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December 15, 2016

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Silver Birches: historical lakeside resort

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  • December 15, 2016

Circa 1904 farm transformed

Silver Birches lakeside resort is brimming with history

Are you looking for lakeside resort lodging that’s reminiscent of yesteryear with modern day conveniences?

At 205 Route 507 in Hawley, you’ll find Silver Birches Resort, a vintage lakeside resort set on almost 700 ft. of shoreline along the picturesque Lake Wallenpaupack. Silver Birches is brimming with a history that dates to The “Roaring Twenties.”

In 1926, George and Rachel Singer watched their circa 1904 farm transformed into a lake. Yes, if you guessed Lake Wallenpaupack, you are correct.

lakeside resort
The sunset over Lake Wallenpaupack as seen from my room in The Motel at Silver Birches.

A Brief History

As 1929 approached, after recognizing there would be a need for additional lodging in Hawley due to an influx of tourists, the farmhouse was renovated to accommodate guests. In need of extra hands to help run the resort, Rachel eventually enlisted the help of her sister, Marjorie Ehrhardt, to assist with the day-to-day operation of the inn so George could focus on his logging business.

Marjorie and George Ehrhardt purchased Silver Birches in 1943 and their lodging business continued to thrive and grow. You would likely be hard pressed to find someone in Northeastern Pennsylvania who hasn’t heard of Ehrhardt’s and it’s legacy in the Pocono Mountains.

As Ehrhardt’s business continued to expand, “Lakeshore Motel” was born in 1966.  In 2015, Justin Genzlinger became the new owner of “Silver Birches” and the historic preservation was soon underway.

Read more about the history here.

lakeside resort
The “Lakeshore Motel” or “Lakeshore,” is a recently renovated lodging option at Silver Birches, Hawley, PA. My room was located in the lower level left end unit.

 

Sinfully Comfortable Accommodations

During my stay at Silver Birches, I found my guest room in the completely restored motel delightfully comfortable, with a fantastic view of the water. Immediately upon entering my room, my eyes were drawn to a bedspread with matching pillow shams that took me back to my childhood and my favorite bed covering: a similar white chenille bedspread.  The decor and furnishings Genzlinger and his design team selected for the guestrooms tastefully reflect the history of the property and are soothing to the eye. A wall mounted fireplace will get the chill out on a cold winter night or you can adjust a dial for ambiance without heat.

lakeside resort
A Chenille bedspread with matching pillow shams and a quilt will keep you warm.

 

Tastefully Renovated Lodging

Guests can book their perfect lodging fit from among three categories: guest rooms, cottages, and houses with options for porches, decks, balconies, fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. Each of the guest rooms has been completely and tastefully renovated in 2016 and all of the buildings and cottages also received an exterior upgrade. Included with each guest room is a clear view of Lake Wallenpaupack.

Learn more about the Inn, Lakeshore, Sunset View, Bunkhouse, cottages and houses here.

Meet the Executive Chef

In this video, Ben Sutter, Settler’s Hospitality Group executive chef, talks about his culinary career and the cuisine guests can expect to find at Silver Birches.

You can view the full menu at The Dock on Wallenpaupack here.  If you’d like more information regarding the Settler’s Hospitality Group, follow this link.


Many thanks to Sarah O’Fee and the management at Silver Birches Resort for their hospitality during my sponsored stay. Rest assured, my opinions are my own.  

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Fishing Fishing Destinations Fly Fishing Guide Services Fly Fishing Lodge Lifestyle New York State Fishing New York State outdoor recreation Orvis endorsed destinations Orvis endorsed fly fishing equipment Upstate New York

Family fly fishing fun

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  • December 15, 2016

Family fishing fun in upstate NY. Are you fishing for fun family outdoor vacations?

The Salmon River and Tailwater Lodge

Nurturing a love for the outdoors

 

Family Fly Fishing Fun
Children don’t need fancy gear or expensive equipment to experience fly fishing. A rod, reel, bathing suit and a few flies are all Kento Matsui needed to fish in the Salmon River. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

Plan one summer outdoor family getaway.  

What are your plans for summer vacation?

As the distance between New Year’s Day and the last day of school narrows, time passes in the blink of an eye, or so it seems. Early spring is the ideal time to begin planning family and pet-friendly excursions.

“We’re going where?”

What’s the best way to choose an outdoor-oriented vacation that’s suitable for every family member?

 

That’s simple. The “where shall we go on vacation?” conversation can begin with a brief mealtime discussion. Ask your kids and partner for suggestions. My first choice is typically fly fishing, but I know that’s not tops on my kids’ list of priorities, so incorporate hiking, a kayak or canoe trip, and swimming with fishing.

