Saturday, August 16, 2014

Answers to a Simple Questions

"What did cars look like when you were a kid?"

It was a simple question Sam put forth, and it elicited a lot of chuckles from some older guests nearby. However, he posed it at a perfect location, The Henry Ford Museum. Over the next hour, I found out that there were artifacts for a lot of answers to that question.

This is obviously a 1984 Voyager. My family had a 1990 Grand Voyager (with faux wood paneling, too). 

My family never drove a Taurus (we were Chrysler people). But I remember when these sedans were ubiquitous. 
I guess these cars look as dated to Sam as cars from the 60s looked to me at his age. Still, it was a bit unnerving to see so many artifacts from my youth in a museum, as if people of my age are a relic.

Remember these games from the 1980s? 

A Gen X girl's bedroom. 

A Gen X boy's bedroom. 

TVs from three eras. I was able to tell the kids that, from left, there were TVs from great grandmother's, grandmother's, and my (!) eras on display. Good grief. 
Back to the automotive culture. Sherry saw an interesting panel discussing how parents in the 80s resisted the staid station wagons, supplanting them with more versatile minivans. Meanwhile parents today are resisting the minivans and looking instead for SUVs.

There were also some great exhibits about life along the roads, including a mockup of a Holiday Inn motel. I remember the end of the era in which those standard Holiday Inn motels dotted the landscape.

Caroline poses in front of the motel. 

The kids both thought the motel reminded them of where we stayed in Mackinaw City. 
I miss these marquees. 
I did have something of a last laugh on Sam, however. An exhibit featured an interactive "what car are you" feature. Sam inputted his responses and got a 1989 Honda Accord. Ha! I had one just like it, just 17 years newer. It must be tough to be only 8 and realize you're well on your way to becoming your old man.

The Henry Ford was our final intended site for our eccentric vacation. It didn't disappoint. Rather, it baffled. The historic sites on this trip were excellent and at some point I have to get around to writing on them. But fatigue from our 14 days on the road showed a bit today and it's time to go home.

As I anticipate a somewhat long drive tomorrow (9 hours, I think) I'm thinking a bit about how long we've been out. It'll be a total of 15 days when it's all said and done. I'm glad we did it, though I don't know if we'll put together something this eclectic next year. As for the 2014 road trip, the only thing I wish I had done differently was spend one less day at Mackinaw City and one more day in Traverse City. Otherwise, I'm happy and excited rather than relieved to get home.

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