Thursday, January 18, 2018

I Went to Canada and All I got Was A Picture of Detroit


A Canada visit was planned during our week in Detroit. But time got away from us. Soon we found ourselves on the evening of Thanksgiving, leaving the next day.. It was our last chance to go to Canada.

I've never been out of the country before, and there Canada was, I'd been staring at it all week across the water front. A place I've often dreamed about moving to when things are rough here. I had to go.


We didn't think about it too much, we just continued to drive, past our hotel, through downtown, following signs for Canada.


The Ambassador Bridge glowed eerily in the distance as we passed the point of no return.






After waiting in traffic we finally got to the border patrol agent. He asked why we were coming to Canada, we told him we had never been and wanted to spend a few hours in Cananda and take pictures. He replied with "DRIVING AROUND IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY IS NOT A DESTINATION. 

We told him we were visiting family in Michigan and wanted to visit Canada while we were up here. 
His Response: THIS IS NOT MICHIGAN.

He continued to grill us and I thought he was going to make us turn around, but then he finally said "Welcome to Canada" and opened the gate.


Had we really made it in? It didn't seem real. It felt strange, my phone didn't work, the signs were in French, the speed was in kilometers, everything looked slightly... Different.. But almost the same.

 Like an alternate reality.

We drove around for a bit, almost getting lost since I couldn't pull up directions, but we eventually found our way to the water front and admired how pretty Detroit looked from the shores of Canada.



We felt like we were someplace we didn't belong. We felt strange and out of place, like we had sneaked into the country! Probably because the border guard gave us such a hard time.
 And maybe because it was almost midnight by now.
Maybe it was because Windsor wasn't a very exciting city.
Maybe because we didn't plan anything out and had no idea what to do. 
Maybe because nothing was open at this hour of the night.

I stared across the water, missing Detroit.

We thought about stopping somewhere, getting some food, making the most of our Canada trip. But we mostly just wanted to get back to America, because part of me was paranoid they wouldn't let us back in for some reason.


But this time it was much easier, no crazy questions, we breezed right through, we made it back.





So my first trip out of the country wasn't anything like I had expected.   But now I am looking forward to a proper trip to Canada, one that is more planned out! 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Snow Maze




Whenever it snows I just want to be out in it, exploring. Everything has a diffeernt look to it when its all covered in white. On the day it snowed last, I went exploring downtown. I wandered all over. 

Eventually I came to this little park I always forget exists. 

A little waterfall, with suspended concrete walkways all around.



Nobody was around as I wandered up the steps and navigated the little maze. With views of the snowy city all around.











It's always interesting what you can discover, or rediscover, when you wander around. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Abandoned on Thanksgiving


It was Thanksgiving morning.
 On our own in our Detroit Hotel room, we didn't have anywhere to be until early afternoon. 

It felt a bit odd, not rushing off to a family members house, to begin the day of eating. I felt a bit lost. What was there to do?

Explore Belle Isle of Course!


Down the interstate, we made our way through downtown, navigating around the parade,  then across the bridge to a small Island in the Detroit river between Michigan and Canada by the name of Belle Isle.

Belle Isle was originally referred to as "Hog Island"  due to the wild livestock that ran free on the island. However in 1845 the island was turned into an elegant and sprawling park. Many people worked on designing the park, including  Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park in NYC. Some of my distant ancestors, the Campaus, also helped to design and build the park!

The little island holds walking trails, a greenhouse, an aquarium, an old lighthouse, and a lot of seemingly abandoned buildings. 


But on this frigid Thanksgiving morning, the entire island seemed abandoned.

 Forgotten by time.






These old run down buildings were part of a zoo that closed down many years ago,

















Belle Isle held so many interesting places to explore. We ended up spending a few hours there wandering around, when I only expected to drive in a short loop and then leave. 

I think Belle Isle is not actually as desolate as it appeared on this day.  I hope to go back and visit in the summertime to see how it comes to life. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Snow Garden


The snow that fell in December, quickly covered the ground and all the plants with a fluffy white coating. 

Even the dead remains of flower stalks that I never got around to ripping out of the ground. 

They've sat there for months, taunting me with their ugly selves, a reminder of yet another thing I need to do that there never seems to be any time for. A reminder of a once pretty garden, now covered in overgrown dead brown stalks. 


But today the dead flowers looked kind of pretty, as the snow clung to their dried husks.








The garden isn't so bad in the winter, especially when there's snow around.