Celebrate spring at a “vintage” festival. A “Cheers to Spring” wine festival scheduled for May 6, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at South Abington Township Park, is one of the Abington Heights Civic League, Inc.’s (AHCL) biggest fundraisers. Proceeds from the event will enable the AHCL to continue to provide a myriad of services to the community. All proceeds raised benefit the community, according to Cathy Plishka, AHCL member.
“All money raised from these events is given back to the community at the end of the year,” Plishka says.
The AHCL was founded in 1931 as a means to introduce young women to the “workings” of the Federated Women’s Club and began working its magic in the community with its first kindergarten class in 1945. AHCL also opened the first library with a total of 750 books.
Plishka says, “Look at it (the library) now.”
“The AHCL Dance Academy,” scholarships awarded annually to high school students, vision screening for registering kindergarten children, and Christmas trees for all the grade schools in our area are a few more examples of the benefits the organization provides.
While this is the first year for the AHCL wine celebration, supporters might also recall the Roaring 20’s Gala, two sell-out events in 2015 and 2016 that were sponsored by the civic league.
Plishka say, “For the last two years, we did a Roaring Twenties event at the Country Club of Scranton, which was very successful.”
What will you find at the festival?
For $20, Plishka says attendees can expect 11 wine vendors (and more could sign on), food, and musical entertainment by “Mace in Dickson” and “The Tisburys.” Raffles and baskets will also be available at an extra charge and 35 vendors are expected to offer their wares. Designated drivers can join in on the fun for $10.
Wineries already registered are Capra Collina, Antler Ridge Hidden Creek, Hidden Creek, Lucchi, Mucchilo Family Winery, Deep Roots Hard Cider, Iron Hart Brewery, Case Quattro Winery, Winterland Winery, and OneHope Wine.
Get your gear ready for the first day of trout season. Check out some of Orvis’ deals.
One of the reasons I chose to apply for The Orvis Company affiliate program is the company’s commitment to protect and preserve our natural resources.
You’ll learn more about my recent media trip to Orvis, Manchester, VT, in upcoming posts, but for now, you should know that individuals, organizations, and companies that foster a love and respect for the environment are at the top of my list. Orvis does both.
I am certainly not a master fly angler by any means, but after spending so much time wading in streams and rivers in the Northeast, with trout and other fish species swimming beside me, I understand and fully appreciate the great strides conservationists like Orvis have made in their efforts to clean up our waterways and protect them from future contamination.
Orvis donates five percent of pre-tax profits every year to protecting nature, supporting communities, and advancing canine health and well-being to the tune of $14 million in more than 25 years.
The Orvis Company is not only America’s oldest mail-order outfitter and longest continually-operating fly-fishing business. It’s an international, multi-channel retailer with a wide assortment of products and services ranging from sportswear for men and women, fine gifts and home furnishings, luggage, travel accessories, a wide assortment of pet items, and gear and technical apparel used for wing shooting and sporting clays. Orvis was founded by Charles F. Orvis in Manchester, VT in 1856.
In order to appreciate the steps already taken, you need to venture outdoors. Each hour I spend fishing, walking with my dog, Bear; and hiking is 60 or more minutes of free-time from worry or stress. It’s a therapy session for whatever ails me.
Four years ago, I participated in my first fly fishing class, sponsored by the Lackawanna Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. As time went by, I realized I needed my own equipment to fully appreciate my new hobby.
Fly fishing is a sport that takes years to master through continuous trial and error. That means hours and hours on the water and getting comfortable with your equipment.
I purchased my first Orvis fly rod and reel combo in 2012 at an Orvis-endorsed retail store, A & G Outfitters, located along the banks of the Lackawanna River in Dickson City, PA. In fact, I visit the store often during peak trout season in Northeastern Pennsylvania. A year later, I thought my youngest son, Yoshi had an interest in fly fishing so I bought an Encounter combo for him. He wasn’t overly enthusiastic about learning to fish, but I believe it’s my duty as a parent to be sure my kids get their share of the outdoors. My husband was the next recipient of an Encounter rod and reel. And yes, occasionally, we fish together.
My Orvis rods and reels have served me well. The Clearwater is an ideal rod and reel for everyone from beginners to advanced fly anglers.
Orvis’ guarantee is incredible. You can read more about guarantees here.
