Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hunting Whales in Wisconsin...

Last Christmas I gave my grandmother a gift certificate to the House on the Rock near Dodgeville, WI. I knew the place had some rooms with fantastic views, but I didn't know much else. When I purchased the gift certificate in 2006, I noticed the high prices to get in, so I knew it must be good.

So, during my last week of 'vacation' from work I told grandma that I would drive her up to the House on the Rock. She got excited. This is a place she had always wanted to visit. I was excited that it was a rainy, cool week during the off season with not too many people around.

We decided to partake in the entire experience. Three different self guided tours. The first tour was through the main house and included my favorite, the Infinity Room. The house was a creation of Alex Jordan beginning in the early 1940's, and opened for the public in the 1960's. The house seemed like that crazy neighbor with a 1970's style house complete with red carpeting on the floors, walls, and celing. It was dark and full of collections I can only being to describe.

The second tour went through a recreation of a main street from pre-automobile days. It was an interesting history tour. The Music of Yesterday exhibit creates all of these 'musical scenes' where dolls that have a motor create the music, or in some cases the music plays itself. Very creepy. The highlight for me was the 90 foot tall whale and octopus eating a boat. It was indescribebly HUGE. There is an aviation exhibit as well as the largest Carousel in the world. It has 20,000 lights, no horses is 35 feet tall, 80 feet wide, weighs 35 tons, and took 10 years to build. It was totally strange with lots of very weird animals.

The third tour was even more strange. There as an organ room with hundreds of organs and pianos. Some of the organs had so many levels. There was the doll house area where my grandmother got to see hundreds of doll houses. Then it was time for the cirucs and even an several story carousel with hundreds or even thousands of dolls. Think a horror movie. The tour ends with more galleries of stuff - weapons, armor, jewels, just to name a few.

This place was crazy. Everything was magnified. It was dark. There were tons of asian themes. There are new gardens propping up. Crazy outdoor scluptures. It is a HUGE place.

The pictures are dark because the place is very dark. There are also a few videos I did to try and capture this area. I still have a hard time describing it, but I did have a lot of fun.

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