Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dreamin' of Cruizin'

This weekend is the Woodward Dream Cruise, the annual celebration of the automobile in Detroit, especially the vintage cars of the 50's, 60's and 70's. Each year the event draws 30-40,000 old and custom cars out to Woodward Avenue, the original cruising highway. In fact, just this week the street celebrated its 100'th anniversary of having the first concrete mile of road in the US. It has been estimated that over one million people come out to watch or participate.

Sandy and I don't go every year and in years past we were fortunate to know someone who put on a picnic the day of the cruise so we had a home base to partake of the festivities. Since then we have only gone a couple of times, last year we happened to hit it on the tail end of the Friday night before the cruise. This year we stopped in on Saturday afternoon after first heading into the Motor City.

The temperatures were in the low 90's by the time we arrived; the crowds were down this year and we had no problem finding a parking spot right next to Woodward. The heat keeps a lot of vintage cars off of the road since the stop and go traffic tends to make lots of them overheat. Instead they are parked in various lots along Woodward so you can get a good look at them up close.

We couldn't decide which cars we liked the best if we were to own one but Sandy had her eyes on the older Corvettes and other muscle cars with the big engines. We also liked the older 'rods and decided that we would need a car of each type, depending on the type of cruising we wanted to do that day.

We stopped to admire one 1961 Vette and Sandy posed for a picture in front of it. The owner happened to be sitting close by and told her to go ahead an sit in it. That made her day! We talked to him for some time and he told us a lot about the car and that even though he was from Montreal, he has always been a Redwings fan and would drive from Montreal to Detroit to watch the Wings play at the old Olympia and then drive back home.

Earlier in the day we had gone down to Eastern Market, one of our favorite spots to spend a Saturday. We didn't really need much in the way of produce but always enjoy the sights and smells of the market and small businesses surrounding the area. We spent some time in one of the antique stores and found an oak chest/bureau that once refinished should be the perfect companion piece to the cabinet I refinished before we moved to Michigan.

After we left the market we went up the road a few blocks to the Pierogi Fiestival at the Sweetest Heart of Mary Catholic Church. The church offered pierogi and chicken dinners, all home made including the deserts. We enjoyed our meals while listening to the polka band. In addition to the food the festival offered games and raffles. We took a look inside the 116 year years old church and were amazed at the splendor and detail. It is simply gorgeous inside and reminded us of the pictures you see of the great churches of Europe. We were glad that we decided to include the festival on our itinerary.

I think tomorrow I will get out on the bike for a long ride before it gets too warm. I'm not sure if I will race next weekend but I have already signed up for one two weeks from now down in Ohio that is only about a half hour drive from my parents. I always wanted to try the race but the timing never worked out.

Sweetest Heart of Mary Catholic Church

Woodward Dream Cruise

1923 Hearse

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