Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Spring break destinations in the northeast

Spring is a time when students get a break from their work and with their families will be heading to some of the most popular destinations in the country. Many people will be going south to the warmer climate but there are others who prefer to stay in the northeast and enjoy what the area 
has to offer.

Killington, Vermont
For families and college students who are looking for a great ski experience, Killington Vermont offers the opportunity to enjoy spring skiing to its fullest.

When it comes to staying in the Killington Vermont area there are a lot of vacation rentals, chalets, condos and apartment and homes. There are also local motels, hotels, and some very special inns. This website will help you to research and choose the place that fits you best.

In the evening there are many places that offer good food, entertainment, and opportunities to enjoy the company of other spring breakers. For music and dancing head to Tabu Nightclub or The Pickle Barrel.

Lake George Great Escape
If you and your family are dreaming of spending spring break enjoying the water but you just can’t afford to fly the family down to a warm destination, then head to Lake George and the Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Water Park. The whole family will find the park a great way to spend the day. There is the family raft ride as well as tube slides and Surfing lessons just to name a few of the activities that you will find at White Water Bay.

Once you have gotten wrinkled and decide to dry off you can head to Johnny Rockets for lunch or dinner or send the kids and your husband off to the arcade while you spend an hour or two at the spa. If you want to enjoy the early spring skiing in the area, there are several mountains within easy driving distance.

North Conway, New Hampshire
North Conway is a popular destination year-round for its tax-free shopping. Great outlet malls offer hours of retail therapy once you have finished enjoying the downhill and cross country skiing that the area has to offer to spring breakers of all ages.

If you want to take the family to the city for spring break, New York, Boston, Hartford and Providence all offer the opportunity to be culturally enriched while enjoying early spring sports and if you are really lucky an opportunity to enjoy some last of the year outdoor ice skating.


The northeast may be a little chillier than the southeast but it is a hot place to visit for spring break.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Walking on Benefit Street in Providence

Benefit Street in Providence Rhode Island is an amazing street to just walk down. The architecture on the street takes you from a historic 17th century home to RISD, where current artists study and create beautiful works. 

Walk down the sidewalks of brick and appreciate the period streets lights. In many ways, as you look away from the street, you can feel the history all around you. It unbelievable that this was almost lost to redevelopment in the 1950's. Thank goodness there was not enough money to see the plans carried out. 

If you are walking from the west side of the city, down Washington Street and up the hill, you will find yourself taking a stroll back in time. The first building that you see in the area isn't located on Benefit Street, it is one block off but it is so historically significant that it has to be mentioned.

The First Baptist Church

The stunning white steeple is impossible to miss as you walk or drive into the area. This church is beautiful and very historic. It is a tribute to Roger Williams and his belief in freedom of religion. A congregation was founded here in 1638 by Roger himself. The current meeting house dates from the Colonial period, having been constructed right before the American Revolution. As a matter of fact, many Boston carpenters had migrated to Providence in search of work since the harbor at Boston was closed down by the British and they greatly helped expedite its construction.

The style is a combination of English Georgian and good old New England Meeting House. The steeple is a Georgian addition. If you have the chance, this is a wonderful building to tour. It has very limited opening times however and it may good old fashioned luck to find it open.

RISD

As you turn right onto Benefit Street from North Main, the buildings on your right belong to RISD, the Rhode Island School of Design. The buildings that comprise the museum have been added to over the years beginning in the late 19th century and part of the building was designed to replicate the home of Charles Pendleton. It is built in the Federal Style which is very sympathetic with other building along the right side of Benefit Street.

Providence Athenaeum

This subscription lending library is right across the street from RISD and the first thing you notice is the wonderful water fountain in front. The Athenaeum itself is built in the Greek Revival Style which was the fashion when it was constructed in the 1840's. You can visit the Athenaeum and tour through its wonderful stacks. The staff is more than happy to give you any information about that building that you might desire.

Benefit Street itself has brick sidewalks and beautiful reproduction lampposts that contribute to the feeling that you are a time traveler. Many of the colonial era homes are sitting almost on top of the sidewalk so you get a very good look at them. They are all painted bright colors in keeping with their historic past, it does indeed contribute to the atmosphere on the street.

John Brown House

The John Brown House is one of the "Mansions on Benefit Street" and is one of the most magnificent anywhere. Done in the late Georgian Colonial style, it was built slightly after the American Revolution and was been a family home for several generations. It is now the home of the Rhode Island Historical Society and you may take a guided tour of the house. This is not the John Brown of Harper's Ferry fame, this is the John Brown of the China trader who Brown University is named after.

