Midwestern Meander 2012: Greenfield Village

Photos from our visit to Greenfield Village outside of Detroit, Michigan.

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For those unfamiliar with Greenfield Village, it’s the location to which Henry Ford had bunches of historic locations trucked in, from the Wright Brothers’ home and bicycle shop originally in Dayton, Ohio, to Thomas Edison’s labs and offices at Menlo Park, New Jersey. The exhibits and interpreters avoided all mention of the controversies surrounding many of the achievements of these great people in favor of hero worship and a rather rosy view of bygone days (stretching from the 1600’s to the 1920’s), but we were able to set these shortcomings aside and enjoy ourselves. I mean, they’ve got a carousel and a steam engine and Model T’s driving around cobbled streets. How can that be anything but awesome?

I’m a little concerned that now my children are going to think that all of these innovations happened in Detroit, but I’m sure I can set them straight in the future.

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Midwestern Meander 2012: The Michigan Challenge Balloon Fest

We visit our families in Ohio and Michigan most years, and each time we visit, my father-in-law suggests two or three venues or events that we just can’t miss. With younger kids, we often missed most of these, but now that the kids are both a little older, we’re able to pack a little more into our schedule with minimal negative repercussions (ie, our kids don’t whine or throw tantrums as much as they did a couple of years ago).

This year, one of the two main attractions of our visit  to Michigan (besides being spoiled by Grandma and Grandpa) was the Michigan Challenge Balloon Fest in Howell, Michigan.

We got there early and staked out a good spot under a hill on a tree. We supplemented the treats we’d brought in the cooler with elephant ears and fresh lemonade and other classic fair food. We saw skydivers dive from the sky, watched jugglers juggle, sat in a small airplane, and visited with a groundhog and a great horned owl while waiting for the main event.

The wind grounded many of the balloons; of the ~40 scheduled to take off that evening, we got to see 10 go up. But we didn’t mind. For my family, ten hot air balloons was all of the excitement we needed.

I’ve posted a few photos here, and I’ll post more on the Imperfect Happiness Facebook Page.

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