Our family road trip was going very, very well. Except for some minor burns along the way (which mostly came from being stuck in a car in a hundred degree heat) the locations we visited were full of fun, entertainment and some serious history (our favorite things). Not to mention the best massages that anyone could humanly ask for on this planet, as Mommy (that’s me) traveled to every MassageLuXe location I could find along the way. Who says you can’t have a magical massage as you learn?
As we crossed the line into Michigan, all I could think of was what Michigan meant to so many people. This is the state dedicated to the ‘working man;’ the car industry was the biggest and best at one time, and the communities and families showed togetherness in their fight to make life better for the next generation. And even with all the changes in the economy, unemployment, etc., these communities were still doing their best to maintain that ‘red, white and blue’ spirit that most people only see during the Olympic Games.
Novi, Michigan was where we set up ‘camp,’ so to speak, and the parks were grand. Reuben – our hundred pound watch dog who kept an eye out mainly for barbecue pork, donuts, and anything else people might be sharing (and not actually watching out for ‘bad guys’), immediately loved Novi’s parks and beautiful green open spaces. He ran, he met up with other dogs, and basically had the time of his life upon getting out of that car.
Novi was extremely interesting to us, too. In fact, it was not even made a ‘city’ until 1969 after the approval of a city charter by Village voters. As we walked down the ‘streets’ of Novi, it truly reminded me of our own small town, which is a very historic village in Connecticut. As we walked through Novi and saw their Historic Township Hall and the lovely Novi Library, it was as if we were already back home listening to the ‘ghosts’ of the past regale us with stories about how life was once upon a time.
From the Tollgate Farm, which is an actual 160 acre farmstead and educational center, to the Novi Depot which is actually a portion of the original railroad depot from 1871 made for the Holly, Wayne and Monroe Railroad, this town was so reminiscent of back home that we began to get more than a little homesick.
After looking through everything and learning all there was to know, our trio headed out for a short thirty minute hop to see Detroit. (Oh, yes, we would be back that evening seeing as that there was a magical ‘X’ in Novi just calling out my name!)
I was truly amazed with Detroit, however. The commercial and residential ‘boom’ that the television had been speaking about was certianly in full swing. Not only is the downtown area being regenerated, but the vibrant neighborhoods are also being revitalized with new programs and buildings. From professional baseball and football stadiums in Foxtown to a spectacular new Riverfront, Shelby and I were in awe of all the work and beauty that’s being put into bringing Detroit back to life.
Now most people know that ‘The Motor City’ has an extensive set of freeways and major boulevards that got us just about anywhere we wanted to go, but the ‘past’ is fascinating in this city. Shelby and I soon put on our historic caps in order to find out all there was to know about a city that has some serious landmarks – from brilliant architecture to the world of the Model T.
It was amazing that we were walking through a city founded far back in 1701 by a French Explorer named Cadillac. And even though a huge fire in 1805 destroyed nearly all of Detroit’s historic sites, many have been brought back from the ashes through some serious hard work and good old American know-how and determination.
Seeing Henry Ford’s huge manufacturing complex was almost as if we were walking through the historical pages of America, seeing as that this was one place that truly spoke of the age of American skill and manufacturing might. In fact, by 1927, the Rouge Factory had become the largest manufacturing facility in the world. It was the company of Ford that overhauled this amazing complex, spending three years and $2 billion dollars turning the Rouge into a world-class and environmentally responsible manufacturing plant. All the ‘green’ people out there would be astounded at seeing the world’s largest ecologically-inspired living roof in the world.
But it wasn’t just cars we were able to see. Even though many do not put the word ‘arts’ in a sentence describing Detroit, they would seriously be mistaken. The museums, galleries, educational and creative institutions like the Detroit Institute of Arts were a sight to behold. And, if Reuben were being asked, Belle Isle was his absolute favorite place to visit.
America’s largest city-owned island park, this is truly an attraction that all families should visit. Five miles of scenic shoreline, historical monuments, sports, outdoor recreation and events – everything is there. Scenes such as the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit skyline can be seen from Belle Isle which made this a truly amazing day.
Heading back to Novi, Shelby, Reuben and I were thrilled that we made the detour into the State of Michigan in order to see for ourselves the tremendous beauty that is there for the taking. And Novi…well, let’s just say that if anyone is looking for a truly stunning small town vibe that offers all kinds of community events and a library that is all about education and kindness –this would be the place to live.
And what else is there, you ask? Oh, come on now. None of our trips would be complete without my car simply steering itself to the magic ‘X’ that is just sitting in these locations waiting to offer me the best ending (or beginning) to a day I’ve ever had. That’s right – MassageLuXe of Novi was waiting. With its highly polished floors to its unbelievable service, Shelby and I walked in as if we were home. Of course, seeing as that we were hitting every MassageLuXe we could find on this trip – it almost was home. The staff was beyond nice. The refreshments, the cool air, the calm, serene music, and the massage room where all troubles, pains and aches simply were gone in minutes made Novi’s MassageLuXe add yet another tranquil moment into our road trip.
The Motor City and the City of Novi are definitely spots to place on your MassageLuXe (well…family trip). Missing all the history would be an absolute sin. And, frankly, that American spirit – the feel that one gets from the belief that is still in Detroit as they rebuild and unearth the wonders that once were – offer a big ‘God Bless America’ to our ingenuity and our never say die spirit!
Yes…it is time to head home…but there IS one last stop along the way!
Until Next Time, Everybody,
43296 11 Mile Road
Novi Town Center
Novi, MI 48375
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