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an Floating Safety Delaware River Water Recreation Lifestyle The National Park Service Water Safety Month

12 Tips To Keep You Safe in the Water

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  • May 8, 2018
Water Safety Month National Park Service
Wear it water safety month campaign
This father and son team are preparing for a kayak adventure on the Delaware River. May is “Water Safety Month” and a time to assess your equipment and replace worn out life jackets. Learn more about what you can do to protect your friends and family while enjoying a day of water fun. 

Water Safety Month: Is your equipment river-ready? 

Chances are when you’re paddling down a river surrounded by family, friends, and spectacular scenery, the last thing on your mind is the inherent danger water activities can ensue.

If canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and fishing are part of your plans to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, you should double check to be sure your equipment is ready for your opening day on the water.

May is “Water Safety Month” set up by organizations throughout the United States as a reminder that drowning is the number one leading cause of unintentional death in the national parks, according to  Susie Kaspar, National Park Service Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River ranger and Division of Interpretation educator. Kaspar is one of the organizers of WEAR IT!” Swimming, Fishing, Boating, Floating, an iconic local water safety campaign established in 2011 in response to five drowning fatalities that year along the Upper Delaware River on property managed by the National Park Service. WEAR IT is a collaboration between multiple organizations including Upper Delaware’s Water Safety Committee, the based in Narrowsburg, New York, the National Canoe Safety Patrol, and many other local canoe liveries and businesses in the Upper Delaware River Valley. 

Who’s most at risk?

Statistics gathered by the National Park Service reveal that males between the age of 18 and 64  were among the majority of victims who drowned on the park service land in 2011

Kaspar said, “National parks can be a dangerous environment and that drowning is one of those tragedies that can happen when you’re having a great time and not paying attention to your friends.”

 She also noted the majority of those drowning deaths did not occur while the victims were boating but rather while swimming in the unpredictable waters of the Delaware River, where levels can fluctuate from a foot of water to a ten-foot hole in just a couple of steps. Park visitors should use their common sense and judgment while utilizing the 73.4 miles of water and wild terrain along the Upper Delaware, Kaspar advises. 

“They may have been canoeing but they pulled off the river to take a break and they wanted to jump in to swim. We said we needed to focus on people swimming without a life jacket. Any death in a national park is a concern, but moving water is dangerous even when the conditions appear calm and placid in certain areas.”  





A life jacket is the single-most important piece of equipment you should have with you in the water at all times but not the ratty, old jacket you’ve used for years. Life jackets that have been altered in any way or have holes or tears won’t go the extra mile to save your life if your boat tips. Nor will stashing it out of reach in your vessel or raft. Children 12 and younger must wear them but adults are only required to have a life jacket with them and it must accessible.

River users, including anglers, are required to wear a properly-fitted life jacket from Nov. 1 to April 30 but anglers are also encouraged to wear one anytime they’re wading. Kaspar explained one of the hazards river users face is “Foot Entrapment,” a phenomenon the park service notes occurs when one’s foot becomes wedged in between a rock and the force of the water results in thousands of pounds of pressure that can actually push them face down in the water. Kaspar said the best way to avoid foot entrapment is to never stand up in moving water above your knee, float on your back feet first to fend off rocks, and steer yourself towards shore with your arms.

“The Delaware River offers one of the best world-class trout waters in the United States and people come to experience this world-class river from all over the country. They know we’re one of the best trout waters in the country,” she said.

If upon your arrival at Upper Delaware you discover you’ve forgotten your life jacket or it’s not up to standards,  rangers will provide you with a loaner (during peak summer months) at four different river access points deemed most busy along the river. The Loaner Life Jacket Program is based on availability and should not be relied on but thanks to grant money awarded since the formation of the Water Safety Campaign in 2011, the loaner program has significantly expanded. 

