Friday, September 30, 2016

Davidson Village Inn, Davidson N.c.

Located on Depot Street in downtown Davidson, the Davidson Village Inn occupies the site of the former Maxwell Chambers Hotel. It fits seamlessly into the fabric of the area even though it is a new building constructed as an inn in the early 1990s. The location is convenient to restaurants and to Davidson College which is within walking distance. The inn is very popular with friends and family of students. Lake Norman is just a couple of miles away providing a variety of water activities.

The bright green canopy welcomes you as you enter into the spacious lobby/parlor. It really does look like a country house library with comfortable sofas and bookshelves. You feel welcome as soon as you enter the door.

Parking is available on Knox Street or at the lot on Jackson Street. The hotel will provide you with a pass to put on your windshield so that you can park in the two-hour parking spots.

Rooms are spread over three floors and include family rooms, king rooms, queen rooms and twin rooms. We opted for the queen room with a four poster queen bed dominating the room. The linens on the bed are luxurious and we had a great night’s sleep.
A chair for watching TV is conveniently set next to the bed.

Free Internet is provided and a desk is located in front of the windows, which are covered by plantation shutters. The flat screen TV is in the armoire and has a good selection of channels.

Rooms have individual heat and cooling control.

The sink area is outside of the bathroom itself which has a tub/shower combination. Everything was extremely clean and there were plenty of towels.

Afternoon tea is offered between 3 and 6 p.m. and complimentary breakfast is provided in the morning. If you need a snack, an honor bar offers things to eat and drink at very reasonable prices.

Breakfast is an extended continental and is one of the nicest ones this writer has ever eaten. Fresh baked pastries from Summit Coffee are offered and include croissants, turnovers, Danish, muffins, and scones. Cereal, yogurt, and boiled eggs are also available.
For those who are gluten intolerant, gluten-free cereal is out on the buffet and gluten-free bread, and waffles are available on request. Bread, pancakes, waffles, and bagels are provided under a dome near the toaster and are from Nova’s Bakery in Charlotte.

Davidson Village Inn is a warm and charming place to spend your time in Davidson. The Innkeepers are welcoming and you will definitely feel like you are visiting with friends, which explains why so many guests are return visitors.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Castle Rising a romantic ruin in Norfolk

Once upon a time, a beautiful French princess married a handsome English prince and they did not live happily after. The story includes intrigue, lovers, gruesome murders and finally a power struggle that resulted in banishment from court. But there is a happy ending for the French princess who was now the Queen mother and a visit to Castle Rising in Norfolk will fill in all the missing pieces to this true and historic story.

The main players in the story are Isabella, the "She Wolf of France", her husband Edward II, King of England, her lover Roger Mortimer, his lovers Piers Gaveston and Hugh Despenser, and their son, the future king Edward III. Suffice it to say that this is a fascinating story and a visit to Castle Rising will make most of the characters, especially Isabella come alive for you, it certainly did for us.

Castle Rising is a magnificent ruin that is located near Kings Lynn, Norfolk. It is a Norman Keep which came into the Royal holdings in the thirteenth century and in the sixteenth century was given to the Howard family who are still the owners.

The fees to tour the castle are, £4.50 for adults, £3.80 if you are over 60 £3 for children. The price includes an audio guide. This is a very good audio tour narrated by a servant to Isabella. The visit starts at the gate where the story begins to unfold before you.

In order to enjoy your visit here to the maximum, you need to be able to climb stairs. To get into the keep there are a steep set of stones stairs and of course, you will need to come down again. Also to walk around the earthworks you will also have to climb stairs. Walking around the earthworks requires a good sense of balance as the path is narrow and there are no guardrails of any kind.

This is one of the most interesting audio tours we have ever taken. Even if you are not as familiar with English history as you should be, it will still be interesting. Isabella spent most of the last years of her life here at Castle Rising, not in confinement as is often thought but rather in exile from court. She was allowed visitors and her son the King was a frequent visitor and she visited her other properties. Castle Rising was her home however and she was happy here. 

