Jan092014

From Monterey to Detroit NAIAS flying United on Ford’s Dime

They had me at Detroit. Ford is sponsoring me for the North American International Auto Show next week.

Flying into the polar vortex would have been a dreamy experience for a weather junkie like me. I like extremes. Last week I was driving my car in 79 degree sun along the California Central Coast. Today I will be in the deep freeze of Michigan, although the forecast at present is far warmer than Tuesday’s –16F. The temp will rise about 40 to 50 degrees by this weekend.

I assume I am part of Ford’s long tail marketing plan. My car and I have a special relationship.

Unlike most of the bloggers on BoardingArea, I spend far more time traveling in my car than in planes. I spent a decade traveling outside the USA with dozens of trips outside of the USA on dozens of airlines.

I still have large pieces of California I have not seen since 2007 even after traveling 75,000 miles in my car. Denver is as far east as I have been in my car and Denver is the western USA for most Americans.

Claire Colburn: To have never taken a solitary road trip across country? I mean everybody’s got to take a road trip, at least once in their lives. Just you and some music.

Elizabethtown movie with Kirsten Dunst as Claire.

This is my first trip to Detroit. Not exactly a midwinter road trip. I’ll be on public transportation and foot.

Any suggestions on must see places and experiences.

Blogger disclosure: Ford paid for economy flight Monterey – Detroit and two nights hotel and auto show events. I am covering an additional three nights lodging on my own to sightsee.

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

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About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. The Detroit Institute of Arts which houses Diego Rivera’s only surviving mural in the US “Detroit Industry”, a beautiful tribute to the working man.

  2. Welcome to Detroit. I work in the Ren Cen where GM has its headquarters. As you said, be glad you weren’t here the last couple of days. Car window wouldn’t even roll down so I could scan my badge.

  3. I am unsure why ford is flying you to Detroit since your area of blogging does not seem to be cars but at least this is a covered trip that no one on boardingarea.com can complain about (unless they are really worried about you giving a biased review of the new Ford Focus). I am looking forward to your report. I am actually doing a road trip this summer with a stop in Detroit so will be awaiting your trip report.

  4. Typically these arrangements come with a giveaway too, right? When is the “add a comment on this post to win a Ford Mustang” post coming? 🙂

  5. I would say that the Detroit Institute of Arts is a must, and (next door) the historic Detroit Film Theatre in the evening is a wonderful venue for watching a great film. It has a beautiful cafe upstairs that you can enjoy a glass of wine pre-show.

  6. Slow’s BBQ in Corktown. Also, you have to have a coney at either Lafayette or American Coney Island on Mich Ave. I prefer Lafayette but if you haven’t tried either, try both! Also, if you like Motown music hit up Hitsville, USA

  7. There is no public transport to speak of in Detroit. There is a fairly awful sardine can on an elevated rail called the “People mover” which goes in a tight one-way loop around downtown. Then there are buses, which are not enjoyable. If you want to stay right downtown, you can probably get by on foot and with taxis.

    But if Ford is putting you up, negotiate a loaner vehicle for the duration. Seriously.

    In Detroit, try to catch a concert at the Fox Theater, and grab a drink at the Town Pump.

  8. @Kalboz – Diego Rivera mural sounds cool. There are Diego Rivera murals in a few San Francisco buildings.
    http://www.sfai.edu/diego-rivera-mural/

    @Rick – I remember my car locks and windows freezing one time in Portland, Maine one cold morning when trying to leave a hotel after a massive St. Patrick’s Day bash with a hellish hangover.

    @Mel – I’ll have to mail the auto swag to California or pay $35 to send an extra bag home on United.

    @AAdvantageGeek – I’d love to meet up. Are you one of the Ford invitees?

    @Vespa Girl – Detroit Art Institute is high on my list. I want to see the art before the bankruptcy court liquidates Detroit’s assets.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/arts/design/christies-releases-appraisal-of-part-of-detroit-museums-collection.html?_r=0

    @scotsw – After arriving at DTW, I concur. Paid $40 taxi to get to Dearborn ten miles away. Bus was going to take 3 hours. There sure is a lot of snow here. There are 15 feet high piles of snow around the hotel parking lot.

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