I 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.
13 January 2017
29 November 2016
Seeing the news today about the horrific wildfire affecting Gatlinburg, Tennessee and surrounding area is heartbreaking. I vacationed there 2 years ago. It’s a truly fun tourist destination. I’m at least happy to hear that Emergency Management officials initial report that Ober Gatlinburg ski resort had been destroyed turned out to be false.
This seems like a good time to take a look at my photos from Gatlinburg when it wasn’t the frightening disaster area it is right now.
03 July 2016
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.
20 June 2016
While 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.
08 April 2016
I 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
While 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.
21 February 2016
I 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
Everyone 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
The 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.
15 February 2016
I 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.
08 February 2016
I 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
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
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!
01 November 2015
I 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.
06 September 2015
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.