Along with the thrill of catching a native brook trout on the fly or whatever your catch will be, take the time to appreciate the efforts of environmental groups that have labored to clean up and preserve our waterways.
Do you want to learn more about Orvis’ products and services, which run the gamut from fly fishing to outdoor gear? Follow this link to shop Orvis’ Clearance Room.
Waders? Are you petite or tall? Do you have a difficult time finding waders that fit? Check out Orvis’ waders. You’ll find Petite sizes, too.
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase but at no additional cost to you. I have experience with all of these companies and by linking to their product or a party that sells their products, I recommend the product based on their helpful and useful nature, and definitely not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.
You can cultivate your own well-being in much the same way you would improve or refine your garden using ingredients harvested from nature.
“NURTURE with NATURE: Seasonal Recipes for Body, Beauty and Healing,” a cookbook brought to you by The Lodge at Woodloch, is more than a collection of recipes. It’s a “guidebook” that provides directives for anyone who seeks to discover or restore that delicate balance between living and thriving. NURTURE with NATURE is a culmination of a decade of guests’ favorite recipes.
Guests arrive at The Lodge at Woodloch, an award-winning spa destination located in the Lake region of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, knowing they will leave rejuvenated with their souls enlivened. During your stay, you will immediately understand why the lodge draws customers from near and far. Each moment of your visit is a celebration of life and come mealtime; after hiking, fly fishing, a painting or yoga class, or a spa treatment, a diverse array of dishes await you in the Tree Restaurant and Bar.
This recipe book is a celebration of the miracles of Mother Earth and her ability to provide our earth with a wide spectrum of seasonal foods, herbs and nutrients that enhance our well-being.
NURTURE with NATURE is a collaborative effort of The Lodge at Woodloch executive chef Josh Tomson and his team; Amanda Clabaugh, treatments’ manager, beverage recipes from Leslie Britt and Cindy Wasilewski, and Nathaniel Whitmore, master herbalist. Readers will find Pantry Clean-Up, Choosing Foods for the Season, a Food Rainbow, as well as more than 100 recipes. Much credit is also due to Andrea Killam, the photographer, and creative director, whose photos depict the calming environment at the lodge.
If you’ve never visited The Lodge at Woodloch, you are missing an opportunity to experience a world-renowned, adults-only spa resort destination and a culinary wonderland. The recipe book only scratches the surface of the locally-sourced, garden-to-table cuisine you will find.
As I perused the pages of NURTURE with NATURE, I made my list of must-have ingredients so I could begin to sample several of the recipes. Most of the ingredients are readily available at your local farmers’ market or in the organic herbs, fruits and vegetables sections of many grocery “superstores” or online. A few of the offerings are “crispy trout with wild leeks,” “oyster mushroom & homemade ricotta flatbread,” and “brown rice veggie burger.” You should also reap the benefits of the renewal beauty and healing recipes, which are also arranged according to the season. Try the spring “Calming Banana Mask” to soothe and smooth your winter-weary complexion and the “softening hand and foot scrub” before sandal weather is in full swing.
I’ve been a guest at The Lodge at Woodloch and Woodloch Pines, two properties owned and managed by the Kiesendahl family. Rest assured, you will be pampered by your hosts.
Do your plans include an overnight stay in The City of Brotherly Love?
Why historic Philadelphia?
By far, Philadelphia is one of my favorites cities to visit.
“The City of Brotherly Love” tugs at my heart.
Whether you choose to take in the sights on foot or perched on a streetcar, be sure to detach from your electronic devices long enough to appreciate the modern and historic buildings that line Philadelphia’s wide streets. Keep your camera close by because there’s something for everyone, whether you’re tuned into people watching or architecture. Philadelphia offers an array of stunningly beautiful architectural gems.
Are you aware Philadelphia’s history dates back to 1682? I also learned something new while researching the city’s rich history. Philly and I share a birthday. William Penn founded Philly on October 27 to serve as the capital of his Pennsylvania Colony. According to http://www.ushistory.org/us/4c.asp, Penn aimed to draft a plan for the city that left the horrors of crowded European urban life behind.
(also known as University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology)
After a particularly long week, my husband and I took two days off to rediscover Philly’s cuisine and culture. We began our glorious 24-hour whirlwind tour at Penn Museum, 3260 South St.,
on the University of Pennsylvania campus, with Pam Kosty, public relations director, as our guide.
