We visited Kohler, Wisconsin, home of the Kohler Company where they make everything for your home enjoyment from kitchen sinks to bath tubs to faucets. We visited the Kohler Design Center and took a tour of the Kohler Factories to see how bathtubs, sinks and faucets are made.
The village of Kohler is located outside of Sheboygan, Wisconsin and is about an hour from the Milwaukee Airport. The free tour starts weekdays at 8:30 am and lasts for 3 hours. Reservations are required, and you will visit the Pottery Factory where ceramic sinks and toilets are poured into molds and heated in huge kilns and the Brass Building where hundred of faucets are made each day. The next factory is the Foundry where 6 foot cast iron tubs are made by pouring red hot metal into molds and allowed to cool, then they are sprayed with colored enamel and dried. We saw about 50 tubs on the conveyor belts.
It was a fascinating tour to actually see how all these products are made and to see these hard working men at work, many working without shirts on in the hot factory. Another interesting site was seeing men ride around the factory on 3 wheel bicycles; a fast way to get around.
The factories are each about the size of a foot ball field and three stories tall. You must wear goggles and you are not allowed to take pictures. They also have a division for artists from all over the world that design creative pieces of art work. Our tour guide had worked at the factory for years and made the tour very interesting.
Kohler is the largest plumbing-ware manufacturer in the nation. You can also visit the Design Center 9am – 5 pm and see many displays of kitchens, bathrooms, and spas. They also have a floor that tells the history of the Kohler family. I have a deeper appreciation at what it takes to make some of our most essential home products. As a plumbing contractor, my husband was impressed with the size of the company with 4,000 employees in Wisconsin and 200,000 worldwide.
We stayed at the exclusive American Club, Carriage House, and enjoyed complimentary breakfast, massages, shopping, afternoon tea and an evening cocktail hour served with cheese and fruit before a delicious dinner. Destination Kohler is a AAA5Diamond Hotel.During the Cocktail hour we got to meet some of the other guests who included an oilman from Texas. Everyone was extremely friendly. Most visitors were there to golf. Whistling Straits is home to the US Senior Open in July 2007.
We ate at Cucina for dinner and enjoyed Minestrone, Salad, Veal Parmesan $25 and Beef Bolognese $15 and a great chocolate dessert and limoncello cheesecake. We also enjoyed dinner at the nostalgic Wisconsin Room where we enjoyed a spectacular soup sampler of 3 soups for $7: Carrot and Ginger, Crab and Shrimp Bisque, and Cold Cucumber soup. I was happy to be able to sample each one; what a great idea! For dinner I enjoyed fettuccine and shrimp with sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms $26 and my husband enjoyed one of the best filet mignons and whipped potatoes $31. Very reasonable! We also sampled unique 12-year old cheddar cheese at the Market at Woodlake.
Following are some of the pictures from the Design Center. Maybe they will give you some ideas for your next project. Or better yet take a trip there to see it first hand.
The Cape May Winery, 711 Townbank Rd 884-1169 www.CapeMayWinery.comis a great place to learn all about wine making and enjoy wine tasting with grapes grown right here in Cape May County.
If you take a walk thru the vineyards at the Cape May Winery you will see why New Jersey is called the Garden State. They have been growing grapes for 12 years and the winery is 10 years old. They offer a Wine Tour and Tasting every Saturday at 3 p.m. for $20.
According to our tour guide, Cape May County has great sandy soil-good for drainage and milder temperatures than North Jersey; another advantage. The Cape May Winery is 6th in the state for production and grows 16 varieties of grapes, from Merlot to Chardonnay to Pinot Gris and more. They have not needed to use the irrigation system, because grapes require only about 2 inches of water a month. The harvest is from Mid-September to Mid-November. Last year they produced 55,500 bottles of wine from 11 acres at 3 locations in the county. It takes 2 ½ pounds of grapes to make one bottle.
The 2005 Merlot was ready for bottling the day we were there. We were some of the first to sample last year’s crop, which was fantastic. They bottle the wine on the premises as well.
The wine is de-stemmed and crushed in machines outside and then the juice is placed in large 1,000 gallon steel tanks and wooden barrels Wine needs to be kept at controlled temperatures and sediment is removed during the year long process. Wines also vary in sugar content with a dry wine having less than 1 gram per liter; their best seller-Victorian Blush, a white zinfindel about 3.2; and their dessert wine-Fini Blanc about 8.
The crowd of about 25 was very interested in seeing the process first-hand. Then we were treated to a wine tasting of many of their prize-winning wines along with cheese, crackers and fresh fruit. There is a gift shop to purchase their excellent home-grown wines. It was a perfect day to do something a little out of the ordinary at the Jersey Shore. The Winery is a few minutes off exit 1 of the Garden State Parkway.
Note: Always drink responsibly and designate a driver. Drunk Driving Kills Lives.
Last Updated ( Sep 29, 2006 at 03:56 PM )
What to do at the Jersey Shore on a Rainy Day
Written by Jennifer Palermo
Aug 29, 2006 at 03:19 PM
What to do at the Jersey Shore
On most summer days you’ll find vacationers going to the beach at the Jersey Shore, but there’s a lot to do on a rainy or cloudy day as well. The region is full of great spots to keep kids of all ages entertained and many are free or charge a nominal fee. Here are some suggestions for our welcomed guests who might not know the Cape May, Atlantic and southern Ocean County area.
