Category Archives: museum

Pennsylvania’s only President


Our Christmas adventures begin!

On November 30th, we took a little trip up to Lancaster, PA to tour the Jame Buchanan house. To make the tour special, they had actors playing Clement C. Moore who penned ’twas the Night Before Christmas, his wife, a housekeeper and Mr. North/St. Nick.

We got there thinking we’d get in on the 4 pm tour, but had to wait until 5 pm. They couldn’t add us to the group. We went around the mansion and took photos of it outside to kill time.

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We would get to see it in the dark all lit up (just the back). I just love when the sun sets at 4 something these days.

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Colonial garden done for the fall

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This was the door we would go in to start the tour.

When it was our turn, Brian, Sean and me were the only ones on the tour.

It was kind of interesting! We got to talk to the actors as if they were the actual people. We tried to take photos, but the lighting was bad.

Buchananhouse13 044This was Mrs. Moore. The tree behind her was gorgeous. It has a big peacock at the top.

We played 1820 parlor games with them. We were suppose to make someone laugh and I said ‘hello handsome’ to Mr. Moore and made his wife laugh! Then we had to read cards which were aimed at the humor of that time. Like the one card would say ‘when should we drink a cordial’ and  the other card say, ‘not a quarter to midnight’. They all chuckled. Ha ha.

The mansion is really a lovely place. They did a nice job decorating it inside and out.

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There were torches lit along the back too. We didn’t go around front to see it lit up!

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The Lancaster Historic org is on the property and this is where we were waiting for our tour. We watched a short movie about Buchanan first. He was a bachelor and a lawyer.

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Buchananhouse13 036Buchanan’s carriage

We thought it was different and fun. We headed to look for a few caches in Lancaster and couldn’t put our hands on them. Pizza Hut was calling our names, so we had dinner there. We did find one lone cache in a metal bus stop on Rt. 30. Brian found it on a ledge on the top inside-in the dark with my phone’s flashlight.

I can’t wait to see what Longwood Gardens did this year!

Cooperstown-a big museum in a small town


Second Chocolate town of Pennsylvania


Brooklyn, it was nice to meet you!


We found our hotel in Brooklyn fairly easily, but the parking was limited behind the place. The receptionist said to park anywhere on the streets around it, so after a few times circling, we found a tight spot. Unfortunately there was a broken bottle we had to kick away from the rear of the car.

The room was really tiny with the double beds and bathroom within a foot or so of the one bed.


From the front desk’s recommendation, we walked over to 5th Ave. for dinner. It was a bit of a walk and I was getting fatigued and very warm. We were looking for a ‘diner’ place and did find it. We had the Nathan’s hot dog around 5 or so, but by 8:30, we all had breakfast food!  Can’t beat that and the price of dinner was good. We looked in store windows after we ate and saw some interesting things.



She was in the Gremlin movie-lol

We saw high rises galore Brooklynhlall around, here and there.

Personally, I need to be able to get out the door quickly, and when needed see green grass.

We wondered where Woody Allen and other famous Brooklyn natives lived too.

The next day we set out for the Brooklyn Museum. Sean read where there was a display or maybe separate building for the Dodgers. We got there and it wasn’t open until 11. We were on a time crush as Brian had to get to work in the late afternoon.


There were ‘jumping’ water fountains out front. Cool.

We started to look for a cache, but in the wrong park. We were looking in the park for the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Speaking of which, I’d love to go in there sometime too!


We then got in the correct park, called Prospect Park. It was looked like a tree hide, but we just couldn’t put our finger on it. (Sean and I were looking and he drove a bit that day).

We then started for home. Get this, Sean bought two NY lottery tickets and wanted to cash in his $3 winnings. We stopped in Staten Island and he got it and we got a cache in a little park there too! That was a little walking in weeds and loaded with skeeters, but Brian and I got it in about 10 minutes or so.


We stopped for a late lunch and it was raining quite a bit on the way home. Brian was about 1.5 hours late for work, but he stayed later too.

It was a pretty neat trip and we are glad to see other parts of New York.

Exploring in MD and DE


We got up on the 9th and headed to a crowded Dunkin Donuts for a quick breakfast which was anything but that! Seems everyone wants their beach munchies at the same time. When we passed just a few hours later the place was void of vehicles.

