Let me just preface this post with a “Don’t worry Dad. Somewhere underneath this, there is a pair of high-waisted tap shorts (these custard yellow to be exact!)…I didn’t actually go out in public in a dress that short.”
One of the best things about living in Michigan is the lakes. For those who are not familiar, the mitten state plays host to four of the famous “Great Lakes,” and thus many of us Michiganders take to water like fish. What separates Detroit, and more notably the United States, from our friendly neighbor, Canada, is a twenty-four mile nautical stretch of water known as the Detroit River, which flows into Lake St. Clair on one end and Lake Erie on the other and serves as a major thoroughfare for freighters. This body of water surrounds some beautiful islands, such Belle Isle, and offers a beautiful scenic view from the shores of my hometown, Grosse Pointe. It’s easy to get caught up in the bad press of Detroit, or in the stress of a long day, and when that occurs, we locals take to a vessel and onto the soft rolling waves of the water to see the gorgeous skyline that the “Paris of the Midwest” creates along the horizon.
Once a year, to celebrate our great nation’s birthday, Americans and Canadians come together in their strong post War of 1812 bond to view the International Freedom Festival and Fireworks. Not a bad way to spend a Monday evening, eh? (Ha, sorry. Bad Canadian joke!) A more than half-century tradition culminates in bright colors and cascading lights showering down over the Detroit River with the ring of each exploding cracker echoing up and down the river for residents of both countries to enjoy.