There’s only fifteen days left of school, and I’m to the point where I just want my kids to work quietly so I can plan what I’m going to pack for my summer break trips. Instead of asking them higher order thinking (also known as HOT) questions, I’m asking, “Should I take my black flats with the bows or my plain ones?”. When they ask about extra credit, I respond, “Do you know how to neatly fold clothes?” or “How much can you stuff into a quart size bag?”. My mind has checked in, boarded, and taken off.
It’s pretty difficult to focus on the classroom when London and Paris await me next month and New York is waving to me from October. However, it is the little state capital of Lansing, Michigan that I’m especially eager to see. I can imagine what you’re thinking, but let me explain. I have been to London, Paris, and New York before, but I’ve never been to Lansing. Out of all four destinations, Lansing is the one that I should have been to first.
I grew up thinking that everyone goes somewhere far away every summer, because that is what I did. My parents put me on a plane and sent me to Michigan almost every year to stay with my grandparents. My grandparents would take me on road trips all around the state. We wore wooden shoes and saw the windmills and tulips in Holland. We visited Sleeping Bear Dunes in Traverse City. We walked around Mackinac Island, a place devoid of vehicles, but full of fudge. We also saw the Grand Hotel where Somewhere in Time (“Return to me…”) was filmed. We went to the cute little towns of Saginaw and Grand Haven. We saw Thomas Edison’s factory in Dearborn and saw a Tigers game in Detroit (where I heard my grandpa sing for the first time). We visited the National Hotel in Marshall. In addition, my parents took me to the German inspired Frankenmuth to visit friends and eat fried chicken at the Bavarian Inn. So in effect, I have criss-crossed the the lower peninsula, but have never been to the state capital. I wonder how my grandparents, who determined to show me all things historic, missed the mark on that one since it is only two hours from their town. It is especially odd since my bucket list includes seeing all of the state capitals (for example, last year when I visited Independence, MO, I took a day to drive to Topeka, KS to see their capital building). Lansing should have been accomplished a long time ago.
This is the year it’s going to happen. This summer my mom and I will meet in Michigan to visit my grandma, but then she and I will break away to drive to Lansing and then onto Frankenmuth to visit friends. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on a road trip with my mom, so that adds to my excitement. This may be the first time Lansing has ever trumped the three world-class cities of London, Paris, and New York.
Readers, where have you always wanted to go?
Image via galenfrysinger.com