A Travellerspoint blog

Splitsville for the day

Kathy and Linda took the opportunity to travel to The Longaberger Company’s Basket Making Operations in Frazeysburg, Ohio. It was very interesting to watch skilled basket makers handcraft the beautiful baskets. They make about 14,000 baskets each day and are paid by the basket so you don’t see anyone standing around.

The world’s largest apple basket stands over 29 feet tall at Longaberger Homestead. The Apple Basket was hand woven of hardwood maple in 1999 and measures over 19 feet in base diameter.

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The Longaberger Company’s Home Office was built as a replica of founder Dave Longaberger’s favorite basket-The Medium Market Basket. Of course, the seven story office is 160 times larger and is home to 600 employees. Its two handles are attached with replica copper and wooden rivets and the 750 lb. gold leaf painted tags are 25’ x 7’ x 3’.

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Dennis and Ray stayed behind to do chores and get ready for our trip tomorrow to Guilford Lake State Park, another grueling drive of 134 miles. While we are at Guilford Lake we will visit Rich Bryer, another Florida Power retiree, who lives across the lake from the campground.

The weather has turned warm again (92 today) so the lake sounds inviting.

That’s it for Columbus. All of us Gators made it out alive!

Posted by popding 15:20 Comments (1)

Stop and Smell the Roses

Today we didn’t venture out until mid afternoon. We planned our outing based again on food and eating. We wanted to end up at Schmidt’s restaurant und Sausage Haus for dinner.

First stop was the Columbus Park of Roses. This is a 13-acre garden setting within one of Columbus’ largest city parks featuring over 11,000 rose bushes of 350 varieties both miniature and heritage roses. The Columbus Park of Roses is currently one of the largest municipal rose gardens in the US. Peak blooming times are mid June and mid September. So we hit it just right. It was a virtual sea of different colored roses in full bloom.
Kathy and I have visited the rose gardens in Tyler, TX and Portland, OR but this was a spectacular setting. A must see if you are ever in Columbus.

We took time to stop and smell the roses. That is what this trip is all about!

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Ray promised Linda a rose garden.

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While Pop took a snooze-a-roo.

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Next we ventured to the south side of Columbus to the German Village. Germans founded this area in the 19th century. It is a historic area where many of the old houses have been restored. Located within this district is Schmidt’s Restaurant and Sausage Haus. Located in an Historic Brick livery Stable, Schmidt’s has been serving authentic German food by five generations of Schmidt family members since 1886. The food was great especially the cream puffs for dessert.

Maybe tomorrow we will think about starting that diet!

Posted by popding 07:30 Comments (0)

Binge Day!

Columbus, OH Tuesday June 5, 2007

What an unusual day today was. We had planned on going to the rose garden, one of the largest municipal rose gardens in the US, but heard it might rain. So we changed plans and went on a binge tour.

The binge included a trip to a candy factory, an ice cream factory then on to dinner at an Amish restaurant.

Not many photos today, we were too busy eating.

We left about noon and first went to the candy factory. A local mom and pop operation that is famous in the Columbus area. Actually, it is one of the largest family-owned candy making facilities in the US. It has been past down from generation to generation having been established in 1952. Four generations of Zanetos candy makers have contributed to the company's success. Today, Anthony-Thomas makes millions of pounds of candy every year. Each piece is made fresh daily, always in the best of taste. Besides making candy for their 14 local retail outlets, they also have a fund-raising division and contract-manufacturing division. They are one of the largest family-owned and operated candy companies in the mid-west and now employ over 200 people and produce an average of 50,000 pounds of chocolate on two shifts daily.
They make many different fine chocolate candies with various cream centers, plain bars both milk and dark chocolate and the famous Buckeye candies ever so popular here in Columbus. Almost everything is done by hand with very little mechanization. At the end of the tour they give you a Buckeye to enjoy. I remarked that we eat Buckeyes for lunch. Our tour guide remarked that you Gators would. The name of the candy factory and signature brand name is Anthony-Thomas. They sell their candies in local stores.

We sampled some other candies then purchased additional candies in case we got hungry later.

Next stop was the locally family owned ice cream factory, Graeter’s, touted as Columbus’ best ice cream! We agree with this statement. This too is a business that has been handed down from generation to generation having been established in 1870. Since its founding in 1870 by Louis C. Graeter, Graeter's French Pot Ice Cream handmade chocolate confections and fresh baked goods have become traditions in Columbus. Again, most things are done by hand, very little mechanization. The ice cream is made in 2 gallon batches in machines very similar to what you might use at home to make hand cranked ice cream. This process creates a very dense ice cream without entrapping air. They claim other large ice cream factories trap as much as 50% air in the final product.

We, of course, enjoyed some of their product.

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Note our attire, we all wore long pants and long sleeves or sweaters. Today was rather cool 74 degrees and breezy. Even without the U of F shirts the locals new we were not from here. The temperature is to drop to the mid 40’s tonight.

