Monday, September 10, 2012

My Town Monday Returns for One Day: Frankenmuth


Despite its rather ersatz appearance today, the town of Frankenmuth, about ninety minutes north of Detroit, has an interesting history. For a full story go here but it was settled in the 1840s by a group of Germans who came there in a group, enduring many hardships along the way.

It is a place we visit perhaps once every two years when we get street fatigue and need some place to go for the day. It is a real town that has somehow manged to look like a faux one. The shops cater to tourists in the dull way of all resorts--except it is not really a resort. There is really nothing to draw one here except there is little else within two hours of Detroit.

It's a place to get a chicken dinner in the German style, buy orange cheese that doesn't taste like real cheese at all, to buy fudge, tee shirts, take a carriage ride down the 1/4 mile stretch of town, visit the biggest Christmas ornament store in the world or go to Birch Run, an outlet mall where on checking price on the handy iphone it turned out nearly everything could be bought back home for less money.

Where do you go when you need to get away for the day? Of course you east coast/west coast people always have the shore. Don't rub it in.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

We do have the shore but never go there, at least if you mean the beach. Of course we can just go across the street and walk down to the water and walk along the Narrows from the Verrazano Bridge to the 69th Street Pier.

Jeff M.

George said...

Toronto. Love it! Great shows, restaurants, concerts.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I wish we were close enough to Toronto for it not to be a big deal to go there.
Yeah, we live a block from a large lake but what I am thinking of more is a day trip. If you want to get out of Brooklyn for the day, where do you go?

Anonymous said...

To be honest I'd rather stay home. Driving in Manhattan is impossible. I never do it. That leaves Connecticut but I'd rather drive in Manhattan as traffic is appalling. The best way is to drive out the North Fork of LI and take the ferry across the Sound. Or there's Long Island itself, which is at least doable. We used to drive out to Montauk but that is a long day unless you stay over. When we were young I had no problem doing it.

If you go west and south there are more possibilities. One very reasonable trip we've made a few times that is really nice is Princeton, and the town is very easy to walk around. I think you'd feel very at home there. Of course there is always Atlantic City, but that doesn't appeal to me.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

When we were in NY for extended periods, we took the train to a lot of places. Up along the Hudson. Some cute towns up that way.
Love Princeton. We lived in New Brunswick from 1967-70 and went there all the time.
I grew up going to AC and OC and Wildwood. I don't have much desire to return.

George said...

Diane and I used to travel the 90 miles to Toronto several times a year when the exchange rate was 30% or more. What a bargain! Now that the Canadian dollar and the U.S. dollar are almost equal, that monetary incentive is gone. For a backup, Niagara-on-the-Lake is closer and almost as fun.

Anonymous said...

We liked Niagara on the Lake too. And that town with the great custard place was nice too.

Patti, I almost went to Rutgers way back in the Dark Ages. Atlantic City is not as sleazy and dingy as it used to be, at least along the boardwalk, but I agree with you.

Up along the Hudson is beautiful. A train would certainly be better than driving through the city. We will drive to Bouchercon in Albany next year. Albany is no garden spot but Saratoga Springs is not far away.

Jeff M.

Kieran Shea said...

Movies. If you start early at the megaplex you can swoop up 3 matinees at reduced prices.

Oh, yeah. One more thing. The shore rocks.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Although I see two or more movies a week, I cannot manage more than one a day except at the Traverse City Film Festival.
And don't I know it.

Anonymous said...

In the old days (I sound ancient!) we often sat through double features. Even in multi-plexes we'd go from one to another. A few times we enjoyed a movie enough to sit through it twice in succession. Now it is one movie and I need to get out.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

And sometimes before it is over. COSMOPOLIS for example.

Richard S. Wheeler said...

Yellowstone Park, especially winter wolf watching; Chico Hot Springs, Fairmont Hot Springs, Big Sky, Cody Buffalo Bill Historical Center.

pattinase (abbott) said...

You live in a magical part of the country.

Cap'n Bob said...

There's a park a few miles up the road that's nice. I walk the dog along the sea wall, visit the rose gardens, or make my yearly pilgrimmage to the zoo and aquarium. But mostly I stay home.

Deb said...

I don't like to travel more than a couple of hours for a day trip--even then that means a total of at least four hours behind the wheel. Although we live less than an hour's drive from New Orleans, I don't usually think about going there unless I have a specific reason or destination in mind. I like to go to Biloxi, which is about one hour east of here, and has some nice beachfront, plus (for the 21-and-up crowd) casinos. If I'm looking for something more bucolic, I'll drive about 45 minutes west of home to Pontchatoula where they grow delicious strawberries and even have a yearly strawberry festival.

Al Tucher said...

Good heavens, Patti, we were neighbors. South Plainfield, Dunellen and Somerville.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am definitely going to hit some of those places when Megan is in MS next year, Deb.
Al-I worked in Plainfield and was there for the riots. I worked for New Jersey Bell and covered all of that area. My chief account was Rutgers University but I was all over there.