You will be happy as well when you visit here. There are enough remnants of the former grandeur to convince you that this was a luxurious place in the days of Queen Isabella and that she would have been very comfortable here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Amazing Farnsworth Art Museum Rockland, Maine

Rockland, Maine, is a small town of less than 10,000 residents, so it is quite amazing to find that it is home to a world class museum. In order to understand the Farnsworth Art Museum, you must realize that it was created through the gift of Lucy Farnsworth. Thanks to a generous inheritance from her father and brother James, and to her own business acumen, Lucy left a sizable estate. She directed that the bulk of it be used to establish the William A. Farnsworth Library and Art Museum (now known simply as the Farnsworth Art Museum) as a memorial to her father. The museum officially opened in August, 1948.

A short video is offered in the Morehouse Wing which you can watch to learn a little about the founding of the museum. Of course, the fact that Andrew Wyeth summered here is a big contributing factor to the museum as well. Not only does he have a gallery, he and his father and brother have the Wyeth Center, which is temporary exhibit space located in the historic former United Methodist Church. We did not visit the Wyeth Center since our time was limited but most people who visit the main museum also visit the Wyeth Center.

Andrew Wyeth’s work is located in the main part of the museum; it is a very popular attraction and can get quite crowded. It is not really surprising, even though his main home is in Chadds Ford, Penn., he spent a great deal of time in Rockland and one of his most famous works, Christina’s World has as its subject Christina Olson who was a local resident. His painting Her Room had its own room in the museum. It is a colorless room, that sounds odd but the paintings are all almost entirely white which makes it quite striking. An unusual painting is called Dr. Syn and is a painting of a skeleton which is actually Wyeth own; he had X-rays done so he could see his bones.

This is a beautiful, light and airy museum that highlights the best in Maine, New England and American Art. They have a large collection, over 12,000 works of American landscapes, Impressionists and also contemporary art. A surprise find was an Andy Warhol silk screen in a hall in the Moorhouse Wing. The museum also owns several historic properties including the Olson Farm. The exhibits in the museum change frequently, so you will never get tired of visiting.

Allow an hour or two to visit the Farnsworth Art Museum, and if you want to visit the Wyeth Center, it is just down the street. The museum has a very nice gift shop and a parking lot is located across from the entrance where, if you are lucky, you will be able to park. Check the museum website for the current exhibits as well as open times and entrance fees.

Photo provided by the Farnsworth Art Museum.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Visiting the Century Furniture Factory Hickory, NC

Furniture construction is something that the average consumer has had little exposure to. When it comes to purchasing new furniture, what exactly should you be looking for? Once you have seen what quality construction is, you realize how much subpar furniture is out there. You also realize the amount of work that goes into making even the smallest simplest piece.

Century Furniture is located in Hickory, North Carolina. There are three factories that deal with different parts of the manufacturing process. We toured the upholstery factory and the wood furniture.

Our tour began in the larger wooden furniture factory. It is huge, it is not working at full capacity these days since the economy has affected the custom furniture business as well but there are still many skilled workers employed here. What amazed me the most was the atmosphere in the factory. The workers love their work and they are all on first name basis with the top management.

The second most amazing thing was watching veneer being made. Somehow it has always seemed as if solid wood is stronger and better than veneer. Better be rethinking that. The number of layers that go into making veneer makes it amazingly strong and durable. It is a very labor intensive process and it is something that I wish everyone could see. It is eye-opening, to say the least. The women we watched working on it was meticulous.

We got to see some of the custom furniture that has been completed. There are pieces that cost many thousands of dollars. The amazing thing is however that you don’t really have to be a millionaire to purchase some of these pieces. It isn’t going to be inexpensive but for a piece that will become a family heirloom, the price seems very fair.

Did we buy any furniture here? No, we didn’t. It wasn’t really an option at the factory, there is no retail outlet. However, at the Hickory Furniture Mart, there are some pieces from Century. If you are looking for American made, quality furniture, you will be hard pressed to find any that is of higher quality than what is produced here in North Carolina.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Popular fall camping destinations in the United States

Fall is a wonderful time to camp. Many campgrounds offer special fall activities along with their usual activities. The weather is one of the main factors in fall camping and unfortunately not every area of the United States is a good option for fall camping for this reason. Here are the top destinations in the US for fall camping in no particular order.


Alaska may seem like a surprise choice but when you consider that Alaska has a very long cold winter you will understand that campers in the area want to grasp the last bits of sunlight and days with comfortable temperatures. The colors will be beautiful and it is the perfect time to hike and appreciate all the wildlife and beauty of Alaska.