Nurture your love for the outdoors

Planning vacations that suit everyone’s needs is a challenge. When I arrange family trips, I look for destinations that offer opportunities to connect with nature. Teaching children to respect and ultimately preserve our natural resources requires time, diligence and patience. If we don’t encourage them to venture outdoors, how will they ever find that peace and oneness they can derive from a long hike, summer picnic, or time in the water?

Two years ago, while I was on an overnight fly fishing girlfriend getaway with my friend, Rosangela, I discovered the lush forests of the Upstate New York region, specifically Altmar and Pulaski. It was one of those adventures that can be difficult to describe to someone who doesn’t have a calling to fish or a fondness for the outdoors. One option is to set aside two or more days. The Tailwater Lodge, an upscale Orvis endorsed fishing resort in Altmar, NY, caters to year-round family activities. Their rooms are spacious and family-friendly and the on-site restaurant is particularly convenient and a hit with my kids.

If you’re not a fan of crowds, the best time for families to visit the Tailwater Lodge is from spring until summer’s end. Anglers flock in droves to the Salmon River from the fall through early spring in pursuit of the famed salmon and steelhead, respectively.

Not only will you find meticulously clean, first-class accommodations. The staff caters to its guests’ needs by offering a variety of services to make your visit more enjoyable. Forget about spending those precious hours worrying about what the kids will eat for breakfast or lunch. A complimentary full breakfast is included with each reservation and available each morning bright and early. With advanced notice and an additional charge, the staff will also prepare a picnic lunch for you to bring along on your adventure so you can get out on the water early.

I’m not suggesting this type of vacation is suitable for young children. My sons, for example, are older and are comfortable in the water. They’ve also had swimming lessons. Still, we kept a watchful eye on them and reminded them of the dangers of strong currents and slippery rocks. Water levels can rise quickly, depending on weather conditions and the amount of water released from upstream dams. Consult with the Tailwater Lodge concierge for updates and the best spots to fish.

Family Fly Fishing Fun
Not yet bored with fishing, Yoshi Matsui casts into the Salmon River with his Orvis rod and reel. I bought the combo not knowing if he would ever agree to fish. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

When the kids need a break, the water’s edge and the paths leading from the parking lots to the river can also serve as your outdoor science classroom. During our last trip, we observed a snake (from a safe distance) as it slithered along the shoreline and made its way into the water. Also, be sure to take note of the breathtaking scenery and a variety of indigenous waterfowl and other birds gliding across the sky. Stop for a moment to look for soaring Eagles and nests.

Family Fly Fishing Fun
Always practice safe wading and supervise your children. Water can rise quickly and without warning and some ledges can be steep. Ask about water levels and releases from upstream dams before leaving the lodge.

Be sure to wear a sturdy pair of closed-toe shoes and knee-high socks (or waders) to protect your feet and legs from the insidious poison ivy that grows freely throughout the forests. You might catch a fish (catch and release) but you definitely do not want to bring home blistering and oozing sores from the poison ivy that lines the trails.

Family Fly Fishing Fun
Yoshi Matsui is shown after casting his fly line into the Salmon River. 
Fishing licenses are required for persons 16 and older. Learn more about fees and regulations here at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website.

Salmon River

Family Fly Fishing Fun
Photo courtesy of New York State Department of Conservation

Above all, this post is intended to pique your interest in fishing and provide alternative family vacation ideas. While my second trip to the Tailwater Lodge was sponsored, I returned there with my family because I was so impressed with the accommodations and wanted my family to experience the lodge and the Salmon River.

The Salmon River community thanks you in advance for protecting and helping to preserve the region’s natural resources. Follow all rules and practice catch and release.

 

The Tailwater Lodge is located 52 Pulaski Street, Altmar NY 13302. For more information, follow this link.

Please note my trip to the Tailwater Lodge was comped, but my opinions are my own.


If you’d like to purchase Orvis products prior to your trip, follow this link: Orvis

I will receive a commission from Orvis at no cost to you if you choose to purchase an item using this link.

 

 

 

 

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concerts Dining at Spa Destinations Events Lifestyle Mount Airy night life Pocono Mountain entertainment Pocono Mountain events Pocono Mountain nightlife

A much-needed date night: Mount Airy Casino Resort

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  • December 15, 2016

 

A perfectly crafted date night

Mount Airy Casino Resort

 

Are you longing for a much-needed date night?

A quiet dining experience at a table for two? A concert? Or both? Date nights don’t happen often enough and setting aside a night out can be a daunting task.

