Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Whistles and Candy

Plain City, Ohio
Pastime Park

Today we visited the only metal whistle company in the United States--The American Whistle Company. I was happy that we could get a tour today.  There was a bus of 19 senior citizens from Oklahoma.  They sang the Oklahoma song as they got off the bus.  They were a hoot!

The factory wasn't very large when you consider that they cut out the brass, make the whistles and package them. I think there were about 5 employees.

I was surprised that a lot of the manufacturing steps were done by hand. There was only one computer operated machine which did the silver soldering.  

It takes 3 days to make a whistle which consists of 5 parts. They make nearly one million whistles a year.  We were told by our excellent tour guide that in 1888 the first whistle was made.  England started using them for their police, who originally used a rattle.

I did not know that in Ohio you must have a whistle on board any water craft.  I remember the whistles on the life vests during the mandatory coast guard drill on an ocean cruise ship.  

They custom make whistles for all kinds of events.  This is a gold plated whistle for the officials of all of the super bowl games.

Here's a photo of a photo of all the officials involved in a Super Bowl Game.  Each one has the official's name and title on it.  

We were told one couple gave whistles with the date and names as a wedding souvenir.  They also make the lanyards that are packaged with the whistles.  

The lady who was putting on the rings, went over and used the packaging machine and also manned the counter where you could buy a cover for your whistle, thus the pink on the picture.  

We were told that the show, How It's Made, filmed a show here.  They don't announce the name of the company but there were stickers on all the machines and counters.  Employees wore shirts and hats with the company name on them.  

Those fun loving seniors from Oklahoma were told that everyone received a whistle.  The bus driver said he'd hold all the whistles for them.  Bill couldn't resist, as soon as he left the plant he blew his whistle.    

The second stop for today was the Anthony-Thomas Candy Factory.  We were pleased that we were the only ones on a tour and we could really ask our guide a lot of questions.  

You were not allowed pictures inside the huge plant.  There was a glass enclosed cat walk around the plant where you could watch.  They make a lot of fundraisers candy bars.  Of course the number one thing they make is Buckeyes.

We did buy some Buckeye candy in the shop but not this $3,500 235 pound one.  

I liked the slogan that was on the bag, "We Eat All We Can and Only Sell What's Left."

Admission to the American Whistle factory was $4.00 and you received a free whistle (A dollar more for a cover.) Anthony-Thomas tour was two dollars and you received a coupon for $2.00 off your purchase in the candy shop.  

Ray and Misty are coming out tonight after work to have dinner at the Der Dutchman.  Hard to believe we've been here a week.  

Turtle Safely......

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Do You Love Pink?

Plain City, Ohio
Pastime Park

This morning we drove over to Columbus to pick up Misty and take a tour of the State Capitol.  There was almost no traffic at all.

The parking garage was under the capitol building, so we didn't have a chance to walk the grounds.  There was a bar that said 6 foot 6 clearance.  I believe the truck is 6 foot 4 inches but when I drove up to the bar, I had Bill get out and make sure we had clearance.  The garage goes down three floors under the building.  I was ducking every time I came to one of those bars.  As we walked over to the elevator, we saw a sign that said not to leave the parking ticket in the vehicle.  Then there was another sign that said you had to pay on the green floor before leaving.  

When we entered the doors to the building we had to go through metal detectors.  Bill was allowed to carry his pocket knife, but was told to keep it in his pocket.  

There are three Sunday tours and we were in time for the first one at noon.  If you didn't want to do the guided tour, you could take a self guided tour.  I can't imagine anyone not doing a guided one when the docents add so much to the tour.  

We were surprised to hear that this area is often rented out for weddings and parties.  

I was happy that this tour was so well done as Misty has never done a capitol tour before.  The architecture is Greek, so a little different than most we've visited.  The marble was imported from Greece and there was a lot of it and pink paint.

The 128 foot dome is inside a cupola.  In the center is a hand painted seal of Ohio.

The Senate has the gallery around the perimeter of the room unlike most capitols which have a balcony.  

The wood is all hand carved pine which has been stained.

Don't you just love all the pink walls?

Here's more of the original color pink walls.  The floors were prettier than in this photo.

The white marble desk in the Representative chamber was carved out of one piece of marble and the room was built around it.

Lincoln gave a speech from the steps of this building in 1859 to about 35 people.

The senate offices were moved to this attached building.

After the docent guided tour, we were allowed to visit the museum.  One thing I didn't mention was how quiet it was, since it was Sunday and no one was working.

The museum was excellent. Not a lot about history as much as telling you the story of the Ohio government.  

There were many interactive machines but I enjoyed balancing the budget.  Did I mention that Ohio is another state that is required to balance the budget by a specific day.

I enjoyed that "game" and I must say I balanced.  

We've visited a lot of Capitols and this one will go down as one of our favorites.  Maybe it's because we shared it with Misty.  

I was a little nervous about the procedure for leaving the underground garage.  We went to the green floor and put the ticket in, followed by the credit card.  Thankfully, I pulled my ticket out when done.  The machine said we had 15 minutes to leave the garage.  As I drove the truck to the exit barricade, I realized you needed the ticket to put in the machine to open the gate.  Good thing, I had retrieved it from the machine.