Denali National Park is especially popular as a place to camp and you may be able to combine camping with a tour that will introduce you to other aspects of Alaska. Keep in mind that color that far north will happen earlier than in other areas and plan accordingly.

New England

When you think of fall color and activities, many people consider New England the perfect destination. When it comes to camping it is just as popular. New Hampshire and Vermont are the most popular and they are known for their blaze of fall color as well as lots of activities that will keep you occupied outside of the campground.

No matter what your style of camping, tent, pop-up or RV there will be campgrounds in New England that are perfect for you. In addition, you will be able to enjoy visits to the apple orchards, country fairs and pumpkin festivals that the area is known for.


The area of Pennsylvania near Lancaster is known as the Pennsylvania Dutch Region and is very popular with campers. Not only will the weather be gorgeous, the colors will be bright and there will be lots of activities in the area.

There are apple cider mills, farmers markets and places where the kids can pick a pumpkin. This is a great historic area that is very close to Gettysburg and lots of the Civil War battlefield.

Great Lakes

Along the Great Lakes, there is a lot of fall color and some great campgrounds as well. This is an often overlooked area for people from other parts of the country but is well known for all it has to offer by locals. Whether you choose the Upper Peninsula of Michigan or one of the many Wisconsin cities you are sure to find a great place to do some fall camping while enjoying all the area has to offer.

Great Smokey Mountains

The Great Smokey Mountains is an area that covers several states and includes the Blue Ridge Parkway which is a great scenic road at any season but is an area of great natural beauty in the fall. There are campgrounds all along the Blue Ridge Parkway and you can choose from a diverse number of locations. Especially in Virginia, there are some great historic sites within an easy drive and also a foliage steam train.

The United States is a large country with a wide variety of destinations for the fall camper to choose from. These popular fall camping destination in the U.S. fill up quickly so be sure to make your reservations early.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The charming and historic Hotel Roanoke

In the heyday of rail travel in the United States, the country was dotted with wonderful luxurious accommodations. One of these was the Hotel Roanoke. It was opened to guests on Christmas Day in 1882 by the Norfolk and Western Railroad. The hotel opened the same year the city of Roanoke was founded.

Today, very few of these historic railroad hotels survive and, truth be told, the Hotel Roanoke burned down in 1888 and was closed for a year while it was rebuilt. The hotel you see today dates from the 1930s when a 75-room addition was added, as well as a 60-car garage. The striking Tudor facade also dates from that period.

It is hard to miss the hotel, it sits on a hill above the downtown area of Roanoke. Guests get to take the skywalk over to the downtown where there are lots of dining and shopping opportunities.

The Hotel Roanoke was gifted to Virginia Tech but is managed by Hilton Group under the Doubletree label. For more than 5 years after the hotel was gifted to Virginia Tech, it remained closed. When it reopened, it had the addition of a 63,000 square foot high-tech conference center. The conference center has had a very positive impact on the economy and tourism in the area. This award-winning hotel has 331 rooms and suites, with a variety of packages to suit just about any visitor but especially those with an interest in railroad history.

The Hotel Roanoke, a designated National Historic Landmark, is known as “The Grand Old Lady”. It has played an enduring role in the city, and generations of residents have enjoyed family events and celebrations within its historic rooms and restaurant.

You will notice the warm feeling as soon as you pull up to valet park. The veranda in front has white rocking chairs that welcome you to relax and enjoy the view. It is not what you normally expect in a downtown hotel.

On entering the lobby, you are transported back to old Virginia. It is luxurious and warm at the same time, with murals adorning the walls and cozy areas to stop, sit and enjoy a drink or a chat. Portraits of important historical figures from Virginia history are strategically placed – be sure to look for the displays of historic artifacts placed strategically throughout the hallways.

For a special stay in Roanoke, the Hotel Roanoke has something to offer everyone from business persons to families looking for a central location. The hotel just oozes romance as well, making it the perfect destination for just the two of you to get away. Check the hotel’s website to see all the great packages that are available.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Cruise port reviews: Falmouth Jamaica

Cruising to Jamaica is nothing new, however, the cruise port of Falmouth on the north coast in Trelawny Parish is relatively new. It was opened to cruises in March 2011. It can handle even the biggest ships since the first one in was Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas. As far as cruise ports go, it is purpose made so there is a brand new sort of feel. 

