got a lot of great dinner and bar recommendations from the bartender, too, as an added bonus.

We hit up a few of the local bars recommended by the Cadieux Cafe fellow, including a fantastic polish restaurant in Hamtramck (I still have no idea how to pronounce that). The next day we took it easy, swung by the Detroit art museum and hit a second game. This time we had row 7 seats- fantastic! (They won both games, too, which was great fun.)

We swung by Columbus on our way home. They have an artsy area called the Short North that may have been interesting if it wasn’t a Sunday. Their science museum was much more about entertaining kids than educating them, it was sort of frustrating. The coolest thing there was the spinning sparkly statue outside.

It was a fun trip, but its nice to be home. The other cities definitely help me appreciate Philly, and the diversity and culture we have here. (Also, I finished my owl sweater while on the trip! I’ll take photos of it soon, if its cool enough I just may wear it to work tomorrow. Yay for staying with my finish-a-wearable-piece-of-clothing-a-month!)

Yay for hockey!

I’ve finally finished my second pair of socks. I have to give credit to the monday night group at Ultimo as well as the Thanksgiving drive to push me to get to the end of these. I don’t know what it was, the ribbed uppers just took me forever. I got so bored with them! But now that I have the socks all finished, I’m super happy with them. They fit well, and keep my feet nice and warm. Chris gave me this yarn last year for Christmas, so its nice to have it knit up before Christmas comes around again.

Thanksgiving was pie-licious. We got to take home some pumpkin, and I’m definitely looking forward to finishing that off. The four-day-weekend is shaping up to be quite lovely. I’ve got more projects ahead of me, and a night of wine and hockey to inspire the Redwings scarf for Chris. I have no idea how I’m going to make it, but I have the yarn now so its time to attack the task. I’m still putting off the beadwork necessary for one of my presents, and a new challenge is a perfect way to procrastinate. Scarf here I come!

Go wings!

Go wings!

Date night! Chris and I went to the pre-season Flyers/Redwings game. I didn’t get to see my favorite player (Datsyuk…. I love his Rahmani Eye Institute commercials!) because the team was mostly made up of AHL players, being tested for the real season. But it was super fun anyway, its been ages since I’ve gone to any large sporting event. We got yelled at quite a lot after the game, as we biked away with our jerseys on… not sure why the animosity, the Wings lost the game, why should Flyers fans be mad? Oh well. I hope we can make it to a regular season game. I want to see Datsyuk!

We werent the only Wings fans there....

We weren't the only Wings fans there....

I went to my friend’s ice hockey game on sunday… a great way to end the holiday week. I’ve never seen her play, and although it was the first game they lost all season (won the last 10!) it was still a great game. Chris and I sat with Balog while he kept score and ran the scoreboard. He even let me press some of the buttons to reset the clock for the second period. I felt like a little kid, it was fun. I forgot to bring my camera, so a photo from the Freeze flickr pool will have to do:

The Philadelphia Freeze

I don’t think its from her section of the team, but it is the same organization.

There were some little kids being rowdy, cheering and jeering the other team in amusing ways. Some insults I hadn’t heard since grade school. Very cute. They made a small but vocal crowd.

The trip to the rink made me contemplate picking up hockey at some point. Apparently a lot of her team is made up of older women who started playing later in life…. they have a team made up of people who are super beginners… I don’t think I have time (or the money) right now to join the team, but if I’m still in Philly in the next few years, maybe I’ll add it to my hobbies. Looked like tons of fun. And I love that the team is made up of such a spectrum of people. What an interesting combo, bellydance and ice hockey. I’d have to work on my skating though, or else I’ll just be knocked over all the time.

Sunset from HM Dec 1

Originally uploaded by ducksRfriends

Ok. Sandstorm. You know the song. If you went to my high school, it might give you flashbacks to the ‘dragon wagon’ in the school parking lot, with a few choice cool kids blasting techno and ‘raving’. As much as one could rave after school in a parking lot standing by a mini-van with a bad paint job.
I really truly thought that the years that have passed have been an escape from the techno-fury. But alas. Apparently it is still popular. At hockey games. Almost every game that Chris watches is plagued by at least one sandstorm blast. Come on people. Let it go. Please, just let it go.