Governor Stephen Hopkins House

This historic colonial home was built in 1708 and purchased by the governor in 1742 and is a personal favorite. The tour of the home and small garden is self-guided but a docent is available to answer questions. The style is very typical of that period and you need to be able to climb some steep stone steps to visit here. The house is only open during the warm weather.


The "Mile of History" has other historic mansions, churches, and houses that may be seen on a historic walking tour either guided or on your own. This is the perfect place to spend an hour or two when you are visiting Providence and there is even a bed and breakfast if you find you want to stay in the neighborhood.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Residence Inn Charlottesville Va.

Charlottesville, Va. has lots of amazing places to stay. If however you want to spacious and well-priced hotel, the Residence Inn by Marriott is a pretty darn good choice. It is conveniently located just a few minutes downtown and has great access to the major roads that run through and around town. It did pale a bit after having spent a night at the Boar's Head Inn but the fact that it offered a two bedroom unit was very attractive for three people traveling together. 
This style is one that Residence Inn offers in their two bedroom units. Both bedrooms have a queen size bed but one has a desk. I prefer having the option of working in the room so in this instance we took the room to the left. In this room the closet is in the room and then there is an attached bathroom. The second bedroom has a hall which holds the closet. Both of the rooms are very similar in size and amenities.
The living room had a gas fireplace and since it was January we made very good use of it. It certainly makes the entire area toasty warm. There was enough seating with a sofa and a chair to allow room to watch TV together if we wanted. TVs are offered in the bedrooms as well so a total of three in the unit. A full kitchen is a big attraction as well and this one had been fully updated and included granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. The table has four chairs so dining in is an option. The kitchen also has a dishwasher, toaster, and coffeemaker. There is also a microwave and one package of popcorn is always included with your room.
Breakfast is included in the rate and is pretty extensive. It included scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, sausage, breakfast potatoes, juice, coffee and tea, cold cereal, fresh fruit, granola, oatmeal, yogurt and the ability to make fresh waffles if you want. There are plenty of bread, bagels, muffins and cakes to choose from. The room is quite spacious as well so you won't have to worry about finding a spot to eat.
Residence Inns are pet-friendly which is good to know and, in addition to the two bedroom units, offer one bedroom and studio rooms as well. The hotel has a seasonal outdoor pool which obviously was not available since it was January when we visited and a fitness center. The hotel offers a social hour on some evening, be sure to check with the desk staff when you arrive. High-speed Wi-Fi is available for free and if you don't have your laptop, there is a business center with a computer and printer available.
The location is not conducive to walking out to dinner but there are certainly many restaurants that are within a very short drive. We had dinner at Aberdeen Barn which was less than a mile away. Monticello and the amazing historic Mitchie Tavern are closer than four miles from this hotel. 
The staff here was very friendly, the hotel is in excellent condition and most of all the beds are comfortable. The location is perfect for getting around without actually being downtown. The price was very reasonable and this is a hotel I would not hesitate to use again and would recommend to friends.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A visit to the Ile d'Orleans

Jacques Cartier named it the Island of Bacchus for the profusion of grape vines he found when he first visited. Today the Ile d’Orleans is still a very rural agricultural area. No major development has been allowed to mar its bucolic beauty.

The island, which sits just east of Quebec City in the St. Lawrence River, is 21 miles long and a little over a mile wide at it widest point. The island is divided into six parishes, St. Pierre, Ste. Famille, St. Francois, St. Jean, St. Laurent and Ste. Petronille. Only one bridge connects the island to the mainland and that is on the north side. As you cross the bridge, you get a spectacular view of Montmorency Falls.

The island was settled very early and many French Canadian ancestors had their beginnings here. The island offered some safety from the constant attacks by the Iroquois, and also the land was fertile and much easier to clear than the virgin forests of the inland. 

Even today, 27 percent of the potatoes grown in the area of Quebec are grown on the Ile d'Orleans and 50 percent of the strawberries. Most of my ancestors moved on to bigger holdings within 20 years or so, but many of the original families are still in the area. A genealogy center on the island documents the 300 families who have their roots here.

The Royal Road circles the Island for 40 miles. It takes you through all the parishes. 

From Ste. Famille you have a wonderful view across the St. Lawrence to Ste. Anne de Beaupre. I love to stop and walk through the old cemeteries and also to visit the churches if they are open. There is a narrated tour that you can pick up at the visitor center in Ste. Petronille. The attraction of the island is its lack of major attractions. You come here to enjoy the bucolic beauty, the wonderful roadside stands, the historic houses and churches and the lovely statues dedicated to the favorite saint of each parish.

