Thursday, June 22, 2017

A "Little" More Daring Bucket List Item Checked Off!

Hi everyone!

As it turned out, glassblowing was potentially more dangerous than this, but Audra, Taylor and I went ziplining at Soaring Cliffs in the Hocking Hills of Southeastern Ohio yesterday.  The trip started out a little depressing as I ran over an indecisive squirrel circling on the road while picking up Taylor at OSU, but there wasn't time to stop.  I had to drive by the murder scene two more times that day:(

So getting there wasn't half the fun in this case.  But it was a lovely day, not as scorching as we have had and the rain held off until we headed home.  We really didn't know what to expect, but a good sign was the nice clean restroom trailer in the parking lot!  This is a two-plus hour tour--so don't drink a lot of pop or whatever on the way as this is your only chance until you're back to your car...

It isn't a cheap date at $80 a person plus tip, but our guides Sydney and Chance were professional and fun, everything was very safety-oriented and they only do small groups once an hour so you can enjoy the quietness of nature (when you aren't laughing!)  I would suggest bug spray--I had on sunscreen, but we weren't in the sun that much...wish I had a good sunscreen with bug spray in it! Not that we saw ticks and mosquitoes, but in the deep woods they had to be around. This takes zero experience and the only athletic ability you need is to be able to walk up and down some short, yet lumpy paths sometimes straight uphill.

About halfway through we stopped at a cave and got a water while they started a fire for hotdogs and marshmallows if you wanted them.  Chance said the hotdog was $80, but the ziplining was free...

One of the lines is nearly 1/4 mile long and eight stories high--plenty of time for doing tricks if so inclined.  None of it was scary, but Sydney hooked up a fellow who wanted to jump backwards and just as he jumped she yelled "OH NO!!!"  We all laughed but the guy...

Another line they had us play corn hole...I missed by a mile, but Chance was pretty close.  He always went first to work the brake and catch us.   Taylor was pretty comfortable doing front flips and going upside down.  Audra did a front flip as well, but I didn't know until too late to get the camera out.  I wouldn't take my phone, but Sydney secured my camera strap.  However, there are no photos/videos of me---darn!  I did nothing exciting though, so no loss.

Since a picture is worth 1,000 words and videos is your armchair tour!

Taylor falling off cliff backward.
Sydney adjusting Audra's gear at the corn hole line.
Chance getting ready for Taylor's landing.
Snack time!

Sydney explains about native plants.
and now the short videos...

Taylor does his front flip.

Audra's turn to go...

So if you are looking for something different to do, I would suggest you give this a try.  They take reservations, but walk-ins are welcome too.  Hocking Hills is known for it's camping and other outdoor activities, so most people stay there a few days.

Until next time,


Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Bucket List: Having A Ball Blowing Glass!

Hi All!

Can you believe it's June?  It's been years since I posted my "bucket list," mainly because not much has changed...until today!  My friend Donna Smalley and I went to Glass Axis near downtown Columbus, Ohio in the Franklinton District.

I've been kicking around wanting to do this for many years and decided "if not now, when?"  It was also something Donna had also wanted to do for years.  I wanted to start with the pumpkin, but Donna felt we should have balls first...LOL, pun intended!  The ball (actually ornament) class only costs $39 and they only book four folks for a one hour class.

We got there early and had a chance to see a "professional" glassblower although I don't think it was his day job.  It's interesting to note that they always work with a partner because they just don't have enough hands and you have to keep the glass moving.

This is the same vessel, but he flattened it out.  They still use tools like a handful of newspaper to shape things!

Our instructor Lisa was great.  She was thorough and very patient.  She had a positive attitude and it became apparent that she wouldn't let you down--you would be taking home a glass ball one way or another!  Well, eventually take home.  After forming, they have to go to an annealer to cool down slowly or they will crack.  So our balls won't be home for several more days...

This was just what I needed to cheer me up after losing my sweet Truly, the Japanese Chin I've periodically mentioned.  It was unexpected and a shock that one can only get under control, but never over completely.

Donna shaping her ornament.

Me heating up glass while looking in the "Glory Hole."

The actual blowing of the glass.
My glass "baby" resting on some batting waiting to have clear loop applied.  It will look different after it cools.

This is what my new little baby looks like after its 2 day cool down...

A memento of the experience.  They have quite a sense of humor (and fabulous vocabulary!)

After our stressful and arduous class completion, we went to the nearby Spaghetti Warehouse for a lunch in the trolley car!  I have to laugh because their website is!

I am planning to check off my next "bucket list" item in a few weeks--this one even more daring!  Stay tuned!!!

Until next time,