Stroll the University of Pennsylvania campus and you’ll soon discover why this Ivy League school is regarded as one of the world’s most respected research and teaching institutions. Penn Museum, located on the campus, was our first stop upon our arrival in Philly. Both the interior and exterior of the building are enchanting and representative of an enlightened society eager to promote the arts and sciences. The museum in College Hall was formally opened to the public January 2, 1890.
Create your own signature learning experience as you celebrate the incredibly diverse artifacts and art displayed and intermingled with hands-on learning tools. If you’re fast-tracking your way through Philly and you’re short on time, you can view each of the exhibits in two to three hours. You can also expect to find many objects on display that originated from university-led archaeological excavations and anthropological expeditions. Stone tools, household items, monuments and yes, fine art, are among the treasures you’ll see.
When you think of archaeology and anthropology, what comes to mind? Truly, both disciplines are a celebration of mankind and our world’s diverse cultures.
Take your Pick or see them all
The interior space houses 11 signature exhibitions: Egypt (Sphinx), Egypt (Mummies) Gallery, Africa, Canaan and Israel, China, Etruscan Italy, Greece, Rome, Japan, Mexico and Central America galleries; space dedicated to special exhibitions, and a cafe that features tasty, authentic food from around the world. I chose an Indian dish that was delicious.
Click here for an updated list of special exhibitions or to purchase tickets to the museum.
Museum hours are Tues to Sun., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month.
Admission is $15/general adult, $13/senior citizens (65 and above), and $10/children 6 to 17 and full-time students with college ID. Museum members, active U.S. military personnel, children 5 and under and PennCard holders (Penn faculty, staff and students) receive free admission.
2. Sonesta Philadelphia Lobby Art Exhibit
Our next stop was check-in at the incredibly hip Sonesta Downtown Philadelphia. View the original art of Philadelphia’s fine artists and craftsmen in Sonesta’s lobby. The exhibit is updated every six months. Hotel guests in need of information should consult with the concierge.
Sonesta Rittenhouse Square is centrally located downtown at 18th and Market Streets in Center City, and only a short distance from a multitude of attractions. Whether you and your spouse are on an overnight getaway or you’re traveling with children, I guarantee you won’t want to miss the historic Reading Terminal Market. Whatever taste bud you hope to satisfy, you’ll find a selection of baked goods, meats, poultry, seafood, and produce. Other vendors also carry flowers and cookware. The Reading Terminal Markethas been open to the public since 1892.
4. The Butcher Bar
What’s your hankering? As 5 p.m. rolls around, and particularly after hours of sightseeing and walking, why not try one one of historic Philadelphia’s newest restaurants?
As we approached the restaurant around dusk, the large shutters on the second-floor windows were wide open. I could see diners engrossed in conversation and candles gently flickering. The entrance-way was bursting with activity as guests sipped cocktails, wine and beer. Happy hour was in the works.
The Butcher Bar, 2034 Chestnut St, offers a lunch, brunch and dinner menu that will leave the meat lover’s mouth watering. I can still recall my reaction to one of our appetizers, a slab of bacon. “Oh, this is incredible – tender and juicy.” Words cannot describe this delectable creation. Kunihiko Matsui and I sampled a variety of menu items.
HOUSE APPLEWOOD SMOKED SLAB OF BACON
maple – saambal glaze $9
THE BUTCHER WEDGE
iceberg, blue cheese dressing, heirloom tomatoes, hard boiled egg, house bacon, garlic croutons – $10
ROASTED CAULIFLOWER & BRUSSELS SPROUTS
parmesan, lemon, balsamic reduction $10
SCALLOP, LOBSTER & SHRIMP SAUSAGE
seafood mousse, lemon butter sauce, fine herb salad $14
The bar features 16 beers on tap, 6 draft wines, and a whiskey-based cocktail program. You should absolutely make reservations. View the menus here.
5. The Eastern State Penitentiary
Before leaving Philly, The Eastern State Penitentiary was our final stop as we prepared to leave the city. Over the years, I’ve heard rave reviews about the Eastern State Penitentiary, but since most of my trips to Philadelphia have been brief, I’ve never found the time to visit.