Ste. Petronille has a vineyard and a tasting room and as of 2013 a restaurant where you can enjoy the wine with your meal. If you prefer chocolate, the Chocolaterie de l'Ile d'Orleans is also in Ste. Petronille and their shop and restaurant are another of our favorite stops for ice cream and chocolate.

There is some very fine dining on the island, though I have never gone to any of the fancy restaurants. I usually stop at a small restaurant (which also has an outside Casse Croute) called Buffet Orleans. When you come over the bridge you just drive straight up the hill and it's on the left. They serve traditional Quebecois food, (meat pie and shepherd pie, which for some reason is called pate Chinoise in Quebec) and also usually about five or six freshly baked pies. I come for the raspberry, it’s excellent.

There is a campground in St Francois Parish and several bed and breakfasts scattered around the island. The Old Rectory (le Vieux Presbytere) is a charming choice in St. Pierre, with a gourmet restaurant and even a family bedroom. We stayed here with our grandson and he was made very welcome.


You can spend the better part of a very relaxed day enjoying the Ile d’Orleans. If you enjoy the charm of yesteryear, this is the perfect place to discover it

Monday, January 23, 2017

Good reasons to visit Canada

There are 13 very good reasons to visit Canada, 10 provinces and 3 territories. For many Americans, this will be as far away from home as they will ever go. From the United States, you only need a passport card to visit Canada. It is larger than the United States and offers many unique and colorful experiences. It is a great place to get away from it all.

Canada affords the opportunity to experience the culture of France in the Province of Quebec, a little piece of Scotland in Nova Scotia, Britain at its best in British Columbia and a whole melting pot in between. Every Province of Canada has its own unique character and beauty. With wide open spaces and a low population you can be guaranteed that crowding won't be a problem. Their motto says it all A MARI USQUE AD MARE which translate to "from Sea to sea" and "D'un océan à l'autre."

Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is known as the Garden of the Gulf and justifiably so. Think Cape Cod without thousands of tourists. Visit here to vacation and immerse yourself in the land of Anne of Green Gables. From its red cliffs to its pristine beaches it offers a relaxing and beautiful place to visit. Visiting has been made easy by the addition of the Confederation Bridge connecting the Island with New Brunswick.

New Brunswick
Partly French partly English this province is best known for the Bay of Fundy with the world’s highest tides. Fundy National Park is one of the major attractions in this area with camping and other outdoor opportunities available. St John is home to the Reversing Falls where the St. John River meets the Bay of Fundy. Moncton offers the very unusual Magnetic Hill where you park your car at the bottom and enjoy backing up the hill with no acceleration. Primeval forests and rocky coasts adorn this majestic Province.

Nova Scotia
Come here to enjoy some of the best scenery in maritime Canada. The Cabot trail on Cape Breton Island is an amazing route to drive and if you have ever been to Scotland you will notice the similarity to the Highlands. This is the former French territory of Acadia, whose history inspired Longfellow's epic poem Evangline. Expect to find charming fishing villages and enjoy the waters of the Bay of Fundy.

Newfoundland and Labrador
Where else can you go to visit an iceberg on the east coast? It's rugged it's wild, it’s a great place to visit. If you enjoy untouched vistas, sea kayaking and hiking rugged trails then this may be the place for you. With over 22 species of whales and 350 species of birds this is a birdwatchers paradise. The sun rises first in North America on Labrador and Newfoundland. This is a large province which consists of the island of Newfoundland and the mainland which is Labrador.

Quebec
Whether it is whale watching on the Saguenay River or people watching at a Quebec City café, the Province of Quebec has it all. From the urban charms of Montreal to the majesty of the St Lawrence River, Quebec is guaranteed to please. . This most French of all the provinces gives a glimpse at the culture and charm that was the "Ancien Regime". In addition there are hundreds of miles of wilderness to afford the outdoor loving man or woman an opportunity to commune with nature.

Ontario
Home to the amazing Niagara Falls and the cities of Toronto and the capital of Canada Ottawa. With over 80 vineyards to visit you could spend a lifetime just sipping the reds, whites and blushes produced in this beautiful province.

Manitoba
This is a fantastic wintertime destination with the Northern lights adorning the Arctic Circle and polar bear expeditions an exciting option. Churchill is one of the northern attractions and Winnipeg offers culture and nightlife and sports.

