Shoulder season. The time of year when it’s okay to wear a wool dress and thong sandals to work.
While I was raising my kids, I heard whispered conversations about the terrific travel bargains available during shoulder season. Accessing these deals was the only part of having an empty sty that I was looking forward to. No kids in school meant I would get to travel to exotic destinations in September and October on a shoestring budget.
A repositioning cruise on the QE II perhaps. Or a luxurious stay in one of those overwater huts in Bali.
But there’s something else that’s only possible during fall shoulder season – watching professional baseball and football games on the same weekend.
I’m a sports girl.
So my first shoulder season adventure was a trip to Detroit. That’s right. Detroit.
Although there are 25 cities that have professional baseball and football teams, finding one that has home games on the same weekend is not that easy. Detroit had an early Sunday afternoon Tigers‘ game scheduled followed by a Sunday night Lions’ game at Ford Field. What about Saturday? Well, the Michigan Wolverines were home too, so I had to go to the Big House in Ann Arbor.
With a late Friday evening arrival and an early Monday morning flight, there was precious little time left for sightseeing. I asked a friend from Detroit what I needed to see; he mentioned some lovely barbed wire separating the city from the suburbs.
He undersold the Motor City. Detroit’s on the rise and I can’t wait to go back again and give it a thorough exploration. Its primary draw, though, has to be the terrific complex of downtown sports stadiums. Ford Field and Comerica Park are next door neighbors and down the street is the home of the Red Wings, Joe Louis Arena. They’ll move to a new rink in 2017, closer to the other facilities.
Detroit may be the birthplace of the automobile, but everyone we saw was walking and it created a fabulous rainbow of team jerseys: Denver Broncos, Lions, Minnesota Twins and Tigers, Wolverines and BYU Cougars. The mood was fun and fabulous, fueled by the fantastic Indian summer weather and vast quantities of pumpkin ale. Hey! That’s two more great things about shoulder season. Throw in apple cider donuts and it may be the most wonderful time of the year.