Greenfield Village – Late October

Saturday morning we woke up determined to have some family fun time. It’s been all work all the time around here lately, and we all needed a break. We tossed a few ideas around before deciding on Greenfield Village. We got there as the gates were opening, the day was overcast, and we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves which was awesome.

I love visiting this time of year. I love fall and Halloween, as you all know, and the Village is all dressed up in vintage Halloween decorations, as well as some spooky ones too. They do Halloween Nights there, with candy and live performances, but to be honest, we prefer it like this. Empty. Without the fanfare and other people. Plus, we can actually see everything rather than be part of a huge crowd in the dark. We did that once and while it was fun, we like visiting on our own terms more.

We walked around the farm, greeting all the animals who were enjoying their breakfasts al fresco. The horses, John and Wilbur, were on their way to plow up the fields and we gave them a quick wave as they went off to work.

We walked around the “town” area, by the Wright Brothers house, closed up refreshment stands, and creepy decorations.

And made our way across the spooky covered bridge, making ghostly ooos and boos as we walked through…

These scarecrows were terrifying. I stepped in close for a photo, and and had the weirdest feeling they were watching me back. I freaked myself out, imagining one would leap off its post at me, and after snapping the picture, raced back to Billy and Wyatt.

We toured around the homes, and headed back over the bridge, not knowing the scariest monster was still to come…

Such scary!!!

Needless to say, Wyatt had fun! And so did we! (I look like a crazy person…I was helping make scary noises with Wyatt…lol)

I love this time of the year at the village! I am so happy that this year they extended the length of the visiting season for members through November. I see some mornings there in our future for a few more weeks at least!

Late Summer at the Village

Last Friday I met my sister-in-law and niece at Greenfield Village for an early morning visit. I love it there so much, and as Wyatt and I ease into school, I hope to work some mornings there in to our schedule more often. But, this visit was just for fun, a last little vestige of summer before Dino Girl started school.

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful morning either – not too hot or chilly, and the sun was shining and the sky was so blue. Perfect really. I had my wagon for Wyatt, and my niece wanted to ride in there with him too, so my SIL and I took turns pulling it around while we walked and chatted. And admired all of the gardens!

We made sure to stop and visit at our favorite houses, the Cotswold Cottage and the Dagget Farmhouse. I always joke if the world went sideways for real I would move in to the Cottage at the Village. It’s a real cottage too, moved here stone by stone from England.

And this farmhouse, I love everything about it. When we were there they had the interpreters inside making dye from flowers and spinning wool. The kids were enthralled with the spinning wheel; Wyatt kept asking to do it, while Dino Girl had lots of good questions about the process.

From here we wandered into the last, big garden. The kids were good sports but were starting to fade a bit by this time. And they were ready for the ice cream we promised them. We still had about twenty minutes before the frozen custard opened though, since it wasn’t even 11 am yet, so we rolled up into the garden. I love a late summer garden. I feel like the flowers are throwing all their colors at us, their last final hurrah before they completely fade away in the fall. Like look at me, look at me! So we did.

Finally, finally, it was time for frozen custard!

This little building is so sweet, isn’t it?

We got our treats, ate them up, and by this time, it was time to head home. I had my eye doctor appointment that afternoon so I needed to get back and get ready, yuck. It was a very relaxing way to end the week though, and we had the best time.

Hello June!

Hello June! Hello summer! I know it is not officially summer yet, but to me June is always the start of summer.

We spent the long weekend fully embracing the season as much as we could. Our Friday plans were rained out – we had a ton of rain and it was cold to boot – so instead of the zoo we bought a bunch of crafts and new paints and hung out at the table just painting and creating. However, Saturday and the rest of the weekend was gorgeous and we took full advantage.

Saturday we had reservations for one of our favorite places to visit, Greenfield Village. We didn’t get to go last year so it was so nice to be back! It was a beautiful morning, sunny and mild, the perfect kind of day to walk around the village and ride the train.

On Sunday we headed downtown. We stopped in at Astoria Bakery, another favorite that we haven’t been to in a year. Wyatt and I waited in the car while Billy ran in and picked up some surprise goodies to eat when we got to our next destination, Belle Isle. Just as Billy was coming out a mounted police officer came clip-clopping down the street and kindly stopped for a photo. Wyatt was not super enthused – the horse kind of freaked him out, although he was a sweet and handsome boy named Ivan.

Loaded up with a box full of goodies, we headed further into the city to Belle Isle. We had forgotten all about the Detroit Grand Prix, and to our surprise they had started setting up for it. They didn’t have it last year but this year things are back in full swing. One crazy sort of neat thing is they set up a week or so before the race and people visiting the island can just drive around the course. So we tootled around it in our Subaru feeling cool before finding a place to park and eat our car goodies. Billy picked out a lot, apparently he felt we needed to make up for all those lost weekends. A piece of torte cake to share, a lemon muffin, and chocolate chip cookies.. we ate all of it except the muffin. The cookies were amazing!

Monday was Memorial Day and we always spend it with my dad. My dad served in the Marines and did two tours in Vietnam, and lost friends and platoon members while there, and while we all remember those who served, I know that his perspective is different. I think spending the day with his grandchildren makes it a little easier.

We had a great time all together. It was the first time that we had been to his house since last Christmas, and it was more than nice to be with each other again. I got to hug my dad for the first time in a year! The kids had a blast, and we spent practically the whole day outside, trading being with the kids, and chatting with the family. There was so much food and so much catching up to do. The day flew by and it was time to go home before we knew it.