More than two years ago, Vincent Jordan, Vice President of Marketing & Player Development at Mount Airy Casino Resort, introduced me to the first-class accommodations at Mount Airy during a weekend travel assignment. Recently, my husband and I returned as dinner guests and were treated to a full-course, candlelit meal at Bistecca by IL MULINO, followed by a concert featuring jazz saxophonist legend, Kenny G, and a “meet and greet.”

If you crave shellfish, Bistecca’s Market Oysters are a spectacular beginning to your meal.

Date night began at 6:30 p.m. on a Friday evening at a candlelit table for two. If you’ve never been to Mount Airy, Bistecca is located on the second floor and only steps away from the casino and several other dining options. The location is particularly convenient for guests and visitors who plan to try their skills (and luck) at the gaming tables and slot machines or get their taste of nightlife in Gypsies Lounge, one of Mount Airy’s busiest entertainment venues.

Bistecca is the perfect setting to reminisce over a meal that’s expertly prepared and served in a relaxed, casual setting. Celebrate your night together with a cocktail or a selection from an extensive wine selection from around the world.

A succulent appetizer – Octopus with white beans and tomatoes.

Are you wondering about the type of fare you’ll find at Bistecca? The cuisine is a combination of Abruzzo-style and a modern steakhouse. Meats are hand-cut by the executive chef, the pasta is handcrafted, and the seafood and produce are extremely fresh.

The kale salad featured apples, almonds, shaved parmesan cheese and a delightfully light, flavorful dressing.

Most of our meal selections came from the main menu. We selected ORGANIC ROASTED BEETS goat cheese and tomatoes, GRILLED OCTOPUS white beans and tomato, WHOLE GRILLED BRANZINO fennel, arugula, orange, COLORADO LAMB CHOPS, MARKET OYSTERS, TRUFFLE FRIES  and STEAKHOUSE FRIES from the menu. There was more than enough food for two people to share. I wish I could say I favored one dish. They were all seasoned and cooked to perfection. Guaranteed, if you go to Bistecca, you will find something for even the most finicky palette. Before you go, you can view the entire menu here

Colorado Lamb Chop

Reservations are recommended.  Guests who haven’t made a reservation will definitely wait in line for a table on the weekends. Plan to arrive for dinner by 5:30 or 6 p.m. to allow plenty of time to relish every bite.

 

Whole Grilled Branzino with fennel, arugula and orange. I typically order fish when I’m on assignment and I wasn’t disappointed with the Branzino’s citrus aroma and lightly salted skin. 

Concert time

The clock was ticking as we finished our meal. After more than 90 minutes of culinary bliss, we were eager to pick up our Kenny G concert tickets at the box office.

Jazz saxophonist legend, Kenny G is one of the recent headliners to perform at Mount Airy Casino Resort. We met Kenny at a photo op and “meet and greet” held after his concert.

Whether you want to be dazzled by top-name entertainers, dance the night away or laugh until your sides ache, after your meal at Bistecca, your night out isn’t over yet. Stroll across the casino floor after your meal and experience big-name talents on stage at Gypsies lounge. After you’ve nourished your taste buds, it’s time to celebrate the performing arts at one of Mount Airy’s shows.

Book your meal, entertainment and lodging online at mountairycasino.comYou’ll find Mount Airy is always jumping with activity, so why not spend the night.

Here’s a preview of upcoming events at Mount Airy. A complete list can be found mountairycasino.com/play/entertainment/headliners. You must be 21 years or older to enter the nightclub.

 

LOVERBOY

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*Event is for guests 21 years & older.

SATURDAY, APRIL 29 • 8PM • DOORS AT 7PM • GYPSIES
TICKETS $65 / $55

GET TICKETS

EDDIE MONEY

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FRIDAY, MAY 19 • 8PM • GYPSIES
TICKETS $65 / $55

GET TICKETS

THE COMMODORES

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SATURDAY, MAY 27, 2017 • 8PM • GYPSIES
TICKETS $65 / $55

GET TICKETS

CRAIG ROBINSON

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SATURDAY, JUNE 3 • 8PM • GYPSIES
TICKETS $65 / $55

GET TICKETS


Mount Airy Casino Resort, 312 Woodland Road, Mount Pocono, is the only full-service casino in Pennsylvania with an AAA Four Diamond Award. This swanky destination getaway is located approximately 90 minutes from New York City on more than 1,000 scenic acres in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

Mount Airy Casino Resort

Mount Airy Casino Resort Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui, freelance travel writer and photographer.

