Some of you may recall that I am a huge fan of The Monkees and that I began to delve into Michael Nesmith’s post-Monkee efforts a few years back. So when I learned that he would be performing in Ferndale, Michigan, just outside of Detroit, there was no question…we would be there! Since Detroit is a bit of a road trip for us, we decided to head that way a day early to check out the Henry Ford Museum.
Not having grown up in the Midwest, I didn’t learn about the Henry Ford Museum until graduate school, when we studied outdoor village museums like Colonial Williamsburg, Indiana’s Conner Prairie, and yes, Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village. Brian, on the other hand, had been to the museum several times growing up. Unfortunately for us, we were a week or two shy of Greenfield Village’s season opening. However, we would have needed more than just the day we had to enjoy it all, so it worked out perfectly.
If you like history or museums AT ALL, please allow yourself at least a day at the Henry Ford Museum. We wanted to catch the Rogue Factory Tour while we were there as well so by early afternoon, we were speeding through the exhibits, trying to take it all in. You can view the museum’s website for an idea of all their exhibits. Our favorite, being the architecture geeks that we are, was the Dymaxion House. The most poignant experience at the museum for me was sitting inside the Rosa Parks bus–yes, THE actual bus.
If you have the time, you might consider taking a tour of the Rogue Factory where they produce Ford F-150s. Our only disappointment in the tour was that the facility is completely new and that no portions of the historic portion of the old plant is a part of the tour. That being said, the tour staff were incredibly friendly and the viewing platform is truly eye-opening for this white-collar worker who rarely thinks about where stuff comes from or how it works.
We had the pleasure of staying at the historic Dearborn Inn, which is just a hop-jump-and-a-skip away from the Henry Ford Museum. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the lobby is gorgeous. Decor includes fabulous Ford advertisements and artwork depicting various automobile models. We bought a package that included our tickets to two attractions at the Henry Ford, as well as a very good breakfast buffet. We had a comfy king room and the staff let us check-in as soon as we arrived at 9AM. Overall, a great value!
We also took advantage of the opportunity to try out some of the local culinary flavor. We had never had a shawarma sandwich so we took the advice of Urbanspoon and tried Tuhamas. Brian ordered the “meat” and I ordered the chicken shawarma sandwiches. The place is small with just a few tables and it was very busy the Saturday night we were there. We weren’t really able to find a clean table and the only ketchup in the establishment appeared to be on our table, so folks kept excusing themselves to borrow it. That being said, oh my goodness! The sandwiches were so very delicious, big, and inexpensive. We both ate and shared a can of soda for less than $9.
We also used Urbanspoon to find Shatila Bakery. This place was a madhouse on Saturday evening! We walked in and took a number that was about 30 away from being called. However, thanks to the large number of staff they have working and the time you need to browse all the racks of glorious sweetness, our wait didn’t seem long at all. They specialize in Mediterranean and French pastries and everything we tried was excellent and reasonably priced. I wish we had some place like this close to home. But then again, it’s probably good we don’t.