On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog


Michigan State Capitol

Rotunda Floor

Karen in Cooley Gardens

Karen and I went on a road trip today. We left early to make sure we were in Chelsea for the 9:30 tour of the Jiffy Company. The traffic was much lighter than we expected and we arrived in Chelsea at 8:30 - enough time to stop at Zou Zou Cafe for coffee and a breakfast roll.

Our Jiffy tour began with a mini blueberry muffin and a cup of coffee or a bottle of water. We saw a very informative movie - showed us places in the factory that we were not allowed to visit on our tour such as the receiving department( wheat from Michigan farms) and the grinding facility. After the movie we were escorted onto the factory floor where we got to see the packaging operation. Jiffy not only produces one and a half million boxes of product per day they make all of their own boxes as well. At the end, we were handed a bag to take home - in it was a cook book and 2 boxes of Jiffy blueberry muffin mix.

Next stop - the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing. There were only three of us on the tour and our guide was terrific. The restoration of the building was completed in 1992 and they did a fabulous job. The first floor of the rotunda is made up of 976 pieces of 5/8ths inch thick glass. From there you look up 160 feet into the gold inner dome.

The Gallery of Governors is on the second floor. The governors pay for their own portraits and present them to the state after he/she leaves office. The most unusual portrait is that of Governor John Swainson who served from 1961-62. He was only 35 when he became the second youngest elected governor of the state. He was 37 when he left office and the unfinished painting symbolizes his unfinished career. We visited the Senate and House chambers and the Governors Office to end the tour.

Our third stop was at the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame Museum . We were disappointed - certainly not in the women honored there but by the facility itself. Right next door, however, was the Cooley Gardens - most of the flowers were passed their prime but it was nice to walk on grass instead of concrete!

On our way home, we stopped in Novi to have an early dinner at the Bonefish Grill - the Bang Bang Shrimp being one of our favorite dishes! We talked about our day and lots of other things and then it was time to head home. Normally, I would have been alone on a day of exploration like this but it was so much fun to share it with my good friend, Karen.

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