Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Frankenmuth, MI Bronner's Christmas Shop & the town - June 21, 2016

Michigan's Little Bavaria, Frankenmuth was founded in 1845 by fifteen German-Lutheran missionaries who came to this area to teach Christianity to the Chippewa Indians. Today tourism and farming are the main economic income producers. The town draws over three million tourist annually.
People visit Frankenmuth to enjoy the great German food, architecture, festivals, shopping and the welcoming town. The calendar for 2016 lists 24 festivals. There are so many free things to do including "Go Gnome Hunting", take a walk across the historic bridge or visit the Silent Night Chapel at Bronner's. Just strolling along the main street of Frankenmuth is a pleasant experience.

We had lunch at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant. It was founded as the Union House Hotel in 1888 and renamed Fischer’s Hotel. In 1950 the Zehnder family purchased it and toward the end of the 50's expanded the building. That expansion had an authentic Bavarian exterior with stucco walls, woodcarvings, flower boxes and other German accents. The new German entrees were served by "Bavarian" costumed servers. We were very pleasantly served wonderful German meals by wait staff carrying on that same tradition. The restaurant has 12 dining rooms and can serve 1,200 people. After our meal we wondered through the hotel shops and then along Frankenmuth's sidewalk, filled with a variety of shops.

 We HAD to shop at Bronner's billed as the "World's Largest Christmas Store". Bronner's Christmas Wonderland shop is a huge draw for the town. It opened in 1945 and today over 27 acres of beautifully landscaped ground surround the huge store. Bronner's building is 320,000 sq. ft. (approx. 5.5 football fields of space), with the salesroom with 96,000 sq. ft (1.7 football fields of space). While shopping, we took a few breaks finding benches nicely placed throughout the sales floor. 

Bronner's giant outdoor Santa towers 17 feet.

Coming up next Belle Isle Park, Detroit, Michigan. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Strathroy, Ontario,"One Night in Canada" June 14, 2016

We pulled into Trout Haven Park in Strathroy, Ontario around mid-afternoon for a one night stay. I found this park through my favorite rv park locating website After approximately 220 miles it is nice to park in a shady pull through spot with access to electricity, water and sewer. We did not unhook the car and started out the next day for LaPeer, Michigan. 

Next post a few days later Michigan's Little Bavaria in Frankenmuth, MI. Shopping at Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland which promotes itself as the worlds largest Christmas Shop.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Barn Quilt Trails, LeRoy, NY - June 11, 2016

LeRoy, New York is located in Genessee County, 30 minutes south of  Rochester and one hour east of Buffalo and Niagara Falls. Barn Quilt Trails have become popular in many communities. The LeRoy Barn Quilt project was initiated in the summer of 2011 by the LeRoy Historical Society as a contribution to the Town of LeRoy for its 2012 Bicentennial. The first bar quilt "Jell-O Jigglers" was painted during the Oatka Festival in July 2011. The plan was to paint and install 20 to 30 in the next year.

The project was so popular that in less than a year, over 75 quilts were completed. In 2013 the number exceed 100. There are four trails and maps are available in several places in LeRoy and Batavia. The six page brochure including maps of the trails in PDF format is available to download at

During this trip and a previous one in 2013 I have photographed 23 of the Barn Quilts. This is a collective pictorial of both trips. Most include a photo of the building where the Barn Quilt was attached.

Jell-O Jigglers

Nine Patch Scrap

Mariner's Compass
Railroad Crossing 

Night Bright

Carpenter's Square
Maple Leaf

Stained Glass
 Air Force Star

Shadow Ray
No Place Like Home
Grandma's Puzzle
Gather Round the Campfire

Knight Star

Eastern Star
Emperor Tulip

Log Cabin
Corn & Beans

Friendship Circle


Donna Sue Groves of Adams County Ohio developed the concept of Barn Quilts with her wish to honor her mother. She eventually came up with the idea to have a "sampler" of twenty quilt squares that could be along a driving trail inviting visitors to travel through the countryside. The first Barn Quilt on the American Quilt Trail was the Ohio Star installed on a building at a green house that allowed for a public inaugural celebration of the first quilt trail.

According to "This simple idea has spread to over 48 states and Canada and the trails continue to grow. Over 7000 quilts are part of organized trails; dozens more are scattered through the countryside waiting to be discovered."

Next post "One night in Canada"