Saturday, December 5, 2015

Fun with the family in Detroit

Jerry had the day off today, so we decided to do something fun with the kids, although we weren't entirely sure what to do. First, I had to get my long run done (right now on my schedule, a "long" run is just four miles). It was much colder than I anticipated outside, and I realized within a quarter mile or so that I'd underdressed for the weather.

Just like last week, I actually felt really amazing right from the start, and I could tell it was going to be a good run. I even decided to add on half a mile--I did four last week, and next week is five miles--so I figured 4.5 would be a good transition.

A couple of miles in, I saw something move out of the corner of my eye, and it happened to be right next to my feet. I jumped into the middle of the street, without even looking for cars, because it startled me so badly. Then I realized it was a raccoon. It didn't look visibly hurt, but it was crawling around like maybe its back legs were broken. I felt really sorry for it, but there wasn't anything I could do. I just hoped it would be gone when I went back around that way, because otherwise, I'd be thinking about it all day. I ran by the spot again a mile and a half later, on my way home, and it was gone. I don't know where it went, but I was glad that it wasn't there any longer!

I didn't look at my Garmin at all the entire run, but I was guessing my pace to be around 9:15/mile. When I got home, I saw that I was pretty close--and I had negative splits! A good run today.

Today's run was the end of week two of my 10K training plan. So far, so good :)

Jerry and I were talking about what to do with the kids today, and I got a reminder on Facebook of an event in Detroit. The Detroit Urban Craft Fair was going on at the Masonic Temple this weekend, and I wanted to check it out. I thought maybe we could all go and make an afternoon of it--the craft fair, ice skating at Campus Martius, and lunch at Redsmoke. The kids have actually never been on the People Mover in Detroit, either, so I thought they'd have fun doing that.

First, we went to the Masonic Temple. It's a gorgeous building!

There is a huge hall on the third floor, which is where the craft fair was. There were 100 vendors, and an anticipated 9,000 people attending--it was crazy busy in there! We shuffled our way up and down the aisles of crafts, periodically stopping to check things out. Noah bought a belt, and I bought a journal and a couple of coasters. There were several Detroit shirts that I wanted, but they were pretty expensive, so I didn't get any.

After we left the craft fair, we drove to Greektown to park and then take the People Mover to Campus Martius. Noah was really worried about riding the People Mover... he kept asking me, "Are you sure this is safe?" ;)

When we got to the park, there was a huge tree decorated for Christmas right next to the ice rink.

I hadn't been ice skating since I was probably about 10 years old, so I had no idea how it was going to go. We got our skates on, and Jerry and Noah started skating right away. Eli and I were just barely making baby steps on the ice. At first, I thought there was no way I was going to be able to make it around the rink even once--skating was much harder than I remembered!

Eventually, though, I got a little more confident, and I wasn't hugging the walls anymore ;) Eli was doing really well, too.

It was a lot of fun to try something different. The kids had a blast, and kept thanking us for taking them there.

After that, we walked back to the People Mover and took it back to Greektown. Then we went to Redsmoke for lunch. Redsmoke is a really good barbecue restaurant; I first tried it when I was in Detroit for the Tour de Troit ride, and then Jerry and I brought Thomas there in October. I LOVE their caesar salad with pulled chicken, and that's what I've ordered each time I've gone. It's hard to try anything new when I found something I like so much!

After lunch, we walked a few doors down to Astoria Pastry Shop. Every time I've walked by there, I've wanted to go in and buy something, but I never do. Today, the kids really wanted to pick out a dessert, so we went inside. Jerry and I got a German chocolate brownie to share. My high calorie day was actually yesterday, so I didn't want to go overboard today, especially after the huge caesar salad for lunch.

The day ended up being a very fun impromptu family day in Detroit. The kids loved seeing parts of Detroit that they hadn't seen before (we rode the People Mover around the entire loop for them). Ice skating was a great way to be active even in this cold weather. It put me in the mood for Christmas!