The atmosphere is much like what you get at Kings Wharf in Bermuda. If you have an overwhelming desire to buy T-shirts, jewelry, or cookie cutter crafts, you will love this port. Otherwise, there is little to impress except that it is new and clean. If only the same could be said for the area of the city of Falmouth surrounding it.

While official reviews of the city talk about its Georgian architecture, all that this cruiser saw was colorful but run down homes that looked more like shanties, evidently, they must be Georgian shanties! Nothing would induce this cruiser to take a walk through what looked more like a slum than a charming Caribbean city.

Cruise Critic includes this description "One of the best things about making a port call there is the feeling that you've arrived in an authentic Jamaican town with a palpable history. The town, while still gritty and dusty in most places off the newly cobbled main drags, feels real. School kids in uniforms stroll three-wide, holding hands, and mothers pause, babies on hips, to chat with neighbors.”

Many tour options are offered in Falmouth. One of them is for High Tea at Good Hope Great House. For what seems like a very high price, a bus transports cruise passengers from the port to the plantation house which is more than a half hour drive through the city and up into the mountains. Keep in mind, depending on the time of year, it is going to be very warm out and the first part of the visit is waiting outside the plantation house. Think no air conditioning.

When the bus arrived, guests were sent into a building which has the gift shop and told to make sure they get back on the same bus to be returned to the ship. This was where everything started to go bad. We did not go back to the ship on the same bus; there was no attempt to keep track of where people were or how they got to the plantation. Just don't leave anything on the bus. You are carried to the house in a smaller bus.

The views from the grounds are spectacular and the guide who took us through the house was very knowledgeable. It really is beautiful and you will learn a lot about what life was like in colonial Jamaica. The High Tea was a joke. Everything about it was disappointing from the food to the setup and especially the tea. Don't waste your money on this excursion. Choose an excursion that offers a tour of the house but skip the food and just enjoy the wonderful scenery.

This is actually the last excursion I have ever booked on a cruise. I was that disappointed. Overpriced is one thing but the incompetence of the people taking us back and forth to the ship was unforgivable. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Meeting the mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs

The Mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs are a unique attraction in the Florida Gulf Coast city of Weeki Wachee. The name Weeki Wachee means “little spring” or ‘winding river” in the Seminole language. The temperature in the spring is a constant 74 degrees and over 170 million gallons of water rushes through at 5 miles per hour. Divers have gone down to 400 feet and have yet to reach the bottom.


The mermaids first began performing in 1947 after the springs were purchased by Newton Perry. He was an avid diver who saw the potential in the springs which had been used as a dumping ground for years. After cleaning out all the abandoned cars and junk, he set about inventing a breathing apparatus that would give the impression that the divers were able to thrive underwater without having an air tank strapped to their backs.

A small 18-seat theatre was created six feet below the water level of the springs and the mermaids of Weeki Wachee became one of Florida’s favorite attractions. In the days before superhighways, Americans were hitting the smaller roads and enjoying the carefree days of sunshine in Florida. The mermaids would run out to the road to entice visitors to visit and since they were chosen as much for their looks as their swimming ability, they were quite successful.

Weeki Wachee Springs became a Florida State Park in 2008 and still offers guests a taste of old Florida with all the modern conveniences. You will be given a map when you enter the park which will help you to plan your day.


The mermaids perform three times daily, 11 a.m. 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Currently, they offer two different shows “The Little Mermaid” and Fish Tails”. The performances take place in a submerged 500-seat theatre. The doors open a half hour before show time and when capacity is reached the doors close, so plan accordingly.

The mermaids actually eat and drink as part of their show, pretty amazing since they are underwater. They also manage several costume changes in a room beneath the stage which they can access through the spring itself out of visitor sight. Just seeing them maintain their position in the water is incredible when you consider that it is moving at 5 miles per hour.

After the show, there is a photo opportunity with one of the mermaids. It was not just the children who were posing with the very pretty young women.

Wildlife show

An animal encounter is offered three times daily, at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. It may include alligators, snakes and more. This writer was not able to fit it in with all the other things going on but it is on the list for next time.

Water attractions

Kayaks and canoes are offered for rental. The Weeki Wachee River is a popular spot to take part in these activities. Scuba diving and snorkeling is available with prior arrangement.
Buccaneer Bay is their seasonal water park. It offers exciting flume rides, a lazy river, and a sandy beach. Check the website for the opening day.