Saskatchewan
With over 1000 lakes Saskatchewan offers the nature lover and the fisher men almost unlimited possibilities. Whether you want to hire a local guide or strike out on your own there are over 60 species of fish to tempt you. Saskatchewan is also Canada hunting hotspot with thousands of wild geese, white tailed deer, moose and bear just waiting.

Home to Banff, Jasper and the gorgeous Rocky Mountains. The Calgary Stampede is known worldwide for its western excitement. Shoppers beware Edmonton is home to the Edmonton Mall the largest retail shopping mall in North America.

British Columbia
When it comes to majestic this province has it hands down. Skiing at Whistler is world class and it isn't just a winter destination. With the warmest weather in Canada Beautiful Victoria is like a little taste of England. Vancouver is gorgeous with every outdoor activity you can think of set in a pristine urban environment. Stanley Park is a great place to enjoy the outdoors. 

Northwest Territories
If you want to view the Aurora Borealis, there is no better place than the Northwest Territories. This is also home to many of the First Nation Peoples. The days are short, the winters are long and the welcome is warm. What more could you ask for?

With the motto “Larger than Life" you get a small idea of the vastness of this territory. Spectacular wilderness, pristine lakes, the lush tundra of Tombstone Territorial Park, the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun. Its big, it's bold, it's beauty it's the Yukon.

Nunavut
This territory is almost entirely undiscovered and yet it makes up 20 percent of Canada. Extending as far north as the Arctic Circle there are adventures to be had here. Go dog sledding in a real setting, stay with a real Inuit family or take a fishing excursion. This is a unique and once in a lifetime place to visit. If you want solitude and a place untouched this newest of territories has much to offer.


With all these reasons to go to Canada, what are you waiting for? The welcome will be warm and the memories will last a lifetime. http://us-keepexploring.canada.travel/

Friday, January 20, 2017

A comfortable stay at Woodleigh Coach House in Devon

Woodleigh Coach House is a bed and breakfast inn located not far from Exeter in Cheriton Bishop, Devon. Cheriton Bishop is a very convenient location for visiting Dartmoor as well as Exeter. Woodleigh could not be more convenient to the motorway it is within a few hundred feet of the exit of the A30. You can come down the M5 skirt around Exeter and come straight out here. It is also well located to the village of Cheriton Bishop which has several very good places to eat. We loved the Thatched Cottage Pub.

We stayed here for three days in January. We had two rooms and for the majority of our stay were the only guests. The building is quite lovely; it is a very pretty shape and made from gray brick. It is not very old only about 150 years and was a carriage house as the name implies. It has a café that serves breakfast, lunch, and tea.

We had a king bedded room. It is one of the largest bed and breakfast rooms we have ever had. A table in the room was convenient for us to play games in the evening. The bathroom was also very roomy. Our friend had a smaller room, much smaller. His was cozy small but since he was alone it was large enough for him to be comfortable.

I don't know what I was expecting but what I found was a little different than anything I had pictured. While this is called a bed and breakfast it is run more like a small hotel. The cozy feeling of a bed and breakfast is totally missing. We had everything however that we needed to be comfortable and I was delighted to have Internet access and good channels on the TV. The tea tray in our room had some really good cookies on it and we enjoyed fixing coffee in the evening.

The room is not automatically made up for you. You need to put out a sign if you want service. It seemed to us that the restaurant is the most important business here. No staff was around in the area where we stayed, we were on our own to figure things out. This is not necessarily a bad thing but it makes the bed and breakfast experience different.

Breakfast is served in the café at your convenience. You have your choice from the menu in the café which, if you have ever been served something that you didn't like a bed and breakfast,  is a good thing. We had just come from the epitome of luxurious bed and breakfasts in Wells and the first morning when our orange juice was served to us in individual bottles instead of a crystal pitcher, well, let's just say we found it very amusing.

No, this was not luxury but the food was hearty and we loved our hostess and the whole family. We ate well and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, thus proving that there are many types of bed and breakfast experiences and they can all be very enjoyable as long as you are open to the opportunity for a great time.

Plenty of free parking is offered around the building. They serve some very tasty cakes in the afternoon for tea so if you get back early enough, be sure to stop in of a cuppa and cake. If you are looking for a friendly well-located place to rest your head, I highly recommend the Woodleigh Coach House Cheriton Bishop Devon.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Review: Fairfield Inn Mooresville, NC

This Fairfield Inn is located in a very busy commercial area, it was however perfectly quiet in our room. We found it easily and it was well located for finding a good place to eat. We chose the Golden Corral which was only a quarter of a mile away.

