Thursday, July 4, 2013

Ann Arbor, Michigan… Go Blue…

law school buildings

We left our Thousand Trails campground at St. Clair RV “Resort” around 10:00 am since we only had a short drive of about 72 miles southwest to the town of Belleville, Michigan where we are staying at the Wayne County Fairgrounds and RV Park. The drive was pretty straight forward since all but one mile was on Interstate 94. I tend to avoid Interstates but since I have no passenger mirror an Interstate with few turns requiring a mirror was just what the doctor ordered

Ann Arbor Michigan 013.Ann Arbor Michigan 007

Ypsilanti water tower Thankfully there were no problems on the drive and shortly after lunch we had our motorhome all set up in the back row of the fairgrounds.  Lo and behold right behind us is a Wal-Mart which was a good thing since we needed some adult beverages and a few groceries. After a nice lunch of Sharon’s delicious broccoli salad and some leftover shrimp fried rice we were off on a tour… where to? Ann Arbor, Home of the University of Michigan…

Ann Arbor Michigan 010We took a a back way to the University of Michigan which took us through a town called Ypsilanti… Ypsilanti??? Well a quick visit to Wikipedia says the it got it's name “ "Ypsilanti", from Demetrius Ypsilanti, a hero in the Greek War of Independence” so there you go… Now a building you can’t miss is the Ypsilanti water tower which won the dubious honor for a building most shaped like a phallus… I’m not making this stuff up

By the way Ypsilanti is also home to Eastern Michigan State University a much larger school than we had thought with about 18,000 undergraduates. After a casual drive through the University we continued on toward Ann Arbor. We had read some comments that many thought the University was not all that beautiful and that the architecture was a bit underwhelming for a top tier University but we wanted to see it for ourselves.

Ann Arbor Michigan 009We decided to put the address of the law school buildings in our GPS since they were said to be some of more interesting buildings on the central campus (see header photo). When we arrived we pulled into the first available parking spot where we lucked out and the meter still had time on it. We meandered around a bit, took a few photos and then drove over to the another spot to take a closer look at the large clock tower. According to Wikipedia, "The Burton Memorial Tower is a clock tower housing a grand carillon, the tower was built in 1936 as a memorial for University President Marion Leroy Burton (presidency: 1920–1925). The grand carillon, one of only 23 in the world, is the world’s fourth heaviest, containing 55 bells and weighing a total of 43 tons"  A friend later told us Peregrine falcons were known to have nested in the top of the tower.  Sadly we never heard the bells toll nor caught sight off the falcons. Though this campus may may not be as beautiful as many other schools we have visited it was still very inviting and we felt totally relaxed as we walked around the ivy laden buildings on campus.

Ann Arbor Michigan 015Since we also like to visit athletic facilities at universities we drove over to the football stadium (yes we drove since walking was out of the question as it is quite far to the athletic facilities from the central campus). Unfortunately for my photographers eye and for visiting we were out of luck as much of the stadium was shrouded in plastic since it is undergoing renovations…sigh… At least we like baseball and softball fields just as much and after a brief walk from the football field we found the Wilpon Baseball and Softball Complex open and available to visit (for a 12 million dollar donation you too can get your name on a baseball/softball complex). These are some first class facilities and we would have loved to watch a softball game in this stadium…

Ann Arbor Michigan 018From the athletic fields we drove down Main Street to get a feel for the vibe that is U of M and we could tell this area  is likely very vibrant and energetic as the night hours approach… but for us it was nearing rush hour so off we went for a quick stop at the Ypsilanti Trader Joe's (Score!!!!)  We picked up some wine and goodies whereupon we were able to craft our own happy hour at home. We relaxed and enjoyed twilight outside in our lounge chairs.  Loads of fireflies appeared at dusk and lit of the skies much to our delight.  What a great day!


  1. Go Hurons! Actually, EMU has been known as the Eagles since the mid-eighties, PC, you know. Proud graduate, class of '82. Penny too. Come back on a football Saturday for real craziness, and next spring to see the Wolverine women in action on that beautiful field.

  2. LOL at the water tower. Definitely a resemblence. Nice tour of U of M. I went to Ohio State but I'm so old now the rivalry doesn't matter. :-)

    1. funny you mention that as I saw a beautiful Buckeye tree growing in the middle of the Central Campus and I pondered how it might have gotten there - an OSU fan perhaps?

  3. Glad you are enjoying Michigan we have been there quite a few few times, so much to see and do.

  4. Nice to catch up with you. Great soil scientist I worked with for years named Bill Ypsilanti. Good to get a history of the name.