6/3/10 - 6/5/10
After leaving Traverse City, I headed south to Farmington Hills to spend a couple of days with my parents and also had a chance to see my brother and sister-in-law. I hadn't seen my parents since Thanksgiving, so it was good to see them.
Even when I was a teenager, I still went on occasion with my parents on their Sunday drives. To this day I love taking a drive with no particular destination. We were going to go to Belle Isle, but there was some event going on there http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belle_Isle_Park we decided to go to the Irish Hills instead. If you take US 12 from Detroit you will end up in the Irish Hills! http://www.irishhillsrecreation.com/ It's a beautiful area south of Ann Arbor with a lot of pleasant small towns along the way. We drove through Saline, Chelsea, and Brooklyn. We also drove through A2 and Ypsilanti on the way back home. In Ypsi, we drove down Summit street, down a block or so from the water tower past my Aunt and Uncles old home. I used to think that the whole area had become the student ghetto for Eastern Michigan University, but it appears to still have a fair number of single family homes. We spent a lot of family holidays in that house, so I was happy to see that it is being well cared for.
One thing that was new since the last time I had been was an Irish Famine Memorial. The lintel on the monument is an actual step from Penrose Quay in Cork Harbor. Other stones at the base are from Donegal. There is a stone for each county in Ireland with the name written in both English and Irish Gaelic on the stone. The bowl below the lintel symbolizes hunger if I remember right.
I realized too far into the trip that I had forgotten my camera.
My dad mentioned that he wouldn't mind driving by a home that had once belonged to relatives on Michigan Ave. We drove by and looked at it from a side road. The family reunions were often held there and the relative had orchards as well as vegetable gardens and had a roadside stand. There had also been cabins which are long gone. I saw a couple of people on the back porch and we drove over to speak to them. The couple now living there have been working on restoring the home for the two years they have owned it, doing a little at a time. It sounded like a big job, but I know my dad was happy to know that the current owners love the place and are trying to make it look good again. The woman had done some research about the house and said there wasn't a single fruit tree left on the property, but that she and her husband had planted a pear tree as a nod to the trees that had once been on the property. She seemed pleased to speak to someone who had fond memories of the house and it's former inhabitants.
It was a good day.