I'm always playing catch up but let's begin with today since it was such a great day and then we'll end with the not so great day.
We drove over to Shelburne today to tour the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory. The drive took much longer than anticipated due to the road construction on route 7.
The tours are $3.00 for seniors but be prepared it will cost you much more. This is the kind of place you wish you had the grand children with you, but don't get me wrong, it's great for adults too.
We wandered around the gift shop waiting for our tour to begin. Bill liked this bear with a western shirt and western boots. I think he's needs a hat to complete the outfit.
How do you like the Hillary Bear complete with a phone?
It's difficult to see by this photo but the hair on this Trump Bear is combed like Trump's. Notice all the cash he has in his hand?
Our tour started right on time. We were told about where the name Teddy Bear came from. Thanks to Loralie and Lee we actually stopped in Onward, Mississippi to see the location and eat a fabulous meal at the Onward Restaurant/Gas Station/Pest Service/Beer Sales and whatever else you could call the only business that is in that wide spot of the road. They still have the newspaper clippings on the wall. In case you want to visit it, it is about 20 miles north of Vicksburg, MS. It's one place I guarantee you will not forget. Haven't been since 2009 but I'm sure it's still there. They have rocking chairs on the front porch.
Now back to our tour today. We learned that all the arms and legs move. The head also can turn completely around. You can get different colored eyes, which will not come off. These are safe for all ages of children.
Gigi our tour guide had all different colors and sizes of the bears.
Does this look like a "factory" tour to you. Not the typical factory we've been to.
Gigi explains how they cut the fabric. The fabric is made in Wisconsin. We were all given little cut out bears to go over our tour pins.
All of the 20 pieces that go into making a bear are stitched on sewing machines. They make 750 bears a day.
They are stuffed with recycled plastic inside an enclosed room.
Once all the parts are stuffed, they are hand sewn up the back.
A lot of thought and imagination goes into the dressing. See the Momma bear on the right with the little baby in the sling. You can take the baby bear off and attach it under the skirt of the bear to show she's still pregnant. The green frog turns into a prince.
These are examples of custom ordered clothing. The bride dress doesn't show all the beading in the photo.
Here's a Shakespeare custom that was requested.
All Bears are shipped in these special boxes which have an air hole in the box. The directions to the UPS driver about how to keep the bear upright are really cute.
You can have any of the paws embroidered with whatever you wish. One example was "Will You Marry Me" on the paws.
If that is enough good things to know about the bears, how about a lifetime guarantee? Notice the hospital gurney the bear is on. If your dog eats your bear, or the lawn mower runs over it, you just fill out the hospital admitting form and send the bear back. It's repaired and returned to you. If it's beyond repair they send you a new one.
It was a wonderful tour and I thoroughly recommend anyone taking it. I'm sure everyone that takes the tour buys at least one bear.
I forgot to mention that the bears are machine washable if placed inside a pillowcase. They can only be dried on air only. Gigi showed us what happens if you put them in the dryer on heat. Of course, then they have to be admitted to the hospital.
Then we went back to the gift shop. Since we knew how they were made, that they were washable, and had a lifetime guarantee, they didn't seem quite so expensive. We are expecting a great grand child in October. Can you believe they didn't have any pink bow ties? Even better for $12.00 they ship them for us. Had to send it to our daughters house as we didn't have an address with us for the expectant parents.
We stopped in Vergennes to do laundry after the Vermont Teddy Bear tour. They do things differently here. The laundry was one long building with laundry equipment on both ends. In the middle of the building was a car wash. Now that is strange, but after yesterday we didn't think much of it.
Wednesday we had a nice drive over from Schodack Landing except for the last portion of the trip. Our GPS decided to take us on a shortcut. The road was narrow with no center lines. All I could think of was that we'd find a low covered bridge and no where to turn around.
When I made reservations last winter I picked 10 Acres Campground because it had full hook ups. Knowing we need to have our fresh water tank full and our grey, galley and black tanks empty for the rally, I wanted a place with sewer hook ups. It would be difficult to all leave together if each of us had to stop and empty our tanks. They were also the only place to respond to my calls.
Jay and Chrissy are really nice owners and work very hard here. This park is old and in the day they were built campers were half the size of ours. They managed to figure out a place for five of us. I wasn't sure when I saw how we had to get in here on paper, but it wasn't bad once I physically saw it.
We look straight out onto Lake Champlain. They even have a boat dock that where you can enjoy with your morning coffee.
It's sloped and our back bumper is just barely (maybe today it should be Bearly) off the ground.
Now the bad, yesterday we decided to go for a loaf of bread and get the oil changed on the truck. We ended up going to Middlebury and then going north all the way to Burlington. It was fine as the scenery is beautiful and we were just enjoying the drive. Yes, Bill was enjoying driving.
I saw a barber pole and everyone know Bill must see the pole. The barber had been cutting hair for 50 years. Bill is in seventh heaven. Bill knew I wanted a haircut and came out to the truck and told me that they also did women cuts.
I went in and by now the barber has started cutting Bill's hair. I went to the back of the shop and the whole wall was lined with hair products and maple syrup. If you want to buy maple syrup for $44 a gallon that's the place.
I sat down and said to just trim it a little. The girl said no problem, you can always go back and take off more but you can't add it. I'm feeling pretty good now. The next thing I knew she took out the sheep shears and cut my hair. There is absolutely no hair left. Bill's is longer than mine. Of course, it costs twice as much as Bill's. I was in and out of the chair and Bill was still getting his cut. I walked around the strip mall and came back and the barber was still cutting his hair.
Those of you who went to Gillette, WY some years back remember the haircut I got. I thought I'd wear one of my hats to hide the cut. No way--the hats are way too big now.
Now if you don't recognize at the rally, I'll understand.
Are we getting excited yet? The rally is getting closer.