We headed to one of my favorite spots on earth-the inlet of Ocean City, MD. There is so much water around you! There’s the jetty, the view of the boardwalk and amusements and Assateague from across the bay.


We were here a few hours and ventured to around O.C. for a few more geocaches and back to North Park again.

I found a clever birdfeeder cache at OC city hall (looking for photo)

and one in a neat ‘tropical’ garden Dewey Beach, DE too.
Cache area on Bethany Beach, DE

We found a cache in the Isle of Wight park across the bridge from Ocean City

Isle of Wight park pier




We stopped for salad and pizza and then headed to the Old Navy store-can’t go there without buying something. We got on the road and I asked Sean if we could stop in Milford, DE to see a cache that is suppose to be a haunted house.  He said why not!


When we drove up, I thought it looked like a movie set! Eek.




That little window must be for decoration only!

So we go around to the back and GZ seems to be an herb garden. I am looking under this silvery herb which I think was Santolina and Sean is starting to get attacked by mosquitoes.  I say to him, ‘Can’t you lift one piece of this herb to save my back?’ He comes over like he is ‘guided’ and lifts the section where the cache is! Now that is spooky! I read that paranormal investigators were in this house all night and asked the ‘occupant’ what games did they like to play? (they try and keep to the period of the people who resided there) and they picked up ‘slipper’ as a reply. The investigators researched ‘slipper’ and it was indeed a childhood game of the Civil War era! They learned how to play the game and the electro magnetic fields (I think this is what they are called) were more active when they were doing so!

When we left, we were approaching a red light and I said, ‘Sean, you are going to go through a red light!!’ and he didn’t stop! Hope it was because he was just tired or should have taken off his sunglasses. There was a car to the left of the intersection too.

Anyway, we got home in good time and reflecting on the trip, we were glad we headed south.

Roadside America-a treasure trove in miniature


When Sean was little, Brian and a pal who also had a young daughter, took a road trip up to see the work of Laurence Gieringer in Shartlesville, PA. I didn’t hear a lot about it, but in my mind’s eye it was more like a train board setup. Since we were about 30 minutes away from it on our day trip last weekend, we decided to go see it again all these years later. I was told it hasn’t changed in years and years.

Here’s the story right from the webpage:

Laurence Gieringer founded Roadside America. The story goes that young Gieringer’s love of miniature models began around 1899, when he was five years old. From his bedroom window, the young Gieringer could see the lights of the Highland Hotel at the crest of nearby Neversink Mountain. From his distant vantage point the building looked like a toy he could snatch from the mountain and add to his toy collection. One day he set out to get that seemingly miniature building, not realizing how far away it really was. Soon he was hopelessly lost in the woods and was not found until the next morning.

Fortunately that experience did not dampen his love for miniatures. In his adult life Mr. Gieringer became a carpenter and painter. Over his sixty-year career Gieringer amassed quite a collection of tiny, detailed buildings and accessories that became one of the worlds most famous and amazing miniature villages. Mr. Gieringer today is one of the world’s most respected builders of miniature models. (he passed away in January of 1963, over 50 yrs ago!)

In the 1930’s word of Mr. Gieringer’s amazing model railroad and miniature villages spread through the local neighborhoods.

What a sweet inspiration for Laurence to think the faraway hotel was a miniature!

Here are some shots from our visit. Brian, my hubby took them all. Most are a bit overexposed so you can see the detail of the layout.

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So you can see the sign is in disrepair. So sad!

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It’s such a huge layout! See the teens of the right there?

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We got to see the light pageant when the lights were dimmed and all the houses were lit up. Then there was a movie on the wall and Kate Smith sang ‘God Bless America’

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It would be a shame to see this place close down. I think it’s worthy of the Smithsonian Institute!

Well isn’t that smashing?


Sean and I have had colds this week. He is sicker than me, but still is plugging away. I thought I’d be blowing my nose like crazy, well I have done that enough, but it’s the achiness that is getting to me. I wanted to do something distracting, so I pulled out my ‘Smash’ book. This is a book I bought over a year ago. A smash book is like a scrapbook, but you ‘jam’ more stuff into it. I tend to be a little more organized than that. Here is what I started out with:


That’s one of those fold up organizers I am using. The stuff in the top wants to fall out all the time.