Safety Tips You Should Follow 

  1. Wear your life jacket. If you don’t wear it, sit on it. Always keep your life jacket within arm’s reach. They can’t be tied down to your boat.
  2. If your vessel tips, make sure you are floating on your back and keep your feet pointed straight up in the air to avoid foot entrapment.  
  3. Wear appropriate footwear, sandals or flip-flops are not sufficient. Old sneakers or river shoes are the most appropriate.
  4. Be sure your life jacket fits snuggly. What size should I wear? The United States Coast Guard answers your questions about life jackets here but each approved life jacket has a clearly marked label describing who it fits. 
  5. Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  6. Don’t go out alone. (Let your family know where you’ll be and when to expect your return home). 
  7. Wear sunscreen. The sun reflects up from the water and will cause sunburned even if you’re out for a few short hours.
  8. Make sure you have your medication with you before leaving for your trip. A brief boating trip can turn into a much longer time depending on water levels and conditions. Be sure you have what you need to get through those times.
  9. Check your equipment to be sure your raft and boat are free of holes. 
  10. If your boat flips over, (and hopefully, you’re wearing that life preserver) don’t worry about any of your equipment. Save yourself and whoever you’re with first.
  11. Stay away from your boat if it tips. A canoe filled with water is equivalent to thousands of pounds of pressure in front of the boat. If you’re stuck between the boat and a rock, for example, you will be crushed.
  12. Stash your cell phone, keys, and other important belongings in a Waterproof Gear Bags

Once you’re ready to embark on your boating adventure,  Kaspar says, “Go out there and have fun but really use your common sense, People tip over all the time and it’s very easy to get in trouble, especially if you’re not wearing a life jacket.”


Water Safety Month National Park Service
May is “Water Safety Month” and reminder to be sure your boating and fishing equipment includes a life jacket.

Follow the link to watch Dave Kuharchik’s interview with Susie Kaspar on PA Live:

Fact: The Delaware River is the most paddled stretch of river in the world based on the National Park Service’s visitation statistics.


A link on this page is an affiliate link. I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase but at no additional cost to you. I have experience with this company 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.



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A River Trilogy book review Adventures Authors book Book Review book reviews Fishing Fishing Destinations Fly Fishing Books Fly Fishing Stories and Tales Lifestyle Travel Product Links W.D. Wetherell Author

Outright Fishing Tales: A River Trilogy

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  • May 3, 2018
New England Fishing
New England Fishing
A naturalist’s account of the Vermont River, One River More, and Upland Stream


“Vermont River,” “Upland Stream,” and “One River More” are all books by acclaimed author W.D. Wetherell. He combined those three classics into entertaining and descriptive reflections of his most endearing fly fishing moments. A “Word at the Start,” hooks you and then reels you in as you read one tale after another.

“I had fallen in love with fly fishing as a teenager, thanks to my parents buying a summer house on a bassy Connecticut lake,” Wetherell wrote. “This led me to fly-fishing, and then a passionate reader as a kid-to the literature fly-fishing boasts of, the ‘fishing in print.”

Wetherell is an award-winning novelist with more than 20 books to his credit. A few of his other titles are “The Writing on the Wall,” “North of Now,” “Soccer Dad,” and “Summer of the Bass.” Vermont River is the first book in his fishing collection and a requiem to his love for fly fishing in Vermont. Trout Magazine deemed this selection as one of the 30 finest works about fly fishing. You won’t be disappointed, even if you’re not an angler – each of these works are indicative of Wetherell’s love of nature and family.

A River Trilogy is a fluid, gentle, and entertaining literary work that will leave you yearning for more stories. It’s truly a work of literary art. I encourage you to travel along on his journeys through New England, Montana, and Scotland’s most treasured waterways.

You can purchase the book here by clicking on this link. .

Learn more about W.D. Wetherell at


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.

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50 Places to Fly Fish Before You Die Family Destinations Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die Fishing Fishing Destinations Fly Fishing Destinations Fly Fishing Domestic and International Destinations Lifestyle Travel Product Links World Travel

50 Places to Fly Fish Before You Die

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  • April 29, 2018
Fly Fishing Destinations
Fly Fishing Destinations
If you’re yearning to fly fish, author Chris Santella has suggestions for you.

Fly Fishing Destinations You Won’t Want to Miss

Are you dreaming of landing that trout, bass, or other fish species?  

“Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die” is full of breathtaking photography and detailed information about 50 of the world’s most spectacular fly fishing destinations. Author Chris Santella is a skilled freelance writer and storyteller who offers his readers a collection of 50 essays created by master fly anglers. The in-depth interviews feature extensive background information for each of the destinations with advice and fishing anecdotes that you’ll find enticing even on the coldest winter day.  Santella’s work is one you’ll commit to memory and refer to as a resource guide when you’re planning your next fly fishing getaway.

