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By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 109 - Detroit Auto Show/Year of the Horse

4 Feb 2014

Hi everyone,

Welcome to another episode of KaTsZoNe!

After the ice storm in December, 2013, we all hoped for the best for the rest of winter in 2014.  North America has certainly been tested with many storms and arctic temperatures.  There were times when Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territories had warmer temperatures than Toronto! 

I am not sure how it came about, but, Larry suggested that we attend the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this year!  I tossed back and forth with the idea.  I love the auto show, but, driving down to Detroit in January, especially this winter, made me excited and intimidated!  The biggest obstacle was weather.  Also, we had to consider spending one night at a hotel.  On January 21st, we set out for the US.  We stayed at a beautiful hotel in Dearborn, Michigan called the Adoba Hotel Dearborn.  Larry and I had been to Dearborn last summer to visit the Henry Ford Museum and Factory.  After considerable research, Larry thought it would be a relatively safe area.  Anyone who has read or heard about Detroit will take precautions.  We had considered staying in Windsor, Ontario, but, Larry suggested we look at Detroit's surrounding areas.  TripAdvisor reviewers were pretty good.  So, knowing what to expect, I can safely say, we were not disappointed with our accommodations. 
There was a nice mall across from our hotel where we could spend some time.

The next day, we headed to the Cobo Center in downtown Detroit.  The weather on the afternoon of Wednesday, January 22nd was cold but clear.  As expected, parking was tight, however, we found parking, and a shuttle bus took us to and from the Cobo Center.  We happily wandered through all the exhibits, with so much that we would not likely have seen at the auto show in Toronto. 

As soon as we entered the floor, I poked Larry and pointed to Tesla Motors, right near the entrance.  Tesla produces only electric vehicles.  The company has raised eyebrows for innovation.  They do not having dealerships and that has caused a stir in the auto industry.  Currently, customers can go to Tesla's website to place their customized orders for the current car called the Model S.  The Model S (sedan) is more like a computer with wheels than wheels with a computer, as the factory is based in Silicon Valley in California.  Larry and I have been to Tesla's store in the Yorkdale Shopping Centre, although we have not gone on a test drive.  We have been tracking Tesla for a couple years.  From what I have seen and read, Model S is the combination of the best features of the best cars in the world - the most close to perfect car on the market.  It has had problems like all other cars, but, the world has never seen anything like it before.  We will not likely see a huge Tesla display at the auto show in Toronto because of its controversial structure of having no dealerships, however, you might get a peek of the Model S at a display for car battery chargers or an electric cars display - definitely more low key. 

The Ford Motor Company released photos of the 2015 Mustang recently.  Being on Ford's mailing list, I saw the official photo early on.  In spite of magazine articles and Ford's news release, I could not get the complete picture until I actually saw them at the Detroit auto show.  Unfortunately, there was "no touching" of the 2015 Mustang just yet, instead, I force myself into this year's Mustang convertible - oh, poor me, drowning in my sorrows.  I really did not want to feel like a celebrity - NO, not one bit!  Check out my photo in the Facebook tag/photo below or go to my Facebook photo album.  My link is not on my website.  The photos are sent to only those who are on my mailing list.  If you are not my Facebook "Friend", you can still see my photo album as long as you are able to access the Facebook site. 

Ford also showed off its 2015 F-150 trucks.  Larry and I visited the Ford Factory in Dearborn last summer and we saw the previous F-150 trucks being built.  At the Detroit auto show, Ford had a display of robots assembling trucks.  We were really pleased to be able to take photos and videos of it at the auto show as we were not allowed to do so at the Ford Factory.  I don't expect to see the robots at the auto show in Toronto.

We really enjoyed the Detroit auto show, but, the adventure did not end there.  As we were leaving Detroit, it was already snowing.  The roughly four hour usual journey from Windsor to Toronto ended up being almost 19 hours!  Larry has had plenty of experience driving in bad weather and fortunately, he knows when to get off the road.  We were in the midst of and followed the path of a snow storm along Highway 401.  We encountered poor visibility, slippery roads, speedy trucks, detours and delays due to accidents, and then, sleep deprivation.  When we finally reached London, Ontario, we slept in the car for a few hours.  It was so nerve wrecking!  It was equally frustrating to be following a storm, catch up to it, and then not be able to see again. 

I have only been on a long road trip with one other friend in my life, Tracy.  Some of you may have heard of or read about our now infamous trips to the east coast and also all the way to British Columbia.  Tracy and I went through a lot!  As crazy as things were, fortunately, we laugh about it today and thankfully, we have remained close friends - thank God!  I consider Tracy my sister with a different mother!  It is not easy to find someone compatible to go on a trip with.  But, road trips are even a bigger test of friendship!  

Larry and I have been on several road trips throughout the years.  Thankfully, we have lived to tell our stories - which has become good dinner conversations with our family and friends.  If you read last month's KaTsZoNe, you may recall how Larry and I weathered through December's ice storm and power outage ordeal.  I'm glad we stuck it out through that trip back from Detroit.  And, I discovered that I had the stamina to hold my bladder as long as I could because I refused to do my business out in nowhere in the cold and snow!  I know it's not a good thing to hold your bladder all the time, but, trust me, when it is also "that time of month" (so very annoying on a trip), I am just glad to have the ON Routes along the highway (Ontario Government facilities) with 24 hour washrooms, Canadian Tire gas stations and Tim Horton's!  I am also really grateful for my "partner in crime" (other than Tracy) who continually looks after me through more stormy weather.  I only wish he didn't make me laugh when my bladder is so full!  I think I will repay him some day - so, watch out Larry!

January 31st is the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year!  It is the Year of the Horse!  Really excited because I was born in the Year of the Horse and so was Larry!  As I have done for a few years, I have a separate page about the Year of the Horse at www.katszone.com/year_of_the_horse_2014.html.  Find out about characteristics of your Horse friends and predictions for this year.

Come back in March - it'll be the beginning of spring!  Hooray!!!


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