The river cruise is located behind the restaurant and beyond the stage for the animal show. The boat leaves every half hour or so and does have a limited capacity so plan accordingly. It is a leisurely journey with the chance to view some birds, an eagle’s nest, perhaps the resident alligator or his new companions and our favorites, the manatees.

The riverboat shares the river with kayakers and at times it was a little crowded as the water crafts had to pass each other. Be sure to bring a camera, there will be abundant photo opportunities.

An information center for the local area is located in the gift shop and offers lots of suggestions for things to do.We got some excellent ideas for other things we want to do in the part of Florida. 

A food concession is available and the food is quite good and well-priced. The park has a family of peacocks who can be found around the outdoor dining area and while not a listed attraction are very entertaining.

Allow several hours for your visit, more if the water park is open. Check their website for additional information.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Flashback Thursday: Hancock Shaker Village

From the moment you pull into the driveway at Hancock Shaker Village, the beauty of this location will be quite evident. The Shakers made their home here from the late 1780s until 1959 when the community had to sell the property due to dwindling numbers.

Luckily for all of us, much of what the Shakers created has been maintained and a visit here will make you familiar with their beliefs and their work ethic. Unlike the Amish, the Shakers have always embraced technology and they used the latest available to help them to create their fine crafts.

Plan to arrive as soon as the village opens. Live demonstrations and tours are held throughout the day and you won’t want to miss any of them. Begin your visit at the visitor center where there is a display as well as two seven-minute videos that you can watch. It will help to familiarize you with what you will be seeing during your visit here.

The Shakers were founded by Mother Ann Lee on the principals of the three Cs, celibacy, communal living and confession of sins. Their goal was to live perfect Christian lives following the example of the early Gospels and Christian community. They espoused equality of the sexes and also the races. Song and dance were an integral part of their worship which led to their being called “Shakers”. Their official name is the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing.

As you walk out of the visitor center and head into the village, the circular barn will grab your attention. It is quite impressive but resist the temptation to run right over there. Several buildings worth a visit are between the visitor center and the circular barn. Check the schedule to see what demonstrations are going on, where they are located and the times and plan your visit accordingly.

Hancock Shaker Village closes at the end of October and will re-open in April. While it is beautiful in the fall with the great foliage and the apple trees loaded with fruit, the spring is one of the most popular times to visit. The barn will be filled with baby animals and everyone from small children to senior citizens will be enchanted.

Twenty buildings are available to visit along with the gardens. The meeting hall is not original to Hancock, it is from Shirley where there was another Shaker Community. Today, the only active Shaker community is in Sabbathday Lake, Maine.

Among the demonstrations that we attended were a garden tour which pointed out the herbs and vegetables that are grown here. Local residents take part in Community Supported Agriculture, they can buy a share of the garden and in exchange, they receive fresh vegetables every week from whatever is in season.  The tour also talked about the poultry house and of course, the round barn.

Another demonstration was the water turbine. The water for the village is provided by a reservoir across the street and the water runs the engine that allowed woodworking lathe among other things.

The most fascinating demonstration that we attended was the Shaker songs and dances. It took place on the main level of the brick house. Guest are encouraged to sing and dance along with the volunteers. It was very enlightening and inspirational.

Buildings are located on both sides of Route 20. Allow a minimum of three hours for your visit and you can certainly spend quite a lot more than that. The Village Harvest Café serves delicious soup, sandwiches, and desserts. The potato salad was delicious and I would go back just to have that chicken salad sandwich again. Al is convinced the roast beef sandwich with mushroom gravy is the best he has ever had.

Don’t leave without visiting the gift shop. One of the many things that the Shakers invented was the flat broom and I have to admit I bought one to take home. It is so well made I am sure I will never need to buy another one. I also brought home some of their amazing jam, I have had it before and it is exceptional.

I can’t recommend a visit to Hancock Shaker Village enough. It is fascinating. I am sure that I will be coming back again to enjoy it during the spring and summer. Every member of the staff and volunteers whom we met was extremely knowledgeable and also enthusiastic, you can tell that they love being here and so did we.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Oli's Trolley Bar Harbor Maine

One of the best ways to get to know a new city is to take a trolley tour and  Bar Harbor, Maine is no exception. On a recent visit, we opted to take an orientation tour with Oli’s Trolley. You can book your tour in advance online or you can go to their physical location on West Street. Actually, there are two locations on West Street; you can purchase your ticket at either one. One is at 1 West St. and the other is 55 West St.

