Lake Erie Roadtrip #1 – Toronto to Detroit

As mentioned last week over the Easter weekend I took a roadtrip! It’s a little confusing to explain but basically we flew from New York to Toronto and then rented a car and drove to Detroit, Cleveland and then back to Toronto. It was a trip round Lake Erie (one of the Great Lakes) and to cross off Michigan and Ohio from my state checklist. By some miracle I managed to persuade two of my friends Mel and McDeal to come with me and here is briefly what we got up to part one!

We woke up bright and early in Toronto and headed straight out towards Michigan (after stopping at Timmy’s for a much needed ice cap and doughnut). The sky started blue and beautiful but then went more grey as the scenery and landscape started to turn flat. However, we were prepared for this barren view and had prepared sing-a-long playlists and car games galore. The border of Canada to the US was really quick to get through and you get to drive across a really impressive suspension bridge called the Ambassador (you know me, I love a good bridge).

You can see in the distance of that last photo the Michigan Central Station. It is pretty abandoned now but still considered one of the must see’s for Detroit. We headed over there and took some photos and the derelict building was actually pretty beautiful. It’s completely in the middle of nowhere and gave off a creepy vibe but I guess that’s the point of it now?

From there we headed more into the city and went to the Motown Museum. As we were driving there we passed a lot of sad looking buildings and the area didn’t feel the friendliest. We ended up stopping at a KFC to use the bathroom and the employees were behind a glass counter which I’d never seen before. Do people really rob fast food joints? The museum was just up the road from this KFC and I feel placed in such a bizarre neighbourhood. We didn’t end up going in but I got some snaps of the outside and gift shop (who doesn’t want Motown water?). If you’ve been before did I miss out on anything? It just seemed a little expensive and we were going to hit up the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland anyway.

There is definitely a prenotion that Detroit is unsafe, and yes parts that we drove through did give that vibe but the main/middle part of the city was actually really nice. There were giant skyscrapers, wide roads, clean streets and lots of people out. We drove a little out to an island called Belle Isle Park in the Detroit river. It’s a park island and has an aquarium, lawns, zoo, playgrounds etc. If you walk down to the most southern point there’s a bench to reflect on whilst you look out at Canada and the US – Windsor is on the left and Detroit is on the right. I imagine in the summer this place is probably really popular. It was kind of like Roosevelt Island in NYC but I think way more interesting.

There isn’t really that much to do in Detroit but one thing I was super excited about was Greektown. I’ve been to a gazillion Chinatown’s in my life but never ever a Greektown. It’s essentially one road but it’s full of restaurants, bars, shops and a casino. I got a mini-Vegas vibe from it with all the neon signs and people rushing to gamble. We ate at Pegasus (you can see it on the left below) and the food was ok. I think maybe we ordered wrong but the atmosphere was top notch. The waiters were constantly yelling ‘opa’ and lighting things on fire. The ceiling and walls were decorated in lights and ivy and there were statues watching you eat. We then hit up the casino for a little bit and it was gigantic. I got my blackjack on and won a few dollars which I then lost again due to peer pressure from Mel hah. It’s a cute little area and definitely distracts you from the ‘dangerous Detroit’.

On Sunday there’ll be part two of this trip which is Cleveland and then a cheeky WestJet airline review after. I’m actually heading to the Smoky Mountains in a few days so I’ll definitely have something fun to comment on when I get back! Hope you have a good start to your week!

Discussion

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