I received a copy as a Christmas present in 2018 and although I receive hundreds of book review requests (on a variety of topics) each month, I’d never run across this gem. Santella’s guide covers all of the details and history fly anglers looking for premium places to fish need to know. The “IF YOU GO” that follows each essay: “Prime Time,” “Getting There,” “Accommodations,” and “Equipment,”is invaluable.

Santella is a regular contributor to The New York Times,, and other fly fishing publications.

Buy Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die. 

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.
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AirPod Case AirPod Cases Apple-related products Father's Day Gift Ideas Gadget Must-Haves high-tech gear how to product your AirPod Lifestyle Mother's Day Gift Ideas PodPocket Review Product Reviews

PodPocket: Ultimate AirPods’ Protection

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  • April 27, 2018
  • Sticky

How many earbuds have you found in your laundry? 

Add “PodPocket” to your list of fantastic gift ideas and banish tech gear from another run through the spin cycle and the dryer’s damaging heat.

Kids stuff their earbuds in their pants and hoodies’ pockets and when their clothes come off, so do their earbuds – straight into the washer and dryer. They often reappear as the laundry is being folded. Why? Because pockets are a notorious catch-all for tech gear, pens, pencils, and gadgets.

PodPocket review
PodPocket is a durable and aesthetically-pleasing pouch that allows Apple-loving folks to securely carry and protect their AirPods.

A PodPocket is in my opinion protection that’s practical but also innovative and aesthetically pleasing. These durable pouches are available in a variety of colors and accessorize well with a purse, backpack, and most outerwear. Clip them to a loop and you’re all set. PodPocket is also a perfect gift for Mom or Dad if you’re looking for a Mother’s or Father’s Day gift.

You’ll find the durability in the PodPocket’s precision-molded high-grade silicone case a perfect fit for your beloved AirPods. The protective gear provides a secure fit at a fraction of the cost you paid for the AirPods. A premium key ring and clasp securely attach while providing access that allows for charging while the AirPods are still in the PodPocket.

PodPocket is AFFORDABLY priced at $19.95.

You can purchase a PodPocket at








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Brenda Tharp learn photography Lifestyle nature photography photography photography instructors photography workshops

Brenda Tharp: Photographer and Naturalist

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  • April 17, 2018
Expressive Nature Photography
Expressive Nature Photography
Brenda Tharp shares her skills and techniques.

Acclaimed Photographer and Avid Adventurer Shares Techniques

Expressive Nature Photography 

“Expressive Nature Photography: Design, Composition, and Color In Outdoor Imagery” author Brenda Tharp makes a very clear distinction between photos that are creative versus correct.

To clarify that statement and not underplay the importance of knowing your camera and its settings inside and out, Tharp, a landscape, travel, and fine art photographer with more than 30 years experience, offers her readers an extraordinary guide to adding emotion and creativity to their photos. Don’t be mistaken. She covers in depth the technical details of photography, from the camera settings as they relate to light, exposure, and composition and inspires photographers to get outside early in the day and late at night to capture nature’s drama and beauty without the harshness of mid-day lighting.

Shooting at night, using filters to create long exposures, creating natural effects using light painting, and following and breaking the rules of composition are a few of the topics Tharp covers in this magnificent instructional book.  More than 250 awe-inspiring outdoor images drive home her point that we can all improve our approach to nature photography.

Does having a working knowledge of your camera guarantee an extraordinary photo? No, and most photographers encounter more than one roadblock on their journeys from beginner to expert or professional photographer. Tharp cultivates a greater understanding of how and when photographers should stray from the rules of composition.

Whether you use a high-tech, point-and-shoot, or cell phone camera, Tharp will teach you to move beyond what you already know about photography through a series of challenging exercises and tips. Each page features Tharp’s brilliant photographs as examples of the end result of combining masterful technique with a trained eye for detail. Her instruction is practical and inspiring.

