Friday, November 11, 2016

Belle Isle Park Detroit Mi.

The calendar may say that summer is over and it is now mid November but the wonderful, warm, sunny weather is still with us and we are taking advantage of every bit of it!  Our flowerbeds are all covered up for the winter and the last of the veggies are out of the garden. New tulip bulbs with their promise of bright spring
Maumee River
colors have been buried deep in the dark earth.  One last trip up the Maumee River in the boat with our dear friends, Bud and Carol and last week a day trip up I 75 to downtown Detroit and out onto the historic and beautiful Belle Isle Island in the middle of the Detroit River.

Belle Isle Park is a Detroit gem and has become Michigan’s 102nd state park.  This 985 acre island is home to a variety of attractions including a nature zoo, the James Scott Memorial Fountain, the Nancy Brown Peace Carillon, the Livingstone Memorial Lighthouse, lots of playgrounds, walking trails, sports fields and 2 marinas!

Our first stop on the island was the oldest aquarium in the United States built in 1907.  This ceramic tiled domed building houses more than 1,000 fish and an extensive collection of Belle Isle memorabilia.

Next we toured the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory - the oldest continually running conservatory.  This expansive collection included a formal garden, several seasonal floral beds, a lily pond tucked behind an elaborate wrought iron fence, and an awesome view of the tall towers that make up the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit.  Inside the high glassed in structure were rooms of tropical plants and vine drenched tall palm trees that reached the ceiling above.  One room was filled with desert plants and blooming cactus of all sorts.  Another held ferns and flowers.

Detroit skyline
We tried our best to drive on every road as it wound around the perimeter of the fall colored island with stops on the Detroit side to view the skyline and the bridge that crosses to Windsor Ontario.  On the other side of the island we caught the blues and greens in the reflections of the water across from the carillon. Our final stop on the island was at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum.  After viewing a movie documenting Detroit’s maritime history, we browsed the halls to see all the displays of boats and the history that came 
with them.  We even walked in the captain’s footsteps on the bridge of a Great Lakes freighter in the William Clay Ford Pilot House!  Out of those windows you could easily see the Canadian shoreline!  Outside were even more displays!   “Miss Pepsi” – the first hydroplane boat to top 100 mph had her own glassed in display!  There were cannons and anchors also - including the original anchor from the Edmund Fitzgerald!
Windsor Ont. Ca. across the River 
All of this activity made us hungry so we crossed from Detroit to Dearborn and went to Buddy’s Pizza for the BEST pizza we’ve ever found!  If you go – try the “ Henry Ford”!   Ground beef, SMOKED bacon, red onion and Blue Cheese - all on a multi grain thin crust!!
Now we must find time to plan for Thanksgiving and then pack for Florida!  The weather will surely be colder by then!