After our day game in Toronto, we made the five hour drive to Detroit and landed on US soil around 8 p.m. Thankfully, my Mom told my Dad to "hide the reefer' so there were no border issues (that really happened). We settled into a hotel in Southfield, Michigan and planned to visit my Mom's cousin Diane and her family in Morenci, Michigan, a town of only 2,000. We had a great time going through old year books and talking about fun times we've had on our trip. I really think the only reason my Mom went on the trip was that my Dad and I promised we would visit Morenci. It was great being in a small town again, where everyone knows everybody, and you take the time to appreciate the small things. I loved hearing George's stories about how many Morenci Homecoming Queens were in their family and how 'all the pretty girls are from Morenci.'
I also made the mistake of telling my Dad Diane made the best fried chicken from scratch. Of course, the first thing he asked when he met her was "I heard you're making fried chicken?" All in all, we had some of the best times of the trip in Morenci, talking and hearing stories of my Mom's childhood. The baseball was the catalyst for the trip, but visiting with friends and family all across the country is what has made the trip truly special. These times, and the pictures documenting those memories will be cherished by us for a very long time.
Later that evening, we headed towards Detroit for a game the following day. We were set to meet George and Diane's son Jeff, and his wife Karen at the game and were very much looking forward to it.
My Mom and Jeff hadn't seen each other in ages, and it was great for them to catch up. They were so generous with their time and spent several innings with us. Jeff is one of the most inspiring people I've ever met. He is battling some medical issues of his own and we ask that you please keep him and his family in your prayers. Much like my Dad, he's as tough as they come. It's amazing the things you learn from people when you least expect it, but family and baseball tend to bring out the best in people. I know it has for me.
As for Comerica Park, we loved it! It was my Mom's favorite Stadium on the trip and I couldn't blame her. They did a great job laying out the park and making it feel historic, even though its only twelve years old. It seems to be a focal point in the city, with much development surrounding it. Detroit has taken its share of punches over the past few years, but I hope the city can rally around its baseball team because they have a good one.
Pros: Great views, car and water fall in center field, historic franchise.
Cons: Area surrounding park is a work in progress.