Monday, June 01, 2009

A trip to Royal Oak

Julie and I took a trip to Royal Oak, Michigan for a long weekend. Royal Oak is about 20 miles outside of Detroit. It was a great weekend. We had cool weather and lots of things to do.

Here Julie and her mom Joan are sitting out on the back patio with a bit of wine.



We went to a graduation party for Patrick Donnelly. He is a son of one Julie's cousins. You may have heard me talk about visiting Bill and Kathleen Donnelly for Michigan football games. Patrick is the second oldest of three children.

Thanks goodness they had a tent set up in their back yard. It was quite breezy and cold. Here are Julie's mom, uncle, and Julie.



Patrick (left) and Michael (right). Patrick just graduated high school and will be joining his older brother Michael at Michigan State.



On Saturday we went to a wedding from Julie's dad's side of the family. Outdoor weddings are always scary. The weather forecast was for late afternoon thunderstorms. Instead, we got the gorgeous blue skies you see in the background.

Left to right: Julie Joyce, Bill Donnelly, Kathleen Donnelly, Tom Fernane, Nancy Donnelly and Eileen Durant.



Julie and I



One of the oddest events of the weekend came on Thursday. We went to lunch at a nice bistro and then went wandering through some of stores and galleries. In an art gallery, we ran across Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Yes, the infamous Dr. Death. Turns out he is out of jail and lives in Royal Oak where he writes, paints and composes. He is currently working on a book about how the growing human population will be the end of everything.



On Friday evening, we went to dinner with Bill and Kathleen Donnelly. They took us to Slow's Barbecue in downtown Detroit. It is an excellent place for dinner if you happen to be there.

After dinner we headed to the true definition of a dive bar. Tom's Tavern is in a "less desirable" part of Detroit. It has been around for many decades and hadn't had much of a facelift until an SUV drove into the front.

Like an old speakeasy, you had to knock and then wait for the front door to be unlocked.



It is hard to see the details because my iPhone doesn't do well in low light. Notice how the bar is tilted. It isn't just the picture. The bar really slants down enough that beers can just roll right on down.



On Monday we started for home. What a nice trip. First we stop at a gas station that wouldn't take my credit card. Then we take a different route to find gas. No problem, until leaving the gas station. After pulling out into traffic, I apparently picked up too much speed and got pulled by a policeman. Speeding in a construction zone can be ugly. He was kind and only wrote me up for driving without seat belts.

We got to the airport on time. At the gate we learned out plane was delayed because of equipment problems. And delayed. And delayed. So they sent us to a new gate and a new plane. Smart choice by the airline. They gave us a new plane that needed two tires replaced. More delay. We took off over two hours late.

It was a great trip but it is good to be home with the pets. Now we are down to a week before heading to Park City.
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