For more about visiting Detroit visit > http://www.visitdetroit.com
A few years ago I heard a song by the Country music star, John Rich. It was a bout how people didn't care about Detroit being shut down. While I realize it was not intended toward me, the song struck me. It killed me to think that people in the City of Detroit perceived that the rest of the country, and in particular executives on Wall Street, didn't care if the city was shut down. I did. Well, that's not entirely true, as I really had no idea that the city was on the verge of being shut down. I was probably too busy working on something like making cupcakes for my son's birthday party, or maybe I had a term paper due. Whatever was on my mind, when I first heard the song, it surely wasn't the City of Detroit. That all changed though, the day I heard that song.
Sure I know that it's just a song. I know that it wasn't meant to be taken literally, and John Rich for all I know was trying to make a political statement and he didn't so much think that his song would change my life. Yet, it did. Funny how that can happen. In my own little way, I wanted to do something. Something to show I cared. I never expected anyone in Detroit to notice, but for me it felt good to buy a Detroit Tigers hat. Deep down I probably longed to wear that hat anyway, as it's such a great hat. You just can't beat the Olde English 'D'. Seriously, though it was that song Shuttin Down Detroit that prompted me to look within, and ask myself what I knew about the city being shut down. The answer, after asking that question, was very little. I still probably don't know all that much but I do know that I do my part to help rebuild the city, and to borrow the words of one of Detroit's finest, "No you may not be able to change the world, but the least that you can do is CARE." Every time I put on that hat, every time I watch a Tigers game I feel as though I'm giving a part of me to Detroit. It's my own little way to show I CARE.
I never knew just how much I would CARE for the Tigers though and that my passion for this team, would lead me to want to @VisitDetroit. Yep, crazy right, I mean who would want to travel to Detroit for vacation. Well, that's exactly what I just did. I don't have a ton of money, and since my experience in a hurricane sort of took my life in a direction I hadn't anticipated from a financial standpoint, I am very mindful of how I spend my money. So paying for a plane ticket, baseball tickets, and a hotel doesn't just happen. I have to make conscious choices what I'm doing and where I'm going if I'm going to stay within my budget.
Before I went to Detroit, I heard so many rumors. People warned me not to travel by myself, and pretty much said, to just get in and get the h*ck out of there. I did have some followers on Twitter though, who actually took the time to send me a DMs, and they said, "You'll be fine, and Comerica is great." Yet, for every positive message, there were about ten negative messages to the point where I was a bit scared. I would be traveling solo, and I would be unfamiliar with the city, and I admit I was afraid. I had heard horrible things about Detroit. I was determined to go, though. Mostly because over the past few years I've developed such a passion for the Tigers, and although I've seen them at other stadiums, I had never seen them at home.
My experience in Detroit, and at Comerica was nothing short of amazing. Oh, the Tigers lost, I think the score was 11-4 or something but you see for me it's not about winning. It's about the experience and the energy, and the heart of the team, and the fans. I arrived in Detroit on Monday evening, and I took a car service to the hotel. I stayed at the Marriott-Courtyard, which is located directly across from General Motors. The hotel desk clerks, Libby and Monte, were so pleasant. They went out of their way to accommodate me. After I got to my room, and checked out the beautiful view from the sixteenth floor, I went to the bar to grab something to eat. Miranda, the bartender was super. The guy next to me, his name is Kent was also very nice. We chatted about the Red Sox game that was on the television and he shared about the work he does for GM. I told him about my idea for this amazing fantasy sports site, and about my social media work, and my love for the Tigers.
The next day, I woke up to the most beautiful sunrise. I contemplated venturing out, and I could see Greektown Casino from my window. I follow "them" on Twitter, and they are also so hospitable. I wanted to go there, but wasn't sure if it made more sense to take the People Mover. I am a female traveling alone in a city I don't know, and it's no disrespect to the City of Detroit, but I'd be careful anywhere. Since, I had heard horrible things about Detroit, I wanted to be extra careful. After checking with Monte, I decided to walk and I'm so glad I did. I walked past the casino, through Greektown, and then toward Comerica Park. Along the way, I noticed beautiful flowers. I also noticed people who shared a greeting, and pleasantries. Such an amazing experience to see Ford Field, nestled closely to the Tigers stadium. I peaked through the gates of Comerica Park and snapped some great photos. Then I walked around to the front of the stadium, and some of the grounds crew who noticed me taking photos, said, "Good morning." Nobody got angry at me for being there, or had a problem with my taking photos. Everyone was so nice.
When I got back to my room, I noticed a message from Dan Fuoco, the Interactive Marketing Manager from VisitDetroit.com . . .
Right about now I've got to take a break from writing because I'm scheduled to do a live show in a few minutes so this is just a draft for now, but I'll pick it up where I left off and tell you all about how I fell in love with Detroit. The rest is still unwritten. ~ SXM