Great Lakes - Road Trip Q&A
Our Great Lakes journey started and ended with a bang. From Harley-Davidson in Milwaukee to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana, cruising though the Heartland of America offers countless opportunities to create memories of all kinds.
Traveling alongside us from Beijing was LaoSong, an amazingly well-traveled Chinese freelance blogger and photographer. He has worked with many well-known magazines in China, such as Voyage, Tourism Overview, Tourism World and Fellow Traveler. In 2009, he was awarded the photography award by Sina.com, one of the most influential websites in China today. Exploring the Great Lakes region with Song was an incredible opportunity to learn and laugh alongside such a worldly man. And from the moment we met, the trip proved to be nothing less than incredible.
Q: What was the most unique place you visited and why?
A: Milwaukee, Grand Haven and Indianapolis.
These three places are the most ideally suited for vacation and holiday time. I'd say Grand Haven is especially fun and a unique place to visit if you have an RV to travel around in.
Milwaukee and Indianapolis have a rich history of culture and were also great places for sightseeing.
Q: What was the most delicious thing you ate on the trip?
A: I loved eating the local breakfasts and lunches. Foods like hot dogs, that have strong flavors, were delicious and very suitable to the Chinese palate. My favorite — and the favorite of most Chinese travelers — was the fried chicken at JJ's.
Q: What was the most visually beautiful thing you saw on the trip and why was it so impressive?
A: The coolest thing I saw was when we visited Indianapolis Motor Speedway and experienced Formula 1 racing. It’s a very different and unique experience. Another highlight was in Milwaukee; we went to a very unique restaurant, which was beloved by Audrey Hepburn.
I have never experienced this anywhere, either at home or in any other country.
Q: Tell us a funny story that happened on the road or a surprising fact that you learned – specific to an experience you had, the USA itself, or the people you met.
A: One funny situation was when three people tried to squeeze into a revolving door. As far as experiences go, the most memorable was the F1 experience. It was truly once in a lifetime.
Q: What were your impressions of the U.S. Midwest and Great Lakes before this trip? And what changed after the trip?
A: Before I went there, I didn’t know much about the Midwest or the Great Lakes. After this trip, I realized these places are very worthy of spending even more time than we had visiting. Time was a bit tight in this trip. For example, Detroit has a big auto center but we only had an hour and a half to visit, which was not long enough to truly experience the city.
Q: What do you think an international traveler would find the most interesting about your trip?
A: I think the length of time we spent in Milwaukee and Indianapolis was appropriate. For Chicago (such a big and lively city), I think it may feel a bit too busy for Chinese people that already live in big cities, like myself. I think Detroit has a lot of potential for car enthusiasts. I wish we had a bit more time to explore that city as well.
Q: What advice would you give a traveler wanting to visit the Midwest/Great Lakes region?
A: As with any destination, make sure to bring a good camera. There were so many photographic opportunities along this trip. Specifically, this region has its fair share of beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I highly recommend getting up early for those shots, as it was truly a memorable experience. Also, make sure to spend at least a few days in each location to be able to truly soak in the uniqueness of each of the cities. Detroit was one of the cities I'll definitely be coming back to.