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We took a breather and walked off some of our nourishment in a mall, Tuttle Crossings.

Well at least some of us walked while others took a nap.

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We had to kill some time before dinner. Dinner was Northwest of Columbus out in the farm country in a place named Plain City. Here we arrived at an Amish restaurant, Der Dutchman. The food was typical Amish, lots of it and delicious.

One of these days we need to plan a fast and exercise day.

Posted by popding 07:23 Comments (0)

Columbus, OH and Ohio State University

Drove up from Lexington yesterday, Sunday June 3,2007. It was a grueling 202-mile drive. The longest drive in 25 days. Stopped 3 times along the way to fuel up, rest stop and lunch.

The drivers around Cincinnati were courteous, but Columbus is a different story. Columbus is also a larger city, the 15th largest in the US.

Got set up in another very nice state park, Alum Creek State Park immediately north of Columbus.

We have sites right on the lake. So far we have seen rabbits, geese and loads of Robins and Cardinals.

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Last night was our first rain in 26 days. It rained last night beginning about 8 and lasted several hours. It washed the dust off the RV and cleansed the air of pollen. This also brought a cold front with the high today expected to reach 74 and cool off to 50 tonight. However, by Thursday it is predicted to be 89. Oh well, we will enjoy while it lasts.

Awoke today at 6:51 with a phone call from Jamie. He wanted to be the first to tell us who has been selected as the new basketball coach at Florida. Billy Donovan has come to his senses and will stay at F-L-O-R-I-D-A. No better place to here the news then here in Columbus. We are definitely going to the Ohio State University today with a little restored pride.

Seems the Gator Nation has some competition.

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Learned a lot about Ohio State University. It was founded in 1870 and has a current enrollment of 38,500 under grads and 10,500 grad students. The campus covers 1,700 acres and has more than 400 buildings.

The stadium was built in 1922 and was the first horseshoe-shaped double-deck stadium in the country and seats about 104,000. It is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places.

Couldn’t resist a photo op outside of the Big Horseshoe.

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We respected their campus and enjoyed seeing the brick buildings and driving past the famous Oval, which symbolizes Ohio State to so many people. They are our friends as I recently heard since they helped us win two National Championships in the same year!!!

So concludes our day at Ohio State. Afternoon activities are planned for relaxing by the lake.

Posted by popding 13:17 Comments (0)

Last update from Lexington, Saturday June 2, 2007

Friday was, as promised, a shopping trip for the ladies and a visit to the Toyota factory by Ray and Dennis. They would not allow photos in the plant.

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The Toyota tour was fast paced, fact filled, and very interesting. This is the first and largest Toyota plant in the US. Only 1% of the workers are Japanese. The plant has under roof the equivalent of 156 football fields! They produce Camry’s, Solara’s, and Camry Hybrid’s, all at the same time, in random sequence. They make the cars based upon demand orders. They produce 2,000 cars a day using just in time supply. For example, 80 minutes before bumpers are needed the order is placed for bumpers for the various car models and various colors to be delivered in the correct sequence for installation on the line There is very little inventory including the cars themselves. As soon as a car is driven off the line it is driven to the loading area to be put on truck transports or rail cars.
They have their own stamping presses for the steel, their own injection machines for the plastic bumpers etc. and many, many innovative production processes. It is well worth the tour if you are ever in the area.

We hurried back to get the ladies who, we thought, had been stranded for 2 to 2 ½ hours shopping. Well, we were wrong again, they had not finished!

Checked out the city of Georgetown. We were told it would not take long to see the town and they were correct. Kathy’s sister, Linda, attended Georgetown College so we made it a must see on our tour.

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Friday evening we had dinner with our Lexington friends, Bill and Paige Rea. They are such gracious and great hosts.

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They are also big UK fans and in respect for them and our recent news on Billy Donovan Ray and I had placed black tape over our Gator logos. The mourning is now over and the tape has been removed, life goes on. Watch out Columbus, here we come!!!

Thoroughly enjoyed our evening and dinner.

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Paige had just completed in the past year a complete renovation of her kitchen and Linda and Kathy, I am afraid, now have some new ideas about kitchens.

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As can be seen in the above photo no self-respecting home in Lex would be without a TV tuned to live horseracing, even one in the kitchen.

Today is a day of regrouping and rest. We leave tomorrow for Columbus and a visit to the Big Horseshoe, Ohio State football field. The trip tomorrow will be one of our longer days traveling, 202 miles! Not sure when we will have internet access again, so the updates may be in hibernation for awhile. From Columbus we travel to Rich Bryer’s place on Guilford Lake then Kathy and I split from Ray and Linda Blush. Kathy and I will then go on to Niagara Falls, Quakertown, PA and Washington, DC.

Posted by popding 10:30 Comments (1)

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