23.04.2017 - 25.04.2017
Our road trip went international when Ryan and I drove through Canada on Sunday, April 23. The direct route from upstate New York to Royal Oak, Michigan via 401 West saved us several hours versus going down and back up through Pennsylvania and Ohio. It was Ryan's first time in the nation to our north and I made sure to get my passport renewed to reflect my last name change prior to leaving. The two border crossings were quick and uneventful. Hard copy directions were utilized to navigate since we opted not to add international cell phone service for only one day of travel. Snooty stopped twice along the way, once for gas and another time for lunch at Jack Astor's Bar & Grill. Poutine was a must! Om nom nom.
We finished our first audio book, Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography. It was funny and entertaining...we rated it 4 out of 5 stars on Audibles and Goodreads. Ryan and I arrived in Royal Oak, a suburb of Detroit, around 5:00 pm that evening. Allow me to introduce our hosts and fun friends Roderick and Diana. Roderick and Ryan were pledge brothers in the Sigma Chi fraternity at the University of Maine. Roderick is a finance guru who went on to get his Master's degree and work for Ford. Diana is a vivacious dentist from the Detroit area who attended the University of Michigan. We instantly connected the first time we met in May 2014. I must boast that Ryan and I know some of the coolest, smartest, and kick-ass people around.
The night of our arrival we took a short stroll to downtown Royal Oak. It is a hip area full of restaurants, bars, and shops. Our first stop was B Spot Burgers to eat...wait for it....burgers! With full bellies the four of us walked down to the Red Fox English Pub where they had a killer rooftop bar adorned with fire pits and patio heaters. We gleefully chatted and drank the night away.
Monday, April 24 meant work for Diana but a day off for Roderick to hang out with Ryan and I. Roderick drove us to "The Henry Ford" where we toured the museum and Greenfield Village. We spent hours admiring cars, trains, and even the bus that Rosa Parks made famous. It was a delightful way to spend the day. Afterwards Roderick and Ryan ate Detroit-renowned pita sandwiches called shawarma. I abstained since I am not a fan of pickles, but the boys claimed they were delicious.
We reconvened back at the house so Diana could join us for another night out on the town. This time we went to the local Blarney Stone Pub for trivia. As aforementioned on Facebook, "The Lovers" were 1 point behind in second place out of ten teams going into the final question. Of course, we decided to go big or go home. Unfortunately we went home without the victory, but we still had an incredible time! The final question was "Which 20th century U.S. President was born in Nebraska and was also the only one to have been an Eagle Scout?" Answer: Gerald Ford. Better luck next time...
The arrival of Tuesday meant it was time to hit the road again. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Royal Oak and consider our trip to be off to a great start! Next stop: Somewhere in Iowa.