Downtown Detroit (Tourist Destination, Yes)

In light of the current and continuing financial crisis in the City of Detroit, I thought it would be appropriate to share some of our recent tourist experiences in the Motor City over the next few days. I am a born and bread Michigan girl. I sing and travel the world for a living, but choose to remain rooted to Motown. Our band used to rehearse right around the corner from the famed Hitsville recording studios. The fact that Detroit is near and dear to my heart and I have lived in the shadows of this great city since 1998, I am continually arguing loudly on behalf of the charm and culture of our amazing area.

No matter where I am in the world, I am often sporting some kind of Michigan/Detroit pride.

Detroit Tigers on Maui Hawaii
Supporting the Detroit Tigers on Maui Hawaii

It’s easy to do. We really have an amazing history and culture to share with the world. I frequently complain that we spend too much time looking back and not enough time planning and developing for the future. I hope that the recent bankruptcy filing will force our city leaders and influencers to consolidate and develop the much needed infrastructure to elevate Detroit’s standing in the world to a much loftier place.

The reason I bring up Detroit as a tourist destination is that Detroit is just that, a major tourist destination.

Detroit is a place where people from all over the state and world visit. They come here to check out the latest automobile designs in the middle of the frigid icey cold Michigan winters. They come to our river front in the summer to watch Red Bull planes and high speed motor boat races. They come to Belle Isle to watch the race cars zoom around and round. They cheer at our sporting events and listen intently at our concert venues. We have an abundant art scene and beautiful parks; We have the Hard Rock Cafe and major league sports, the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Lions and of course the Detroit Red Wings all reside in Metro Detroit. People even come here to watch the major names in golf shoot it out during the Buick Open. Folks come to the State of Michigan for our miles of beaches, our hiking and biking trails, our back to nature attitude, and so much more.

Be sure to bike Mackinac Island (Part 2 of 3)

Mackinac Island is about 10 miles around. It has a narrow paved two lane road and is the perfect relaxing bicycle ride. When you get to the opposite shore from town, there tends to be a lot less bicycle traffic and people around. We rode to the Northwest side to see the bridge view first. It’s great to stop on one of the beaches along the way like British Landing. We kicked off our shoes and stuck our toes in the crisp, fresh water of the straights of Mackinac. They also have a little restroom and ice cream shop if your thirsty or gotta go.

While Coco, Jake, my Mom and I were riding around, we noticed that all of the lady slippers were blooming around us. What a beautiful sight. They are such dainty little flowers.

Lady Slippers Mackinac Island Michigan
Lady Slippers Mackinac Island Michigan

There are also roads and trails that are intersperced through the center of Mackinac Island. These take you past battle fields full of historical importance. There are many areas where they have plaquards you can stop to read that explain Michigan’s past interactions with the British, French and the Native American Indians. There’s an old cemetary up in the center of the Islands where some of the Island forefathers are burried. There are some great panoramic viewing areas too, like Fort Holmes. Up high, where you can look out to see great expanses of the Upper and Lower Penninsulas along with the great crystal blue body of water surrounding you.

Fort Holmes Mackinac Island Michigan
Fort Holmes Mackinac Island Michigan

Once you’ve done the circuit around the Island, you’ll want a little rest. And will make an excuse to go to a pub or get a little fudge. It’s famous up there, that creamy sweet chocolate brick candy. They make a ton of different flavors all invented around how to make your kids jump up and down hyperactive and rot their teath. I do like fudge, don’t get me wrong. But I also think that we have a mentality in the United States to eat junk food and extra calories on holiday. Like it’s a reward to have a day off and make yourself fat. Anyway, there are lots of little shops and restaurants in the downtown area where you can buy t-shirts and eat. It’s a very Victorian looking town and there are always tons of pedestrians, bikes and horses around so keep your eyes and ears pealed for the tourist traffic.

Scoozi Breakfast Skillet Interpretation

When Jake & I port in Vancouver, we have a favorite breakfast haunt that is just a 5 minute walk up Howe Street from Canada Place. The owner and staff are super friendly at Scoozi and their cuisine is a bit Mediterranean inspired. They over a breakfast skillet that is to die for with many different ingredients tailored to your personal liking. Select from both vegetarian and meat lover options.

Melissa's Scoop on Scoozi Breakfast
Melissa's Scoop on Scoozi Breakfast

Her’s my take on a Scoozi breakfast skillet favorite from Vancouver.

Ingredients:

1/2 baked potato sliced to line the pan. (I use a left over one)
1/2 zucchini sliced
6 grape tomatoes sliced
Parsley Salt & pepper
2 eggs scrambled with 1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Layer ingredients in greased pan ( I use Pam)
Top with eggs & cheese ( do onto over fill)

Bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until eggs are cooked through

I hope you enjoy!

If you like this recipe, you may want to follow me on Pinterest. I put alot of my new test successes out there for anyone to use.

Jumping for Joy on Mackinac Island

Jumping for Joy on Mackinac Island
Jumping for Joy on Mackinac Island

As I mentioned in my earlier Summer in Michigan posting, my friend Coco came to visit from Miami. As every Michigander knows, one of our most popular tourist destinations in the summer is Mackinac Island. We had to make a pit stop to the island of bikes, horses and buggies while she was in town.

We were a bit on pins and needles the night before about going because the weather was actually looking like a storm and the news was giving it a 50/50 chance of showers. In the morning, we decided the weather was clear enough and took off in the truck with our bicycles in tow.

On the way up, I did some research online from the passenger seat and found out that if you order your tickets online from the folks at the Arnold Ferry, you can save $4/ticket. That really adds up! We didn’t have a way to print them in the truck, but they just printed them for us at their offices.

We sat in the front of the ferry but stayed inside cause it wasn’t very warm. I think the high was about 60 degrees (F) and there was a strong breeze on the Easterly side of the Island. The lilacs were in full bloom and the tulips were just finishing up with their last few petals falling to the ground. It was like being transported back to the beginning of spring. (I missed the lilacs in the Detroit area while we were performing on the West Coast on the Sapphire Princess.) The weather was cool, so the horses weren’t very smelly and you could actually smell the flowers. This may sound funny, but anyone who has spent anytime on a farm or has been to the Island in the heat of the summer knows the aroma I’m talking about.

Beaches on Mackinac Island
Beaches on Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island is only about 10 miles around. It has a small Victorian style downtown area with a very Midwestern Revolutionary War charm. It was a British stronghold during the War of 1812. There is alot of historical significance around the Island, like Fort Mackinac, the actual battle fields and also the revamped Indian College formed by the missionaries, now a nice hotel called Mission Resort. For several years before we did ships, Jake performed at the Resort. We always had a very nice time spending the week on the Island. One time, a guy proposed to his gal at our gig and we caught it on tape. I hope that they are living a happy and wonderful life.

Arch Rock Mackinac Island Michigan
Arch Rock Mackinac Island Michigan