Planes, Trains and Automobiles!

Everyone recognizes Henry Ford as an industrialist and pioneer in mass production who changed the way Americans travel.

In case you don’t know, his philosophies about production efficiencies extended to many areas of his business and are still used today. He also understood that a happy employee is a more productive employee and one less likely to leave. So Ford introduced the unheard of $5 a day wage, providing his employees a comfortable living and making it possible for them to afford to buy the cars they were building. It was a smart move because reducing turnover, cuts costs and improves efficiency.

What many people don’t know is this that Ford also was fascinated by science, technology and Americana. So in the twenties, he began collecting things for what would eventually become the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.

He plucked up important structures and items with historic value from around the country and began bringing them to Dearborn, Michigan.

This place has grown and is modernized for the 21st century visitor but remains true to Henry Ford’s vision.

I had been before but was feeling a real draw to go back for some reason. I spent most of a full day wandering around the museum, taking pictures, reading signs and admiring the collection so vast that it’s hard to see everything with one pass.

Anyone who knows me well won’t be surprised that I spent the vast majority of my day lingering over the cars and planes. If it has an open cockpit or tail fins, I’m probably going to be a fan.

Here are a few pictures for your viewing enjoyment.

Any vehicle with interesting lines and a cool color is A-ok in my book!

Did you know that Ford made an airplane? They also have one at the Model T Museum in Richmond, Indiana.

It’s a train snow plow! How cool is this?

This little car was made by Crosley, the same people who gave us the Crosley Radio. We’ll talk a little more about them another day. And yes, it’s as tiny as it looks!

Combining my excitement for aviation and interest in reporting!

Check back. I have a couple of specific stories to tell you and we’ll go to some other areas of the museum!

All Ohio Hot Air Balloon Festival

Marysville Hot Air Ballon Festival 2019 (364)

It’s been a busy summer and adventures have been especially plentiful these last few weeks. In fact, it’s been so busy that keeping up with storytelling here has been a real challenge.

The trip to Piatt Castles last week included a detour to the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Marysville. I’ve been hesitant to tell you this story because I typically avoid negativity on this blog. There are enough people who seem to think it their duty to point out all the bad in the world – we don’t need me adding to the mix. However, the fact I wasn’t thrilled doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it so the rules are about to be bent a little

Here’s the abbreviated version of this story: the balloons were beautiful, the festival wasn’t so great.

The festival opened in the afternoon the Saturday of my visit. The schedule advertised the arrival of balloons at 4:30 and the balloon launch at 6:30. The website pictured several nice balloons that would be there as well as a lovely image of several balloons in the sky.

When I arrived at 3:30, an enthusiastic crowd had begun to gather but 4:30 came and went with no balloons. In fact, it was close to 7 before we saw the first balloon. I saw people leaving in frustration, disappointed kids in tow because they didn’t want to sit out in the hot August sun for a moment longer. Since it’s held at an airport, there is essentially no shade and few places to get in out of the blistering sun.

This kid seemed to speak for us all.

Marysville Hot Air Ballon Festival 2019 (210)

I now know how to interpret the schedule – the balloons arrive in trucks by 5 p.m. and they are aired up immediately before launching. This means that balloons were in the air for just a few minutes. Also, it was not several at one time as the website depicted but one or two at a time.

So there’s my complaint.

The good news is that they offer some fun activities for kids and, if festival food is your thing, there’s plenty to eat and drink. The U.S. Air Force was there too and had a Thunderbird jet on display.

FB Hotair balloon festival (5)

The balloons were pretty, even if some advertised balloons weren’t there. I’m guessing they went up on one of the other two festival days.

Saturday admission was just $10 and parking was $5. They did a lighted launch after dark – although I didn’t stay for that. I had invested a lot of time already and simply wanted to go home.

You could take a biplane or helicopter ride and they were offering tethered balloon rides – although I never saw that actually happen. I was dying to take a biplane ride but couldn’t justify the expense so close to vacation. The opportunity will come again and will make a great adventure for another day.

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On the trip out of town I saw folks with lawn chairs in store parking lots and thought that would be a far better way to enjoy the balloons without the hassle of parking, crowds or expensive bottled water since no outside food or drinks are allowed in.

That would be better for me but maybe not better for you. If you have kids or enjoy the excitement of a crowd this could be a fabulous time for you!!

I don’t want to discourage you from going and supporting the festival but have to be honest that this is not the place for me. If I ever go back, it will either be for the lighted launch or just to enjoy from somewhere outside the festival grounds.

Want to know more? Here’s the link to their event. It will be back next year!! There are other similar festivals in Ohio and I would be interested in visiting another someday.