Too many cities with too many attractions…
It sounds ridiculous, but we need a break! Just yesterday, walking with Odel on the bike trail through the beautiful small town where we are currently parked, I said “I want to stay long enough somewhere to get bored.” And, I meant it!
From sightseeing in Cleveland, we went to Detroit (with a one-day break to allow the heavy weather to pass). We could have spent a week in Detroit and still had plenty to do, but knew we didn’t have the stamina to do it all. Mostly, we wanted to see our friend Gloria, which we planned for our second day in Detroit.
That left one day for another attraction, and we chose the Henry Ford Museum. It was fascinating, and I’d like to go back someday – but, this trip, we were burned out on being “vacationers”, simply too overwhelmed to enjoy all there was to see. Two hours were all we could manage.
However, one fabulous highlight: we sat on the actual bus, in the actual seat, where Rosa Parks had refused to move to the back of the bus.
On that day, in 1955, four non-white riders sat in the four seats of this row. As more white folk boarded the bus, the driver told the row of non-white passengers to move to make room for a white passenger (white and non-white passengers never shared a row, so the entire row was to be vacated for any white passenger). Three of the non-white passengers moved; Rosa Parks, sitting where I am in the photo, simply slid to the window seat and refused to give it up. The police were called, and she was arrested, sparking the year-long Montgomery Bus Boycott. I loved sitting in that seat, thinking about that brave, brave woman.
Next day, we were off to visit our friend. We met Gloria and her husband Tom just over a year ago, in Sacramento, and when we parted a few days ago in Detroit, none of us could believe how much has changed in that short year.
About six months after we met, fit, healthy Tom died of a stroke. We have continued to follow Gloria’s life through her daily blog, with a visit in Texas and now again in Detroit. She is open and straightforward about her struggles to move on with her life, and about the value of family and friends as she does so. Still, she has the wanderlust that strikes so many of us who have the good fortune to travel extensively, and is planning her next cross-country trip.
I love being in her energetic company, and it was the highlight of the stop in Detroit. We met at the Eastern Market (forgive me, it deserves its own blog… but we’re moving on!) for a tour, shared lunch at a delicious Thai restaurant, and got a driving tour of downtown Detroit and the surrounding area. It was a great day for us.
Now we’re on the west coast of Michigan, bordered by Lake Michigan… and it feels like our summer vacation has begun! Everything here is sparkling and bright – the blue lakes, the green grass, the brightly painted shops, the pennants flying, the flowers blooming. We’ve (at least temporarily) left the humidity and heat behind. Odel is on the golf course as I write this, and I’m ready to head out to explore the small town (Montague) just outside our door. I’m so ready to kick back and do…. nothing!