This is my ‘Abbey Road on the River’ spread from when we went to the Beatles tribute event in Aug./Sept. 2011 and 2012.  We saw the guitar that George Harrison is posing with in this photo. I got a catalog in the mail and lo and behold, George was on the cover. I really liked the shot, so I used it in my Smash book.


I have a paper I hand wrote near George that tells about the Beatles tribute event. The pocket has the programs from the two years that we attended plus a postcard and bookmark The little ‘Peeps’  picture is because they are a sponsor. We probably won’t go again for a while as we weren’t happy with the way it was run last year.


It’s hard to believe our New York trip was almost a year ago! I wish I felt like I did back then. The left side has a bumper sticker from the 9-11 Memorial store-seeing that was a big thing.  There’s a receipt from the store and the little envelope holds a card describing the purchase of a metal cast leaf I bought (the tree will grow at the sight). The next page is a happier one-Sean holding an umbrella next to Radio City Music Hall (we had a  bit of gloomy visit the first night and day and then it got chilly and windy); a card from Tinsel Trading Company-a store I wanted to see that sold millinery and crafty things; and the  description of the caramels I bought from Dylan’s candy bar. Oh…the mustache is from the Lorax movie! He was visiting at Dylan’s.


Brian took me to see the Van Gogh exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Museum around April 1st. We weren’t allowed to take photos of the exhibit, but I took plenty of shots around the museum. The one on the right is from the mailer and that’s the the pamphlet of from show. When you open the pamphet, A Rembrandt card (shaped like him) is there-see his foot? We saw a few of his works of art, plus I bought this in the gift shop.


In June, we had our Delmarva trip. I met up with a internet pal Rachael and we headed over to the art museum to see the Andy Warhol exhibit. It was great to meet her. I bought the Andy card in the gift shop (the Rembrandt one looks like this) and some postcards of his most famous works.

The last page I worked on yesterday was about the November election we went to see both the First Lady Michelle Obama (in August) and then President Bill Clinton a few days before the 2012 election. I have the email about picking up the tickets, the tickets in the holder, stickers and some ballot ends.


So on the health front, I’m still fighting these body aches and fatigue. I seem worse since I have had the cold. I missed work, but heard a bunch of others called out sick on Wednesday too. My cold wasn’t what made me feel blah-it was the body aches! I got an appointment at a rheumatologist office  at the beginning of March. I googled about menopause and arthritis and didn’t something come up! Seems there is a parallel. I am looking into going to another doctor  specializing in hormonal issues. At this point, I can’t hardly do anything without having to sit down in half an hour. I’ll probably call the doctor near my hometown later. I want to be able to add more pages to my smash book!

Keep my mom and brother in your thoughts and prayers as my brother’s Dalmation Baxter appears to be at the end of his life. Mom thinks he’s at least 13 or 14 (maybe older). He is in a lot of pain, it takes him 5 minutes to lay down and he has hardly any bowel control at this point. He is on medicine, but yesterday he was just so miserable. Such a sad time.

Caching around DC


Before we went the 10 miles or so to Washington, DC  (on the 2nd) We went to find a cache in a neighborhood near National Harbor. You could tell it had been there many more years than 4 years like the town. I’m pretty sure it’s Oxion Hill, MD. We drove by a Cirque du Soleil tent. That would have been fascinating to see. Did I mention it was raining? So we pull up to the area and I see a fence and guardrail. Sometimes I get so excited to find the cache, I forget the hint and things I have read about it! Plus I am getting out of the car in the rain in a strange neighborhood. Brian and Sean stayed in the car. I looked along the fence and turned around-the GPS showed it was close to the road-come on mush brain-it’s the guardrail! And there it was! I brought it back in the car and dumped it out and stuck a travel bug in it, then squeezed everything back in.

Didn’t I get a tick on me from this 5 minute caching! All the times I’m in the woods and I find a tick on me in a neighborhood!

I was checking out the phone for another cache and brain fog set in again! Brian had said he needed gas and drove by a nice gas station looking for another cache. We turned around as we thought we missed the road and as we approached the station again, the numbers went down! He had decided to skip the gas and it was there at that station-rats.

We got to DC in about 20 minutes and the hardest part was finding a place to park, next to the crazy streets there. We had to get ourselves around to the back of Union Station and then we did park on the roof of the garage. We looked around the station a little and the guys got coffee. We headed out to look for the caches (marble brain #3 episode-2 hours sleep just doesn’t cut it for me).

