For the week leading up to our (hopeful) trip to Florida, I had a sense of dread about the trip. I was SUPER excited to visit our friends and my grandma and stay in our house (and my comfy bed), but something in the back of my head was dreading it, and I had no idea why. When dread like that come up for no reason, I figure I’m either really supposed to do the thing I’m dreading, or I’m really not supposed to. I have yet to determine which it is for this trip. The drama just keeps coming.
After we left the airport last night, we pulled over in a parking lot and pulled out a macbook to get online and book a hotel room. We found a nice hotel down the street and booked a room for 2 nights at a good price. We hauled our stuff inside, let the kids run off some energy, blogged, then went to bed. This morning the kids blessed us by sleeping in until 9:30. (Insert hallelujah chorus here.) We decided over a late breakfast to do a driving tour of Detroit and then spend the afternoon at the zoo. The Narrator stopped at the front desk for directions while the kids and I headed to the car. I thought something was strange when the key fob wouldn’t unlock the car door. I can’t tell you the last time I used a key to unlock the door. After fumbling with the key for a minute, I finally got the door open and hit the unlock button. When the doors didn’t unlock, I knew something was really wrong. I sat in the driver seat and tried to start the car. Absolutely nothing. Then I turned the headlight switch off. In our exhaustion, we had left the headlights on and the battery was deader than dead. Thankfully, we had better luck than the airline mechanics the day before, and after hunting down a hotel employee and borrowing the airport shuttle van, we had a successful jump.
We stopped at Target for clean clothes for The Narrator (who had not packed any clothes because he was supposed to go home). Then we took the really long, wrong way to the zoo. But we made it eventually, just in time to drive around for a half hour looking for a parking space. There are billboards across the state saying that the Detroit Zoo is “worth saving.” From the looks of the parking lot today, I’d say all 900,000 people left in Detroit were at the zoo today. With their kids. I think it has been saved. And I was pleasantly surprised. The Detroit Zoo is a beautiful park and the summer landscaping was pretty enough to get married in (which apparently you can do that – rent the zoo for your wedding). The peacocks had their feathers spread, the tiger was running around looking for ways to escape, and the lioness was either growling or had a really bad hairball (I couldn’t tell for sure). The polar bear was lazy, the butterflies were beautiful and busy, and it was just a gorgeous day.
So despite the drama, drama, drama, we’ve made the best of it and are enjoying our unplanned mini-vacation. And what they say about the city of Detroit is true. It’s dying a slow and painful death. Just driving along the highway you see buildings that look like they belong in a 3rd world country, not the U.S. Abandoned, disintegrating, broken out windows – building after building, house after house – broken and abandoned. It’s really surreal and sad.
Pray for us tomorrow that 2nd time would be the charm and we will actually make it to Florida!!! Go Wings!!