2023 Michigan Road Trip
Columbus, Ohio &
Detroit, Michigan

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Chihuly Collection - Franklin Park Conservatory
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens - Columbus, Ohio
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Friday - Day 2 (July 13, 2023)

After breakfast at Fairfield Inn Richmond, we gassed up and drove on to Reynoldsburg, Ohio to spend a few hours with family, Carol and Neal. While there. we went out to lunch with Carol at The Old Bag of Nails Pub. We had the Gaylord Stack Burger, Shrimp & Chips, and French Dip.

Then we spent an hour and a half at the adjacent Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Highlights included the Chihuly Collection of glass art which is scattered through the exhibits, a glassblowing demonstration in the Hot Shop, and a corpse flower which would bloom a week later before our trip was over. The flower bud was over 2 foot tall and when it blooms, it has a very unpleasant odor which attracts pollinators. 

Corpse Flower - Franklin Park Conservatory
Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanum

Glass blowing at the Franklin Park Conservatory
Making a Christmas ornament in the "Hot Shot"

Carol and Linda in the Sculpture Garden

We drove north to Allen Park in suburban Detroit, Michigan, arriving in time for our dinner reservation at Symposia in the Atheneum Suite Hotel near Greek Town. Tonight's experience was baffling. The restaurant is nice and so are the people. The meal got off to a good start with the grilled octopus appetizer.

When the entrees came out, they were accompanied by mashed potatoes instead of the roasted I ordered. The correct potatoes didn't come out until near the end of the meal.

The filet ordered well done and the lamb chops ordered medium both came out rare. I was OK with the rare chops, but the filet was more of an issue. We didn't say anything, but when our server returned to the table and saw the cut steak, he insisted on returning it to the kitchen for more cooking. 

The manager came up and apologized profusely, saying our meals would be on the house (much more of a make good than we expected or wanted).

The steak took a long time to come back and I ate most of my meal before it was returned. Other than the edges of the filet and a couple of pieces which had already been cut off the filet after it was first brought out, it was still undercooked.

The manager came by, saw it and wanted to cook another one. We didn't want to wait on that and he offered to cook it for us to take with us, which we also turned down. He wanted to have us come back for a meal, but we explained we were just traveling through the city overnight.

As we finished the meal, the server said the manager wanted to provide us with desserts. Not looking to milk the situation, rather than getting two desserts, we shared a (wonderful) lava cake.

When the check came we were charged for everything but the dessert. The restaurant went from doing much more than we felt necessary, to doing a little less. I felt that the filet should have also been deducted from the bill and maybe my potatoes. But we aren't people who are demanding so we paid our bill and included a generous tip.

Symposia in the Atheneum Suite Hotel

Dining Room at Symposia Restaurant
Dining Room

Spanish Octopus - Symposia Restaurant
Spanish Octopus

We followed dinner with a drive to Sunset Point on Belle Isle, but it was cloudy and we weren't going to see a sunset, so we drove to Allen Park and checked into the Best Western Greenfield Inn, a neat older motel also known as the Pink Palace.

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copyright 2023 by Keith Stokes.