Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I'm in Mormon Country Now, and It's Not Utah!

After visiting my father in PA, and my son and his family in VA, I rejoined the WINs in Palmyra, NY. I didn't know it, but this is where the Mormon Church began. Joseph Smith and his family lived on this farm.

We also visited the Whitmer Farm, where the church was formally organized.

And the Visitors Center at Hill Cumorah. We drove up to the top of the hill, where you could see the preparations for the Hill Cumorah Pageant happening that night. It's a really big deal, with a cast and crew of over 800, and seating for 9000.

Hill Cumorah is where Joseph Smith received the Golden Plates in 1827, which he then translated into the Book of Mormon.

This thing was driving around town all day.

We went to the pageant that night, and members of the cast were circulating through the audience before the show. Look who I got to talk to - Joseph Smith himself!

Finally the show begins.

The stage consists of 10 stories, and can hold quite a few people.

The cast consists of all ages. The show was made up of 10 story scenes, designed to give you an idea of what the Book of Mormon is all about. The did it all in an hour and 15 minutes!

This is the only scene I recognized.

The show covered the time from 600 years before the birth of Christ, until 1830 when the Book of Mormon was published.

There were lots of special effects. This guy got burned to death and it was pretty convincing.

Finally at the end, Joseph Smith shows up. It was a great show, and I highly recommend it if you are in the area the 2nd week of July. And it's free!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

My Granddaughter's Second Post

Hi! Remember me? A little over a year ago I became the world's youngest blogger, just a few minutes old.

My Grandma Diana finally came to visit when I was a few months old, along with my Great-Grandpa, my Aunt Corrie, and cousins Mara and Jonathan.

I'm a lot bigger now! I still adore my Daddy.

He's even a good cook. Check out this sausage inside a pork roast. Can't wait until I'm big enough to eat this.

I love to do Facetime. I think Grandma should get an iPhone, instead of that Android she has, so we can Facetime.

I'm old enough now that I can even get into some mischief.

I can almost push the toy chest enough to get out of my assigned space. (Notice I'm wearing my Fourth of July outfit - you can tell how far behind Grandma is on her blog...)

What do you mean I can't wash my books in the dishwasher? Why not?

We went out for breakfast one morning. I'm getting pretty good with my spork.

I also am trying to talk. This is my version of "All Done."

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Port Clinton and Cuyahoga Valley

Our next stop was Port Clinton, OH. Of course, my first stop was the Marblehead Lighthouse, built in 1821. Their tours start at noon, and I was the first one in line.

I was able to get a shot up the stairs.

The literature says this lighthouse is the oldest continuously working lighthouse on the Great Lakes, but it doesn't look like it works to me.

I got a good view of the keeper's house, built in 1880.

We also visited Johnson's Island, which served as a military prison for Confederate officers during the Civil War. The prison is no longer here, but there is a cemetery for those who died while here.

We visited Sandusky, and saw the Roller Coaster Capital of the World, Cedar Point. They have 17 coasters. This is as close as I got to them...

I left Port Clinton early because I wanted to see Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It's one of the few National Parks I hadn't been to. (I'm up to 48 out of 59.) We had a lot of rain, and Brandywine falls was really roaring.

As was Great Falls.

You can see just how water there was in this short video.

Another major attraction in the park is the remnants of the Ohio and Erie Canal.

The canal ran right through the middle of Ohio, from Lake Erie to the Ohio River. It began operation in 1827. The nation had 4,000 miles of canals by 1860.

In addition to the canal and the waterfalls, the park had some wildlife in the Beaver Marsh. Didn't see any beavers, but a couple really big turtles.

Monday, July 13, 2015

It's All About FORD, Baby!

The WINs moved next to Belleville, MI, where we spent several days visiting all the Ford tourist attractions in Dearborn. Our first stop was the Henry Ford Museum. There were lots of trains, planes, automobiles and RVs here.

I guess I'm showing my age if I say I remember McDonald's back then.

This is the actual car that Pres. Kennedy was in when he was shot and killed.

There are lots of unique vehicles here.

I loved this snowplow that goes in front of a train.

We were here for a long time and I started to get a little hungry...

On another day, we went to the Ford Rouge Factory, where they make Ford F-150s.

Taking pictures is prohibited, but you can always find pictures on the internet. It was fascinating to see how the bodies are put together. We didn't see the chassis and engine production - that is done in another area and then the bodies are plopped on top of the chassis.

After the tour, we went up onto the roof, where we saw the unique roof on the factory. It's covered with plants which help keep the building cool.

On yet another day, we visited Greenfield Village. It's a huge exhibit of various old-time businesses, homes, farms, rides - you name it!

We were serenaded by some singers from the 20s.

And this guy - clearly from the present.

We saw the roundhouse -

And later rode on the train. Greenfield Village is an all-day adventure, and I haven't even attempted to cover it all. It was a great time!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Welcome to the RV Capital of the World!

The next stop on our year-long trip around the Eastern US was Goshen, IN - for its proximity to Elkhart, IN - the RV Capital of the World. Our first stop was the RV/MH Hall of Fame.

There were many vintage RVs on display, including the very first Fleetwood RV, shown here.

There are many tours available in the area, but we chose the tour of the Newmar factory.

Pictures weren't allowed, but I did get this shot of the painting facility after the tour.

We also went on a tour of MasterTech RV. They can do anything at all that you want done to your rig! We walked by the famous Technomadia vintage bus, which is here undergoing a mini-makeover, while its owners are off in Alaska. I felt like I was in the presence of a celebrity!

If you've been to Quartzsite, you may have seen their makeover of a 1974 Winnebago.

There are lots of non-RV-related attractions in the area also. Phil and I visited the National New York Railroad Museum in Elkhart. I like this train made out of toothpicks.

There is a huge indoor model railroad exhibit, with lots of neat details.

Don't forget the J&B!

And lots of trains in the outside exhibit.

Loved the rusty stuff!

We also went to the Elkhart County Museum. While not a big fan of museums, I liked how the items were displayed in period rooms, rather than in showcases.

The area is in the heart of Amish country, and it was interesting to see the horse carriages everywhere - even at Sam's Club.

The roads all have lanes for the carriages. And those horses can really move!

There were also many Quilt Gardens in the area.

We were pretty exhausted by this time, but managed one more stop - the Wellfield Botanic Gardens.

Check out the stash of pollen this guy has on his legs.

They proved you can plant in anything!