Saturday, November 23, 2013

Happy Birthday, Little Sister!

Thursday was my sister's birthday, and, as tradition would have it, we spent the day together.... exploring!  

This year I was stumped - I knew where I wanted to take her for lunch, but her original request (Henry Ford's Fair Lane) was under renovation.  After pinging my friends, we ended up with a very awesome day!

Birthday Girl!

Our day started with a tour of the Edsel and Eleanor Ford house on Lakeshore Road.  Stunning! The house was designed by Albert Kahn and resembled a Cotswald Cottage (an ENORMOUS cottage!) Built in 1929, the house is a series of British libraries, French salons, Chinese art with Ming vases.  We saw 2,000 year old china roosters, art donated to the DIA, personal pictures scattered throughout the room, and contemporary rooms quietly incorporating features from some of their cars.

Main Entrance

I was personally fascinated by the mixture of Asian art with French pieces and British paneling. From such diverse cultures and periods and, yet, it all blended so flawlessly.  As we took the tour early, we had the tour guide all to ourselves.  It was fabulous timing as they just started decorating for the holidays. 

Edsel and Eleanor Ford House

We were unable to take pictures inside the house, but we were given free range on the property.  We started at the Power House, walked along Lake Erie, over to the terraces, down to the pool and poolhouse.   

Lake Erie

Heading from the lake to the patio

External view of the French Salon used to receive guests

Close-up of the ivy

Back of the French salon leading to patio for dancing

West Wing of house

Turning away from the house we walked through the rose garden, the formal gardens, and around to Josephine's playhouse.  Josephine's playhouse was a 7th birthday gift from her grandmother, Clara Ford.  It cost Clara $15,000 to build, which was twice as much as it cost to build an average house at the time.

Josephine's Play House

Interesting story told by the tour guides.  The Fords knew the Lindberghs (who came from Detroit).  After the Lindbergh baby was kidnapped, security was tightened at the mansion.  The children's rooms were all interconnected to each other but the doors to the hall could all be locked by the governess.  For security reasons, Josephine could not sleep in her little playhouse.

We walked the grounds as crews were hanging millions of twinkling lights.  They offer candlelight tours and holiday grounds tours.  They also have a restaurant in the Visitor Center - it smelled SO good (they have French Dip!), but we had plans downtown.

Our next stop was an eatery on Woodward Avenue called Good Girls go to Paris Crepes.  We LOVE trying new Detroit restaurants, and so many of my friends recommended this place.  

Oh! So many choices!

It was packed - there were so many students today.  The place is the brainchild of a single lady - quite the character - who mans the griddle.  Lorna had the "Rose" and I had the "Jeanette".  We rounded off our meal with a crepe dessert called the "Katie".  I'm not kidding - I'm still craving that tart apple crepe with the salted-caramel topping.  

The Katie

To be continued.....

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