Regarded as “one of the most famous and expensive prisons in the world” and the world’s first true “penitentiary,” the ruins are bone-chilling and captivating. My overall opinion is the crumbling walls, empty prison yards and dimly lit hallways all speak of the lives of the inmates who called the Eastern State Penitentiary home. They are haunting as much as they are thought-provoking.
Notable residents were “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone, who were among some of America’s most famous criminals.
A masterfully created one-hour hands-on audio tour, history exhibits, artists’ installations, and a vivid imagination are all you’ll need to feel the history that emanates from the walls. A very knowledgeable tour guide also led us through portions of the building.
Stay tuned for video clips from Eastern State Penitentiary.
Are you looking for a more in-depth history of the penitentiary? Visit http://www.easternstate.org/history-eastern-state.
The penitentiary is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last entry at 4 p.m. Don’t plan to visit on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day, when the facility is closed.
Granted, you won’t have a full 24 hours to tour historic Philadelphia, when you factor in time while you’re sleeping, but in a brief period of time, you will get a taste and feel what makes Philly so interesting. Allow some time to relax and catch your breath. There’s no need to rush, and realistically, who can say how many days, weeks or perhaps even months you’d need to see everything Philly offers? Move at your own pace.
Visitphilly.com graciously arranged my visit and also provided me with information that helped immensely when we were mapping our 24-hour visit. Feel free to reach out to the staff as you are planning your trip to Philadelphia.
If you have ties to Northeastern Pennsylvania, you probably already know bits and pieces of the history of one of Scranton’s iconic landmarks.
The former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad station, known today as The Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, is a sight to behold and one I have admired for as long as I can remember. You simply can’t miss the limestone facade and the eight-foot bronze clock that’s prominently displayed on the front of the building as you head south on Jefferson Avenue. History buffs and travelers looking for a quaint and authentic experience, with distinctive architectural elements, will savor every moment at this Scranton landmark hotel.
Architect Kenneth Murchison designed the station in 1906, as a replacement for a much smaller depot only blocks away on Lackawanna Avenue. The grand French Renaissance-style station is awe-inspiring as its poised between Spruce Street and Lackawanna Avenue.
The five-story structure was built in 1908 but a sixth floor was added in the 1920s to provide additional office space.
History buffs will marvel at the significant role the depot played in Scranton’s past as a transportation hub for travelers.
For me, it’s the delightful mix of history, architectural ornamentation that includes marble walls, hand-painted tiles and a barrel-vaulted ceiling adorned with Tiffany glass, combined with some very fond childhood memories. As a child, my late father, a commercial hardware designer, and I wandered around the first-floor before and after the station closed and rail service ended. Until recently, on only one occasion did I venture upstairs into one of the guest rooms.
In January, I was an overnight guest and treated to a night in one of the posh newly renovated suites.
When the time to relax or fall asleep is upon you, the ambiance of the sleeping area will have you dreaming of days gone by. The guest suite amenities are plentiful with a desk and a comfortable chair for those guests who happen to bring work along, a coffee maker, refrigerator two flatscreen televisions, and a decor that’s soothing to the eye.
Other amenities include the hotel’s business center, a complimentary shuttle ride to AVP Airport and local attractions, fitness center, same-day dry cleaning and a pet-friendly policy.
There are so many opportunities to explore Scranton’s rich history and cultural heritage at the nearby Steamtown National Historic Site. More information regarding admission prices and exhibits are available here.
Take a walking tour of some of the city’s other historic buildings. Shop at The Marketplace at Steamtownor one of many specialty boutiques and art galleries or spend your afternoon at The Everhart Museum, located only a few miles from the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in Nay Aug Park. The museum was founded in 1908 and is one of the oldest museums in the state of Pennsylvania.
Are you ready for a sumptuous meal?
Whether you choose to order room service or you’re looking to socialize over a cocktail or fine wine, the dining options at this Scranton landmark hotel are as varied as an 8 oz Grilled Filet Mignon or Flat Bread with sliced tomato and fresh mozzarella. You’ll find three on-site dining choices, beginning with your jolt of morning caffeine and a croissant or pastry at the Station Café. Throughout your day, find your perfect meal at the award-winning Carmen’s 2.0 Restaurant & World Tour Menu or Trax Platform Lounge, a popular more casual meeting evening destination for both local residents and hotel guests. Order an appetizer, salad or entree to pair with your cocktail, tap beer or wine.
