A few months ago, my friends and I were at a bar when we impulsively decided to buy tickets to a First Aid Kit concert in Detroit. I was very much the inciting force behind this tipsy decision, and honestly I was pretty thrilled that my friends were willing to go on a crazy trip to a random winter city in February with me at all. Luckily, they’re (almost) as obsessed with First Aid Kit as me, and were incredibly excited to see them as well.
At the beginning of February on a Friday night, the five of us piled into my friend Kammi’s car and drove the four (probably more like five with stops) hour trip to Ann Arbor and then woke up the next morning and drove into Detroit.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Detroit. I’ve always been interested in going there because I’ve always thought of Detroit as a city like Pittsburgh, built mainly on industry. And, I’m kind of obsessed with the TV Show Rehab Addict, so I was excited to drive by at least one Nicole Curtis house.
Immediately, as soon as we got into Detroit, I felt like I was in a strange place. In Pittsburgh, everything is on a hill, and there’s mountains surrounding downtown on every side, so there’s endless views from above. But Detroit is flat. Very flat. And spread out, too — the buildings weren’t huddled together like I’m used to in Pittsburgh. And — this is even crazier. There was parking available almost everywhere we went.
Saturday morning, when we got into the city, we went straight to the Eastern Market to walk around the booths there. Honestly, it reminded me a lot of the Strip District in Pittsburgh, except inside. (I really should stop with the comparisons, but I can’t help it). There were beautiful murals on so many walls around Detroit, which was one of my favorite parts of the city. After the Eastern Market, we went to Bobcat Bonnie’s for brunch, where we each got $3 build-your-own bloody Marys and brunch food (I’ve never even had a bloody Mary but I thought, what the heck, I’ll try it for $3. $3! Also, build-your-own mimosas was an option).
We drove around for a little while after that, and I got to see the Ransom Gillis House, albeit only driving by quickly. We grabbed coffee and then headed to our Airbnb, a cute little two-room apartment close to the concert venue.
The concert was at St Andrew’s Hall, which was a beautiful building with a lot of interesting architecture. By the time we got there, it was already insanely crowded (in fact, we had to wait in line for fifteen minutes to even get in), so we had to stand in the back corner and couldn’t really work our way to the front like I was hoping we’d be able to. Even so, the concert was magical, and Klara and Johanna Soderberg were exactly as wonderful and inspiring as I expected them to be.
Sunday morning, we woke up, packed, and went to have lunch at Green Dot, which was a really awesome restaurant that served sliders and small portions, so you’re able to try a lot of different things at once. Then we grabbed coffee and headed back to Pittsburgh. The weather wasn’t looking good and everyone had to work on Monday, so we really didn’t have a ton of time to spend sight seeing.
My favorite part of this trip was hands-down the time I got to spend with some people that I really love spending time with. Our conversations in the car and in our Airbnb were comforting, fun, and almost, enlightening. It is so good to talk about writing, reading, and the big unknowns in life, and it was wonderful to get to do that for three straight days with some really wonderful women in my life.
All-in-all, our trip to Detroit was one of my favorites. It cost less than $200 total (yes, I’m talking place to stay plus food plus gas and tolls plus concert ticket), and it was fun to get to see somewhere new and spend time with my friends.
I highly recommend a good weekend trip as a quick escape from every day life. You only have to take a day or two off of work (or none, if you work M-F), and you get an adventure all the same. I’m hoping to have many more trips like this one in 2018. And hopefully, I’ll learn to make it a priority to take better pictures.