MI Travel Guide
Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.
The plan for Detroit in 2014? Simply to keep afloat after declaring bankruptcy in 2013. Of course it wasn't always such a sad state of affairs in the Motor City, and one time the outlook for the future was extremely bright, blindingly so.
In the late 1960s, a special section of The Detroit News illustrated what the Detroit of the 21st century could be. Personal transportation modules travel through a lower network of highways, which don't interfere with a pedestrian-friendly surface of broad plazas dotted with leafy trees.
Wedding Travel / DTW / Airports / Airport News / Honeymoon Travel / Runways / Avgeek / Awesome Stuff / → All Tags
It's not every day you see a wedding at an airport, but they do happen. Hey, those chapels are there for more than just a few minutes of pre-flight prayer. Still, it's even rarer to have an entire wedding ceremony out on the airport tarmac itself. In fact, it may have only happened once: last week, at Detroit-Metro Airport.
The nuptials of Joe and Ilona occurred smack dab on runway 9L at DTW, their "I dos" delivered with a soundtrack of jet engine noise as aircraft continued to take off and land on a nearby runway.
A wedding this like may never happen again, and for the details on why exactly the couple chose Detroit Airport for their special day, and how this all came to be, we spoke with the best man, also the Airport Authority's Public Affairs Manager, Scott W.:
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In some ways airports are like our children, as it’s pretty hard—if not impossible—to truly admit that one is our favorite. Some have slides and movie theaters to kill the time while others have restaurants that rival the best dining establishments; however, if we had to pick just one—at least domestically—we’ve got to show the love for Detroit Metro Airport.
Things at DTW are getting even better this week, as they’ve finally slipped the switch on full-time complimentary WiFi. That means no more swearing under our breath when accessing the WiFi waves comes with a request for credit card digits. Things used to be free—for a bit—but after like 30 minutes or so you were required to pay up.
Frequent Flyer Miles / Airline Loyalty Programs / British Airways / Alitalia / Europe Travel / Study Abroad / DTW / Seats / Premium Economy Travel / Economy Class Travel / → All Tags
So-called "hallelujah moments" often serve as inspiration to travelers, whether it's hearing a language for the first time and deciding to study it, or meeting someone on the other side who you know will be a friend for life. For Jaunted Editor Cynthia, one such moment was something as simple as her first bump up to a better seat on a flight.
I didn't pay for the upgrade.
There were no frequent flyer miles exchanged, as I had none.
It wasn't even a result of airline status, because I didn't have that either.
Instead, my first-ever upgradefrom "World Traveller" to "World Traveller Plus" on British Airwayscame about after I shed some honest-to-goodness tears in full view of the check-in desk at Detroit-Metro Airport.
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The United States isby any standard, historical or otherwisea staggeringly rich and sophisticated civilization. We have developed a travel industry of enormous complexity, and it keeps humming even when politicians who have no idea what they're doing try to break it. Every single day thousands of flights take off, follow their flight paths, and land. The combination of paths we plan for them are guided by incredibly sophisticated mathematical models taking into account thousands of variables.
So of course the people in charge of maintaining airports are turning to goats, sheep, llamas, and to even more low-tech animal-related solutions to help them with their jobs. We already told you yesterday about the barnyard menagerie at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is using to mow its lawn. It sounds fake and it's low tech, but it does actually seems to work.
It turns out that other airport officials have come up with even faker-sounding solutions to problems.
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It's been called "the face of American ruin porn" and an average nice weather day sees scores of cars driving by solely for a photograph. Serious shooters set up tripods in the weeds, and a meal at Slows BBQ is often followed by a stroll over to stare. Though Detroit's Michigan Central Station turns 100 this year, the last train departed in 1988, at which time the 18-story structure began its rapid decline from proud landmark to toothless sideshow attraction. The carcass of crumbling stone now draws curious gawkers like gnats, a form of architectural thanatourism.