I feel like we gave May a good send off, and we are looking forward to the summer!

Date Night: Ragtime Street Fair and Motor Muster

It was a spur of the moment type thing, this date night, and sometimes those are the very best kind. Greenfield Village was having its annual Ragtime Street Fair and we were having dinner with my mom who lives nearby, so it was so easy to ask her to watch the little man for us for just a quick few hours out.

I have always wanted to go to the Ragtime Street Fair and this was the first time we managed to get there for it. It was super cool to see people dressed in period clothing for the 20s, strolling in and out of the street fair tents full of food and drink. It was another motor muster, with old cars lining the streets but this time, the ages of the cars were limited from early 1900 to the ’30s, and nothing “newer” than that. The village was open late for this event, and we got there just as people were leaving, probably having been there for hours already during the day. My brother had gone earlier in the day and said that it was packed, so we weren’t sure what to expect. We had a little bit of a hard time finding a parking spot, but once inside it wasn’t bad at all.

It was one of my favorite weather nights – cool, moody, clouds in the distance threatening rain, yet still summery with no humidity. We were able to walk around comfortably, checking out all the cars and chatting with the owners. We ambled a bit, bought drinks, and noticed everyone lining up on the curbs to watch the twilight parade of cars, so took our own seat on the side and peacefully watched the cars drive by for a little bit, sipping our drinks, comparing favorites, just existing side by side for a bit, easily. When we finished our beverages, we scrambled across the street between cars to check this one out – we had never seen anything like it before!

This car is so cool! It can drive in thirty feet of snow, and the owner said that he had taken it out in the snow many times – why not, he said, and really, if I had this I would take it out too! He couldn’t drive it in to the village like that but brought it in on a truck. It is a 1929 Closed Cab Model A Ford Pickup with a super Snow Bird Snowmobile attachment. According to the guy, and his sign. It was used for mail delivery, and I am assuming lots of other purposes too. I think I need one of these to handle our Michigan winters! Lol. And of course the buffalo plaid clothing hanging there – I am a sucker for buffalo plaid anything.

We chatted with the owner for a bit then wandered off to the garden, one of my favorite spots in the village. It was a great time to go, and now at the end of the year the blooms are fading but there were some plants bearing fruit, like tiny ornamental eggplants that looked like pumpkins! I am definitely adding that to my garden next year! We were on a slow roll tour of the village, so we took a seat in the garden watching the sun begin to set.

We sat for a few minutes, taking it all in, chatting with other people strolling through the garden, guessing what the different plants were, before setting off and catching up with the parade on the other side of the village. A man in an old Ford truck offered us a lift to sit on his hay bales in back, and we almost took it, but chose to keep walking, although, it would have been fun. The clouds started to really roll in and we had a feeling it was going to start to rain and wanting to beat the crowd out, we started heading toward the exit, slowly making our way there.

I had my head in the clouds, the sky was so dramatic and beautiful. It was one of those times I itched for my camera, not just my cell phone camera. I put my camera away a few years ago, as I felt I was missing moments, trying to capture them. I wanted to be fully present and not just the person behind the lens. I will probably pick it up again at some point, but not just yet, unless I go out and solo shoot.

The night was low key, mellow, and last minute. And we had a wonderful time together; we were able to talk and listen to each other, something that we don’t actually always get to do, with Wyatt around. Lol. It was one of those nights that was easy and simple and didn’t need to be a big thing to have fun.

Father’s Day Motor Muster

Father’s Day morning was awful. Rainy, cold, gray. But we were undeterred by the bad weather, and tucked ourselves into our rain gear and continued on with our plan for the day!

Greenfield Village was having its annual “Motor Muster”, where people from all over drive their classic cars to the village and show them off. I have to admit, I am not super into cars. But Billy is, and it was Father’s Day, so there we were. He’s a good guy and a great father so whatever he wanted, it was his day. There was one thing I did want to do though, and that was ride the train. A month ago my stepfather passed away, and he was a huge train enthusiast, and I wanted us to take a ride on the steam train around the village, in memory of him on Father’s Day. So we made that our first stop – it was a good way to stay out of the rain too. It was actually pretty atmospheric in the rain, with the thick steam wrapping around the sides of the train. Wyatt loved it, and Jerry would have too.

 

When our ride ended, the rain pretty much had too, luckily. We wandered about looking at the cars, and I found that I was actually really interested this time. Lol. Call it my summer of retro, I guess! We saw some really cool vehicles though, and we had the village pretty much to ourselves for a while, due to the morning’s rain.

 

Those wood paneled cars are really cool looking! Billy loved all the International Harvesters, which I guess are very rare. There were three at the Motor Muster, one of which was a wagon type version, which Billy had never seen and was super excited about. I was more of a fan of the Vernor’s truck, so classic Michigan! I also liked this one:

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We were excited to see the Tin Can Tourists had a few people there too!

 

After we had walked around and checked out all the cars, we checked out the rest of the sights! This year the village had added in vintage era music shows, food stalls, and living history type exhibits, if you could call them that. I thought these ladies looked amazing and so very retro cool, working on their Victory Garden.

 

And yes, as any good Hawaiian blooded man does, my husband ate the grilled spam sandwich. Which he said was excellent!

All in all, it was a great way to spend the day and we had a fun with this blast from the past! And hey, since you are here, check out my giveaway!