Category Archives: PA.

Happy 2014 and all the jazz

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Pennsylvania’s only President

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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!

Mum’s the word, but not at Longwood Gardens

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Starry, starry night

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Thursday night I took a painting class up in the next town. I saw a deal for it come up for half price and decided to just do it. I’ve seen people on the Kennett Design’s Facebook page doing the different themed paintings and they looked like they were having fun. I had to sign up for a specific class, so I chose one of my favorite artists, Vincent Van Gogh. The painting was an interpretation of ‘Starry Night’ by Jarred Fisher, who I later learned graduated a year before Sean. So Jarred is studying under renown artist Nelson Shanks who painted Princess Diana and Pope John Paul I. Not many people get to do this. That was a cool thing to me when he told us.
Our inspiration
Van Gogh's Starry Night
We saw the original last year in New York at the Museum of Modern Art

This is what the studio looks like:

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This is actually after the other table had finished their paintings!

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Other examples of classes you can take.

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The price includes the canvas and paints. We wet down the canvas first and then added the blue. We had a choice of two blues-I mixed them.

Then we added the swirls and stars

Starrynight5They we added the dashes in yellow with a dash of white. I think it’s coming together here!

StarrynightMy finished piece! That’s a Cypress tree in the front. Jarred and I had a discussion about why it’s there. In the original, there is a village down to the right. He says the tree is for dimension.

There are a few things I would change-maybe make it a little neater. I think it’s not too bad for a few hours work.

This young lady did a great job:

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The studio owner took this awesome shots and posted them on Facebook. The other people were mostly all drinking their wine. I had water. No one offered me any wine or snacks, oh well.

Brian and Sean thought I did a great job.

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But the main thing is I had fun!

I have a blue kitchen, so think it may go in there. We’ll see.

Watch for a post on Longwood Gardens Mum Festival! They totally outdid themselves this year. I was going for 1/2 hour and stayed for 2 hours!

Every man should sing like Josh Groban!

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Really, I am not kidding at all. Can you imagine your hubby or significant other belting out ‘You Raise Me Up’ for your birthday or anniversary? I know some guys can sing, but how many can hold a candle to Josh?

A Group-on deal came up to see Josh down in Philly-$25 each-holy cow, that’s the price of a concert in the 1980s!  Brian and I decided to go. I guess it was like a date night.  I knew it would be a low key crowd also.

We left a few hours early which was a smart move. We got a great parking spot and no lines at the ticket booth.

We had to wait to get in, but we didn’t feel rushed. The usher pointed us to what we thought was the correct row, and we made ourselves comfortable.

JoshConcert4-34Beyond the railing were floor seats. As I said, wow, not bad for the price. The big screens helped a lot!

The opening act was a lovely lady named Judith Hill, I couldn’t place her at first.  Here she was one of the finalists in last season’s ‘The Voice’. How neat is it to tour with Josh. She sat at a piano and sang a few snippets of songs, including ‘You’ve Got A Friend’. Woo, love a gal that sings a James Taylor/ Carole King song. She was on about 1/2 hour and then Josh didn’t come on until 8:30.

He ran out singing ‘Brave’

So I thought this was called ‘Gotta Run Away’-lol

Josh is only 32 going on 33. He has such a mature voice, you forget he is such a young guy.

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Here is Josh’s duet with Judith singing ‘The Prayer’. He said he was asked to sub for Andrea Bocelli (stuck on a plane)with Celine Dion at the Grammys one year which made him well known.

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He sang a nice array of songs, some in Spanish, maybe French. I was waiting for him to sing ‘You Raise Me Up’ and he did as an encore! That song makes me fill up as one time when my uncle was sick, it made me feel better and more hopeful that he would get better.

We thought the show was over and I used the ladies room and he was singing ‘Smile’. I love that song too!

All in all a nice evening except the man next to me was way too large for his seat and he really overflowed into my space. He should have turned toward his wife. He had a big beer and I knew he’d have to get up sooner or later and I made Brian change seats. Alas, he never sat down again! And here we were in the incorrect row! We should have been down one as the young ladies who were suppose to be in our seats came in late and I pointed to the ones below us. I wish we could have sat down there.

Oh Canada! At last we meet, eh!

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Daytripping to Bucks County, PA

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Take me out to the ball game…

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On the 12th, Sean was nice enough to treat his dad and me to a Phillies baseball night game. It’s been about 3 years since I went to a game and the temperature was about 92 that day and a bad storm blew in. The game was cut short at the 5th inning and we got home to water pouring in our basement near the well and no power. Not fun.

So….this time around rain was again in the forecast.  We left around 4:15 and Sean headed toward 95 through Wilmington to hopefully avoid traffic. Turns out there was an multi-car accident near where we where headed. We thought to go back down Rt. 1 and that helped us get there before the game started. We wound through parts of Philly that we hadn’t been to in years! As we walked into the concourse area, we saw it was raining and the workers were laying down the tarp on the field. We thought we might as well get some dinner and went to a sit down restaurant adjacent to the stadium. The guys had burgers and me a cheesesteak.

After we ate, we saw that they were ready to start the game around 8 pm. Our timing was good then.

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We had good seats behind 1st base about 16 rows back.

PhilliesB&SThis was taken when we first got there.

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Sean took this cute photo of  us. I just had to use my Phillies bag that night!

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Love watching these guys watch baseball as they share a special father/son snicker-actually for football too!

We also had our Phillies umbrella with us which went up a few times.

The first inning was awesome, the Phils scored 6 runs! Roy Halladay, the pitcher had been sick and he looked pale and clammy. By the 5th inning he threw wildly to 1st and then 4 runs came in. He was really mad at himself too as he threw down a ball or something.

At one point, a foul ball hit by Jimmy Rollins bounced off a bar and hit a young lady in the back of the head (she was in the first row to the left of us). She immediately put her hands behind her head and the EMT and a bunch of people went to check her out. She got up by her own accord and I guess went to rest in the office there. Jimmy kept looking at her as he had made it to first base. I bet he went to check on her after the game if she was still there.

We stayed until the 7th inning stretch as it was getting late.

We stopped and grabbed a few shots leaving the park.

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Legendary pitcher Robin Roberts statue

We got home a little after midnight as Sean wanted to stop for a hoagie for lunch later that day.

It was a hassle and a half to get there, but I think everyone should go to a game to see the action in real time. The Citizen Bank park is really a great park and they think of everything from a play area for the kids to a nice restaurant.

I just realized I have been blogging over 9 years now!

28th Mushroom Festival and meeting Chef Carla ‘The Chew’ Hall!

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