Expressive Nature Photography is published by Monacelli Press, An imprint of The Monacelli Press, More information about Tharp’s upcoming workshops can be found at or visit


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70th birthday celebration of the modern state of Israel Air Travel Art and Culture Benjamin Netanyahu Events Food and Travel Global Tourism history Israel Historic Sites Israel tourism Israel tours Lifestyle most significant places in Israel Organized Traveler Pat Boone Pat Boone Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land Places to visit in Israel Rabbi Eckstein ROMAN AMPHITHEATER IN CAESAREA tours of historic Israel travel Travel and Leisure Trips to Jerusalem visit Israel World Travel

Pat Boone: The Boy on Roanoke Road

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  • March 26, 2018
Pat Boone Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Pat Boone iconic pop star bio
Pat Boone’s career has evolved for more than 50 years. From iconic pop star to an outspoken spokesman, Pat’s Christian values are deeply rooted. All photos courtesy of 

God, Family, Career, and Israel

An Exclusive Interview with Pat Boone

Singer, actor, TV host, producer, songwriter, author, motivational speaker, TV pitchman, radio personality, record company head, TV station and sports team owner, family man, and humanitarian are all titles attached to the legendary and iconic Pat Boone whose career has spanned more than five decades.

Pat Boone was the first child born to Archie Boone, a building contractor, and his wife, Margaret, in Jacksonville, FL on June 1, 1934. He described his life growing up in Nashville with his parents and siblings – a brother and two sisters, as “wonderful” and “idyllic.”

Although no one in his family was a musician by trade, his mother played some ukelele and taught Pat and his brother to play some chords. Pat became known as “the Boy on Roanoke Rd” – “the kid who knows all the pop songs of the day and will come to sing for you with no strings attached.”

“We entertained our family at all our gatherings as we were headed toward our teen years.   So in the midst of my athletics and school and other activities, I became an amateur singer, a little dreaming that might lead to a career.” ~Pat Boone (via an email interview)

Indeed, a professional career followed – one that has endured more than 50 years. Pat is 83-years-old with a long list of accolades and recordings to his name; a record company, “The Gold Label” that’s dedicated to legendary and accomplished artists, (who incidentally, all come with million-selling gold records to their credit);  and he is regarded as the #10 all-time top recording artist, according to music industry magazine, “Billboard.” His career has spanned more than five decades. Read a full list of his accomplishments at

Pat Boone Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Entertainer Pat Boone on Stage

As much as music has been an integral part of his life from an early age, Pat says reading the Bible and attending church services are the backbone of his life, then and now.

I learned that the whole Bible from the first words in Genesis, “In the beginning…” to the last words from the book of Revelation in the New Testament…all the Bible was written by Jews about Jews and for Jews, and focused on Israel and God’s chosen people.

While attending a Christian high school in Nashville, he met his wife, Shirley, whom he lovingly refers to as his high school sweetheart. They were married when Pat was nineteen and by the time he had graduated from Columbia University (Magna Cum Laude), Pat quips, he had four girls, only three-and-a-half years apart.

I should have been neutered or perhaps jailed – but my wife did become a great mother as well as a wonderful wife and having those responsibilities kept my feet on the ground when my career took off like a whirlwind, luckily 11 months ahead of Elvis and “Heartbreak Hotel”.   

Pat Boone Iconic Legendary Singer Songwriter
Pat Boone, family man and devout Christian shown with his four daughters and wife, Shirley, his high school sweetheart


His affinity for music continued through his teens and adulthood. In late 1959, a love affair with the Ernest Gold melody to the movie Exodus and the theme song led Pat to put his faith and songwriting skills to work when he subsequently wrote the words “This Land is Mine,” the lyrics behind the esteemed show tune.  The song is referred to by many as “the second Jewish national anthem.” 

How do his Christian beliefs tie in with his connection with Israel?

He explained, “We knew then, and I know now, that we Gentiles get in on this exquisite and unique relationship with God through our acceptance of Jesus the Jewish Messiah, the one who fulfilled all the prophesies of Isaiah about the One who would come to lead his people out of captivity and bless them more then all the people in the world.”

He further explained Christianity, properly understood is a direct outgrowth of historic Judaism and it’s clear that God wants every believer to understand our “Jewishness” as well as our Christianity and the word. Christ, he noted, is a Greek translation of the word “Messiah” or God’s anointed one.

“When I’ve spoken to groups of Rabbis in the past, I tell them I’m representing the 4th branch of Judaism; there is Orthodox, Reformed, Conservative and Messianic.  Everything we believers in Jesus hold sacred and true is a direct outgrowth of the Bible which deals ‘explicitly with Jews and God’s promises to the people of Israel.”