  1. Actually there was a lot you could have done for that poor injured animal. You could have stopped. You could have wrapped it in your jacket or jersey, then you could have taken it to a vet or to someone nearby who could get it to a vet. If you didn't want to risk being bitten you could have called for assistance, assuming you run with a phone. Or you could have gone to the nearest house and used their phone, if you didn't have one. Instead you stuck your fingers in your ears, sang tra la la and then hoped like hell you didn't have to face up to what you'd done on your way home. You left an injured, defenceless animal to crawl away and die in agony. There is no excuse for that. I won't be reading this blog again, or cheering for you from the sidelines. Shame on you. Karen in Sydney,

    1. Oh good grief! What a ridiculous thing to attack someone over. As if SHE attacked and tortured the animal herself out of pure malice. I hope for her sake that you stay away from this blog. - Katie in Houston

    2. Karen, maybe there was something that someone could/should have done, but not everyone is able to think of the options you mentioned at the moment that a situation occurs. IMO better to offer the options that could have been taken rather than to take the tone you did. No one makes the "perfect" choice every day, every moment.

    3. Karen, do they have raccoons in Australia? Raccoons are the #1 carrier of rabies in the U.S. My own safety was my first concern while running. Where I live, people even kill raccoons for being a "nuisance" and getting into trash cans. That said, I have actually saved a couple of raccoons (very carefully) who were stuck inside my trash can before; but I was not willing to put myself at risk yesterday by attending an injured raccoon with nothing more than my bare hands. (There is actually a law that only licensed wildlife rehabilitators may legally care for Michigan wildlife). If it had still been there on my way home, I would have gone home and called animal control to make sure that if it *was* rabid, nobody else would get hurt. But it was gone. Have a great day!

    4. Another suggestion - do you have a wildlife rehab center near you? I would assume Detroit has one, although I know that's a bit far from you...anyway, they'll come pick up the injured animal and try to nurse it back to health. We've done that several times for animals around us, and it eliminates the need for you to have to touch the raccoon at all...which I wouldn't do either since they can be rabid!

    5. people are crazy. Don't worry about it. I have learned you have to limit your involvement sometimes, and yes the risk to you needs to come first. If the animal was still there on the way back it would be reasonable to get involved but not on the first pass.

    6. Karen, isn't this like the third time you've 'threatened' to stop reading Katie's blog?
      Raccoons are actually pretty vicious animals. There's no way I would've tried to scoop up a hurt animal, let alone a raccoon. I live in the same town as Katie and there's no local animal hospital to take the raccoon to. In addition, there's no local DNR rescue that is willing to look at raccoons.
      Go troll somewhere else.

    7. Jessica, I was thinking the same thing. I've often seen "Karen in Sydney" comment on this blog, many times with rude statements or unwarranted advice. This blog is far better off without readers like her!

      Side note, I too had a raccoon run-in over the weekend. I was walking around my neighborhood when a cop pulled up next to me. At first I thought he was stopping me but he just said good morning and went into his trunk so I kept walking. That's when I noticed a raccoon laying in the curb. It startled me at first. So I stopped and asked the cop if he was hit by a car. The cop said no, that he was most likely very sick. Raccoons only come out during the day if they're sick or dying. I kept walking and then I heard a gunshot so I know the cop had to kill the raccoon. Sometimes there's nothing you can do. Not to mention, raccoons are extremely dangerous. Not an animal to cross at all. You did the right thing Katie, your safety comes first!

  2. I have found the desserts at Astoria often look better than they taste. How was your brownie?
    I have such good memories of going to Detroit with my mom and riding around on the people mover. Glad you had a wonderful family day!

    1. The brownie was AMAZING. I would definitely give it a try next time you go there, if you like a strong cocoa flavor in your brownies. It was very rich, and half of it was totally satisfying!

  3. I love the family outings you do with your kids and Jerry! They sound like so much fun. What cuties that they kept thanking you. :) Thanks for another great blog entry- I look forward to these every morning.


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