Friday, September 26, 2003

Dr. Detroit

In an effort to catch up on all the news that's not fit for human consumption, I present to you... my trip to Detroit.

On September 3rd, my wife received a phone call from her mother informing her that her great aunt, Auntie Al (short for Alice), was critically ill. Although she had been to the hospital, she decided that she wanted to die at home where she was most comfortable. Hospice care was setup and they, having some experience in these matters, told auntie Al's family it was a matter of days to weeks rather than weeks to months.

When asked if she intended to go up for a visit, my mother-in-law said no. Feeling that she might regret it later, my wife checked into last minute flights Thursday morning at Travelocity. Knowing a good deal when she saw one (and since my wife agreed to go with her), my mother-in-law decided it might be worth it to go say good-bye. Later that morning, my wife booked a flight for her and her mother.

My wife called me and told me she was going to detroit. When I asked if she wanted me to go as well (that's the way it works in my family), she told me, "no, you don't need to." Later in the afternoon, she realized what she had said and asked, "...unless you wanted to go."

I checked and could match their flights but at additional cost. I'm always up for a trip but couldn't decide if I really wanted to invite myself along. In the end, I didn't decide until Thursday evening at a point where it would cost me about $75 more and I had to stay an additional day.

When my wife heard about the additional day she asked, "Are you sure you'll be alright? You'll be in a strange town where you don't know anybody with nothing to do."
"Trust me, I'll be in a new town with a rental car. I'll find something to do."

The first part of the weekend went alright. We arrived late Friday night and learned that Auntie Al had passed away that morning. Sad as that was, Auntie Al was in her 90s and was ready to go home. We spent some time meeting with Auntie Al's kids and their families as well as my mother-in-law's siblings. Some people might find that boring but I found it fascinating to listen to family stories and observe how they remembered the deceased.

After I dropped my wife and mother-in-law at the airport Sunday evening, I spent some time exploring detroit then returned to the hotel. At the hotel, I plugged into the high-speed network port and, using smartpages, google and mappoint, planned my day of freedom.

Next time(ish) - What I did on my Detroit vacation and how internet directions will always get you lost.

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