Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What's your favorite Christmas ornament?


What are your favorite Christmas ornaments? If you're not quite sure, take a look at a few of these. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I visited my sister who lives near Catawissa, and we made a trip to Kohls Christmas Tree Farm near Milton. They boast that they have more than 50,000 ornaments, and I believe it.
How about a "merman"? They have them!

Or if you need something to top that tree, how about a dog angel? I found them a little disturbing, but that's just me.

Of course you gotta love sock monkeys, of every description ... and no tree is complete without a pink flamingo, right?

Don't miss the huge display of tree stands on the walls, ranging the ages, so to speak. This is just a small sample:

And... I love these guys! The Beatles are appropriate everywhere!

Just beware... this animated Santa that greets you at the door is a little creepy ... but be brave. The shop inside is well worth it!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I hope everyone has a great THANKSGIVING ... and has many reasons to give thanks.
There are two great reasons to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade -- the turkey, which is an all-time favorite...

AND THIS YEAR ... a balloon by Tim Burton.
Can't wait to see the real thing!

As a vegetarian, I won't be eating any turkey. But bring on that potato filling... and way too much pie!
Hey, we can all diet next week... until Christmas!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

On the trail again, part 2

As promised, here is the second part of my tale of our recent vacation jaunt.
Having been able to base at my friend's house in Harrisburg, on the second day of this vacation we headed to Maryland for a day trip, stopping first at Mount St. Mary's University.
We wanted to walk out to the grotto, take in some of the beautiful statuary and, of course, walk through the cemetery there.
Here are some of the wonderful shots that capture a bit of that stop. If you ever have the chance to check this out, please do so.

After we spent a bit of time there, it was time to get back on the road to our next destination, Catoctin Mountain National Park.

I had never been there, but my friend said it was a beautiful spot and we could do some hiking, so off we went.

We stopped at the visitors center, picked up a map and asked the park ranger which trail he would suggest. Since we're not spring chickens, but also aren't couch potatoes, we didn't want the most challenging trail. He hemmed and hawed a bit, and then suggested the trail to Cunningham Falls. It was supposed to be a bit more than 3 miles round-trip; we figured that was easily doable before dark.

So we set off -- and quickly realized the term "trail" is a bit of an overstatement.
There were no markings at all, and because of all the leaves, you kind of had to guess as you went up and down in the woods, over here and back there, walk, walk walk. We finally passed some people heading in the opposite direction and asked if they had gone to the falls. They hesitated, said yeah, and we asked if we were almost there.
"Ummmm," was about all the reply we got.
We finally decided to rest on a fallen tree for a few minutes, and then thought it would be most prudent to head back.
We hated not getting to the falls, but we had been walking a long time and there was still no water in site.
After getting back to the parking lot, we decided to drive through the park, which was gorgeous. And then we headed up the road to Cunningham Falls State Park. At a lake pulloff, a man in a wheelchair told us there was supposedly an area along the main road where you could park and get to the falls.

We finally found that and at last made it to the falls. They were beautiful.

Now to get there from the national park, you would have had to cross that main road, we discovered. We're still a bit mystified by that national park trail.
So if you ever get down there and want to see the falls, go to the state park. Take one of the other "trails" on the national park side if you just want to trek through the woods.
Still, it was a terrific trip, we had lots of fun ... and have great memories of that long trek to nowhere.
Once again, thanks, Lynn, for a great vacation. And thanks, Danielle, for the great photos.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Please vote today!

Today's the day .... the day to vote!

It's an important election, to be sure.

Be sure to check out The Reporter's live blog and other coverage.

And if you don't know where to vote, check this list.

Now no excuses... it's a beautiful day. Speak your voice and vote!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy hiking ... but vacation's over

A week back at work almost makes you forget that you were just on vacation. Maybe it has something to do with the impending election, and all the related work.
Whatever the case may be, I was just on a week's vacation, and now have a week of work under my belt.
So it's time to get caught up a bit on blogging.

Although this vacation did not turn out to be a trek to Vermont, it was beautiful and memorable nonetheless. Basing out of my friend's home in Harrisburg for a few days (he was willing to put up with us even after hosting us in Cape Cod this summer, thank you!), we ventured into the gorgeous Lancaster area countryside on one of the days and that evening hit a hiking trail near Harrisburg for a little 3-mile jaunt.

Once again, I thank my daughter for "lending" these photos, which catch a bit of the beauty of that walk.
Hope you enjoy these photos -- it was a great place for a walk.

My next blog entry will detail a bit of our journey to Maryland ... and a hike that was a bit, well, different.
Until then, drink in this great scenery (oh, you can skip that photo of us walking...)