The Jersey Shore has many interesting lighthouses and tours are available. Check out the website http://www.njlighthouses.com/ for directions and info. In Cape May County you will see the Cape May Lighthouse and the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse in North Wildwood. In Atlantic City you can visit the Absecon Lighthouse and in Ocean County, the Barnegat Lighthouse.
Leaming’s Run Gardens on Rt. 9 in Swainton is an oasis of beautiful gardens to walk through and sit and watch hummingbirds and butterflies. Wear good walking shoes and a hat and spend a few minutes sitting in the gazebo. They will open in Mid May. Admission $8 Adults, $4 Children 7-14. http://www.leamingsrungardens.com/
For those interested in touring a home from 1775 and seeing exhibits including furnishings, costumes, tools and decorative objects the Cape MayCounty Museum is a great place to explore. On Rt. 9- Exit 11 off the Parkway in North Cape May Court House. http://www.cmcmuseum.org/
Cape May Trolley tours and horse-drawn carriages are a great way to learn about this charming Victorian town by the sea. At night it’s a romantic way to see the town and do a little “parlor peeking.” You can also tour the Physick Estate, http://www.capemaymac.org/
I also ‘love’ to get take-out seafood and eat on the docks at the Lobster House, the freshest seafood in the world and you can watch the fishing boats unload their catch-of-the day. Every year we enjoy the Southern Buffet on Sunday Nights at the Chalfonte Hotel. The food is fabulous and Lucille’s rolls are ‘to die for’! Tell her I told you! She told me her secret ingredient last year, but I’ll never tell!
Cold Spring Village is a charming re-enactment village near Cape May, including 25 restored buildings with costumed interpreters. Check out the site for weekend festivities including Railroad Days, an Antique Show and War Re-enactments. http://www.hcsv.org/ Adults $ 8, Children 3- 12 $5, Senior Citizens $7. I love this place!
The Cape May County Zoo, off exit 11 of the Parkway, is a great way to spend an afternoon and maybe even pack a lunch. The zoo is free, although donations are accepted. You will be delighted to see the new baby bears, giraffes, lions and zebras. It is well kept and there is a gift shop and food vendors on the premises. For more info http://www.thejerseycape.net/
Another great trip is to visit the Wetland’s Institute, “a great place to learn about conservation and preservation of coastal ecosystems by providing a fun and educational experience for families and vacationers of all ages!” It’s on the causeway going into Stone Harbor in Cape May County- Parkway Exit 10B. Admission $7, $5 2-11 yrs. http://www.wetlandsinstitute.org/
The Ocean City Museum is a great way to learn about the history of this seaside resort voted ‘the #1 Family Beach Resort in the Nation.’ The museum is located at 18th and Simpson Ave. Come and learn about the history of Ocean City formerly called Peck's Beach and visit their gift shop. Learn about the Sindia shipwreck. Free! http://www.ocnjmuseum.org/
Then moving up the coast to Atlantic County, Lucy the Elephant is a must see for children and the folks at home will love to see pictures of this 65-foot high wooden elephant that once was a hotel in Margate, NJ. http://lucytheelephant.org/Book lovers must purchase the book “Lucy the Elephant & Sami the Mouse” and their new book too, “Sami & Lucy 2: The Birthday Party.” Admission $4 Adults, $2 2-12 yrs.
While on Absecon Island, check out the Atlantic CityHistorical Museum, http://www.acmuseum.org on the boardwalk near Showboat. Call (609) 347-5839. Open10 am to 4 pm. The latest exhibit is "Starshine: There's No Business like Show Business in Atlantic City.” It is free to the public.
Further north in Atlantic City is Gardner’s Basin and the Ocean Life Center, http://www.gardnersbasin.com/, “a fun and educational look into more than 100 varieties of fish and marine animals.” Adults $7, Children $4. Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, 348-2880. While there go for a boat ride or enjoy at meal at the Flying Cloud. The whole area is enjoying revitalization.
StorybookLand is a great kiddie park located on Rt. 322/40 between the Hamilton Mall and the Shore Mall, 10 miles west of Atlantic City, in Cardiff, EHT. $16.95 plus tax for each child or adult, includes all storybook attractions and unlimited rides. http://www.storybookland.com
A short drive from Atlantic City north on Rt. 9 is Historic Smithville. It’s a fun place for dining, shopping with 60 shops and there is a little village to walk through. Be sure to cross the bridge and try the paddle boats. http://www.smithvillenj.com/
Save time for the Tuckerton Seaport, a maritime village celebrating the early settler’s who were baymen, many of whom were my relatives on the 'Mott side.' Henry Mott came to Tuckerton in 1714 and Henry Jacobs Falkinburg, who founded Little Egg Harbor, came circa 1698. See decoy carvers and clamming exhibits and climb to the top of the replica of the Tucker’s Island Lighthouse. (609) 296-8868. Rt 9 Tuckerton. Enjoy lunch at Skeeter’s Seafood Café. Another interesting fact: my grandfather's youngest brother, Vernon's nickname was "Skeeter!" http://www.tuckertonseaport.org/ Open 10 – 5 pm Adults $8 Children $3.
Most of all have a good time and spend quality, educational time with your children. Why not go off the beaten path and learn something while you’re at it. I can't believe the summer is almost over! September is one of our greatest months! Make sure to stop and smell the roses.
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All photos taken by Jennifer except the Chalfonte porch by a family member.