Tag Archives: sightseeing

2019 – Sightseeing – Billy Graham Library – Charlotte, NC

I thoroughly enjoyed our visit the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, NC. The Library takes visitors on an audio-visual journey of Billy Graham’s life from the time of his conversion until his death in 2018. He attended Wheaton College where he met and married a missionary’s daughter, Ruth Bell Graham. One room is dedicated to his wife Ruth and her many accomplishments as wife, mother and writer. There are movie clips from various crusades and many personal items from his years of ministry including what looks like the sound room where he recorded his radio broadcast, The Hour of Decision, produced from 1950 to 2016! Near the end of the tour we saw a wall mural by Thomas Kinkade named “The Cross”. In the final presentation of the tour we heard a short video of Billy Graham preaching the gospel message. At the end of the sermon, as “Just as I Am” is being sung, his son Franklin appears on video, encouraging those of us in the room to respond to that invitation. The overwhelming theme of the library continues Graham’s lifetime calling of leading people to Jesus.

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2019 – Sightseeing the North Carolina Piedmont area

2019 – Murray’s Mill Historic Site – Catawba, NC

As a lover of American history I was pleased to find Fort Dobbs since it actually predates the American Revolution. By the date of the Revolution the Fort had been disbanded and was in ruins. Construction of Fort Dobbs was begun in 1755 and completed one year later. It was designed like a British Fort by order of Royal Governor Dobbs in response to the French and Indian war that was threatening the Colonies. It was to be the area military headquarters and a safe place for settlers.

All buildings are reproductions based on historical information. As was the original the Fort is built of local white oak. The rebuilt Fort will be complete and opened to the public in September. There’s a garden, brush arbor, and an outdoor bread oven. In the gift store/museum there are many artifacts that were found on site, along with other items representative of those used at the Fort.

I also enjoyed visiting Murray’s Mill Historic District near Catawba NC. The centerpiece of the area is the Mill and Murray & Minges General Store. The Mill was built in 1913 and operated until 1967. The store was built in 1890s and relocated to the area.

The mill has the original one ton millstones that ground corn and the roller mills used for grinding wheat. On the main floor we saw carts, scales and other equipment used in the daily operations. Down a flight of stairs the big gears are being turned by the water wheel just on the other side of the wall. Outside, I was impressed with the beauty of the water flowing over the dam and turning that big mill wheel.

Visiting the Murray & Minges General Store is a step back in history with dry goods, stick candy and other candy in jars along with local honey for sale. On display are examples of handmade lace and quilts made from original flour sacks. We enjoyed sitting on the porch swing while sipping bottled soft drinks from the antique Coca-Cola machine.

With my love of Chocolate I enjoyed the tour and tasting at the Black Mountain Chocolate Factory in Winston-Salem, NC. On the forty minute tour we learned how they make their chocolate from “bean to bar.” This is a small factory and much of what is done is hands on. Our guide showed us a cacao pod and explained the process needed before the beans could be shipped for making chocolate. We saw the bean roaster, the machine used to process the ground beans, with other items that combine to make the chocolate. The bar molds are filled by holding the mold under a metered stream of chocolate, settled on a shaking table, and moved to a cooling rack. I enjoyed a peanut butter cookie from the shop where various chocolate items, pastries and coffees as well as other gift items can be purchased. This is a fun and tasty place to visit in downtown Winston-Salem.

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2019 – Sightseeing: Word of Coca-Cola, Atlanta, GA

It was fun visiting the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta GA. The tour is interactive with lots of lights, sounds, movies, hands on and photo ops. After entering we were given a free Coke while we waited our turn to start the adventure. There are many screens and videos. We learned about John Pemberton the man who invented Coca-Cola. There are guides in each area to answer questions and provide information. A guide talked about various Coke signs and other memorabilia used to advertise Coke in the past. We then entered a 3D movie and saw clips from a wide variety of commercials used by Coke from around the world. There are photo opportunities with the Coca-Cola Polar Bear and a large safe door similar to the one where the secret recipe is kept. We took a break in the Commercial Room where they show a wide variety of commercials about Coke from across the years and around the world. My favorite was “I like to buy the World a Coke “ song with the young people on the hill and Scott’s was Mean Joe Green and the little boy. One of the areas has the safe holding the Coca-Cola recipe. I enjoyed looking at all the memorabilia including Santa pictures across the years. Probably the biggest attraction is the tasting room where there are drinks made by Coca-Cola around the world. You can drink all you want. Some are good and others just tasted bad to me. There are also fountains with all the Coke products we see all the time. Scott liked his soft drink of choice, Coke Zero better than any of the other offerings. I think I liked one from South America the best. The gift shop has every Coca-Cola product I’ve ever seen and many I haven’t. All in all, it was a fun time and I recommend it.

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