Please follow this link to see videos featuring Michael Kearney, Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel manager. I am grateful for the opportunity to experience this extraordinary hotel. Many thanks to Michael Kearney his gracious hospitality and Michael Chandler, facility manager, for his technical assistance during the filming of these videos. Stay tuned for more videos.
In 1947, Jack Dunlop and his wife, Minerva, traveled to the Pocono Mountains and found the perfect spot — a nine-bedroom former boarding house on 28 scenic acres along Route 191 in Paradise Valley.
Bob Dunlop, current Crescent Lodge owner, described his parents as typical “New Yorkers” who discovered their niche in the Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains.
Dunlop was 10-years old and growing up on Long Island, N.Y. when his father purchased the rooming house “in the country” as a retreat from city life. Family and friends gathered there on weekends and summers to play cards and unwind.
The Crescent Lodge, Paradise Valley, was a former boarding house. On a mid-summer evening, there wasn’t a seat available in the dining room. My table had a view of the pool and Dunlop’s collection of vintage cottages he and his father built, one by one, over a 70-year span.
As I scribbled notes in my stenographer’s notebook, I heard a male voice ask, “How’s everything?”
I gazed up and found Dunlop standing next to my table. Whenever he’s in town, he makes his evening rounds to each table. greeting dinner patrons and inquiring about their meals. From the brief conversations I overheard, I wasn’t sure if the customers were close acquaintances or new customers, but nonetheless, I heard rave reviews. Dunlop and his son, Wayne, have built their business by carrying on a tradition of personalized service, flavorsome cuisine, and plentiful portions. Part of their success is attributed to a hands-on approach. On that night, Dunlop’s son, Wayne, was the maitre d, but he also serves as the chef, according to Dunlop.
As I waited for my French Onion Soup appetizer to arrive, Dunlop gave me his undivided attention as he shared decades of stories about his life in the hospitality business.
“My father bought the property and came up often with his friends on the weekends,” Dunlop commented. “When they started the business, they did not charge guests. The guests felt guilty not paying to stay here.”
Patrons will find a touch of vintage charm, whether they choose to stay in the inn or one of the captivating cottages. Each accommodation at the Crescent Lodge has its own distinctive style and is adorned with ample furnishings covered in soft, comfortable fabrics.
Rather than dress his rooms in the most up-to-date fabrics and colors, Dunlop has chosen to retain a style that’s reminiscent of the late 1940s, intermingled with the amenities guests expect. Private bathrooms with a shower and bathtub, toiletries, hair dryer, ironing board, and iron are some of the comforts provided. Many of the cottages feature a fireplace and sunken jacuzzi built for two.
Dunlop has witnessed first-hand significant changes in the hospitality industry. One way to stay up-to-date with trends is the practical approach he has acquired after nearly 70 years in the business by staying in touch with his customers’ needs.
“I was just a kid when my father began to build the cottages in a semi-cirle,” Dunlop explained, referring to the cottages dressed in cedar shingles.
Years later, when he was absorbed in his own career, Dunlop, an architect, made a decision to take over the family business, but his design skills and training weren’t wasted. Upkeep often included building and renovation projects. Cedar is a key element in the cottages’ exterior facade and all but one of the bungalows has a fireplace.
“My parents didn’t know what to do with the (Crescent Lodge) business. So, I gave up my business and I took over,” he said.
While being in the hospitality business is at the very least demanding, Dunlop said a dedication to the business is a necessity.
Anyone who gets into the hospitality business needs to know it’s very time-consuming,” he quipped. “I’m like a doctor. If somebody needs something at three o’clock in the morning, we have to get up and do it, but it’s very rewarding.”
Dunlop draws his dinner clients from a variety of demographics. Folks passing through the Poconos or those with second homes dine with him on a frequent basis and many are faithful followers who have been fans for years. Overnight guests range from honeymooners seeking romance, privacy and outdoor recreational activities to the over 55 crowd, who shop, golf or kick back.
“I have to give my dad credit. He was very progressive for that era. We’ve had a really nice business and we’ve met all sorts of people. You make a lot of people happy. I don’t think we’ve made anybody unhappy,” Dunlop said.