Ann Arbor

We joined our friend Kendra Pyle in Ann Arbor for an afternoon of exploring.  Kendra used to work for me at the Audubon Center and now lives and works in Ann Arbor.  It was nice to have a local connection.
We visited the U of M stadium and then went to Zingerman's Roadhouse for lunch.

Zingerman's is an institution in Ann Arbor with a Deli downtown and six other locations, but the Roadhouse is the place for us.  Filled with people, the service was still friendly and timely .  Kate and I had their Pimento Bacon Macaroni and Cheese (bacon is their signature ingredient) and the cheese (their own) made this a memorable dish; on that changed my opinion on what Mac and Cheese can be.  The Roadhouse has lots of different rooms for diners and if you do not to eat in, an old Airstream camper functions as the pickup spot for 'take out'.

Kendra volunteers at Leslie Nature Center where she trains and handles some of the birds of prey.  The Center also has smaller mammals, reptiles and amphibians that are part of the educational program.  She gave us a quick tour and  then it was off to Ypsilanti - which locals calls Ipsi.  Here we found the Firefighter Museum which is a wonderful monument to the dedicated men and women whom we depend on for so much heroism.

The majority of our time was spent at the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum - an old Hudson dealership which still buys, repairs, and sells a few.   Hudsons, Kaiser Frasers, and Corvairs (cars of Ypsilanti) were displayed and Jim Miller, the curator shared some wonderful stories about their histories.  Jim is a treasure trove of knowledge related to these vehicles, although he claims he is really a historian of the Hudson. We walk among the gleaming old cars and marveled at their ornate and sometimes futuristic features. We are of an age where there was a bit of nostalgia associated with a few of the cars, but it won't be long before all of these vehicles will be considered antiques or curiosities; relics of a time when gas cost less than $.25 and steel was king.  The Corvair was made here and over a million were sold.  The Hudson and Kaiser Frasers were eventually combined with Nash to make American Motors. Ypsilanti was also the home of  Preston Tucker - the visionary (but poor businessman) who created the car bearing his name.  Ypsi was also the place where Ford made bombers for WWII and ended up making (hydra-matic) transmissions.  For a car loving culture such as ours, this is treasure trove of dreams.  


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