Mini Eggs Globe Candy Bank by Nestle

Being as we will be taking a tour around the world shortly, we should stock up on some energy food. I suggest a package of Nestle Mini Eggs:

Mini Eggs Packaging

Smart Choice!

Now just where might we find a package of this tasty treat? How about inside a vintage 1990’s tin Globe:

Mini Eggs Container Open

Empty!

A package of candy, like the one pictured above, would have been stuffed inside the tin. It’s probably just as well that it’s missing, being as candy from 1990 might be a tad stale by now!

Mini Eggs Container Base

But fortunately this little globe has other uses, both educational, and practical. Apart from displaying an edited version of our earth, it also doubles as a piggy bank:

Mini Eggs Globe Bank Slot

Larger coins only, please!

This could be a fun way for children to learn about geography while saving up for a trip.

Mickey appears around the world in different ethnic garb. Let’s have a look:

Mini Eggs Globe AsiaMini Eggs Globe Pacific OceanMini Eggs Globe Atlantic OceanMini Eggs Globe Europe

The Globe rotates on the base

Mini Eggs Globe Stand

I hope you learned something today. I learned that the planet is smaller than I thought!

Check out this other globe featured in an earlier post. It is covered with even more Disney characters.

Attractions: Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum

One thing I love to do on this site is cover places that I visit. There are so many attractions in and around my area that spotlight many unique forms of creativity that it would be a shame if anyone missed them. So if you are ever in Michigan be sure to visit Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum.

If you’re not planning to be in this State anytime soon, then this post is for you!

31005 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills, MI

Attractions Entrance

What can one say about this place? It’s weird. Weird but wonderful at the same time! And as the first exhibit (pictured below) will show, it draws its inspiration from some pretty solid places:

Attractions Inspirations

Fine Inspiration Indeed!

Marvin Yagoda, the museum’s founder, had been collecting the items that populate the 5,500-square foot building for some 50 years. He was a recognized expert in the field of mechanical and electrical game apparatus and was involved in the appraisal of such items for the television series American Pickers. We lost Marvin on January 8, 2017 at the age of 78.

But the eclectic showroom he started so long ago still operates and is open to the public seven days a week.

Let’s have a look at just some of the oddities you can expect to find:

Attractions Doctor

Instant Physical Exam for just 75 cents

You will find a huge collection of coin-operated animatronic dummies, mechanical games and other oddities here. The doctor above is just one of dozens of examples on display. If you plan on investing your money on this doctor’s diagnosis, prepare to be insulted!

Attractions Store

Where to look first?

Walking in for the first time can be overwhelming! There isn’t a bare piece of wall or ceiling in the place.

“Vibratory Doctor”? Is that even legal?

Many of these vintage machines would have been on boardwalks or in sideshows, at a circus or freak show. I wonder why?

Attractions Neon

Beautiful Neon

There are several examples of neon signage as well, with my favorite example being displayed above.

Attractions Advertising

Advertising Signage

Marvin was an equal opportunity collector and so also added vintage advertising to his collection.

Attractions Disturbing

Disturbing!

This museum is definitely a Home of the Weird as the above image shows. A 3-breasted Gypsy, anyone?

Attractions Sailor

The Lighter Side

The museum also has many pieces to make you smile too. Such as the two Sailor Puppets above.

Attractions Food Kiosk

Hungry or Thirsty?

We are about half way through our tour, so if you’re getting a bit peckish, why not stop at the food stand and ask Humpty Dumpty for something to eat or drink?

Attrcations Mirrors

Your Weird Hosts for This Post

What would a fun place be without a warped mirror?

Attractions Truck

On the Road

I need to get me a truck like this when I go searching for things to add to my weird and wonderful collection!

Now all good things come with a price:

Attractions Meters

Electric Donations

There is no charge to visit this museum but, as you can see above, donations to cover the cost of electricity are gratefully received! Also, almost all of the displays are fully operational and can be enjoyed for between 25 and 75 cents a play. This includes vintage arcade games (like Asteroids and Pac-Man), carnival games, pinball machines, and ‘Peep Shows’ (clean, of course!).

So please be sure to leave some of your hard-earned money behind!

COOL FACTOR: 5/5

I was thrilled to find such a unique and strange place among the attractions of Michigan! It won’t be for everyone, especially if you’re easily creeped out. But if you’re a student of history and a fan of early examples of coin-operated art and like to walk on the wild side at times… make your way to Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum!

Magical Blogorail: Family Adventure – Winter Travel

Winter is a great time to travel some place warm, but what if the budget doesn’t allow for that? Then it’s time for a day trip! And who better to help us plan such trips than the Beatles, the original Day Trippers!

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Peach Loop. Today we are exploring fun you and your family can have this winter. Lots of fun can be found locally!


Travel car trip

John Lennon and Paul Mccartney wrote a great song about day trips. Okay, it mainly had something to do with a girl who teased love but didn’t deliver, or possibly it had some other meaning? But for the purpose of this article, I’m going with the title of the song at face value!

So let’s go through the lyrics line by line to see what we can learn about making day trips a successful vacation alternative:

Got a good reason
For taking the easy way out
Got a good reason
For taking the easy way out now

EASE OF PLANNING – How long did it take you to plan your last full-on vacation? Months? And was it a pleasant experience? Probably not as pleasant as the vacation itself! So the first reason to take day trips is just how easy they are to plan.

Travel Google

Pick a place within a two-hour drive radius of your home… and go! It really is the easy way out of town.

She was a day tripper
One way ticket, yeah
It took me so long to find out
And I found out

LENGTH OF TIME – The beauty of a day trip is the duration. It is by nature very short and thus manageable for even the youngest member of the family.

And if it turns out not to be what you thought it might be? Go home! You won’t have lost much, just a day.

She’s a big teaser
She took me half the way there
She’s a big teaser
She took me half the way there, now

SURPRISE FACTOR – Day trips are a great way to spring a special day on your family. Being as the experience is local, no one will need to pack or prepare. So you can easily load everyone into the mini-van without having to divulge the ultimate destination.

Travel surprise

Of course, your family may pry the secret out of you, you big teaser, before you’re half the way there!

Tried to please her
She only played one night stands
Tried to please her
She only played one night stands, now

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE – Maybe you’ve taken a vacation that didn’t please at least one member of your family. This can be disappointing, especially if one member always feels that their interests are never served!

With a day trip, you could forgo the surprise element and let each member of your family pick a destination or activity. Yes, with day trips, it really is easy to please them all!

She was a day tripper
Sunday driver, yeah
It took me so long to find out
And I found out

MAGICAL MEMORIES – Instead of just one big experience to remember each year, with day trips you can have many magical memories to add to your family’s scrap books.

I’m sure if you plan a few day trips yourself, you’ll find out just how fun they can be!

Day tripper, day tripper, yeah
Day tripper, day tripper, yeah
Day tripper, day tripper, yeah

I say ‘Day Trip’ you say ‘Yeah‘!

If you’re in the Michigan region, you may want to visit The Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, or perhaps take the Ford Rouge Factory Walking Tour. Click the links for my reviews!

For more winter travel ideas, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our

Blogorail Peach | Family Adventure | Winter Travel

Trip Report: Walt’s Birthplace in Chicago, IL

Do you have a Disney Bucket List? So far we’ve managed to visit both North American parks, we’ve taken a Disney cruise, attended a Disney press event (and saw John Lasseter), and now we have been able to add a special item to our list. Walt’s birthplace!

We just visited the birthplace of Walt Disney at 2156 N. Tripp Ave. in Chicago, IL:

walts-birthplace-002

Corner of N. Tripp Avenue & E. Palmer Street

It was raining off and on when we pulled up but we made the best of it and even managed to do a couple of live Facebook feeds.

walts-birthplace-003

From opposite corner

The outside renovations seem to be done and the sign out front indicates a finish date of December 5th, 2016. According to the official website fundraising is still underway to help with completion of the interior.

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Exterior Sign

I took the time to walk around the place, which didn’t take too much time, as the piece of property it’s on is very small.

walts-birthplace-004

Side and rear

I noticed the two colors of siding and the different facing material on the rear. I read once that this building has had a few additions over the years. So it is likely that the yellow portion represents the original house built by Elias Disney and the rest representing subsequent renovation efforts.

walts-birthplace-005

walts-birthplace-006

Garage and small back yard

The city of Chicago tried to designate this property a heritage site but a previous owner blocked the effort. The present owner has worked hard with a dedicated team to make sure that this building will be around for years to come! In their words, the dream is that this property ‘becomes a portal to new approaches in early childhood development and helps to inspire future Walts and Roys.’

walts-birthplace-010     walts-birthplace-009

Front porch detail

So now we can cross another item off our Disney Bucket List. And just to make sure that there is no dispute:

walts-birthplace-030

Yup. I was really there!

walts-birthplace-025

And so was Karen!

 And now you’ve been there, virtually, too!

Book Review: Along Interstate 75 by Dave Hunter

“The ‘must-have’ Guide for your drive to and from Florida!” This is how Along Interstate 75 is billed on the cover and I can say from personal experience that it’s that and so much more.

along-i-75-001

Type: Soft cover

Pages: 206

Publisher: Mile Oak Publishing Inc.

ISBN: 978-1-896819-198

When my wife and I were planning our first drive down to Florida in 2007 we felt a little apprehensive. We hadn’t driven that far into the States before and had no idea how to plan hotel stays and how to find out what to see along the way. Of course, every State has a Welcome Center as you cross the border, but we wanted to do some advanced planning.

We were used to using Birnbaum guides for planning our itinerary at Walt Disney World, and so we checked the travel section at our local book store for similar travel guides. We found Dave Hunter’s Along I-75 and have never looked back!

along-i-75-003

With 19 years of publication behind it this guide is quite probably the most comprehensive tourist guide of its kind. Part map, part guide-book, it really does have everything the traveler needs to enjoy the drive between Detroit and Florida and back again.

along-i-75-004

This publication also doubles as a history book. If the drive is starting to bore you simply have your navigator (spouse/travel companion) read from the many white pages and enjoy hours of interesting stories about the people and events that happened all around you along the I-75.

But the main use of this publication is as a map. As mentioned, there are separate pages for going to Florida from Detroit, appropriately with yellow borders (for the sun you know!) And another set of pages for traveling back.

along-i-75-006

Speed limits, speed traps, exits, alternate routes, gas and food, entertainment, and trivia are all found on each and every page.

The key feature is the ‘upside down’ orientation. If you place the publication on your lap, you can follow the route from the bottom of each page to the top, mimicking the forward direction of your driving. Each page covers approximately 25 miles or 30 minutes of driving time. So if you want to eat in 2 hours, simply turn four pages ahead and check to see what restaurants are available in that area. Want to stop for the night in 4 more hours time? Turn 8 pages ahead and pick your favorite hotel.

along-i-75-005

Every vacation must come to an end and you eventually have to drive back to Detroit from Florida, so you simply follow the blue pages home again. Blue for cold. Snow. And depression!

Review: I can’t imagine a more comprehensive but easy to use guide! It is one of the few publications out there that deserves a full 5 out of 5 Stars. I’d give it more if I could!

We hope to put this 19th Edition to good use early next year as we once again take to the American highways (the I-75 specifically) to visit our happy place in Florida. In case you’re wondering, our happy place in Florida is Walt Disney World. Duh!

Walt Disney Travel Company 2016 Brochure

There are many ways to get your Disney fix between trips to the theme parks. One way is to stop by your local travel agent’s place of business and pick up the most recent brochure on Disney travel. I did this recently at Sears Travel in the local mall.

Here is what I picked up:

wd-travel-company-brochure-001

Walt Disney World 2016

It all starts with the obligatory contents page where we are told that the magic is everywhere at Walt Disney World. Hard not to agree:

wd-travel-company-brochure-002

The next pages lay out the basic information about MyMagic+/Disney FastPass+/MemoryMaker/MagicBand and Online Planning ideas. But it really caught my interest when it finally gets into coverage of the parks:

wd-travel-company-brochure-003     wd-travel-company-brochure-004

Next comes a section on what you could find beyond the theme parks, like the water parks, Cirque du Soleil, and Disney Springs.

But the map below was a real highlight of the brochure:

wd-travel-company-brochure-005

I love me a good map!

Next comes an argument for why you stay on-site. An easy argument to win, says I! This is followed by a two-page spread detailing the features of Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villa Resorts:

wd-travel-company-brochure-007

The next pages contain information about the Magic Your Way Package followed by the fan-favorite Dining Plan pitch:

wd-travel-company-brochure-006

I love the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue!

Seasonal Events are covered next followed by an overview of the packages available from the Good Neighbor group of hotels and properties:

wd-travel-company-brochure-008

The brochure ends with a two-page spread of fine print detailing the Walt Disney Travel Company’s list of terms and conditions. I found this part a dry read.

There was also an insert correcting a point about the FastPass arrangement:

FastPass+

Sorry, no more FastPass+ for parades

Why? Because there are now many excellent parade viewing areas in front of Cinderella Castle! Just find a place in the bigger-than-ever Central Plaza.

We hope to get to Walt Disney World soon and this brochure has certainly whet our appetite!

Book Review: Disney's Adventure Guide to Florida

A FODOR’s Travel Book

Disney's Adventure Guide to Florida 001

Size: 7″ x 10″

Type: Soft Cover

Pages: 64

ISBN: 0-679-00575-7

Distributed by: David McKay Company, Inc.

Date: 1980

Fodor’s Travel is the world’s largest publisher of English language travel and tourism information and the first relatively professional producer of travel guidebooks. Fodor’s Travel and Fodors.com are divisions of Random House, Inc.

Today, Fodor’s has published more than 440 guides (in 14 series) on over 300 destinations, and has more than 700 permanently placed researchers all over the world.

Back in the 1980’s Disney was more charitable with sharing the tourist dollars that flowed into Florida. They produced ‘adventure guides’ like this one to highlight all of the available attractions in the State rather than just Walt Disney World. You can find such cross-promotion on souvenirs like tin trays, to name just one type of item.

Disney's Adventure Guide to Florida 003

Similar images are found on tin trays of the period

So let’s have a look at just some of the attractions featured in this book:

Disney's Adventure Guide to Florida 005

Cape Canaveral

Disney would have a hard time competing with real space vehicles but did eventually try with Mission:Space, a centrifugal motion simulator thrill ride at Epcot that opened in 2003.

Disney's Adventure Guide to Florida 007

Daytona Beach

The Sky Lift pictured here is apparently no longer in operation. Here is what Joe Wittwer had to say about his ride on it in 2007: “This ride scared me so bad. You don’t go over water, just the concrete pier below. It looks like it hasn’t been maintained in decades.” It is probably safe to assume it is gone!

Disney now tries to compete with the natural beaches of Florida with two major water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Disney’s ‘Bucket Ride’ is also gone!

Disney's Adventure Guide to Florida 008          Disney's Adventure Guide to Florida 009

High Wire Parrots and Jungle Cruises

I guess at this point you just have to say that in 1980, Florida had it all!

Disney's Adventure Guide to Florida 010

Everglades National Park

Alligators are synonymous with Florida and not always in a good way. But back in 1980 tourist were encouraged to walk along precarious wooden ‘bridges’ and seek them out!

 Disney's Adventure Guide to Florida 011 Disney's Adventure Guide to Florida 012

Cypress Gardens and Busch Gardens

Cypress Gardens was a botanical garden and theme park near Winter Haven, Florida that operated from 1936 to 2009. It was in 2011 that the botanical garden portion was preserved inside the newly formed Legoland Florida.

Busch Gardens opened on March 31, 1959, as an admission-free hospitality facility for Tampa Anheuser-Busch; in addition to various beer tastings, they had a bird garden and the Stairway to the Stars, which was an escalator that took guests to the roof of the brewery. And that works for me! It has grown over the years and is still in operation today.

Disney's Adventure Guide to Florida 006

Walt Disney World

Other than having Disney characters interspersed throughout the book, this is the only page dedicated to a Disney destination. Just to put it a bit above the rest, the copy reads that “There’s nothing quite like it east of California’s Disneyland.” We can forgive Disney because it is a true statement!

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage was an attraction at the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World from 1971 through 1994. So of all the attractions that could have been pictured on this page, they certainly picked an iconic one!

Disney's Adventure Guide to Florida 013          Disney's Adventure Guide to Florida 002

Price: $3.95 US

Review: This was more of a souvenir guide than an actual guide-book. No addresses are given for any of the attractions so it would serve better as a reminder of places gone than a true guide to places that one would want to see.

So judging it as such I would give it a 4.5 out of 5 Stars.

Walt Disney World Value Resort Review Links

My wife and I have been to Walt Disney World many times and have stayed at most of the value resorts:

Value Resort Logos

We find them to be the best value, hence the designation! But like all Disney resorts there are positives and negatives. So below is a list of my reviews to help you in making a decision about lodgings for your next dream vacation:

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort

Disney’s All-Star Music Resort

Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort

I participated with my friends over at the Magical Blogorail in a blogging loop that covered all of the main value resorts, including the new Art of Animation, not listed above. By clicking the link below you will get to read many different views:

Value Resorts in General

Enjoy a magical vacation at Walt Disney World!

Book Review: Donald and the Big Cheese

There’s a title for ya! This book is part of Disney’s Small World Library series which featured original stories based on the geography and customs of twenty-eight different countries. You can view the covers and read reviews for each book on goodreads. But only I will bring you a review with pictures!

So please read my very own review of one of these books, featuring the Netherlands:

Donald Cheese 1

7 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ with 36 pages

This series is very well illustrated and inserts some of your favorite Disney characters into a storyline created to highlight the nation being featured.

Donald Cheese 2

Inside leaf, back and front

Donald Cheese 3

Owner page and Title page

I was happy to see that the child who owned this previously didn’t believe in marking up books, so the owner page is not filled in with a name.

So time to look at the story: Daisy wins a trip to the Netherlands by entering a cheese recipe in a contest. She sculpts the cheese into a windmill! Soon her and Donald are on their way on the plane:

Donald Cheese 4

Once there, a handsome tour guide meets them. Daisy is smitten and Donald is jealous! Hans, the tour guide, takes them on a journey throughout the Netherlands.

Donald Cheese 5

Hans is making quite an impression on Daisy leaving poor Donald to struggle just to be noticed. He ends up getting into all kinds of trouble as he shows off for attention, usually ending with Hans saving him, much to Donald’s chagrin. He begins to dislike Hans!

Donald Cheese 6

But when Donald makes yet another mistake and Hans covers it up so that Daisy doesn’t see it, Donald has to reassess his thoughts about the tour guide.

Donald Cheese 7

Near the end of their tour, a big cheese (hence the book title) ‘escapes’ from its handlers and is going to crush Daisy, but Donald trips into its path and saves her. Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d type!

Donald is a hero and once again he has the complete affection of his love, Daisy. And so the story ends.

A nice feature of these books is the four-page spread of Did You Know? facts about the country being featured. So let’s see how many facts you know about the Netherlands:

Donald Cheese 8

Donald Cheese 9

Well, I guess if your cows can produce a lake of milk, you may as well make cheese!

Donald Cheese 10

Back Cover

I would give this book, and by extension this series, a 4 out of 5 Stars. I’m not impressed with how stereotypical some of the titles are, playing on common perceptions and using outdated myths for many of the countries. For example, we have the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland, Mounties in Canada, leprechauns in Ireland, and painting in France, just to name a few offenders. Although these things are a part of each country’s heritage, it would have been nice to see a less obvious approach to creating the stories.

Overall though I would highly recommend this series for your children! Many of the titles can still be found on Amazon and eBay.

Sandhill Cranes of Florida

“It’s their world, we’re just living in it.” Once thought to apply only to cats, Florida showed me that it also applies to these rather large birds:

Florida Birds

Why are they crossing the street?

According to my less-than extensive research, these are Sandhill Cranes. You can see them around the Orlando area, and if you do, they have the right-of-way!

Here is what I learned about these birds: Cranes are large, tall birds with long legs and long necks. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks extended. Most have elaborate and noisy courtship displays or “dances”. When in a group, they may also “dance” for no particular reason, jumping up and down in an elegant manner, seemingly just for pleasure or to attract a mate.

Haven’t we all done that?

I have a story that explains my comment about Sandhill Cranes having the right-of-way. I was lost in a large trailer park in Florida when I came to a dead-end in a golf course. Trailer Park. Florida. Golf Course. You have to admit, it’s plausible!

Anyway, before I could use the turnaround to… turn around, these four birds decided they wanted to cross the road. I can only assume that they worked for the golf course and were coming back from a break. You can see a rake/broom in the sand trap, and I’m sure they were going to continue to smooth it out for the next bad golfer.

Hey, when you’re one of the biggest tourist States in America, everyone has to pitch in!