The hotel is very nice and when I asked for an upgrade I was given a large king room. This had a sofa and was a large room but it only had 1 TV. The room was very nice and I have never seen this particular style.

The bed was comfortable and had the white bedding which I love. Unfortunately, there was not a lot of choices on the TV and they didn’t match what was in the guide in the room which made it very confusing.

The coffee maker was right on the desk and there are plenty of plugs for all the charging that we all need to do.

Unfortunately, this hotel only has an outdoor pool which was very disappointing. The gym however was the largest I have seen on this trip.

Breakfast was very nice, it had oatmeal, 4 flavors of yogurt, 3 cereals, cheese omelets, scrambled eggs, pork sausage, bagels, bread, English muffins, cake and make your own waffles. They had some cut up fruit as well as apples, oranges and two bananas that were in my opinion beyond their best. Coffee, tea and juice are also offered. We did not leave hungry!! Lol

All the staff that we met were very friendly and helpful. For me, it might just be the lack of indoor pool that will make this one that I won’t return to.


Monday, January 16, 2017

The Sayre Mansion Inn Bethlehem, Pa.

The Sayre Mansion is every bit as lovely in person as depicted on their website. As a matter of fact, the reality is even better than the pictures. The house has a commanding presence overlooking the city of Bethlehem and there is a Gothic magnificence that is unmistakable. In spite of that there is real warmth here and of course that is due at least in part to the warm welcome provided by the owner and all the staff. The house is located on over two acres of grounds and has been restored beautifully.

Breakfast is served from 7-9 a.m. during the week and from 8-10 a.m. on weekends and holidays. You can get room service if you prefer to dine in solitary splendor.

There are 19 rooms in the house and 3 suites in the carriage house. As a matter of fact, the last time he was in town to check on his restaurants at the Sands Resort, top chef judge Emeril Lagasse stayed here in the Carriage House. It was the second time he had chosen Sayre Mansion as the place he wanted to stay in Bethlehem. The staff admits to being a bit star struck but he is far from the only famous person to have stayed here.

In the mansion, the rooms are spread over three floors and vary in size and decor though when I was trying to choose what room I wanted to stay in it was very hard choice. All the rooms are gorgeous and at the end of the day, the fact that her room was on the first floor was the deciding factor.

Rooms number 11, 12 and 14 are in the same corridor. Room 12 is the library suite and is stunning. There are two separate rooms and one is a domed library with a chandelier. Number 12 was very pretty and spacious with an artificial electric fireplace, large armoire, leather love seat and a desk. There is also a small fridge which comes in very handy. Lights were scattered throughout the room including a pole lamp near the love seat.

The bed is a king size and so plush as to be almost too soft but when it came to sleep it was perfect. The bed literally cradles you and there are plenty of excellent quality pillows. Three large windows allow plenty of natural light to enter.

The bathroom is quite small with a shower only but has all the amenities that you might need.

There is a spring water cooler in the hallway if you need water. In the dining room there is an electric kettle and Tazo Teas. During the weekend, Starbucks Coffee was also offered in the afternoon as well as snacks including home-baked goodies. This was missing during the week and much missed since the rooms don’t have coffee makers.

The house was originally built for Robert Heysham Sayre between 1857 and 1858 and was beautifully restored in 1992 to create this lovely bed and breakfast. The current owner has been here 9 years and has done a number of updates that make the house even more comfortable. You will likely meet her and her Bichon Frise, Lola when you check in or at some other time during your stay.

A lot of thought went into the choosing of the Sayre Mansion for our stay in Bethlehem and it far exceeded what was expected. It is a place that I would certainly recommend to anyone who plans to visit the area and that I would love to revisit myself. The hardest part about a visit here is deciding which of the lovely rooms to choose. They are all gorgeous; you can’t make a bad decision. The bed and breakfast is a member of Select Registry.

For breakfast, you have choices. You start by getting your coffee or tea, juice, fruit, muffin, cake, or turnover and then a selection of cooked options is offered. The first morning it was apple blueberry waffles, cheese mushroom and spinach omelet, eggs your way and hot multi-grain cereal as well as bacon and sausage. The breakfasts offered change day to day so don’t worry about getting bored with the choices.


