I especially enjoy when we go check out places we've never been. There are some great places to explore in our state and some are favorites that we go back to time and again.
I'm sure many folks out there have heard of Poland Spring water. Today we headed to the original spring and learned some of the history behind it.
The buildings were absolutely beautiful. We went in to the small house that shelters the original spring source. It's made almost entirely of white marble. We also went in to the original bottling plant. The buildings were abandoned for many years once the more modern bottling facility was built down the road. Thankfully, they were restored (it took three years and about three million dollars).
The original spring (taken from inside the building)
The original spring (taken from outside the building)
Looking through a very large original pane of glass (from the early 1900s)
The room with the tables in it? That was the original bottling plant. In the corner (off to the left out of frame) there is a large sink-like area that brought the water in from the other building. When the buildings were "rescued" we were told this room was covered in moss as well as flooded. Many things were taken from the buildings when they were abandoned. They were also vandalized. However, such high quality materials were used that much was salvageable.
The room we were in had absolutely gorgeous tiger maple all through it. The original floor tiles were even there. The ceiling in the other room - all covered in white tiles - was also mostly originally. Both the floor and the ceiling only needed a few replaced due to damage.
Throughout the building there are original photographs and artifacts. There was a bit of mistake on our time for our tour so we were there a full hour before our guide and had essentially done a self-guided tour of both buildings. She was able to fill in some of the history for us though.
This tower was built to increase air flow through the building - early 20th century air conditioning.
After the tour we enjoyed a picnic lunch on the grounds. Considering it's been raining more often than not lately, it was wonderful to be outside! Even this little guy agreed.
Lest anyone think I had another child and didn't share, this is Mr. T and I babysit him. He's almost two years old.
This past fall I started a 4-H Club. Our focus is not animals, but GPS/GIS. Our goal is to find and hide a large number of geocaches this year, but we've had a late start. Today we took advantage of the fact that half the club was on the field trip and that there were a number of caches hiding along the hiking trails on the property.
Finding our first cache of the day
This one stumped us for a bit. The clue was "the log on the stone trail." We were on "Stone Trail" but it was a literal stone trail.
He almost fell asleep. He's such a lightweight, but I definitely got my exercise in for today hauling him up and down and all around the "moderate" hiking trail we were on.
Logging the second cache
Our day ended with my middle son taking his first belt test in martial arts. A few months ago my hubby and I "encouraged" him to try it. My hubby and our youngest son have both been taking classes for some time. We felt our middle boy would benefit greatly from lessons as well. He reluctantly agreed and overall does seem to be enjoying it.
Poor boy was extremely nervous about his test tonight, but no worries. He passed. He's now a yellow stripe (1/2 rank).
Receiving his yellow stripe
Receiving his certificate
All the students who tested with my son - all passed.
Overall it was a busy, but really fun day. We were able to explore places we've never been which is one of my favorite things to do. I was also very proud of my child showing great effort and progress in a skill that, while he might not have chosen it if left to his own devices, he's finding himself enjoying.