This past week I took in the North American International Auto Show thanks to Ford Canada and their new social media initiative. There were no expectations aside from come, learn and enjoy. I not only did all three but I made connections with some of the other 150 bloggers from around the world. It was an amazing experience with fabulous people and I learned so much more about cars then I ever thought I would. In fact, I now have a whole new appreciation for the process of designing, building and bringing a car to market and a new love for my 2002 Ford Windstar.
We arrived en masse Sunday and were shuttled to The Henry hotel in some pretty swank vehicles. I was one of the early arrivals so ended up having a gorgeous Ford Escalade and driver all to myself. During the drive in the driver and I had a great chat about life in Detroit, cars and snow. It was perfect.
I arrived at the hotel and after picking up my itinerary spent some time before heading up to my room admiring some of the thought-provoking artwork. The interior of The Henry is gorgeous with small touches that really touch the eye and give an overall impression of old school class. I had a chuckle when I saw that the glasses they use in their dining room are the same as what I use for wine at home…great minds…
Before I knew it, it was time to head off to the first event – dinner at the Henry Ford Museum and a chance to explore the, yet unseen by the public, artifacts and displays. While there we were treated to a wonderful meal, a candy bar that included a root beer float station (oh my that was GOOD!) and a chance to wander around the museum. There is something very special about being able to freely roam a museum after hours with drink in hand. There is no rushing only soaking in of all that is offered.
I loved seeing the classic cars, airplanes and some historical items that you can’t see anywhere else such as the chair that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in and the Wiener Mobile. What got to me the most was the large display on the civil rights movement that includes Rosa Parks Bus. I could feel the history seeping out of that bus. They have left the display open so not only can you see the bus you can sit in the seat that Rosa Parks did. It brought me to tears.
There is so much more to see at the Henry Ford Museum that I really could take all day. If you are in the area definitely check it out. They have made the experience highly interactive with touch screens that allow you to get inside the displays and in some cases see into the archives. Next up Day 2 and the North American Auto Show and the new 2012 Ford Fusion!
To see more photographs from my first day with #FordNAIAS visit my Flickr gallery.
*Disclosure – Ford paid for my flight, meals and pass into the auto show. There was no other form of compensation. All opinions expressed are my own.