Even the New York Times called Detroit "the world capital of of staring at abandoned old buildings" and, of the station, said: "It’s hard not to think of it as an epic-scale disaster that seems engineered to illustrate man’s folly — as if the Titanic, after sinking, had washed ashore and been beached as a warning."
Traverse City, MI is giving summer tourists a unique opportunity to do good between beach visits.
The city has launched a new program called "Visit with a Purpose" that allows tourists and conventioneers to arrange to work on short-term volunteer projects with local groups including the Great Lakes Children’s Museum, the Maritime Heritage Alliance, and the Alliance for the Great Lakes.
Shopping News / DTW / ATL / Airport News / Airports / Delta / → All Tags
Everything about an airport screams, "I'm making you fatter!" There's the overpriced, over-fatty fast foods, the sitting around, and any running for a flight is easily outweighed (pun intended) by stress. For two US airports, however, new boutiques seek to temporarily thin out travelers by offering Spanx shapewear for last-minute pre-flight purchase.
The first Spanx shop in an airport is already up and running in Spanx's hometown of Atlanta, at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and recently we noticed the construction of a second, at Detroit-Metro Airport's McNamara Terminal. Both ATL and DTW are home to major Delta hubsis Spanx calling Delta flyers fat?!
Along with Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foals, Deftones, Rise Against, Dropkick Murphys, and The Joy Formidable will all be a part of the 2013 line-up.
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A slice of Michigan ABC pie
Happy National Pie Day! Yes, this is a real thing and yes, it totally warrants a cheer of "America, f*ck yeah!" Pie is awesome, having a day just to celebrate it is awesome, so go get you some awesome pie.
Or let pie come to you...
Michigan kinda feels sad for everyone who doesn't live in their state, a state where bakeries average 30 fresh pie varieties daily. So, just for today, Michigan will ship out Grand Traverse pies every hour to people who share their pie love on Twitter. Here's how it works:
· Follow both @PureMichigan & @GTPie on Twitter.
· Between 10am & 5pm EST on January 23 (today!), tweet your favorite type of pie at them.
· Include the hashtag #puremichiganpie when you do
· Wait for pie* (*if you're one of the hourly winners)
Speaking of state allegiances, here's Five States Known for Specialty Pies:
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Our roving Midwestern reporter, Lara Zielin, files a report from somewhere in Michigan on a very cool project reusing the country's rusting transportation infrastructure:
My husband recently imagined he was a train. If I’m honest, I’ll admit I felt a little silly witnessing this. I mean, what 36-year-old with a mortgage closes his eyes and pretends he’s a choo-choo?
Except, that’s what mid-Michigan’s Pere Marquette Trail can do, especially if you’re on a bicycle and you’re speeding up as you pedal over the Salt River, the birds and frogs calling out the way they must have done before loggers and lumber barons arrived in this flat, woodsy place in the 1800s.
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Here at Jaunted, we spend considerable time and (virtual) ink drooling over weird festivals. So, this summer, we've decided to visit a few. Today and tomorrow Lara Zielin will report back from the Colon Magic Festival in Colon, Michigan.
Move over, Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Colon, Michigan has its own star-laden sidewalk honoring not movie stars, but magicians. So what if there are only three stars in the entire town? And who even cares if two of the three magicians are dead? It hardly matters to festival attendees, who hunt down the stars around town as a kind of challenge. And it certainly doesn’t dim the exuberance of 78-year-old magician Carl Karl, who was honored with a star during the 75th annual Magic Get-Together this past weekend.
“The plaque took my breath away,” Karl says, his eyes filling with tears as he recalls the surprise of being recognized for a lifetime of magic tricks. He’s one of a handful of magicians at the festival who have made a full-time career of magic, though these days leg pain keeps him off the stage. There’s a big part of Karl that’s still performing, though. He has, after all, glued two coins to his forehead. When anyone asks him about it (and a lot of people do), he says those are his...headquarters.