Monthly Archives: July 2012

July 27 Longwood Gardens and ……

A lot of rain & lightning last night … skies look a lot brighter this morning.  Some country folks get woken up early in the morning by roosters … we wake up every morning to impact wrenches, hammering, banging and cutting sounds .. usually starting at 6am .. or before 6 …  !  I think it’s safe to say .. if we visit Bird-in-Hand again .. we will find another campsite …

This morning we’ll head out looking for some covered bridges in a town called Strasberg .. then head to Longwood Gardens this afternoon.  We’ll improvise our day as we go along..

Did a lot of driving around this morning …  found a few bridges and of course more farms and buggies.  Headed to a garden store called ‘Terrain’ .. approx 30 min from Longwood Gardens…  Lots of usual plants and tools for gardens. Although place was situated near a strip mall .. you would never know because of their clever setup.

Headed next to Longwood Gardens .. arrived around 6pm … anxiously waiting to see their light show, we’ve read a lot about it.  We walked around the gardens while it was still daylight .. scoping out where light displays were located .. As we got into twilight .. we were amazed .. thousands and thousands of led lights set up throughout the gardens …  I think it took 3 months to set these displays up ..  Hold to describe how amazing lights looked at night .. I’ve imbedded a  link from Longwood Gardens to give you an idea how it was set up and what it looks like.  We’ll post our photos in Smugmug.  Photos will show daylight & night photos …  Show will end in Sept .. we may go back and check it out one more time …. it was  that good !

Got back to Casita at midnite …  with all the driving and walking around .. we were really tired ..   Heading back home Sat morning …..  It’s been an interesting few days ..  We’ll have some downtime .. then we’ll head to Maine for a few weeks …


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July 26 Hershey Quilt Show and Local Photos

Warm sunny morning .. forecast calling for ‘excessive’ heat today .. 100 degrees plus, we’ll be spending most of the day in the AC at Hershey Convention Center … so .. we’ll be cool.  Ride to Hershey was only 45 min .. but it took us approx 20 min to find a parking space !  Quilt show brings a lot of folks from in and out of state .. several conventions going on at same time .. plus all the folks that are visiting Hershey Park amusement park .. where did they think everyone was going to park ???  So I dropped Terri off at entrance and cruised parking lot(s) until I found a spot …  Terri checked out exhibits and venders market as I found a comfortable chair in lobby and read. A member in Terri’s quilt group submitted a quilt that was on display .. didn’t win any ribbons .. but these quilts in the competition are the best of the best.  Temps were so hot outside, water misters were set up outside to cool things off .. they really helped out a lot.

After dinner we decided to drive around local area to do some exploring .. came across a really old covered bridge and a grist mill.  Ominous dark clouds and threat of heavy rains chased us back to our campsite.  As much as I was tempted to drive around some more and look for some photo opportunities .. we decided not to take the chance .. we’ve been in heavy downpours in other situations where we could hardly see out truck windows .. in this case we were driving on narrow country roads with few opportunities to pull over.  Terri took photos out her window as we drove back … extremely dark clouds were rolling in very fast. Made it back to campsite before heavy rains started … as i’m writing blog .. we are being ‘treated’ to a lightning show out our windows …  Glad Casita AC does a good job .. with windows shut .. and temps still abit warm .. we’re safe & comfortable …

Updated Smugmug photo link … Tomorrow we head off to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square Pa …   hope we don’t have any rain .. most garden & light exhibits are outside !

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July 25 Bird-in-Hand & Buggy Driving !

An early start this morning ..  seems as though a trailer business (our neighbor on one side of us) starts hammering, sawing, banging at 7am … between the our trailer business neighbors and our close proximity to a main street (car/truck noise) near campsite .. we will be getting an early start every morning … but .. thats OK .. we’re not hear to sleep…  Nice warm .. sunny day today … we’re going to spend the day in Bird-in-Hand.

