LimoLand – Create Your Own Special Ride

Knee to knee seatingI’m not a automotive connoisseur, so I wouldn’t normally be interested in scoping out “how they build a limousine”. Recently, however, I’ve been somewhat of a captive to my travel partner who likes to explore oddities while traveling. And he does like cars, and scooters. My knowledge of such things is growing.

As part of our itinerary, he planned a visit to a limo fabricating place listed on the online site for Roadside America.

LimoLand is located in Springfield, MO and is a small shop that produces extravagant and elegant limousines “to order”. Here are some of the photos I took of work in progress. Our “tour guide” and “chief in charge of everything” graciously took time out of her busy schedule to show us around. We appreciate it!

Technician on the railsBeginning the stretch – back end

Stretch railsBeginning the stretch – front end

Roof weld seamAdding vertical structure

View throughTechnology in the rear

Mercedes Sprinter LimoMercedes Sprinter Limo

Side panel installedCenter panel in place

200 in stretch from frontTwo Hundred Inch Stretch

Interior lights - redSeating option with flashing lights (this just happened to be red)

Work area 2Workroom – where the conversions take place

Wood frame finishing for interior ceilingCustom woodwork – for overhead mirrors

Where finish is appliedWoodwork drying areaPaint roomReady for painting

Stretch bar 2Custom Bar

Interior lights - greenBar installed with lights (happened to be green)

Bar - another configurationAnother bar configuration

Entry bannerLimoLand Banner in Entry

The LimoLand website is Take a look around at their inventory and order your very own party wagon!

Note: For Eric – we met while eating lunch at the Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia, PA on June 17, 3015. All the best to you!

Cal-Earth Superadobe Structures Survive Nepal Earthquake

Have you ever heard of homes and shelters being made of sandbags and barbed wire, that can withstand the forces of winds and earthquakes ? Last weekend I had the chance to see how that’s done.

IMG_20150502_130011I’ve always been interested in alternative architecture, and when I had the opportunity to visit Cal-Earth in Hesperia, CA at one of their monthly open-houses, I was amazed and delighted with what I experienced and learned about them. There is so much to say about this organization and it’s vision, the vision begun by Iranian-American architect Nader Khalili.

IMG_20150502_105330Nader Khalili began Cal-Earth in 1991. From the Cal-Earth website, “Born in Iran as one of nine children, his quest was to empower the world’s poor and refugees to build homes using the earth under their feet. Khalili’s son Dastan, and daughter Sheefteh, are now working to carry forward his vision and quest throughout the world. He was a prominent American leader on the value of ethically based architecture, where the needs of the homeless are considered above all else.”

IMG_20150502_125857croppedWhen I began an undergraduate architecture curriculum I went home and told my parents that I wanted to build homes for people who were homeless and/or could not afford the kinds of homes most Americans lived in. As it turned out that path did not open for me, but I did become a social worker, caring about families and their needs. So it is no surprise that I am excited to know about this venture in Southern California that is global in nature.

IMG_20150502_125627croppedThe open house began with a presentation describing the structures, their different functions by size and shape, and the materials and construction methods used in creating quick shelter. A small structure can be made by a team of five to six people within a day. In addition, larger permanent structures, using the same principles of construction can be built that withstand the elements of nature.

IMG_20150502_125710croppedKhalili’s daughter addressed the gathering of about 60 people regarding her father’s background and his vision for providing shelter for all people. She received word that day that 40 superadobe structures of an orphanage in Khatmandu, Nepal  survived the recent earthquake there. Cal-Earth has developed structures that withstand the dynamics of earthquakes, and San Bernardina County California has approved construction plans and permits for homes using the methods prescribed by Cal-Earth.

IMG_20150502_102206cropped IMG_20150502_102400 IMG_20150502_102414The Pegasus Children’s Project, from the UK, supports the orphanage. You can read their earthquake report on their web site. Although the earth structures were not harmed, other structures are in need of repair, and they are requesting funds for that.

IMG_20150502_112045cropped IMG_20150502_112210While the Cal-Earth web site and Facebook page say almost everything about these structures, they can’t tell you how to experience being in one. There is such an organic and grounded feeling I have when I enter one of these domes. To me it feels a bit like camping out in a tent, or being in a cave – even a big cave. The openings that are incorporated let the light in and create a very earthy, comfortable feeling to me. The creative possibilities are endless!

IMG_20150502_102108 IMG_20150502_101245 IMG_20150502_101329 IMG_20150502_101343 IMG_20150502_101441 IMG_20150502_101348

IMG_20150502_130250cropped IMG_20150502_130346Anyone interested in learning how to build using the sandbag and barbed wire construction methods can take a class either on-site, or via the internet beginning on May 11, 2015. There are various levels of workshops and training available.

For more information I urge you to visit the Cal-Earth website and visit their page on Facebook – Cal-Earth Institute.


Adventures on the Road to Discovery