So we walk toward the Capitol. It is quite a sight. Oh, I’ve seen it in 5th grade (been in it also) and seen it many other times, but to see it from other angles is amazing.

Getting close to the Capitol

So here it is in all it’s historic majesty!

The only problem-I forgot it was a ‘virtual’ cache until we looked around a park nearby-that was a waste of time because are they going to let you put a box next to a historic place like this-really? Anyway, when I figured it out, I was suppose to take a photo of  the other side, where the Presidents take the oath of office! Grrrr-well, I had seen that area too, and I am sure a kid in my 5th grade class fell down in that general area (I’m talking 1970) and Cam broke his leg! It may have been Arlington, but it was in DC.  I told the C.O. what happened on and he didn’t say anything.

The next was also a virtual and within 10 minutes I remembered something about turtle eyes in the questions. This was across the way from the Capitol at the Library of Congress. Another issue was I had forgotten my geocaching bag with the GPS device and my phone’s battery was going. It was making the screen darken up. So I looked at the description again and answered the questions. The turtles were in a fountain near the sidewalk. The ‘authors’ were along the top of the building show below. That was all we did as we were tired and had a 6 block walk back to the car.

We grabbed some pizza and headed home. Well we started to head home and I mentioned that DC Cupcakes was in Georgetown. We tried to find that for almost an hour-Sean’s GPS took us to the incorrect end of  ‘M’ St. When we located it, it was 6:30 and it was hopping in that town with limited parking with no place to park in the area of the shop. But the shop was going to close at 7:00 and there was a line going out the door! For cupcakes! I guess because they have a tv show and all. I am going to make my own cupcakes for the fellas after all that running around. And we want to go back to Georgetown-it looks like a nice place, similar to New Hope in PA.

So again we are on the road to home-we are going through downpours every 5 miles or so. I then mention a easy virtual cache in Baltimore-you just get info from a memorial. We get off the exit and run into traffic and roads that we had needed to take being closed. No baseball game, but Sean remembered there was a Nascar show there and they were letting out! We never got near the cache and ended up going through an ‘iffy’ part of town. We were all getting tired of city driving. Did I tell you how awful it is to drive in DC? This was pretty bad too.

I’m glad we stopped, but I would have liked to see the President exhibit at the Madame Tussand  Museum, which I didn’t remember about until we got home. Not a good day for remembering anything! I truly do research my cache hunting well and things go smoothly-most times. Big city caching is harder! There aren’t a ton of box caches, but there are a ton of virtual ones to be found-in the future.

Union Station

Seen anything familiar from the roof of the garage?

Blue metal containers


Yesterday, I asked Brian if we could check out this cache at a place called Blue Ball Barn. From the website:

 This extraordinary barn, built in 1914 by Alfred I. duPont, is named after the Blue Ball Tavern, an inn and meeting house, that was once located near the property. The Blue Ball Barn is the centerpiece of the new Alapocas Run State Park, and an example of the preservation and adaptive reuse of an historic structure.

This was an unusual ‘palm tree’ like sculpture right next to the barn. The cache was near a door. First we went the wrong way and went into a courtyard. We went around the side and figured we needed to be around the other side. When we came back, the gates to the courtyard were closed-like 3 minutes later. Someone must have seen us looking around and closed them.

Before we had gone to the park, we found a small cammoed bison tube in a cemetery. The cemetery ones are almost always in trees (of course). The one here was laying on the ground, so we hung it up again.

We also stopped by Winterthur as one was right off the parking lot.

This was a good cache. Most of the ones we located yesterday were part of the Delaware Geo trail and in medium blue ammo boxes (thus the name of the blog post). This had a number of ‘trackables’ in it, and I hardly have seen any in the caches I find. What I mostly find  are too small to hold them. I took out two trackables and another bag with  a tiny one had fallen out when I had closed the box up. I took three. These items of varying shapes are to travel from cache to cache. The bear with the travel bug attached that I took was from New Mexico! I also have a nano coin from Sweden to pass along. I go to the website and log as having them and then when we drop them off in another cache, we record that too.

Here’s a pond at Winterthur

Our last stop was Hagley Museum The cache was near the parking lot. Sometimes you have to walk around in circles before the GPS  zones in on the cache.

Lovely scenery 

I wanted to show the cache as I snagged that Canadian lanyard in honor of my friend Carole who got us interested in geocaching.