Started our day by checking out some local shops … a lot of quilt stores and Amish made wood goods all over town. Walked around Kitchen Kettle Village … nice place to walk around and browse in the many stores. Bought a small basket of  locally grown peaches .. very sweet … we’ll have some with breakfast tomorrow.  One of the stores we stopped  in sold locally made jams/jellies/relishes .. lots of different varieties, all locally made.  Tasting samples were provided for must of their products … I made the mistake of trying some hot sauce called ‘Pappy’s Moonshine Madness’ …  label said,  ‘It will make you go blind’ .. Of course .. I thought they were just kidding  ..  well .. I didn’t go blind, but the small portion I tried was the hottest thing I’ve ever had … I was immediately looking for a drink to put out the fire .. this stuff is packing some serious heat !!!  Terri said my face was turning red !!!  Needless to say .. that small taste was enough for me .. we bought other jams’s .. but NOT Pappy’s toxic sauce !    After buying some other stuff .. we decided to drive around the area and check out the numerous Amish farms.  While driving around we found  Abe’s Buggy Rides … just what I was looking for !!  Last night I was checking out Trip Advisor for the top attractions in the area … found out that Abe’s was the highest rated buggy touring place ..  They have several options as to how long of a ride you want to pay for .. we figured this was going to be a one time deal .. so .. we opted for the 5 mile (approx 1 hour) ride.  It was an hour well spent .. our driver/guide, Irv,  was a nice guy and gave us a great tour. Irv grew up Amish .. then his family converted to be a Mennonite, so Irv knew both cultures.  Best part of ride .. ??  Irv let me take the reigns of our horse Jewel ..  I was riding up front in the buggy and was ‘driving’ for quite awhile .. I handed over the reigns as we approached an intersection..  Horses are extremely well trained .. with just a little tug on reigns .. we were stopping & making small turns in the street … cool stuff !  Irv gave us alot info regarding the 2 cultures and answered  all of our questions ..  Tour took us along a lot of side streets where we passed quite a few Amish houses & farms ..  Tip .. you can tell if a house is Amish if they have green shades in their windows .. Irv gave us a good lead on where to go to check out a Mennonite working farm ..  after getting directions .. we headed out to Lap’s Farm.  Not too far from Abe’s ..   Place was amazing .. buildings/barn areas were all  modern well built & maintained .. no old fallen down stuff here. Milking process was with automatized milking machines …  only took 2 people to handle approx 20 cows at a time .. milking area was as clean as it could be .. within 10 minutes .. milking process was done  .. and next group of cows moved in .. All cows get milked twice a day .. 4:30 in the morning and 4:30 in the afternoon .. takes about 2 hours to complete each cycle.  This Mennonite farm is organized and high tech ! There was a separate building that was used for selling ice cream and milk products .. for being quite a bit off the main roads .. a lot of people were in the store buying stuff .. We bought some ice cream cones .. and checked out the farm area.  A lot of dogs (4 bulldogs) and cats around the farm .. dogs would follow folks around .. getting lots of attention and pets from everyone .. very friendly .. cats were lying on tables that were outside of ice cream building .. may not have been sanitary .. but .. they were very nice cats !

After checking out farm …. we headed to a place called Water’s Edge for some mini golfing … nice course ..  By the time we finished our round of golf .. it was time for dinner … a lot of restaurants in the area, no problems finding places to eat. As we were getting ready to pay our bill .. we ran into our friend Irv the buggy driver  .. he was working late .. and was picking up dinner for the Mrs …  What are the odds of us meeting again in the same day.  We chatted about our experiences at dairy farm .. we could tell we was pleased that we enjoyed our trip .. Said our goodbyes to Irv (who knows .. Bird-in-Hand is a small place .. we may bump into him again) and headed to our campsite .. it’s been a long day .. and we’re tired !  Tomorrow we head to Hershey Park and the quilt show.

Took quite a few photos today .. will load some in blog .. and will attempt to load others to our Smugmug photo link … if I can remember how to do it !


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July 24 ‘4 Nights of Camping in the Land of the Amish’

Nearing the end of July and we’ve only been out with the Casita once  .. time to get rolling !   So .. here we are in a town called Bird-in-Hand (Pennsylvania).  We’re at a campsite called Country Acres, staying for 4 nights.  We’ve stayed at this campsite a few years ago .. small, clean campground that is located near where we want to be.  We left this morning at approx 11 am … it was only a 3 hour ride ..  temps were in the low 90’s .. and we ran into several traffic delays due to road construction along the way, making that 3 hours seems like a lot more.  After setting up Casita (sites are abit tight) we cleaned up and headed into town looking for a place to eat .. Linner .. (lunch-dinner)…  Found a place called ‘Millers’ .. very close to our campsite .. good food ! After dinner we drove around for awhile .. getting re-acquainted with the area.  We have been to Lancaster County several times .. very nice scenery .. a lot of green fields and working farms, mostly owned by Amish folks. Amish buggies, bicycles, and scooters are all over the town, amazing how their horses can ride along with traffic on road and not get spooked, they are very well trained and very used to the hectic traffic.  Our plan is to spend tomorrow in Bird-in-Hand .. shopping, taking photos, taking a Amish buggy ride (need to talk Terri into this .. not high on her list of things to do).  Thursday we’ll take a ride to Hershey Park to check out a Quilt Show .. Friday we’re planning on meeting up with Chris & Todd at Longwood Gardens to check out their amazing flower/plant displays. They’ve added a special light show this year that we haven’t seen before (this will be our 3rd visit to Longwood).  We’ll head for home on Sat .. I’m sure we’ll run into a lot more unplanned adventures before we head home!

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