The Trolley will pick you up at 55 West St., arrive about 10 minutes before your tour is scheduled to begin. There is seating available while you wait. Oli’s offers four different tours: Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park; Bar Harbor Tour and Mt. Desert Town Tour. The tours are all narrated and having taken two of them, I can attest to the fact that the narration is excellent.

Cadillac Mountain
This is a one hour tour that is offered four times daily from June through October. Cadillac Mountain is located within Acadia National Park and offers unparalleled views of the park and the island.

Acadia National Park
This is one of the longest tours offered. It is 2.5 hours and includes a drive up Cadillac Mountain. It is offered four times daily from May through October. We really enjoyed this tour in spite of the fact that it was foggy and we got no views at all from Cadillac Mountain. There were plenty of other areas of the park to appreciate.

Downtown Bar Harbor Tour
The tour lasts for half an hour and is offer seven times daily May through October. It provides lots of historic information and it is great for seeing the spots that you want to go back to enjoy at great length.

Town of Mt. Desert Tour
This is also a 2.5-hour tour and it is offered twice a day from June to October. It tours to some of the lesser visited parts of Acadia National Park and the small villages of the island. These villages are where the wealthy moved when Bar Harbor became too inclusive.

To verify the times and the prices, check out Oli’s Trolley’s website.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Frontier Culture Museum Staunton, Va.

The Frontier Culture Museum is a one a kind museum that tells the story of the diverse cultures that came together on the frontier. It is a joining of the old world tradition to create an entirely new culture. Located in the city of Staunton, Virginia this museum is a great way to spend several hours learning about history from the knowledgeable interpreters who are located in each of the recreated areas.

Most of the buildings located in the museum are real, having been moved here from the old world. Many of them were saved from destruction and preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Tickets are purchased at the Visitor’s Center. There is a small museum there and an 8-minute film that will familiarize you with what you can expect to find in the museum. There is a lot of walking involved I seeing everything that this living museum has to offer. There is a shuttle that makes the rounds, be sure to pick-up a map at the Visitor Center so that you can locate everything, including the shuttle stops and the restrooms. If you prefer, for a charge you can rent your own golf cart.

The West African Farm is the first stop. Be sure to watch your head as you go through the low gate into the compound. This is the home of one family, a man, and his two wives. Each of the wives has her own home and the man has one as well. The interpreters will provide information about which house belongs to which family member. The majority of the slaves who were brought to Virginia were from Nigeria and members of the Igbo tribe. This compound could have been the home of any one of them.

England is the next stop with a visit to an English yeoman’s farm house from Worcestershire. It includes not only the house which is two stories but a small stable and some animals. The cow was particularly vocal. There were three girls in the home working in the kitchen who are happy to talk about their chores and those of the rest of a yeoman farmer. The majority of English immigrants to Virginia came from the English Countryside between London and Bristol. The cottage dates from the 1630’s.

Next stop is the Irish Forge from County Fermanagh. The interpreter is fanning his fire to keep it red hot while he makes a trivet. He then hammers and shapes the glowing piece into the shape he wants. The shop itself is over 260 years old and was in the possession of a family by the name of Elliott for generations.

Down the road, you will find the Irish farm. It is from County Tyrone in Ulster. Over 100,000 Scotch-Irish came to the new world from the settling of the colonies until the American Revolution. Among the families were the Jackson’s from which President Andrew Jackson came.

The last stop in this part of the museum is the German Farm. The house has a very productive garden and was originally from the southwestern area of Germany. It has a very interesting chimney type stove that warms the room it is in very nicely. Cooking is done here several times a week with items from the garden.

Now it is time to move to the American part of the museum. It is rather a long walk so you may want to wait for the golf cart shuttle if you haven’t rented one. There are farms covering the 18th and 19th century. It is interesting to note the evolution. The first house is quite small and rustic and as time went by, they become much larger and more elaborate. There is also a school house. 

By this time you are probably exhausted or maybe not. We were and we didn’t spend as much time in the American area as we did in the earlier part. We will need to come back again and start the tour in reverse. A two-day visit is recommended and if possible come back often; there are always different things going on and lots of new things to learn.