12 March 2017

Twenty Years Already?

Category: Life,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 1522

Everyone likes milestones that end in zero. Whether it’s a birthday or anniversary counted in years, months or days, if it ends in a zero, people like to celebrate it. So, I feel only right to mention that this website has been hanging around on the web for 20 years now. What started out as a free set of webpages on AOL when I was in high school has slowly grown over the years. I don’t pay as much attention to it as I did years ago; haven’t revamped in quite a while and I still maintain it using mostly static HTML pages (except this blog section which runs on WordPress), which no one really does anymore. I keep saying that I’m going to redo the entire site using a content management system, but I don’t know when I’ll get around to that for real. It certainly will make managing the huge photos section easier.

Speaking of the photos on the site, they’re the main reason it still exists. They’re what most people come here to see. At last count, there were about 7500 photos spanning 18 years of travel, family events and any of photos that I felt were worth sharing at the time. Why aren’t there 20 years of photos? Well, prior to that no one was using a digital camera! Hell, when I started posting photos I was actually using a camera that took floppy disks! Read more about that here.

Anyway, if you want to feel nostalgic about how old this site is and how far it’s come along, take a look a page that’s having its own 10th anniversary. I created it commemoration of another round number anniversary, 10 years. It shows what the site originally looked like and how it progressed during its first decade. If you think the site seems dated now, take a look at what it used to look like! I would make another retrospective for 20 years, but honestly, it hasn’t changed much since then. It’s just grown some.

As always, thanks for checking out the site. As long as I continue to hear from enough people who enjoy it, I’ll keep maintaining it and will try to continue to keep it going for another 20 years.

15 January 2017

Canadian Maritimes Videos Posted

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 1953

Just in case you couldn’t figure it out from all of the tweets, Google+ posts and YouTube notifications that were generated earlier today, I finally uploaded the videos I took during my trip to the Canadian Maritimes back in August. There are 2 videos from the Digby Scallop Days festival in Nova Scotia and 4 from the bagpipe and Celtic/Highland dancing show (Highland Thunder) that we went to at the College of Piping & Celtic Performing Arts of Canada in PEI.

Take a moment to check them out here and if you haven’t seen my photos from that trip, those are available too. Also, if you’ve never considered a trip to the Canadian Maritimes, I highly recommend it.

13 January 2017

Lake Wallenpaupack Photos

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 1218

Lackawaxen RiverI just posted the last of my photos from 2016. Back in October, we spent a long weekend at Lake Wallenpaupack, a man-made lake in the Northern Poconos created as a reservoir for a hydroelectric plant. Because we left in the evening after work, we stopped and spent a night at Sands in Bethlehem before heading the rest of the way up to the Poconos. Our first stop was in Honesdale to board a train for a scenic ride along the path of the former Delaware and Hudson Canal to check out the beautiful Fall foliage. We then headed to Hawley to check in to our motel right across the street from the lake. We sent much of the weekend walking and driving around the lake and exploring downtown Hawley. Along the way we found time to stop at a few very cool diners. After heading out of town, on our way home, we went to a cider mill because nothing says Fall like a cider mill. Then we visited the home of the first chief of the US Forest Service, Grey Towers. It’s now a national historic landmark and museum. All in all, it was a slower paced, more relaxing vacation than we usually like to take, but it was still a lot of fun.

Check out the photos right here. Enjoy!

03 July 2016

Chicago Photos

Category: Life,None,Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 1339

Chicago TheatreI finally posted my MANY photos from my trip to Chicago.

Chicago is one of those places that I’ve been familiar with through the years mainly because of so many various TV shows set there. As a kid I watched Perfect Strangers (anyone remember TGIF?). In high school and college it was ER and Chicago Hope. Then more recently it’s been NBC’s Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Chicago Med. On top of this, I feel like I know Chicago and the rest of Chicagoland because I’ve been a loyal listener of the Eric & Kathy morning show on WTMX in Chicago for well over a decade. However, I’d never actually been to the Windy City. This trip finally corrected that.

We spent 7 days in Chicago. We stayed right downtown in the Loop, a block south of the river. Over the course of the week, we walked approximately 50 miles, climbed 201 flights of stairs and road the L 22 times. Needless to say, we covered much of the city (at least the downtown area) while even finding time to spend a relaxing evening with a cousin who lives out there.