That was a fun two hour activity. When we got back we made steak on the grill, but alas the charcoal was heavy with the lighting fluid  taste though Brian didn’t add any and the meat tasted like it.

Today we pulled weeds out front. I did the flowerbeds and Brian did the brick sidewalk and the driveway. He wants to black top it in the fall and it’s loaded with cracks and grass. We need to have it resurfaced, but that isn’t in the budget.

For a reward, we went to a brick oven pizza place down in Delaware. I got half broccoli rabe and half mini meatballs and ricotta. I loved the meatballs!

We looked for a few caches after dinner and found one in a lamp skirt where there is an over-sized stuff bear in a dentist chair peeking from an office window. That’ been there for years!  One was full of prickers and we didn’t want to deal with that. The other was at an ice cream place, and it was getting too dark to make the grab. I can certainly go back there.

I uploaded some more Sanderson Museum photos:

Gorgeous Vintage Valentines

A turn of the last century performing family

I may have to do these for myself! Christmas decorations from 1873.

More ornaments

Witness Movie setting in scenic Lancaster County


Brian and I went out early this afternoon to do some caching in Lancaster county. We stopped at the little town of Atglen, PA as there were a few on the way to the one I was truly wanting to find.  So we stop at this World II Memorial. It was on this narrow strip of land with a flag pole at one end and the memorial and benches and trees. We almost gave up until I saw the hint that said ‘at eye level’. You are so going to crack up. Brian saw a bird’s nest in one of the little trees and I told him it could be a fake one with a cache inside. He gingerly parted the branches only to see a little beak pop up from the nest-yes it was the real deal! Ha! Finally we were standing  next to an outlet box and I touched this thing that looked like a metal cover (light switch cover size) and it moved! I pulled on it and it was indeed the cache! Surprise! The first one it’s kind for us.

We went down the road a bit and found one in a parking lot. Bri lifted this lamp skirt twice-I got out and lifted it and saw a animal skin camouflaged container-bingo! He didn’t look hard enough.

Then the frustration began. I printed out the directions to the movie cache for ‘Witness’ and we didn’t get the signal for it until we stopped in a town and waited for it to load. Both the phone and GPS were wonky. The cache was down this road next to these ‘ladies’ cooling themselves off:

We saw lots and lots of the rolling hills of corn and other crops for miles and miles

See the hot air balloon in the middle. Took this out of the car window.

So we found the cache in a guard rail across from the cows. Brian had climbed over the guardrail and all of the sudden he started going ‘ouch!’, ‘that hurts!’  I thought he stepped on a wasp nest, when in fact it was the plant stinging nettle. A lady and her hubby came along  to fish on the little bridge and she I.D.ed the plant. She asked what we were looking for and we told her. Think she was mildly interested. We asked the guy about the Witness farm and it was down the road going the other way. I remembered to look on the GPS as the cache owner mentioned the address and after a little driving, we found it. A man was  plowing along the corn and Brian said he wanted me to see the farm (being the big Harrison Ford fan). I took this out of the windshield:

Can you picture Danny Glover walking down here when they figured out where John Book (Ford) was hiding out? I read that Sylvester Stallone was offered this role and he turned it down, regretting it.

The Amish guy actually waved to us as we left.

This was actually as we turned in the road to the house.

We then went to a nearby town where Brian worked for a few years and got club sandwiches for either a late lunch or early dinner (4 o’clock).

We went down the road and snagged a large (but wet cache) in someone’s yard and tried to find a well hidden one in a park-nada.

We saw where the Robert Fulton House (who invented the Steamboat) was about 6 miles away, so we went there. It was closed (we peeked in the windows) and walked around their garden. Thank goodness there was a bathroom in the middle of no where! That came in handy.

Where is that blasted cache?

I really wanted to go back to Strasburg, so we did and got some ice cream. One minute is was sunny and 10 minutes later the heaven’s opened up.

Girls in the ice cream shop

We had to wait a bit. A cache was down the road, but after looking around just a bit, I couldn’t find it. I’ll have to go back because I was the only one who couldn’t find it.

Sky over a Dutch market where we stopped for some things

We drove home in pouring rain, yet when we got home it wasn’t really doing anything.

Wednesday is our trip to Philadelphia for the ghost tour. We want to go in early to avoid work traffic and maybe cache a bit! Historic caching. : )