Saturday, June 18, 2011

We're Off!

Yay, we are heading out to the west coast early tomorrow morning! We'll be in L.A. for a couple days and then on to Utah for the Sandberg Family Reunion. But first, here's a little of what's going on this past week.

Last Saturday morning we had a training/brunch at the Primary President's house for our new callings, Nursery Leaders (for the youngest of the three nurseries). We've been nursery leaders before and loved it, but we were a little sad that we are going to be isolated from everyone else during most of church. After the meeting they asked us what we had going on the rest of the day and we said that afternoon we were going to a place where they make whiskey. And we did!

Mount Vernon (George Washington's estate) has a Gristmill and Distillery a few miles down the road from the main estate. Washington already had the gristmill when a Scottish man convinced him that making whiskey would be a profitable business. So Washington did a few test runs, determined that there really was a market for whiskey in the area, and built the distillery (but he didn't run it for very long, he died only a few years later). Whiskey was different from Washington's other profitable crops because he sold it locally and got a return on his investment quicker; he didn't have to export it and wait months for his profit.

This is the inside of the gristmill (where they ground down the corn). The mechanics of it all were pretty amazing. There was no electricity, so the giant wheel (3 stories tall) that moves the whole system is water-powered. In Washington's time the canal where the water flows into the gristmill (below) was miles long to give the water enough rise in elevation to flow. Then inside everything is connected to the big wheel like a giant clock.

Also this week, Robert is volunteering at the US Open. He can't take his phone or camera so no pictures except this one brought to you by Lexus.
But he seems to be having a lot of fun. He is on the leader board team so he updates one of the many scoreboards around the course. Every shift he is assigned to a different hole. Yesterday the hole he was at was right next to the evacuation center for the players where they have tents and buses to take the players back to the clubhouse in case of inclement weather. While he was working they called a hold on play because a big downpour was about to come through, so the players all gathered around the evacuation center for a while until the rain actually started. Then they went inside and Robert braved out the rain under an umbrella.
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