39th Birthday Weekend – Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Back Again to Kalamazoo

We hit the road early Friday morning to make it to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI.  Emily’s folks got me tickets to the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, which is where the Ford F150 is built and dreams come true.  Our tour began at the museum.  Pictured below are the Davidson boys and a window depicting Henry Ford’s boyhood curtains (not really).

We were told to make our way to the blue podium.  There weren’t very many people in line for this tour, which was nice.  

We got onto the bus, a classic in-the-city urbanish bus, very different from the classic Blue Bird School bus with brown seats and green paint.  

Nonetheless there were similar school-bus rules, which this sign clearly depicts:

“No flamethrowers, No street tacos, No old-timey radios!”  Same as the bus in Junior High.

The view from inside the bus is what a baked potato sees when it looks through the microwave door.

I assume it was Henry Ford’s boyhood confessional booth.  That’s the factory over there.

We got to the factory…

and were immediately told NO PICTURES. At one point, Mac got into trouble for texting his Nana and telling her how much fun he was having, which is the worst possible reason for a child to get into trouble.

Here’s  a picture:

Actually, we were allowed to take pictures during this part. The chastising came later on when we were in the factory itself. The views from the viewing deck were rather impressive:

The inside of the factory was even more impressive. Again, no pictures. Most of us have seen footage of the inside of a factory, so it’s not too difficult to imagine. There’s nothing like being in the middle of it, though. Parts move on conveyors below and above your head, everything is moving, people are crankin’ out parts, and the smell is kinda like new car + your mechanic’s overalls. A very confusing combination.

After the tour, you can see a demo engine and have your 9 year old pretend to fix it while your 13 year old pretends to not be awkward, pictured above.

On our way out, the boys were kind enough to reenact the statue of Henry Ford and someone who is not Henry Ford:

Once we got back to the museum, everyone was pretty tired. Mac was down to only 3-4 texts per minute.

After a brief rest, we headed to downtown Detroit:

And then to King Books — the finest used book store in the world. Over 1,000,000 books! Here’s where their Philosophy section starts (behind you). I thought this sign was both directive and a philosophical statement:

We went on the Detroit People Mover, which was like being on the El in Chicago, but like an El you built in your backyard.

We met with my sister and her family, some of whom are pictured here:

And watched the big Christmas Tree get switched on at Campus Martius:

Andrew and Paco got some donuts for my birthday from a fine place indeed:

And gave us tickets to the Michigan/Indiana game, which was a real treat:


It was especially meaningful to share the experience of being in the Big House for the first time ever with the boys.

I give this birthday 39/39 stars!

About radamdavidson

I'm a husband, dad, and pastor living in Portage, Michigan. I suppose I'm a euphoric melancholy generalist with average skills, experiences, and passions across several intertwined disciplines and hobbies including music, speaking, writing, leadership, ministry, and collecting cultural artifacts from the 1980's -- mostly vintage boomboxes. You can read my blog at www.radamdavidson.com, subscribe to my podcast (RadCast) or friend me on facebook.com/radamdavidson. about.me/radamdavidson
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