To say that Chicago is an incredible food city is an understatement. My normal diet was suspended for the week as we check out the best places to get real Chicago deep dish pizza, Chicago dogs and Italian beef along with stops at Harry Caray’s and Mike Ditka’s. Oh, and don’t forget the Portillo’s chocolate cake.

Check out all of the photos plus some videos and a list of our many great dining experiences right here.

20 June 2016

Washington State Photos

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 2005

Puget Sounds, Silverdale WAWhile in Washington State for business, I stayed at the Silverdale Beach Hotel. My room had a nice view of the Puget Sound. During my week there, I snapped a few photos from my balcony and from the shoreline of the Sound. There’s also one photo from Poulsbo where we went for dinner one night.

Take a look at these photos here.

19 June 2016

Photos from Alexandria, Virginia

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 1539

Christ Church, Alexandria VAWhile visiting my cousin in the Northern Virginia suburbs of DC, we made an excursion to Alexandria. Besides walking the historic streets of the city, we took a tour of Christ Church. The significance of this building is that George Washington was a member of it as was Robert E Lee. You can sit in President Washington’s seat which has also supported the butts of the last 20 US presidents (except President Obama as of yet) plus Winston Churchill. Talk about sitting on history!

Check out the photos right here!

08 April 2016

COLD Jim Thorpe Winterfest Photos

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 1955

Jim ThorpeI just posted an album of photos from The Jim Thorpe Winterfest back in February. 3 years ago, we went to the annual festival. It’s a fun event that encompasses the entire downtown area of this quaint little mountain town. We decided to go back this year since we had a free long weekend. The big difference from last time was that this time the temperature throughout the weekend was 5 degrees below zero with a wind chill of -24!!! I like the cold, but this was painful cold unless you had the right gear on. I’m quite happy that I bought a new LL Bean parka last Fall.

There was an ice carver and a wood carver creating sculptures on the street. There’s a “mug walk” where you purchase a mug and them show it at a bunch of stores throughout the town and they give you some small item in return. It’s a fun way to get people into every little shop. Of course, our favorite shop is the Country Cottage where the “pickle lady” resides. She makes the best pickles you’ll ever try. This year, the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railroad was also running. We took an excursion on that which made for a fun break from the bitter cold.

Check out the photos here. You may need to put a coat on to look at them.

06 April 2016

Scranton Photo Album

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 2054

McDade ParkWhile in the Poconos for the Jim Thorpe Winterfest, we headed up to Scranton for the day to visit the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum. I highly recommend stopping in if you ever get the chance. The history and heritage of the miners and their families is a fascinating tale. Living as close as we do to the PA coal mining region, I’m sorry I haven’t explored it more. I hope to head back up there one day and take the coal mine tour since it was closed for the winter. We also visited the Historic Scranton Iron Furnaces. It was here that we realized that we did not wear enough layers for the subzero temperatures and after exploring the furnaces we headed directly to the nearest Wal-Mart for additional hand warmers and thermal underwear!

On the way back down to the hotel in Lehighton, we made a stop at Mohegan Sun Pocono (formerly Pocono Downs) in Wilkes-Barre for dinner and a little gambling.

You can see the photos from our day in Scranton here.

23 February 2016

Shady Brook Farms Holiday Light Show Photos

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 2117

Shady Brook Farms PhotosEvery year we look for fun “Christmas-y” places to visit during Christmas week. One new place we discovered this year was Shady Brook Farms in Bucks County, PA. Their Christmas light display consists of over 3 million lights and includes displays ranging from light tunnels to iconic structures from around to the world to almost anything else you can imagine.You can drive through or ride on a tractor pulled wagon. We opted for the open air wagon ride because who wants to take pictures from behind glass while driving. Of course, I took full advantage of the wagon ride to take a bunch of photos.

You can check out the photos right here.

