Sunday, January 22, 2006

My husband is how old?

Well, Sean had a birthday this week. It was a big one – the big 4-0. How is this possible? I am certainly not that old -- how can my husband be?

We celebrated by going to the Detroit car show, the North American International Auto Show to be precise. Ever since we moved Sean has looked forward to the car show. Each year it’s right around Sean’s birthday and when he was in college it would be his birthday treat to himself to go to the show.

So we piled in the car, drove 100 miles in dreary rain, ate a quick sack lunch in the car and headed to Cobo Hall.

I could not have imagined the hugeness of the show. There were cars everywhere. Everywhere.

We hit the GM display first. New trucks, beautiful Corvettes, Hummers, the new Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice and, of course, the new Buick Enclave, the vehicle Sean’s plant will build. We spent the first hour there.

Then we saw the Jeep display. There was a climbing wall and water fountain that spelled out words with the falling water. I couldn’t imagine how people came up with the ideas to go with the displays. I guess I could understand the climbing wall with the Jeeps, but a water display that spelled out words? How did that help the brand image?

Dodge was next. By then over two hours had passed and a few of us were tired. Rebecca was beyond tired. We took a break and headed to the snack area for a refreshing bottle of $3 water. How in good conscience can people sell water for that price? I guess because people keep buying it…

At this point I thought Rebecca was going to pass out from exhaustion. We had walked and walked and all the lights shining on the cars made the exhibits unbelievably hot. She was fried. So Sean put her on his shoulders and that seemed to make her quite happy.

We made a quick pass through Porsche, BMW, Mini, and Volkswagen. Rebecca couldn’t wait to sit in the Bugs and insisted I take several pictures of her sitting in the convertible and hard top.

We’d now spent well over three hours looking at cars and I suggested we should perhaps finish up. The problem was we had at least a dozen more displays to see. I was having a hard time balancing my need to sit down with helping Sean enjoy his birthday celebration.

We compromised and decided to quickly walk through Nissan, Mercedes, Honda, Acura, Ford, Aston Martin and Jaguar.

By the time we finished those seven we had been at the car show over four hours. I was well past done. Rebecca was done hours ago. Amy just wanted to sit down. Of course, Michael and Sean wanted to keep going just a bit longer but thankfully they understood we needed to be finished.

So we bid farewell to the North American International Auto Show until next year, walked to our car and sat in Detroit traffic for over an hour just to go 25 miles.

All in all, Sean had a great day. And Michael, Amy, Rebecca and I were all glad to have celebrated it with him. Although next year I think we’re going to plan to break it up into two days – we’ll all go for a few hours one day, then the next day I’ll fly Sean’s dad up and the two of them can spend as much time as they’d like looking at all those shiny cars.