Friday, February 21, 2014

The Bavarian Inn Lodge: A Slice of Germany (but in Michigan!)

Disclosure: We received an overnight stay to help facilitate my review.  All opinions stated are genuine and my own. 

Everyone had a four-day weekend in our house last week, and those don't happen often, so we meant to take advantage.  After a brief discussion, and a look at the weather, we thought a trip to Frankenmuth (a city in Michigan that replicates a town in Germany) would be fun. When you're going to Frankenmuth, and you have kids along, staying at the Bavarian Inn Lodge is always a great idea.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sesame Street Live! A Performance Worth Seeing!

Disclosure: We received free tickets to the event. I did that post, and this one is in addition to that, and of my own accord, because we had such a fabulous time!

On Friday afternoon we had a surprise for our youngest: A trip to see Sesame Street Live at the beautiful Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan.  We didn't tell him where we were going, just that it was kind of a long drive and he would like it.  In my purse I had his Oscar the Grouch shirt (one of his most favorite Sesame Street characters), hiding it from him so he couldn't guess where we were going.

Sesame Street Live!
Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan
We pulled up to the theatre, and the garage entrance was blocked, so we had to circle around to the other side (parking in the Fox Garage is awesome because it's steps away from the building). When we did, he noticed the sign. Oh yeah, he can read now, I forgot (duh!). Talk about excited! He was jumping around in his seat (as much as you can jump around in a car seat) and dancing around in it too, singing, "Sesame Street."

The stage prior to the show.
We got inside...our first time to the theater, and were just in awe at how beautiful everything was on the inside.  If you want to take a look, I wrote a post about the Fox Theatre yesterday. I was instantly taking pictures, but no one seemed a bit surprised. I guess they probably get that quite a bit.

Yeah, he's pretty excited to be at the show.

The storyline was fun, with the requisite 'Letter' & 'Number of the Day' skits (if you've seen Sesame Street on TV, you totally understand. :)  The letter was 'M,' and the number was '5.' Interaction with the audience took place, and of course the kids loved it.  There were times during the show too, where the characters would come into the audience to do a little mingling and dancing with the guests.

The plot of the story was centered around Abby and Elmo (two very popular Sesame Street characters). Abby unknowingly leaves her wand behind and Elmo picks it up. He then proceeds to cause mischief all throughout Sesame Street, casting spells on his friends to make them sing and dance (all day long).

The little face on the curtain (at the top) talked.
Totally cool. :)
Each of the stars gets a little 'me time' and they all sing and dance collectively too, at various points throughout the show.

Elmo's big number (see he has Abby's wand).
Elmo's solo was a big hit...

and when Oscar came out, my son was just beside himself happy.  Oscar got a groovy little dance number that was fun to watch (no idea how he could see through the can, but it appeared that he could). :)

Hooper's Store, a Sesame Street staple
Intermission came along (fairies have to tinkle too, or so they told us, lol), and we went out to see the eye candy in the hallway.  There was Hooper's Store (a Sesame Street staple).

Walking along Sesame Street
And the classic Sesame Street house fronts to visit.

Trying not to laugh at the random stranger photo bomb.
He didn't make it, he busted out laughing. We all did. :)
There were also quite a few stand-ups that talked when you pushed a button.  All of us laughed when we got to Grover and this cute little boy photobombed us.  He was squealing, 'Grover, Grover, Grover!' the whole entire time.  Very sweet. :)

Nobody has to tell my boy to dance.
If dancing's involved in any way, shape, or form, he's all in.
When we went back in, and the show started, they encouraged the children to get up and dance in the aisles. No one has to tell my son to dance twice...he once took over the entire dance floor at a friend of ours' wedding, but that's another story. ;)  He is totally in his glory when he's getting his moves on.

Confetti shot into the crowd as soon as they took their bows.
Talk about a room full of excited kids? Shooting confetti...excited kids does make.
The show ended on a happy boom, with shooting confetti ramping the kids up to full notch.  It was an awesome show, and I saw a lot of very happy kids leaving (and asking for balloons) on the way out. :)

Sesame Street is not just hanging out in Michigan!! Take a look here to see if there is a show coming close to you.  Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online through Ticketmaster.

You can also follow along on Facebook and/or Twitter

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fox Theatre in Detroit

Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post.

The lobby of Fox Theatre in Detroit

Last night we went to see a show at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. None of us had been before, and what a huge delight/surprise we had in store for us!!

A section of the ceiling in the front lobby
The theater was simply amazing.  Right from the get-go you are greeted by ornate beauty (everywhere you look).  The pictures above are from the lobby. Yeah, just the lobby, lol.  It got better from there (which is amazing in itself).

Seriously, even if the show had been awful (which it was NOT) we would have had a good time.
This theater is a-ma-zing!
A bit of research showed this venue to be originally opened in 1928 as a flagship theater in the chain of Fox Theatres that were once so popular. If my online information search is correct, it is the largest of the original Fox Theatres, and is the biggest surviving theater today from those (all theaters) that were built during the Roaring '20s. That it was a part of the Roaring 20s was no suprise because that's exactly what it felt like (and we said so to each other) when we were in our seats.

A portion of the ceiling in the main theater.
Mike and Marian Ilitch restored the theater in 1988 at a cost of $12 million. If you haven't heard of The Ilitch's, take a look on Google. I think they are an absolutely amazing couple, and they are definitely the kind of citizens you want growing up and living in your area. True to their home roots, they own many things in Detroit, including the Detroit Tigers (baseball) and the Detroit Red Wings (hockey). They are also the founders and owners of Little Caesars. I would be short changing them greatly if I didn't mention those notations are just a small portion of the successful business accomplishments they have under their belts. It's really an amazing thing, when you start looking into the bits of history that are shared about them online.

Nice, comfortable seating, and not a bad seat (for viewing the stage) in the house.

As for the seating, the seats in the theater were nice and comfy (movie seats). The only thing I would suggest is cup holders, we really missed those, but it did not deter at all from our experience.  You could see the stage really well from any seat in the house, which is important...and you didn't feel like you were falling when getting in or out of them (like you do in so many of the modern-types of seating arrangements, when they are up high).  The staff and ushers were oh so friendly, and though we had never been to Fox Theatre until last night, we will be looking specifically for tickets at this venue in the future, because we so enjoyed being in the building.  We don't make it to Detroit too awful much (it's kind of a drive for us), but when we do, this is one of the places we know that we definitely want to be.

You can learn more about the theater by visiting the website here.
You can also follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter.