Hi Obama - Nice meeting you!!

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Friday, September 28, 2012

MINEAPOLIS - ST CLAIRSVILLE We meant to say in our last blog that while in Minnesota,Bob & Ursula took us to a dairy using robotic milking.  This style of milking is continual, the cows are all kept in a large shed, and each cow will be milked 4 times every 24 hours, they get a treat each time.  They have a hi tech collar, so the computer records everything about the particular cow coming in, its weight, how much milk it gives, when last milked, if it is too soon after the last milking it
will send them out again to wait.  As they are being milked, the milk is checked, & if not up to standard, due to sickness or whatever, it goes into a separate bucket.  It was amazing & most interesting. So much has changed since we use to help Barry & Pauline at their Camperdown dairy!!!, Next was Spring Green in Wisconsin, where we visited HOUSE ON A ROCK. It is difficult to describe this place to do it justice.  It is a house built by a totally eccentric Alex Jordan, and it opened in 1959, he built it on a rock, then added a series of rooms and sheds & collected and built the most amazing & bizarre thingsA MUST SEE for anyone in this area.  There are collections of model ships, organs, piano's, the worlds largest Carousel with 20,000 lights, no horses but weird & strange creatures on it, the most beautiful dolls & dolls houses, circus tent models, just for starters.  The huge model whale being attacked by an even bigger octopus is unique.  Alex died about 25 years ago, having never married & no children to leave it to. He made musical instruments violins, trumpets piano etc to play automatically, all at one time, once again hard to describe.  His collection of things is just amazing. It was then off to MILWAUKEE in Wisconsin to visit the Harley Davidson Museum which I walked through in 5 minutes.....looking at motors, pistons, gears, carbies, chains, tanks, a motor called the Knucklehead, spriggets, & everything to do with Harleys  is not my favorite pastime, but Michael loved it & found the one he wants for his birthday!! It displayed all the bikes produced since the inception of the Company. While in Milwaukee we found out that President Obama was going to give a speech at their local stadium & so Mike thought it would be good to go & have a listen  We went to his campaign office to get free tickets for the big speech, being held the following day & were told that over 30,000 would be going. We drove to Summerfest stadium at noon, the gates were going to be opened at 2.30pm & we drove past the queue which went right round the block, some people were here at 5am to get a good spot so they could be first in to get close to their President.  We found a park fairly
easily & made our way to the entrance gates.  WELL, this is where Michaels mind goes into overdrive as NO WAY did he want to go to the end of the queue, about a mile down the road & round the corner.  We mingled with some people near the entrance for a while, then worked out they were all the volunteers gathering together ready to control the crowds, etc.  There were team leaders & everyone had a particular job assigned them.  By this stage we couldn't see the end of the line, but going by the amount of people streaming past, we knew it was getting longer by the minute!  We had our tickets, which did not guarantee a seat, and they were expecting over 30,000 people to listen to the speech. So now what do we do?......one of the groups of volunteers started moving into the stadium,
their names being marked off a list, collecting their badge to wear.  SO, we get on to that line.... We reach the lady with the clipboard who asked for our names......to which they replied, 'Sir you are not on our list, Who is your team leader'?  Mike replied ......'Julia Gillard' They looked at him rather blankly saying 'Who'?.....'Sorry sir, I don't know her'....He acted rather shocked saying 'You DON'T know Julia Gillard, I can't believe that'!!!!   (for those that don't know, she is Australia’s Prime Minister). So we were not allowed in as a volunteer, but that didn’t stop Michael....... he saw some
people selling Obama badges near the front of the line, Using tactics like Mr Bean, he sidled in & nestled amongst the crowd, bought a $3 Obama badge, chatted to the sellers & just somehow we stayed there at the front of the queue.  Ha! About an hour later, the gates were opened, we were frisked as we went through security, & bags were checked. We got an amazingly good seat about 10 meters from the front, under cover and had a good view of the platform.  We took lots of photos & film.The security was amazing....helicopters, policeboats on the lake, a major bridge  in front of the
stadium was closed to traffic, manned by police, security guards everywhere with earpieces, police among the crowd, media, cameras, and more people than they were expecting, at least 30,000+ loud cheering, clapping, chanting, flag waving Americans, a lot of African Americans & 2 Aussie boogles  in among them, just there for the experience. Even before Obama arrived, people were cheering & chanting.  Then finally a hush descended
on the whole stadium, and a gentleman stood out the front & commenced the proceedings with prayer!!  Amazing!! We listened to some speeches by the Mayor, the Governor, a Senator & finally The President made his grand entrance & at once the crowd stood up & went wild!  People hung on to every word he said, clapping & cheering enthusiastically as he made
promises of a bigger & better America in the future under his guidance. Towards the end it started to rain, Obama getting wet, but this didn't phase him. Even though the stadium has
a roof, the rain came in the sides.  We decided to leave 5 minutes before it ended to get out before the crowds, and couldn't believe the amount of people out in the rain, watching it on the big screen, there were more outside than in the actual stadium.  A great experience. Next it was on to INDIANA DUNE STATE PARK - 1 & half hours out of Chicago, Illinois by
train. It was a very nice RV park, the train station 4 minutes  away.  The next 2 days we travelled into Chicago on the train and visited the best museum we have ever been to...... the Science & Industry Museum.  It was even better than Smithsonian in Washington.  It was very 'hands on' & just SO good, and for me to say that is amazing, as I am not usually a museum person.We went to the Sky Deck of the Willis Tower, it used to be called the Sears Tower & went up to the 103rd floor.  A lovely clear day, so the views were fantastic & standing out on the glass floor looking down at the street was quite scary!! At any one time, we could see at least 7 planes coming from one direction to land at the very busy Chicago airport, we stayed up here to see the sunset.  The next day we went to Navy Pier & on the Architectural Speed Boat tour of Chicago city.  We went through a lock & along the river as the knowledgeable tour leader, who had a good sense of humour, recounted the history of some of the buildings, & how Chicago was burnt to the ground in the late 1800's, & how it had all been rebuilt to the city it is today.   Chicago is a very nice looking city, so clean with lovely flowers along the road in the middle of the city.  From here we boarded the bus & went back into the city and walked along the Magnificent Mile & looked at the amazing shops. At night we went to a restaurant & enjoyed a nice meal, sitting on the rooftop, it was a nice balmy evening with the moon rising over the city ... very nice indeed.  Before we knew it, we had to be gone & ran to get the 8.40pm train. Next stop was NAPPANNEE, Indiana, (the only place in the USA where all letters of its name are used twice) only about 100 miles from Chicago, where we visited Newmar, the company who built our RV.  We enjoyed an excellent tour of the factory, it was most interesting seeing what goes into the production of an RV. A lot of Amish people work for the company.  At night we went to a dinner/show at an Amish village.  The waitress was so excited as we were Aussies AND had seen kangaroos.   We then went to a show called "the Sisters of Swing' all about the Andrew Sisters. It was excellent, and the singing was fantastic.  Immediately after, we drove 100 miles to LaFayette, our first bit of night driving & pulled into Walmart at 12.30am.  I enjoyed talking to our mums on the wayWe went to the Suburu Factory, which was the most amazing factory tour I have ever been on.  It is a massive company, 3700 people work here, and they produce around 200 cars each day, a lot of robotic work, & automation, and the technology to produce a car starting from a piece of sheet metal and ending up with the finished product is just incredible.  We could have watched longer. From here we drove to Dayton, Ohio, to visit a massive aviation & airforce museum.   The RV GPS stopped working again, so it was panic for a little while, till I got the other one going.  We
finally found our way to the park, and wow, dodgyville is all I can say!!
  It would be the dodgiest park we have stayed in.  The office was a cigarette pit with a rough looking woman at the desk.  She told us where to park, and 4 fellas directed Mike as he reversed into  the smallest site, breaking a bit of concrete trying to do this.  After 3/4 hour, we were in, then the owner decided we could move to another spot, so up with the jacks, and to a better site.  One chap with hair to his waist, spoke to me & was excited to know we were Aussies. We wondered if we would get out alive! Up early next morning, it was so quiet in Dodgyville, everyone except us are sleeping in!  We start up the bus & the car & reverse which starts the beeping noise. Off to the aviation museum, which was actually very good. Went on a tour of the ex presidents Air-force 1 planes, which is in a working military base & as they wouldn't accept a foreigners drivers license, we had to get passports. Back to the museum and spent the day looking at everything to do with planes, jets, aviation, war, bombs, space etc etc.  Very interesting.We then hooked on the car & drove to Saint Clairsville, where we stayed the night in the Walmart carpark. Anyway, I think that's enough from me, Bye for now, thanks for reading the blog, and we LOVE
reading your comments
...keep safe and well,  God bless....Miss you all. Next blog: Shenandoah National Park, Virginia & Blue Ridge Parkway. Only 1 more blog before the family arrive!!!  
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Lionel and Rose on

still love reading your blog looks like you are having a great time,,, enjoy,, see you next in Auzzie

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