If you are planning to be in Bethlehem, Penn., The Sayre Mansion Inn is an excellent choice. The location is convenient, the beds are amazing and the food will not let you down. Nor for that matter will the very friendly innkeeper and staff.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Antique shopping in Chipping Norton

Chipping Norton is located in the Cotswolds and has two really large multi-dealer antique shops. In our quest for the ultimate buying experience, we visit them both every time we are in the area. Station Mills is one of our all-time favorites. This is a large shop with over 6,000 square feet of display area. There are several rooms on two floors. Considering that Chipping Norton is just over the Oxfordshire Border in the Cotswolds, it has very reasonable prices. You can find everything in the shop from ancient coins and medieval rings, to Chinese import china and lovely majolica.

What I particularly like here is the way everything is displayed. There are some glass cases but everything else is out where you can look and touch it. Be as wary as you would be at home and try to handle any item you plan to buy. It is always buyer beware. There are plenty of vintage clothing and lots of 50s kitsch. I picked up a nice pair of Wedgewood candlesticks for about $30 and a Mason porcelain egg cup with a small under tray. I couldn't resist a book about the English aristocracy for £5.

Station Mills has become somewhat more gentrified in the last few years after a fire. There are still a lot of interesting dealers, but some of our old favorites that we would visit almost every year are no longer here. As with any shop, the stock is constantly changing so you never know what you will find but they are certainly always worth a look in. Allow at least an hour to look everything over.

The second antique market is The Quiet Woman Antique Center on the Oxford Road. As we walked in my husband spotted a watercolor of Warwick Castle that he thought was very attractive. Little did he know that our friend was hoping to find just such a watercolor. It was, however, priced out of his range. He examined it for quite a while and as it happened the dealer was in the shop. He came over to talk to me and ask me if I was the one who was interested and I said no and pointed out our friend. To make a long story short, he cut the price from £425 to £295 and our friend now owns a beautiful watercolor to add to his collection. Always ask what the best price they can do is, you might be surprised at how much you can save.

Both of these shops have a tea room and after a morning or afternoon of shopping it is wonderful to relax with a pot of tea and a sandwich followed by some wonderful homemade cake. The prices are reasonable, both shops have ample free parking and knowledgeable staff to help you find just the perfect collectible or antique. Both shops have long hours and are open seven days a week. They take credit cards as well but for the best negotiation, cash is preferred.


The shops are within an easy drive of Blenheim, The Rollright Stones and much more. The Old School House bed and breakfast in Little Compton is a great place to stay while you go about antiquing in the area. There are many other interesting shops in the area, these two are just personal favorites

Thursday, January 12, 2017

John Deere Pavilion Moline, Ill.

One of the premier destinations in Moline, Ill. is the John Deere Pavilion. John Deere has been a major employer for more than 100 years. While the number of employees has declined over the years, the influence on the economy of the city has not. The iconic green and yellow equipment has been part of many families across the country for generations.

John Deere was a real person not just an invention of some advertising agency. He was born in Vermont and move out to the mid-west looking for new opportunities for his blacksmithing business. The soil in Illinois is rich but it also has unique characteristics that made it difficult to till. John developed a plow that addressed the main issue, soil sticking to the plow. He never patented his invention and shared it with other blacksmiths. He came to Moline in 1848 and his company Deere & Co. was born. The headquarters of John Deere is still located in Moline.

A visit to the pavilion is free. There is parking in the rear of the building which is also free. The city bus stops there if you want to skip using your car. The pavilion is open 7 days a week and is only closed on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Easter.

There is no right way to visit the Pavilion. You could start with the history walls but if you come with children, chances are they are going to want to go to the Discovery Zone or to climb onto some of the equipment. As a matter of fact, teens and adults will want to climb on the equipment as well and pretend to operate these behemoths. If you are looking for more of a challenge, the machine simulators are the place to head. This may just be easier for kids who are used to video games but adults will want to try to use the big dozer to move soil. It is a lot harder to do than it appears at first glance and you will have to try to pull yourself away so that you can continue to tour.

While part of the John Deere Pavilion is about the past, there is also a lot of information about the future. John Deere is committed to helping to make the world a better place through innovation. You can watch the population of the world as it grows second by second on their display. There are videos that you can watch to help you to understand the pieces of equipment and a favorite with visitors is the “Linked to the Land” video.

The newest equipment is computer operated. The pieces are synced to each other and can connect to move the grain from one to the other. It allows large farms to be able to get the work done. For farmers who can’t afford this large equipment, there are teams that travel around and bring the equipment to them without the cost of ownership.

Next door to the pavilion there is a gift store where the lover of all things John Deere can find the perfect items to remind them of their visit. There are tractors of all sizes from just a few inches to ones that can be ridden and of course tons of tee shirts.