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Centralia

Until I read “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson, a wonderful book by the way, I had never heard of Centralia, PA and the fact that a coal mine has been burning underground there since 1962.  I mentioned this to my husband, Paul and he said “it’s been burning there since the early 60s and it could burn for another 250 years.”  So he has been living with this knowledge for many years and just never shared it with me.  He is however, a walking encyclopedia of bits of knowledge. 

This event really got my attention; I had no idea a coal mine could burn endlessly on and on underground or that it had ever happened in the real world.  So today when the weather forecast stated is was to be a warm balmy 60 degrees we were thinking about where to take a day trip and Centralia popped into my mind.  I wanted to see this place with my own eyes!  So we gathered up our collie, Gunnar and off we went. Read more….

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Homes collageWhat special day do we celebrate every year in February?  Hint – it’s not Valentines Day!  This special day, or actually two days, hold a place of much greater value in our lives.  These days have great historical significance.

Every year in February we celebrate Presidents Day and in addition, the birthday of George Washington, the first president of the United States.

Since moving to the east coast I have grown to have a deep love of American history.  There is so much here to see and learn of the struggles our forefathers went through to bring this great nation into existence.

Some of the most revealing and interesting of these places are Read more….

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Good-bye to Seattle’s Gum Wall!

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This week Seattle will be saying good-bye to the gum wall in Pike Place Market’s Post Alley.  In 1999, Seattle officially declared the Gum Wall an attraction and it was voted the 2nd germiest place on TripAdvisor in 2010!  If you’re wondering who got first, it went to Blarney Stone, a block of stone built into Ireland’s Blarney Castle.  Legend says that those who kiss the Blarney Stone will be rewarded with eloquent speech.

In the early 1990’s, patrons waiting in line for the Market Theater began sticking their chewed up pieces of gum onto the wall next to its box office.  The first wads of gum were read more….

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Covered bridges built in the 1800’s are awe-inspiring, historical and beautiful. That statement might seem like it’s a little over the top to some, but to others that just love old covered bridges like I do, it’s not. In fact you understand, you get it! And which state has the most covered bridges? Pennsylvania. And it just so happens Pennsylvania is not too far from where we live, so when we were contemplating a trip to look at fall foliage it made sense to combine that with checking out some of the covered bridges.

We chose Bedford County, PA as our destination. There are 14 covered bridges in Bedford County and read more….

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Surviving travel with your young grandchildren

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Travel with young grandchildren is not without its challenges, but you can make it more pleasant for yourself and your grandchildren if you do some preparation beforehand.

Check off lists work great for me. That way if my brain is cluttered with too many “to do’s”, I can just go down the list and feel fairly confident that I have what I need! So I created a form that works for me and I’m hoping it will be helpful to you.  Keeping in mind that these are suggestions and you might feel that your grandchildren’s needs vary.  I left some empty lines so you can add your own items and ideas! read more….

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Cape Cod….family fun in the sun!

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We love to vacation by the ocean! Last year it was the outer banks of North Carolina. This year we decided to take our family vacation on Cape Cod. Our big disappointment was finding out that our daughter and her family wouldn’t be able to make the trip this year!!

About 5 years ago, Paul and I spent a week in Plymouth, MA and had such a good time!  We didn’t spend much time on the cape however, so we weren’t sure of read more….

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2551building 2 w textPort Townsend is a quaint little seaside town located on the northeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula.  It is known for its historic charm and many Victorian buildings.  Port Townsend is surrounded on almost all sides by water which makes it the perfect place for The Wooden Boat Festival.  The festival is an annual event in Port Townsend that is visited by thousands from all over the world.  My husband, Mike and I have lived on the Olympic Peninsula for 10 years and have never had the opportunity to go to the festival.  This year we decided it was time to check it out!

As we arrived in Port Townsend we decided to take a detour when we saw a sign announcing “organic hard cider”.  We had never tasted “hard” cider and thought read more….

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SM Foodtrucks with headerTwo of our favorite hobbies are FOOD and taking drives along the PCH. Put the two together and you have the perfect date night!

Main Street in Santa Monica is a great place to experience an eclectic selection of cuisine. Every Tuesday 8 food trucks congregate in a parking lot on Main Street between the California Heritage Museum and The Victorian Restaurant. Savory scents of garlic, curry and grilled meats attract locals and visitors to the event. The small park next to the museum is full of families and beach goers, as well as people stopping in for read more….

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Sunrise with wordsI love the ocean and there is something about the Outer Banks of North Carolina that I find intriguing. So when we decided to have a family vacation there last year I couldn’t have been more pleased. Our daughter and her family were able to make the trip from California which made it perfect!

We chose the town of Duck on the northern end of the outer banks as our destination for this trip. There are many very large and beautiful homes there to rent, but there are many modest homes as well. We chose one that was within read more….

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Griechengasse 2I recently had the wonderful opportunity to accompany my husband on a business trip to Central Europe. This was Steve’s 2nd time traveling to Europe but I had never been so it was a new and exciting adventure for me. We first flew into Vienna and spent a few days there before continuing on to our destination in Slovakia. We had just enough time in Wien to visit some of the most famous sights, such as the giant ferris wheel, Weiner Riesenradplatz at Prater Amusement Park;  Griechengasse,  a cobblestone street in Vienna’s Greektown;  Schönbrunn Palace, summer home of the Imperial Habsburg family and their beautiful Lipizzaner Stallions;  and Stephansplatz, a square in the center of Vienna that is full of shops and restaurants and the amazing St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Stephansplatz is a great place to shop for souvenirs before departing Vienna. read more….

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