Saturday, July 29, 2017

Dinner Cruise on the Detroit River

I just got back from the most amazing dinner cruise with my (very extended) family.

When my dad's uncle passed away, and he specified that he wished for the whole extended family (my paternal grandmother's side) to go on a Portofino dinner cruise. Portofino is a restaurant in Wyandotte, Michigan, on the Detroit River. I think I've only been there once for dinner--ages ago--but I thought the cruise sounded like a fun idea.

I had no clue what to expect, and I honestly didn't know if I would even recognize who any of the family members were. I'd met my dad's sisters and brother, but his mom died when he was 18, and his dad was estranged to me (he died last year, but I'd only seen him probably twice in my life).

Anyway, my paternal side of the family has never been very close, in that they don't get together often. So, I was a little nervous going on this dinner cruise with people that were essentially strangers, but I thought it would be fun to learn about that side of the family (as well as meet many of them).

I should have taken a picture of the boat itself, but I didn't think to do that until I started writing this post. The cruise ended up being awesome! Normally, I'm not a big "boating person"--I enjoy land more than water. I LOVE Detroit, however, and I got to see it from a completely different side than I'm used to. The boat went from Wyandotte to the Detroit Riverwalk near the Renaissance Center, and then turned back to the restaurant--a total of about two and a half hours.

I spent most of my time at the bow of the boat taking a thousand pictures. Jerry snuck some photos of me from behind (mostly of my butt) but here are a couple that actually look nice.



Until this one. I took this, and clearly we weren't ready for the photo. But since most people pick the best of the photos to share, I just thought I'd change it up and use this random one.


This is my mom! I don't have many pictures with her, so I took this photo op.
We went past Zug Island, which is where Jerry actually worked for three months back in 2013. If you've been reading since then, you might remember when he switched jobs. He went work on Zug Island, which is a plant that burns down coal to make coke, supplying steel factories in the area. He hated it there, and after three months, went back to his other job. He told me a lot of horror stories about the island, and I'd only ever seen it from the expressway. So, it was interesting to see Zug Island from the river.


We also went past this Boblo Island dock building. Boblo Island was an amusement park that we used to go to when I was a kid. Because it was an island (in Canada), there was a ferry that would take you from this Detroit dock to Boblo Island and back. The amusement park closed in 1993, but you can still see some parts of it from the water.


Last week, I went out fishing with my dad and Eli, and my dad showed us Boblo Island where the boat used to dock and we would get off and enter the amusement park. It was actually really cool looking! It reminded me of the run-down Jurassic Park years after it closed.



I would give just about anything to be allowed to go on the island and take pictures! 

As I was fact-checking for this post, I learned something VERY interesting about Boblo Island. During the Vietnam War, Boblo was used for American men to avoid the draft. They could buy a ticket to Boblo (the amusement park on the island), and then once on the island, they would trade their tickets with Canadians--so that they could take the ferry back to the port in Canada (a safe haven to avoid prosecution) instead of Detroit. When taking the ferry from Boblo, people didn't have to go through customs. Clever, right?!

Anyway, back to the dinner cruise. We went underneath the Ambassador Bridge (the bridge that joins the United States and Canada), and seeing it from the river was awesome. I've run across it, biked across it, driven across it, and now boated under it.





I love this picture of Jerry's hair! The wind just had its own plans today.


Like my random hair sticking straight up in this photo:


It was a great cruise! I got to meet members of my family that I didn't even know that I had, visit with the few that I knew, see amazing scenery, and enjoy time with Jerry and the boys.

Tomorrow, Jerry's going to the Tiger's game with my Uncle Ronald (my dad's brother). My mom is having several of my dad's family members over for more visiting. A busy weekend!

14 comments:

  1. Fun!!!! We just went on a Sol Locks boat tour a couple of days ago....abut upstream from yours!!!😋

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    1. It's definitely something I'd like to do again! Super fun.

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  2. My husbands Grandfather worked as the Captain on the Boblo Island ferry for years in the 1980's and 90's until it closed! I've never seen it before-thanks for the pictures!

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    1. That's so cool! He was probably the captain during my trips there--how fun!

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  3. Katie, you look so relaxed and happy! The summer is treating you well :)

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    1. Thank you! I can't even describe how much better I feel than early this year. I'm so grateful I saw the psychiatrist I did, and that the meds he gave me were right on the first try (sometimes, people have to try several different meds before they find the one that works well). I've really enjoyed this summer!

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  4. So GD Awesome!! And I live 2 miles away!!?;)

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  5. Nice,how much was it?? Looking to have my Dad a party??

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    1. I'm not sure how much it cost, because my dad's uncle paid for it when he passed away. It was such a cool gift to the family! It brought everyone together in a very fun way. I looked at the website, but it says to call for prices. It would be a great place for a party!

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  6. Interesting post! Thanks for sharing! I just put together a memory book for my mom and needed pics of the two of us. It is embarrassing how few pics we have of just the two of us! So I'm working on that too!

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    1. I know! I don't have very many pics of just my mom and me at all. I want to start taking more. That's awesome you put together a memory book for your mom!

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  7. You can go to Boblo! There's a restaurant over there and some luxury summer homes. My mom went over a few summers ago with some friends to take pictures. I'm sure all the good stuff is blocked off but I'll have to ask how much of the old island you can still see. You just have to get there from a ferry in Canada.

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)

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