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.

Review: Country Cottage – Jim Thorpe PA

Category: Reviews — Posted by Michael at 0923

While this store sells great gifts, pottery, candles and more, the real treasure is back by the register. It’s a wall of pickles. Packaged in Ball jars with a paper tag held on by twine, these are some of the best homemade pickles you’ll ever taste. Besides delicious dills, there are spicy pickles, pickled green beans, garlic, asparagus, salsas and more. Now you understand why the sign out front says “Home of the Blue Ribbon Pickle.” The very friendly owner (locally known simply as “The Pickle Lady” makes all of these the pickles herself. When I was in this area a few years ago, I found myself lugging a heavy bag of pickle jars around with me. This visit was no different. Even in subzero temperatures, it was worth it! It’s hard not to buy one of everything. For those who don’t want to carry many jars of pickles up and down the hills of Jim Thorpe, she told me she also ships. I hope to take her up on that offer. I just wish she had a website instead of having to call.

22 February 2016

Review: Pappy’s Schoolhouse Restaurant and Tavern – Lehighton PA

Category: Reviews — Posted by Michael at 1022

While looking for a late night meal on a weeknight, your choices are usually limited to diners and bars. Diners around this area aren’t open 24 hours so we settled on Pappy’s Schoolhouse. It’s a small local bar. Bar foo can usually go one of two ways… frozen food that you could have picked up at the supermarket yourself or delicious homemade food. This place falls squarely into the homemade category. All of the food was scratch made. They even smoke their own meat! As soon as I heard this, I had to order a brisket sandwich. I was glad I did! Served on a delicious roll with a side of house made barbeque sauce, I was tempted to another one to go!

It’s clearly a local place where everyone knows everyone else, but they made us out-of-towner’s feel welcome too. The waitress actually stopped by our table a few times just to chat. Our dinner took a little longer than expected due to a minor mix up by a new staff member in the kitchen. We didn’t complain since we were in no hurry, but they voluntarily gave us each free dessert to make up for the delay. When do you ever see that type of great customer service anymore?

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.

Review: Local Kitchen & Beer Bar – Norwalk CT

Category: Reviews — Posted by Michael at 1621

While we were in Norwalk, we intentionally tried a different restaurant for every meal. We stuck to this plan until we tried Local Kitchen and Beer Bar in the South Norwalk (SONO) neighborhood right near the SONO Railroad Bridge.  After stopping in once and sampling a variety of menu items, we just had to go back again the next day before we headed out of town. We mainly dined on their small plates all of which are available in two sizes, little and lots. Offering small plates/appetizers in 2 sizes is something I wish more restaurants did. Sometimes you want to sample a bunch of stuff, other times you just want a single appetizer for yourself or to share. Our two favorites were the Thai Popcorn Chicken and the Crab & Artichoke Fondue. With bacon, smoked gouda and a little sriracha, the fondue is something that I’d buy by the gallon if I could!

On both visits we had a seat by the windows which allowed for people watching on the pedestrian heavy Washington Street and a fun view of the railroad bridge.

While I’m not a beer drinker, they obviously have quite a beer selection as well. Their “bourbon room” is definitely something that might be worth a visit at a later date.

Local Sign
Crab and Artichoke Fondue Thai Popcorn Chicken

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.

20 November 2015

Norwalk CT Photos

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 1422

While looking for someplace to stop for a few days on the way back from Kingston in the Catskills, we settled upon Norwalk, Connecticut, a city I’ve driven through/past hundreds of times but never visited. They have a cool aquarium along the waterfront on the Long Island Sound. We also took a boat trip out to Sheffield Island to tour the lighthouse. Our spare time was spent exploring the SONO (South Norwalk) neighborhood where we found some fantastic food. On our way out of town we stopped at the world’s most fun supermarket, Stew Leonard’s. A friend suggested it and you’ll have to look at the photos to really appreciate it as much as I appreciate her telling me about it!

Check out the photos here.

01 November 2015

Kingston NY Photos

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 1928

Espous Meadows LighthouseI just posted some photos I took while in Kingston, NY. For those keeping count, this short vacation to the Catskills is the third time we’ve wound up at a German festival at a ski resort. I swear it’s not intentionally planned that way, but really, who can resist delicious German food? Of course, it included a scenic chairlift ride, but one difference at this festival at Hunter Mountain was the Doxie Derby. How often do you get to watch dachshunds racing??? Some ran to the finish line, some ran away! This trip also included a walk across the Spectacular Walkway Over the Hudson, a boat ride on the Hudson river and some time in downtown Kingston before we headed out of the Catskills and off to Norwalk, Connecticut.

Check out my Kingston photos here.

06 September 2015

Tall Ships Photos

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 1523

Back in June there was a tall ship festival in Philadelphia and the Camden waterfront. When I was a kid my parents would sometimes take us to a park along the Delaware River to see the tall ships when they were coming to Philadelphia. We also got a see them once or twice in Baltimore. So this was a fun chance to check them out up close and bring back some good memories too.

I would have liked to go aboard a few more ships, but the crowds were insane. We chose to go aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle.

You can see the photos right here.

06 May 2015

New Mexico Photos

Category: Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 2021

Hot Air Balloon The photos from my vacation in New Mexico are now online. There are also a few short videos including a video of the highlight of the trip… a hot air balloon flight! Beside the balloon flight, we visited San Lorenzo Canyon, Socorro, the Trinity Site, White Sands National Monument, Albuquerque, Acoma Pueblo, Route 66 and the Sandia Peak. Throughout all of these locations we ate more New Mexican cuisine than you can imagine. We might’ve gained a few pounds, but it was totally worth it!

Click here to view the photos and be sure to check out the hot air balloon video while you’re there.

26 April 2015

Improvements to Website Photo Albums

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

In preparation for posting the photos from my vacation in New Mexico (soon, I promise!), I’ve completed a major upgrade to all of the existing photo albums on my site. Both the thumbnails and large images have been replaced with larger versions and I’ve removed the 1990s-esque frames that were around the images. Those cute little white frames may have been appropriate in their day, but they are no more.

Now that Apple is sadly replacing Aperture and iPhoto with their new Photos app, there may be more changes coming in the future. Of course, as always, I will hang on to the old programs as long as I can!

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