Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Father's Day/Hot time in 'The D' (City)



It's the end of June. The summer has begun and already it almost seems over. It goes so fast. I wish I had the whole summer off but for last week, just the week off was enough to recharge my batteries and get me some time with Amelia while her mom was off to Boston for work.
The first part of the week it was the Bun and I cruising around 'the D.' My old stomping grounds around mid-town are changing slowly but there's still abandoned and rotting buildings next to upscale condos and lofts. There are parts of the city that are still laying wasted and waiting to be brought back into the fray with new blocks like Campus Martius and the Detroit Riverfront. Amelia loved the Riverfront fountain...





...which operates by pushing random amounts of water along its triangular shaped configuration. Sometimes the jets are toddler height, sometimes adult height but always right on an 88 degree day. The Riverfront is a great addition to a city that desperately needed a public place that people could be active and congregate and on a hot weekday, there were lots of families with children playing and strolling along the Detroit River. If the city is ever to rebound or live up to its renaissance it's going to need family friendly spots like this that are walkable (or in the Bun's case - strollable):



After all that walking fun on the water's edge it was time to hit the freeway to head up north. My goal now was to catch a little rural serenity while still in the metro area. I figured we could catch a little more shade than in the city. I also thought that by the time we got there, Amelia would've got a nap in as the car is one of the best places she sleeps.
So, up highway M1 (Woodward Ave) we headed. Our next stop were the grounds of the Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield Hills...



Amelia woke up as I parked and we walked over to get our ticket to take the tour of the grounds. I had hoped to picnic somewhere in the woods until the ticket lady pointed to a
sign that said 'no picnicking.' I started to turn away and say how much my daughter
was looking forward to having a lunch in the park with her daddy. She took one look at the Bun and then said she'd let it slide. Sometimes, having a cute kid with you gets you in doors you'd not normally be let into if you were just a 37 year old male, alone with a picnic basket.
So we walked in and lunched and then found the Japanese gardens and probably the major delight of Amelia's all day - a red bridge!



She ran towards this bridge - and when we got there, she had to walk over it about one hundred times. What's great about being with a toddler and letting them sort-of dictate the day is that time slows down and you get to really concentrate on specific things (like a red bridge). I wanted to move on and see the rest of Cranbrook but after the 75th crossing of this bridge, it started to rain, we stood at the top of it and watched the raindrops in the pond and
it just became a beautiful moment that I'll probably always remember.



Postscript:
I considered the day described above to be like a fathers day (even though it was the day after). Then I read what a real father's day is like on Cheeky's Hideaway and was a little embarrassed at how sticky and shmushy my post was. Then again, these cute two-year-old girls have a way of breaking any daddy down to where he finds himself using the word 'cute' way too often.

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