Pat Boone Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Tour departs New York May 9 2018
Pat has been a long-time friend to Israel.

According to Pat, Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a longtime friend, has said on many occasions, “Evangelical Christians are Israel’s best friends in the world – we know that.” He and the Israel Prime Minister got to know one another during an Israeli water function at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

“He (Benjamin Netanyahu) became of fan of mine when he was at M.I.T. in his college days, and loved my record of ‘Speedy Gonzales.’  We’ve been good friends ever since,” Pat remarked. 

Although the prime minister was not able to attend Pat’s Tel Aviv concert three years ago for security reasons, Pat met with him privately, “just the two of us at his request, the night before in his office in Jerusalem,”  he says. When Pat walked into his office they shook hands and Netanyahu said, “Hello Speedy, come on in!”

“And the beaming smile on his face made some of my Israeli friends jealous.  Our friendship is real, deep, and based on our understanding of God’s expressed intentions for his chosen people…,” says Pat. 





Pat has joined forces with Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, an Israeli American Rabbi, and the founder and current president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews headquartered in Chicago and Jerusalem, as they host a most memorable “Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land,” a 10-day journey that will depart North America on May 9, 2018.  In addition to sightseeing opportunities at some of Israel’s most cherished sites, the tour coincides with the actual 70th birthday of the modern state of Israel and the dedication of the U.S. Embassy on May 14. As part of the celebration, Pat will film a TV special in the Roman amphitheater in Caesarea for national and international distribution. 

Pat Boone Roman amphitheater in Caesarea
Pat will film a TV special in the Roman amphitheater in Caesarea for national and international distribution during the “Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land” scheduled to depart from North America on May 9, 2018

He referred to the tour as “a loving seminar in the things that we hold in common, much more than things that might divide us in understandings or beliefs.” The trip is a historic pilgrimage designed for Christians and Jews, with sites selected that are of particular interest to the Fellowship of Christians and Jews and “we” the believers in Jesus as the Messiah.

“We believe that everyone who comes back from this tour, whether invited by Rabbi Eckstein or me or a couple of other co-hosts, will have a lasting and permanent sense of identification to Israel, the Jews, the one God of the Bible and the sense of destiny that unites us.”  

Together,  he and Rabbi Eckstein’s collaborations have helped to fulfill God’s prophecy by paving the way for tens of thousands of poor and persecuted Jews from all over the world to return to and settle permanently in the land God promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Their efforts, particularly a television special Rabbi Eckstein and Pat co-hosted, prompted the Christian community to donate tens of millions of dollars to relocate and care for the displaced Jews in modern Israel.

Pat said, “I’m proud of that.”

From his days as a budding entertainer on Roanoke Rd. to his humanitarian work in Israel, Pat believes God will continue to bless his efforts if they’re good and ensure the happiest life he could possibly live.

“I’m convinced God won’t let horrible things happen to me. If all young people today could have that kind of assurance we would have a better society.  And most psychiatrists would be out of work.” ~Pat Boone




For details about the historic pilgrimage, visit Registration is limited to 200 to 300 tour members.


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70th birthday celebration of the modern state of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu Israel Historic Sites Israel tourism Israel tours Lifestyle most significant places in Israel Pat Boone Pat Boone Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land Places to visit in Israel Rabbi Eckstein ROMAN AMPHITHEATER IN CAESAREA Trips to Jerusalem visit Israel

Pat Boone “Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land”

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  • March 23, 2018
Pat Boone Historic Pilgrimage

Quintessential Singer Plans Trek to Holyland

Historical Pilgrimage to
The legendary Pat Boone’s career has spanned more than 50 years. Photo courtesy of Pat Boone Enterprises, Inc.

Imagine following Jesus’ footsteps to historic sites where he walked, taught, and lived.

If you’ve never been to Israel or this historic destination is on your bucket list, legendary singer, former teen idol, composer, actor, writer, television personality, motivational speaker and spokesman Pat Boone is inviting 200 to 300 special travelers to join him on a 10-day “Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land” May 9 – 18, 2018. Boone has visited Israel more than 20 times and refers to this adventure as his last proposed trip there. Boone says his guests can count on the trip to be “first class in every way,” with an opportunity to be part of “history in the making” in Jerusalem on May 14, when the U.S. Embassy is dedicated during the 70th birthday celebration of the modern state of Israel.

