We're headed to Hot Springs at the end of next week for our annual theme park trip (family motto: Creating Memories!). Last year, in addition to the water park and amusement park, we went to the big observation tower and saw some of the sights downtown.
This year I've got a dream.
We sometimes watch the Science Channel shows "How Do They Do It?" and "How It's Made." It's one of my absolute favorite types of television -- factory porn, you might call it. Specialized machines doing specialized jobs. Cutters, crimpers, computers, conveyer belts, spinning and whirling gears that mix and shape and press and package things.
Today the topic was rubber bands. And lo and behold, the factory making the rubber bands was Alliance Rubber in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Turns out Alliance Rubber has been churning out rubber bands and other specialty rubber products since 1923. The shots of the factory floor inspired my dream. What if we could tour the rubber band factory on our trip?
I know that nine-year-old me would have loved that, and I'll bet my kids would love it, too. There's no information about visiting the factory on their website, but there's a phone number, and by golly, I'm going to be calling it. In fact, this idea has opened up a whole new world of Creating-Memories opportunities for me -- beyond the tourist destinations and standard attractions. If there's a factory around making something, I think we should be wearing hard hats and watching those big machines at work.