21 February 2016

Bethlehem Steel Photos

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 1634

Bethlehem Steel PhotosI usually go to Bethlehem a few times each year to visit the Sands casino for dinner and a little gambling. I also go to there every year for their Chriskindlmarkt. The striking thing about the city is the long idle Bethlehem Steel plant. The casino is built on part of its former site and the Chriskindlmarkt is now held on another part of the site. However, much of the plant still remains as a monument to what was once the most important business in the city, if not the entire region. This year while at the Chriskindlmarkt, we discovered the new Hoover-Mason trestle walkway. It allows an up close look at the trestle that was formerly used to bring coke, limestone & iron ore to the blast furnaces and serves as a small museum depicting the history of Bethlehem Steel.

You can take a look at the photos I took while walking along the trestle in this album.

20 February 2016

Delaware Covered Bridges and Fall Foliage Photos

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 1032

Delaware Covered Bridges and FoliageEveryone knows I love covered bridges and that Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. So, what better way to spend a Fall day than visiting every covered bridge in the state of Delaware (SPOILER: there are only 3!) and then driving around looking for Fall colored foliage on the back roads of northern Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania.

Now you can finally take look at some of what we found in this album.

17 February 2016

Watertown, New York Photos

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 2151

Watertown PhotosThe last of my photos from our trip to the 1000 Islands are finally online. We took advantage of the cool Fall weather that had already arrived in northern New York and visited the Burrville Cider Mill in Watertown where we watched cider being pressed before stocking up on so many varieties of delicious apples to take home. We stopped in Watertown again on the way home from Alex Bay and visited the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park. The zoo is populated with animals that are native to New York.

You can check out this album right here. While you’re at it, check out the other photos from this trip from the 1000 Islands and Upper Canada Village.

15 February 2016

Upper Canada Village/Pumpkinferno Photos

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 2159

Upper Canada Village photosI just posted another album from this past October. This one contains photos from side trip to Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg, Ontario that we took while we were visiting Alexandria Bay and the 1000 Islands region. During the day, we took a guided tour of the British Canadian colonial village. After having been to many American colonial museums/villages over the years, it was quite interesting to see the colonial era from the point of view of the British loyalists. After dinner at the McIntosh Inn, we went back to Upper Canada Village which was transformed into Pumpkinferno. A seasonal display of over 6,000 hand carved pumpkins. It was quite a sight.

You can check out the album right here. Take a look at my 1000 Islands photos here and watch for my Watertown NY photos coming soon too!

08 February 2016

1000 Islands & Alexandria Bay Photos

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 2152

Alexandria Bay & 1000 Islands photosI finally posted then photos from last October’s trip to the 100 Islands region of New York. When we got up there, the area was quieting down since the summer high season was over and Fall weather was settling in, but there was still plenty to do while avoiding the massive crowds of summer. Our hotel in Alexandria Bay was right on the St. Lawrence River with a great view of Boldt Castle and the shipping traffic of the St. Lawrence Seaway. We visited and toured the castle while taking a boat tour of some of the over 1800 islands in the area. Besides exploring the village of Alex Bay (as the locals call it), the trip also included an Oktoberfest at a winery (yup, another vacation with a German festival!) and some side trips to Upper Canada Village and Watertown, NY which you can see in separate albums.

The photos can be viewed here. Two more albums from side trips we made during this vacation, Upper Canada Village and Watertown NY, will be forthcoming soon.

07 February 2016

Blizzard of Photo Albums Predicted

Category: Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 1159

I’ve received some comments from people saying that I haven’t posted any photos lately. Well, it’s not because I haven’t taken any. It’s just because I haven’t taken had time to post them. That’s about to change. I have 6 sets of photos that I’ve been working on. They’re all just about ready to put up on the site. So, watch this space for announcements as I post each of them.

What are the photos of? Glad you asked! They’re from October’s trip to the 1000 Islands/Alexandria Bay, Upper Canada Village and Watertown, some fall foliage, the Bethlehem Steel plant and a Christmas light display on a farm in Bucks County.

Next Page »
Amish amusing Apple Beijing blogging China Christmas computers Connecticut covered bridges Dad Delaware Discovery Channel eBay Emil Gatti fall family family tree festival food Gloucester Township Google history holidays Macintosh Maryland New Jersey New York olympics Pennsylvania Philadelphia Photography photos podcasts radio religion restaurants review Rhode Island security snow television Thanksgiving Torino travel TWiT Virginia web hosting websites Winter

©1997-2017 Michael Gatti