“We’ll be doing a TV special in the Roman amphitheater in Caesarea for national and international distribution,” Boone said via an email interview. “We and all our tour members will not only be there for the celebration of 70 years and God’s fulfilled promises to Israel, but we’ll also be in Jerusalem when the U.S. Embassy location is dedicated.  WE’LL BE A PART OF HISTORY AS IT OCCURS.”






Pat Boone "Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land"
Join Pat Boone for a TV special event at The Roman Amphitheater in Caesarea.


Boone and Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, an Israeli American rabbi and the founder and current president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews headquartered in Chicago and Jerusalem, along with other hosts, will lead the tours to the most significant places in Israel.

Pat Boone Historical Pilgrimage Holy Land
Guests will take in the history and architecture during the 10-day tour.

“The tour is a unique opportunity for Christians and Jews to follow Jesus’ path as brothers in our faith and the one GOD,” Mr. Boone explained. “Rabbi Eckstein is making sure that we will visit sites that are of particular interest to the Fellowship of Christians and Jews but also Jews will visit the sites that are of particular interest to we believers in Jesus as the Messiah.”



The “Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land” will feature days of breathtaking sightseeing with Mr. Boone and Rabbi Eckstein that also includes spiritual guidance by Dr. Richard Lee, editor of The American Patriot’s Bible, a Rendition of The Exodus at Masada with details covering how the song was written; an opportunity to explore Israeli cuisine during the daily breakfasts and dinners (in Israel); roundtrip air transportation from from New York City, NY (JFK) or Newark, NJ (EWR) Airports;  Baptisimal in the Jordan River; deluxe and first class hotels; professional, English speaking Guides; deluxe land transportation via private motor coach (with Wi-Fi on the bus);  tips, ($85) taxes, and fuel surcharge ($685) included; entrance fees to all sites along the journey; and a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and cable car ride up Masada.

A full itinerary and additional details with pricing can be found at

Coming soon…

A companion story about Pat Boone’s longtime friendship with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. 










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Books about Italians Americans Ethnicity Italian American ancestry Italian Americans Italians of Lackawanna County La Guardia dei Lombardi Italy Lackawanna County photos Lifestyle Stephanie Longo author The history of Italian Americans in Lackawanna County PA

Stephanie Longo: “Italians of Lackawanna County”

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  • March 22, 2018
Stephanie Longo Italians Lackawanna County
Stephanie Longo Italian Americans Lackawanna County
From businesses to family celebrations, Stephanie features photos of residents who embrace their Italian-American heritage.

Celebrating All-Things Italian American


Author Stephanie Longo grew up with a kinship to her Italian ethnicity that has grown stronger with each passing year. Stephanie’s Italian American heritage has played an integral roll in her life since she was a child. Although her grandparents passed away before she was born, she says her mother never missed an opportunity to teach her about her ancestors.

“I always felt a deep connection to them. My grandfather and my other ancestors walk side-by-side with me every day of my life,” Stephanie remarked via an email interview.

Known as an expert on the Italian American history of Northeastern Pennsylvania and a spokesperson for the Italian-American community, her latest book, “Images of Modern America: Italians of Lackawanna County,” is her latest endeavor. She has authored previous works on the subject, including Italians of Northeastern Pennsylvania and Dunmore, both published by Arcadia Publishing.





“I wanted to demonstrate how we as Italian Americans are part of a whole, yet we all have individual ways that we celebrate who we are,” Stephanie says of her books. 

Italians of Lackawanna County is indeed a celebration of all things Italian American in the county. The photos are arranged in an easy-to-follow format with the first and fourth chapters designed to focus more on the individual stories. Readers will find her work reads like a photo essay, although don’t be mistaken, the research, compilation, and writing took more than three years to complete despite life circumstances that forced her to temporarily shelve her project.

Stephanie Longo Author Italian American expert
I (shown right) recently attended Stephanie’s book signing in Throop, PA, and had an opportunity to chat with her about “Italians of Lackawanna County.”

Another hurdle she faced was finding people to contribute photos – those who actually responded to her photo requests.

