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Sunday, August 13, 2017

More to Do Around Erie

Last summer I wrote several posts on things to do in Erie, PA.  We visited some additional sites this summer that are worth mentioning.


The Erie Art Museum in downtown Erie is the place to be on Wednesdays in the summer.  Admission is free on that day, and at noon there are concerts just outside the main entrance.

 The Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park is definitely a hidden gem.  The paths meander through both wooded and cleared areas, beside a creek, and past gardens.


Even though we live in the middle of the woods on the side of a mountain, we got closer to a doe and her spotted fawn at the arboretum than we do at home.  An added treat is Romolo Chocolates which is just across the street from Frontier Park.  This family owned artisan chocolate store is well-known for its sponge candy, something words can't describe.  


I know I mentioned the amazing sunsets over Lake Erie before, but they are worth mentioning again because they are truly spectacular.


You see what I mean?


My children always like hunting for beach glass at the Walnut Creek Marina, but this summer our youngest son also collected flat rocks to create a walkway and a border for his hand-dug "hot tub."  These didn't come home with us.

Fishing at one of the piers at Presque Isle is always fun for our teen son.


There are a number of universities in and around Erie, and we try to walk around the campus of a college or two each summer.  Mercyhurst is of interest to our high school sophomore, and it is a beautiful campus.




Just a twenty minute drive from Erie is Edinboro University, which has the attention of our high school junior.






Finally, if you do venture to Erie any time soon, be on the lookout for these cute painted rocks.  They're hiding all over the place, and apparently, you're to take your picture with them and post to Facebook, then hide them somewhere else in the city.  Our children found five during the week we were there.  Our youngest daughter thought this was especially exciting, and she gave a lot of consideration to where she would place them.  

For more information on Erie, PA, go to http://www.visiterie.com/.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Scenes from Lake Erie

Photos of Lake Erie at the Walnut Creek Marina two weeks ago.  It was windy, 66 degrees, and COLD!

But flocks of seagulls were everywhere bracing themselves against the strong winds.

That is, until our loud family showed up and the kids started running into the midst of them.

They temporarily took flight, but returned moments later.

Our main purpose for braving the misty winds was to look for beach glass, but there was barely any beach left as the waves came crashing in.

We had to settle for watching the seagulls and the lake instead.

In my opinion, the waves and cloudy skies provided enough interest and photo ops anyway.  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A Farm-to-Table Community Dinner


As a belated anniversary gift to each other, my husband and I purchased tickets to a fun farm-to-table dinner in Bedford, PA.  One of the main streets in town was closed so this event could occur, and it couldn't have happened on a more perfect evening.

This was a bring your own bottle of wine affair, but there was plenty of mango iced tea provided by a local shop owner and tables of delicious local goat cheeses, chutneys, herb butter, crackers, and homemade bread.  We helped ourselves to these as we waited for dinner to officially begin, and a kind lady seated across from us generously let us borrow her corkscrew since I didn't think to bring ours.


The four-course meal was catered by Horn O' Plenty Farm to Table Restaurant, and local celebrities and non-celebrities alike volunteered to serve around a hundred people seated down the center of South Juliana Street.

Organic ingredients from local farms are used by Chef Mandy at this restaurant, and all of the food was amazing!  These wooden chargers were handsawn from cherry trees locally.

The tables were rustic, yet elegant, with white linens, the wooden service plates, burlap table runners, and Mason jars filled with fresh flowers that a number of local guests got to take home at the end of the night.


A couple of talented local musicians performed throughout dinner and created the perfect background sounds.  No traffic from surrounding streets could be heard, yet the music wasn't so loud that we all couldn't comfortably chat with one another throughout the evening.


It was a full "house" and every seat was taken.   Not only did this event promote local businesses, but the proceeds benefited Downtown Bedford Inc., which is revitalizing this charming small town.

Not only was it a large crowd, but each course of dinner was large too, and I was stuffed by the end of the night.  And I definitely threw the low-carb diet out for the evening as well.  Everything was just too fresh and too good to pass up or feel guilty about consuming.  It was a lovely evening with interesting people and so inspiring for me to see people come together to support a community, good food, and each other.   It gives me hope for other struggling small towns that have been abandoned and overlooked.  Bedford has made an incredible comeback in a way I never would have dreamed twenty or thirty years ago.  For me, this dinner was a symbol of what is possible if people are willing to think outside the box, try something new and different, and commit to a vision for the future.

Needless to say, we look forward to attending this inaugural event next year, and I hope to see more of its kind nearer to where we live.