Unfortunately, the last day of our trip has dawned.
But our plane doesn't leave until 8 PM, so we were able to make a program for that day too, but only going in the right direction.
We thought we were going to the Michigan capital, which surprisingly wasn't Detroit but the city of Lansing. Michigan became a state in 1837.
The state's first capital was Detroit, but because of its proximity to Canada, it was moved to Lansing in 1847 to develop western Michigan and better protect it from British troops stationed in Windsor, Ontario. Lansing is a lesser-known inland settlement roughly in the middle of the state. It was named after John Lansing, a hero of the American Revolution. Many people called it "a hole in the woods" back then because it was so tiny. According to the story, this decision was made just for fun because it was a town of fewer than 20 people back then!
Michigan was the first English-speaking state to abolish the death penalty.
The word tolerance has been significant in its history ever since. In the 19th century, Michigan was a haven for fugitive southern enslaved people.
And then I'll tell you how Lansing was for us.
First off, it's 3 hours from Traverse City. We parked right in front of the Capitol. As it turned out, you can skip paying for parking on weekends.
Another car was parked in front of us. A guy got out, put on a uniform, and asked Csibi to take a picture of him with the Capitol in the background. 😄
After that, we didn't meet ANYONE for about half an hour!
The Capitol and its surroundings looked like a government district. Long, straight roads with technical precision, not a soul anywhere.
Csibi has often said he would like to see such abandoned American places. Well, now he got it.
It was a strange and exciting experience.
We walked around the Capitol then we saw a lovely little church nearby. When we returned from there, an anti-aircraft siren suddenly sounded in the city.
The whole situation was so scary. The loud noise of not knowing what's happening, what's going to happen… It was really hard.
Luckily, at that very moment, a person who happened to be a police officer on a bicycle finally appeared on the horizon. We asked him what was going on.
He said they test the siren on the first Saturday of every month because natural disasters (usually tornadoes) are usually signaled with it. So don't worry, this is just a test! Good, thank you!
We kept walking around the entire Capitol, going up the stairs and looking at the signs. (Unfortunately, it was not possible to enter the building now!)
Michigan is one of the few states where the law states that school cannot start before Labor Day (the first Monday in September)! This law was passed in 2005 to boost tourism in Michigan and increase the time families can spend in the state on vacation. This is also interesting because school starts as early as mid-August in many states! Great law, we like that! 😀
It was scorching that day, and by now, we were utterly exhausted; we went back to the car to check out the other parts by car.
We also walked through the "downtown," where we saw excellent graffiti, and maybe there was a bit more life there. We wanted to stop at a park with an interesting bridge. Unfortunately, we found a parking lot where students from any school could park. It wouldn't have been a problem if we had stopped as there was no one around, but we didn't risk it. Instead, we drove back downtown to look at the graffiti and find a place to have lunch.
Yes, we received an email meantime that our plane departs later than scheduled at 8:26 PM instead of 7:53 PM. So we gained some time, but only a little.
To our surprise, many restaurants were closed on the weekend. So we ended up a few blocks away at the Midtown Restaurant/Bar. Again, we had to wait quite a long time for lunch, so we could leave later than planned.