“I tried to cast my net as wide as possible to include as many people and stories as possible, but many emails and phone calls were not returned. I had previous connections with many people thanks to my previous works and, of course, social media was a big help in getting the word out,” she commented.

The photos are strategically placed so readers get a sense for the evolution of one of the county’s largest ethnic populations but Stephanie says there are many Italian American stories yet to be told. She deliberately placed the final photo in her book – Tony Cerminaro running, on the inside of the back cover. The final chapter serves to drive home the point there are many stories that either aren’t finished or have not been written. 

She noted, “if you look closely, he’s running off of the page—metaphorically speaking, he’s running toward the future.” 

Stephanie is a dual citizen of the United States and Italy and has made it her mission to continue to preserve the history her ancestors brought to the United States from Guardia dei Lombardi, Italy (her grandfather’s birthplace). She is the founder of SIAMO, the Italian American Heritage Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania and through her efforts, the City of Scranton, the Borough of Dunmore, and Guardia have been named sister cities. 

“My family, like so many other immigrants sacrificed so much to come to this country. I feel a deep sense of gratitude for what they did for me and I try to honor them with how I live my life.  You can’t separate me from my heritage, to do so would leave you with a very fragmented description of me as a person. I am Italian American.” ~Stephanie Longo

Stephanie Longo Author
Stephanie Longo is locally known as an expert on the Italian American history of northeastern Pennsylvania and has authored previous works on the subject, including Italians of Northeastern Pennsylvania and Dunmore, both published by Arcadia Publishing.

Stephanie Longo is presently the director of marketing and communications at the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. 

Visit her website:

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Clarks Summit restaurants Dine out in South Abington Township Japanese dining in Clarks Summit Japanese dining in Clarks Summit Japanese food in Clarks Summit Lifestyle Places to eat in Northeastern Pennsylvania Take out in Clarks Summit Where to dine in Clarks Summit

Jumbo Seafood Restaurant: Big Flavor

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  • March 21, 2018
Japanese Bento Box Jumbo Seafood

Calm your CRAVING for Japanese Food


Up and down the main thoroughfare in South Abington Township, PA, travelers will find a mix of palate-pleasers for practically every taste bud.

One week ago, my friend, Maura and I decided to take a break from our usual lunch spot. We met for lunch at Jumbo Seafood Restaurant, a comparatively new addition to the Japanese food scene in the Abingtons.

South Abington Township Jumbo Seafood Restaurant Japanese Cuisine
Jumbo Seafood Restuarant is casual Japanese dining. Qin and Jolin Chen opened the restaurant in 2015. 

Whether you’re driving through Clarks Summit on your way home from work or you’ve decided to take a travel break, Jumbo Seafood is less than a half-mile from the Clarks Summit exit at 918 Northern Blvd. (Rt. 6 and 11). Extraordinary food and service is an irresistible combination and Jumbo Seafood Restaurant offers both to anyone with a taste for Japanese-style food. In fact, I was so pleased with the “Bento Box,” Jumbo’s flavors beckoned me to return this week for a late lunch.

What is a “Bento Box?” It’s a compartmentalized box (sometimes lacquered) with a section for meat, fish, chicken, or shellfish; rice, sushi, shumai, pickled vegetables, and condiments. Servings are rather small in comparison to typical American portions but if you have a hearty appetite, don’t worry your belly will be satisfied.

Japanese Bento Box Jumbo Seafood
What is a Bento Box? It’s a box that’s often lacquered used for Japanese cuisine. Take notice how the individual compartments create an attractive visual effect. From left,  sushi rolls, pickled ginger and Wasabi, salted salmon served with crispy grilled vegetables, Shumai ( dumplings), and rice. 

When I opt for a Teriyaki sauce, I’m typically pining for a non-dessert that will numb my sweet tooth.  This week, I was hankering for an equally traditional saltier salmon so I asked my server (co-owner, Jolin Chen) to hold the sauce. Salted and grilled is one of the most popular ways the Japanese prepare a variety of fish ( and the chef and co-owner, Qin (Tim) Chen must have known exactly what I was craving. As I finished the salad with a dollop of ginger dressing, my lunch arrived with the two modest strips of salmon filet artfully presented atop a bed of crisp, lightly sauteed asparagus, carrot slices, broccoli, snow peas, and onions. In addition to the salmon, I found six sushi rolls, three Shumai, a cup of white rice, wasabi, and pickled ginger. While all but the Shumai are staples of Japanese meals, Qin offers traditional food but he adds his own flair.