Mount Airy Casino Resort, 44 Woodland Rd., Mount Pocono

 

 

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Bob Dunlop Architect and Inn owner Crescent Lodge Hospitality Crescent Lodge Vacation Packages Lifestyle Lodging while fly fishing Pocono Mountain outstanding lodging Pocono Mountain Vacations retro decor lodging

Crescent Lodge: Paradise Valley dining

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  • December 15, 2016

 

The Crescent Lodge has been a thriving Pocono Mountain’s business for decades.

Relax among the antiques and vintage charm

The Crescent Lodge, 5854 Paradise Valley Road, Cresco, Pennsylvania epitomizes extraordinary cuisine, quaint lodging options, personalized service and relaxed atmosphere.

If you’re looking for an adult-only getaway, this family-owned resort offers a perfect setting for you and your partner to reconnect. Business travelers will also soon discover upon their arrival that while a life on the road can be lonely, they will feel welcomed by father and son team, Bob and Wayne Dunlop. The Dunlop’s have lovingly maintained and updated the lodge and its guest quarters to stay in sync with their guests’ needs.

A Personal Touch

The Dunlop family’s antiques, vintage memorabilia, a collage of Bob Dunlop’s cherished photos and comfortable seating around the hearth add a personal touch to the lobby. Be sure to look for Bob Dunlop’s wall of photos.

A personal touch and comfortable furnishings offer a vintage feeling that beckons guests to relax. Lobby at Crescent Lodge & Country Inn. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.

 

On a warm summer morning, you will want to sip your first cup of coffee on the deck. Begin your morning relaxed and carefree and then find your way to breakfast at the inn across the way.

Birchwood Jacuzzi Cottage: Take note of the spacious deck equipped with comfortable outdoor furniture, where you can relax after a busy day of golf at a nearby course, sightseeing and shopping, hiking at the Delaware Water Gap recreation area or fishing in the Delaware River. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.
Birchwood Jacuzzi Cottage: Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.
The Birchwood Cottage is one of the lodging options available to guests. This home-away-from-home is well-equipped both indoors and outdoors. A king size bed, see-thru fireplace, sunken Jacuzzi, living area, cable TV, mini-fridge, coffee maker and private bathroom in the Birchwood Jacuzzi cottage are all the comforts you’ll need.
Birchwood Jacuzzi Cottage: Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.

Slip into one of the complimentary robes provided in your room, fill the Jacuzzi tub and soak ’til your heart’s content.

Wood shingles embellish the exterior of the custom built cottages. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.

 

The décor inside this custom crafted bungalow is equally as enchanting as the exterior façade. Dunlop, an architect, and his father built each of the cottages as spacious retreats from the hustle of everyday city life. All of the cottages at this adult-only inn are perfect for retirees, newlyweds and business travelers.

On-site trails at Crescent Lodge and Country Inn. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.

 

After a few hours on the road, you’ll want to stretch your legs and breathe in some Pocono Mountain air. Nature-lovers will delight in the groomed fitness and nature trails conveniently situated behind the inn. Seize the opportunity to let your worries drift away. The Crescent Lodge is situated on 28 acres along Route 191 in Paradise Valley, with a wooded recreation area that surrounds the backside of the property

The pool is a welcome amenity on a balmy summer day, but many guests find poolside is a refreshing spot to have a cocktail before and after dinner.  Plan a return trip to the Crescent Lodge in late September or early October if you want to witness the splendid fall foliage in the Pocono Mountains.

Dinner awaits you 

Paradise Valley dining
Even on a warm summer evening, a crock filled with savory French Onion Soup is a perfect beginning to your meal.

Guests return year after year

On a warm summer evening, Bob and Wayne Dunlop greeted their dinner guests. The parking lot was packed with cars and there wasn’t a vacant table in the dining at 6 p.m. What makes this Paradise Valley dining option so popular? Personalized service is a long-standing family tradition that began in 1947 when the Dunlop family purchased the former boarding house known today at the Crescent Lodge.

If you arrive with a voracious appetite, you won’t leave hungry. The menu features American cuisine that’s expertly prepared. Portions are plentiful, so you’ll most likely leave with a “to go” container. If a light fare is more to your liking, try an appetizer like the French Onion Soup, which is almost a meal in itself and made with a flavorful and aromatic broth. A Caesar Salad is a perfect accompaniment to the soup. Click here (http://www.crescentlodge.com/restaurant.html) to read a sample menu.

On weekends, you’ll dine accompanied by live piano music.

More information regarding lodging and special packages can be found at crescentlodge.com

 

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