Monday, April 10, 2006

Greetings from Detroit!

Hi everyone! I am writing to you from Detroit, Michigan.

It turns out "The Motor City" is a nickname for Detroit, Michigan. Just like "The Big Apple" is a nickname for New York City. See if you can find Detroit on the map.

I found out where we were headed when Kristin and Amy got their tickets at the Moline airport VERY early this morning. We left Kristin's house just before 5AM, picked-up Amy, and then went to the Moline airport. This time we flew a different airline: Northwest. Kristin says she doesn't usually fly Northwest but they have a "direct" flight between Moline and Detroit. That means we don't have to change planes in Chicago like we have in the past.

I'm sure it was a fine ride but I was too sleepy from getting up early so I took a nap the entire flight.

The Detroit airport is very large and very nice but we had to walk a LONG way to get Kristin's luggage. I think we walked a mile from the plane to the place where the luggage is dropped off (OK...maybe it wasn't a mile but it was a LONG walk). After we got Kristin's bag, we headed for a small bus just like the ones in Muscatine. This took us to the place where Kristin rented a car. Kristin and Amy decided it would be easier to get around Detroit in a car instead of a cab.

We then rushed to get to the hotel to pick up Kristin and Amy's friend Ken. Ken helps get radio stations to play Kristin and Keith's radio program. He lived in Minneapolis and he is very nice. Do you know what state Minneapolis is in? See if you can find it on the map.

We were rushing because Kristin, Amy, and Ken had an appointment at 11:00AM at a radio station. WDET is the public radio station located on the campus of Wayne State University. It turns out the radio station IS going to play Kristin and Keith's radio program next month.

So, I wondered why we were visiting the station. Do you remember when I went with Kristin and Amy to look at photos in New York City? The station is interested in helping display the photos at a museum near our hotel. Ken, Kristin, and Amy met with many people and made many plans.

But, I must admit that I didn't pay attention to their meeting. I was more interested in looking at the radio equipment and seeing people talk on the radio. The station was VERY busy today and there were many, many phones ringing. I thought this was strange so I asked Kristin after her meeting why everyone looked very busy. Kristin told me that this week is something public radio stations call "pledge week." During pledge week, the station asks listeners to send money to help keep the station on the air. Wow! I had no idea that radio stations could do such a thing. Kristin tells me pledge week is very important because public radio stations (the kind that air Kristin and Keith's radio program) do NOT play commercials. Did you know that the commercials you hear on most radio stations help keep the music playing? Who knew?!

I'm still not sure I understand pledge week but I could tell it was important to the people I saw working today.

After the meeting we went back to the hotel. We are staying at the Hyatt in nearby Dearborn, Michigan. The headquarters of the Ford Motor Company is just down the road. THIS is why Detroit is called "The Motor City." Kristin says many American car companies have offices in the Detroit area. I only saw the Ford building but I can tell you that there are more car dealers here than anywhere I have ever seen!

I didn't really have time to play this afternoon because Kristin and Amy were busy picking out photos. Kristin says they can only use a certain number of photos from the large batch I saw in New York. So I watched as Kristin and Amy spent several hours deciding which photos they liked best.

At one point I took a break and looked out the window. Across the parking lot is a very large shopping mall. I could only see the sign for one store from the room. The store sign says "Marshall Fields." Kristin says this is a very famous chain of stores that is based in Chicago. Well I wasn't all that interested in learning about ANOTHER famous store but Kristin told me I am very lucky that I got to see the sign. She says Macy's....the store I visited in New York City, has bought all of the Marshall Fields stores and soon all of the store signs will change to say "Macy's." I could tell Kristin is very upset about this. I'm not sure why. It must be a "girl" thing. But I decided that I should at least have my picture with the store sign in the background.

Later in the day, Kristin and Amy took a break and actually went to Marshall Fields. Kristin bought me what she calls a "special" chocolate egg. It is called "Frango Mint." I've never heard of this brand. But Kristin says I have to wait until Easter before I can eat it. Easter is just a few days away so I guess I can wait until then. But the chocolate egg sure looks yummy!

Kristin also bought me a brown bunny rabbit to keep me company. Kristin thinks the bunny looks like her rabbit, McGwire. Did you know Kristin has a REAL bunny rabbit that lives in her house? My Aunt Lynn helps take care of McGwire when Kristin and her husband are away on business trips.

My new bunny is brown like her real rabbit so I am going to name mine McGwire too!

Whew...I've had a long day. I am very sleepy so I think I am going to head to bed with McGwire.
I'm not sure what Kristin and Amy are doing in the morning but I know they have a meeting. I also know I will be back home in Iowa tomorrow night.

Until next time....