Jumbo Seafood Bento Box Salad with Ginger
Let lunch begin! Qin offers soup or salad to complement your Bento Box.

Before making a reservation at a Japanese restaurant, you can learn more about the cuisine by clicking here

If you’re not accustomed to eating salted food, you might want to request “light on the salt.” There are reasons why Japanese food is characterized as “salty.” Not only does it lend a crispier texture, the white crystalline substance has long been used as a preservative. Visit this site for a more detailed explanation.

Jolin and Qin also cater to patrons with special diets. Diners with a gluten sensitivity can opt for gluten-free soy sauce and pasta. You can choose from brown or white rice.  Access the full menu here.

Jumbo Seafood Restaurant is best described as relaxed, casual dining. You won’t feel rushed and if your schedule allows you the extra time, savor every bite. Begin your meal with sushi and sashimi or order a round of appetizers. The restaurant is BYOB but you can make a quick stop to pick up a bottle of wine before dinner at Weis Market,  Gerrity’s Supermarket, or the Fine Wine & Good Spirits.


Jumbo Seafood Restaurant Decor Relaxing
Jumbo Seafood Restaurant in the Abingtons is an ideal location to meet friends and family for a relaxing meal. 

Lunch is served Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  If you prefer to order ahead or take out, call 570-586-5920. Party platters are also available.

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Global Tourism GlobalData Spain tourism Trump Travel Slump US Travel Slump World Tourism Data World Travel World Travel Trends

Global Data: International arrivals to Spain increased by 4.8 percent

  • By
  • March 18, 2018
total tourist expenditure in Spain Projected all-time high tourism expenditure
US Travel News Data
GlobalData reports new travel statistics.

For immediate release: 16 March 2018

Information provided courtesy of GlobalData

‘Trump Slump’ leads Spain to overtake US in Global Tourism; says GlobalData

Total Tourist Expenditure in Spain Projected All-Time High

Spain is expected to become the second most popular tourist destination in the world, overtaking the US, as the so-called ‘Trump Slump’ caused a dip in the US tourism industry; says GlobalData a leading data and analytics company.

Rapidly growing tourism flows herald a strong 2018 for the industry however as Konstantina Boutsioukou Consumer Analyst at GlobalData explains “As Spain overtakes the US in the list of the most visited countries in the world, the global tourist community has sent a strong message that divisive and discriminatory policies can greatly hamper sector growth”.

Despite the recent political uncertainty following the Catalan independence referendum and the terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils last August, the Spanish tourism industry has proved to be very robust and has experienced strong growth in the last 12 months.

According to figures from GlobalData, international arrivals to Spain increased by * 4.8%; from 75.6 million tourists in 2016 to 79.3 million in 2017. The UK, followed by France and Germany are the three largest source markets for Spain, making up 53% of total arrivals to the country. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has also confirmed that early projections reveal that the total tourist expenditure in Spain recorded an all-time high, reaching £77 billion in 2017.

Official statistics by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), have not been released, however current projections from the organization reveal that arrivals to the US are down from 75.9 million in 2016, to 72.9 in 2017. The decline of tourism is estimated to cost the US economy £140 million a week, equivalent to £7.3 billion a year. However, New York City and Los Angeles have fared better than most US cities. Arrivals to Los Angeles have increased by 2.2%, mainly due to a growth in domestic arrivals and Chinese visitors. New York arrivals have increased by 2.1% mainly due to a surge in US visitors.  

Boutsioukou adds, “The travel restrictions are seen by many tourists as state-sponsored Islamophobia, and are putting off many travelers from visiting the US. The ban has given rise to a general wave of withdrawals particularly among Middle Eastern, African and European tourists. Flows from Mexico have also registered a decline, as Mexican citizens seek to boycott the construction of the ‘Trump Wall’ at the border between Mexico and the US.’’

‘*’   source: GlobalData Consumer Intelligence Centre – 2017 estimates
‘**’ source: United Nations World Tourism Organisation – 2017 estimates

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