We are looking forward to visiting with friends scattered across the northern half of the United States, along with National Parks and other off-beat sites. There are a few firm dates and locations on our westward road trip, however, until then, we are breaking up our car time with quirky stops. First, the Doolittle Station stop in DuBois, PA. (pronounced dew-boys; yes really). This is not far from Lake Erie and mixed with beautiful forests and farmland. The roadside café/mini golf/laser tag/petting zoo offers something for everyone. We enjoyed ice cream from the Penn State Creamery while watching goats scurry up rocks, and Bigfoot and a dinosaur looking longingly at us. Oh, and yes, loads of train cars. And a bench for any sundae lover. Many small towns later, we arrived in Royal Oak, Michigan. This is a suburb of Detroit and home to good friends. We took a morning walk through Robinwood Park in Troy, and in the afternoon we explored Cranbrook Institute. The grounds are beautiful and include formal gardens, an art museum, several schools and a Greek theater. Later, we walked through lovely neighborhoods to the bustling downtown Royal Oak. Dinner at a local restaurant was so tasty that I forgot to take photos. On our stroll back to our friends home, we met a giant 25-year-old parrot. The owner was as chatty as the parrot. It was a fun way to end the evening. Royal Oak is a gem just outside of Motor City. Great weather and great friends make any place wonderful, and Royal Oak is no exception.