Yeah Arizona is amazing, especially for backpacking and hiking... But I'm assuming Plowking is going later this summer, which is the worst possible time to be in Arizona. Unless you like 115 degree weather.
Do you find a lot of Canadians where you are at? I've know several people that have property down there since it's relatively cheap and the weathers nice.
There are a lot of Canadians that roll in with the snowbirds around winter time.
I prefer them to the old people who increase our traffic accident rates. Delivering in areas that attract a lot of snowbirds is a death wish. You'd think people who are accustomed to driving on snow could manage pretty well on dry asphalt.
Oh yeah. I couldn't recommend Detroit as a #1 attraction over many of the other cities mentioned. But as a Michigan resident, I felt it was worth giving my state a mention.
And I apologize, but I didn't understand your second sentence. Are you saying Detroit resembles a war zone? Because what I was trying to say is that for as bad of a rap Detroit seems to get, there's actually a lot of great areas both downtown and metro. One could definitely carve out a Michigan adventure with a visit to the great lakes, perhaps a stop in Ann Arbor, and a Tiger game downtown followed by a comfortable nightlife at whatever may be your fancy (Greektown, casinos, Cheli's, Fox Theatre, etc.).
Again, I'm not claiming Detroit to be a #1 tourist attraction, but I certainly don't feel someone should be scared away by its reputation. The region actually has a ton to offer. It's honestly not all rubble and ruin porn like people like to suggest. So if someone was looking for an underdog USA locale, that's why I threw Detroit into the mix.
As for other parts of Michigan, a lot of natural beauty to behold:
Not detroit as a whole, some areas. There are specific neighborhoods that are the reason the city gets a bad rap, like any bad city. Orlando has neighborhoods that are terribly dangerous. D.C. too.
My point was you said to go to Detroit so you could wear as a badge of honor you went to a dangerous city. Didn't seem fun to me or remotely necessary.
I might actually see what Arizona has to offer after several favorable replies about it, since I will be visiting around New Years time, hence weather shouldn't be too much of a problem. Austin definitely seems to be getting more love than Houston, and from the little reading I've done last night, it seems to be favored.
As for the Jersey part of the trip, its simply for family. As is San Fran, though that is a highly recommended place anyway.
If you do opt to hit up Arizona and want to do a couple things in Phoenix, I'm down to lend a hand to ISHers who wanna see what the city is about. Tons of night spots to hit up, great food and beautiful latina's all over the place. I even know some chicks who dig the Aussie accent.