One of my blog readers suggested we stop in the German Village at Schmidt's.  I have to say it was very tight driving our truck down those narrow streets with cars parked on the sides.  The brick street bounced us around but I was able to park along the street by the restaurant.  

It was a 23 minute wait, but since they have been in business since 1886, we figured it had to be good.

We had time to visit another shop and play around with the camera.

Misty eyed the half pound cream puffs as we walked in.

It was a great day and I think we all enjoyed it.

Bill never quit talking the whole time. 

Turtle Safely........

Saturday, August 19, 2017

More Than Motorcycles

Pastime Campground
Plain City, Ohio

First off, I want to thank all those people who called, emailed, and texted to see if we were okay and offered assistance.

All in all, if something was going to happen, this was the place to be.  Daughter, Misty gave us her car to use while the truck was in the shop.  

The problem with the truck was a vapor lock.  We went ahead and had some preventative maintenance completed on the truck.  Toops Performance in London, Ohio were great.  They even delivered the truck to us 25 miles away.  

We had reservations to tour the Honda Heritage Center on Thursday but cancelled it when we had truck issues.  I managed to get us on a tour today.  

The Honda Heritage Center reminds me a little of the BMW one.  It was self guided, so I'm not sure why you needed reservations and had to show ID to get in.  

Honda took a bold step when they decided to build the Honda motorcycles in the United States. 

This was the first car style made in the United States.  It's much smaller than this photo looks.

I didn't realize that Honda made boat motors.  

I know in the RV world a Honda generator is considered the one to purchase.  Maybe not a 7,000 watt that runs for 18 hours on a tank of gas.

I really wouldn't mind taking this one home with me.  

How many of you knew that Honda made jet planes?

Here's a Honda Jet.  Bill really liked the cockpit with everything lit up.

Do you know what this is?  It's a robotic lawn mower.
Here's what the sign read:
"The first commercial 
robotic product from Honda for use, Miimo reduces stress on grass by cutting in a random pattern.  Mowing just 2-3 millimeters of grass at a time, several times a week, the clippings are so tiny they are easily dispersed into the lawn root system.

Miimo navigates the yard by sensing a signal from a boundary wire underground or around the perimeter of the yard."

Bill kept disappearing and I'd find him over by the Acura's.

I couldn't figure out how you'd open the door on this one, or what happened to the side mirrors.

Honda races everything--from motorcycles to Odyssey vans.

I'm not sure where the name Muscle Milk came from.

If they build it, they race it.

I bet they even race these jet skii's.

Of course I wasn't surprised to see the paint color on this one from Ohio.  Probably every deer hunter in the area has one of these.

There were video games you could play.  I hit the walls many times, trying to race around the track.  The next thing I knew, I was going the wrong way.  Bill did better, but I think we'll leave these kind of machines for the grandkids.  

It was fun, and a free tour.

The receptionist had told us to stop back at her desk when we were done, and she'd have a little gift for us. When we were ready to leave the building, she wasn't at her desk so I don't know what she was giving out.

We really wanted to do a plant tour, but they were booked until sometime in November.  

It was a great day and we managed to squeeze in a haircut and a trip to Costco.  Bill did fill the truck up with diesel at Costco for $2.39 a gallon.  The truck took $99 worth of fuel.

Turtle Safely.......

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Truck Went One Way--The Coach Went Another

Plain City, Ohio
Pastime Campground

Breakdowns are bound to happen when you travel as many miles as we do.  Today we were only 20 miles away from our destination, when the truck died.  

I called Good Sam and we had a tow truck in less than an hour.  The interstate was in a section where there were six lanes of traffic.  We were on the outskirts of Columbus and there were more semis than cars on the road.  Bill coasted it onto the shoulder but the trucks were passing us so closely that the whole coach was shaking.  

The tow truck company had to order a second truck to take the coach.  I have to say the driver took care in loading the truck.  He also unhitched us from the trailer.  The traffic was so bad, I didn't want to be on that side of the trailer to put the jacks down.  

The second tow truck arrived about  30 minutes later and hitched up the coach.  He took us along with the fifth wheel to the RV park and we found our site.  The site was very unlevel.  When he went to unhitch the tow truck from the trailer it wouldn't come loose.  It was humid and hot but 4 hours after we broke down, we were finally set up.  I called daughter, Misty, when the tow truck driver pulled us off the interstate and she came to the RV park.  

She arrived at the park while we were trying to get unhitched.  Once the truck was free from the coach, we just plugged in the electric and left with Misty.  Misty and Ray recently relocated to Columbus and we were anxious to see their home.  

The dogs accepted Bill after awhile.

When Ray got home from work the dogs just ignored Bill.

I saw a restaurant that looked good when we came up highway 42--Der Dutchman.  I suggested we go there for dinner.  It was just like the Essenhaus Restaurant in Middlebury, Indiana and I knew it had to be good.  It was an Amish restaurant and it was excellent.  

We had reservations for the Honda tour tomorrow, but I cancelled it.  Hopefully, we'll have some news on the truck tomorrow.  

Turtle Safely.......