Our first day in Detroit was spent trying to see and do everything that we have wanted to do for years.
Most importantly, we wanted to spend the entire day with my brother; and my sister and I wanted to show the kids where we are from.
When most people think Detroit, they think:
While that is accurate - and my parents old house has an American automaker plant sitting where it used to be - Detroit isn't all factories and crime.
Like every big city, it all depends on where you go.
We started out the day in search of "Made in Detroit" attire, so we headed over to a nicer version of The Summit (Yes. I said it).
This place was super neat, and my brother quickly pointed out that the shopping center is "dog friendly".
They have water bowls outside the stores, a beautiful sitting area with a fire pit to stay warm in the winter and a splash pad for canine companions to cool off in the summer.
After lunch, the kids decided that Addie needed to have a little fun of her own, and three body guards to accompany her.
She had a blast!
Our birth place.
I can't begin to tell you how hysterically funny it was trying to get a few pictures of this hospital.
My brother was quick to point out that St. John's is a Level II Trauma Center and that if we were to be shot or stabbed, this would be the place we needed to go.
I assured him we had no intent of utilizing their fine facilities during our visit.
....and as some of you have already seen, my Little Primate, photo bombing at Hardcore Pawn.
Addie was absolutely exhausted.
She was standing, watching photos being taken and next thing I knew, she walked right over and stood - in the photo.
However, before I could retrieve her, we had to document the moment.
It was Julien's idea for us to go and considering we knew the opportunity wouldn't present itself again for a while, we figured why not...
While we were in Detroit, we celebrated my niece turning 20.
My brother is one of those people who has connections - everywhere, and for everything.
He should have been in politics.
He's shaking hands and kissing babies everywhere we go.
When my niece said she wanted Mexican food for lunch, my brother took us to Mexican Town - to the best Mexican Restaurant - ever.
It was unbelievably fantastic.
How I miss them!
I have no idea what was taking place, other than my babies trying to get into trouble.
After lunch, MaryRose presented my niece with the best cake - ever - from the Mexican Town bakery.
On the car ride home, I even searched for the recipe for this amazing cake, and found it.
I hope to completely waste my time and money sometime real soon by trying - and failing - to make it anywhere near as good as what we had.
In fact, Julien told me not even to bother.
Don't you love an honest guy?
My niece and former sister in law brought us a basket of goodies for our car ride home (....by this point, my fleece pants and I were good friends...).
They made sure to pick "Made in Michigan" and local treats for us.
Prayer is a powerful thing.
Addie had a belly full of food and cake and was sleeping - like a baby.
Almost as soon as we hit Ohio, snow started to fall,
and there was a lot of it and several accidents along the way.
Due to the driving conditions, we ended up staying the night in Kentucky before continuing on Home.
Our mammoth spring break trip certainly is filled with wonderful memories.
It was quite the adventure, and an adventure that I am so thankful we had the opportunity to experience.
We truly are blessed beyond words.
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It took me a week to catch up on washing clothes and to get my house back in order after the trip.
It took me a month to go through all the pictures.
Just when I thought I have almost caught up on sleep, I got a text from my sister last night, reminding me of our trip scheduled for next year.
Here we go again.