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The Sayre Mansion

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  • March 13, 2019
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Timothy Bobb Sayre Mansion Innkeeper

Settlers Hospitality Group

Personalized Service The Common Thread

One common thread that ties the Settlers Hospitality Group’s properties together is they’re all distinctive. But there’s more to Settlers success than the individualized decor, superbly comfortable accommodations, and the outstanding food served in the on-site restaurants. It’s the personalized service each guest receives.

The Sayre Mansion, 250 Wyandotte St., Bethlehem, PA, features 22 guest rooms and is one of five properties owned and managed by Settlers Hospitality Group, a Hawley, Pennsylvania-based company. Settlers is well known for transforming historic properties into luxury boutique hotels with the authentic style and details very much intact. Four of those properties are located in Northeastern Pennsylvania but Sayre mansion has its home in Bethlehem. The grounds and many of the guest rooms offer a sweeping view of the downtown that’s an invitation to explore the restaurants, shops, and university life. Robert Sayre, a town entrepreneur, raised his family in the mansion until the early 1900s. In the years that followed, the building was used for a variety of purposes, from boarding to a fraternity house.

The Sayre Mansion is a member of the Historic Hotels of America (National Trust for Historic Preservation).

Inside the mansion, you’ll meet the innkeeper, Timothy Bobb, and his attentive staff who elevate hospitality to a new level above and beyond what you might expect. Timothy, a quintessential conversationalist, is eager to learn more about each of his guests and does so in a non-intrusive manner.

Timothy assures, “You will be greeted by a person and not an automated check-in.” He or a member of his staff is always on hand to help guests settle into their rooms and they’ve all mastered the art of making guests feel at home.

Sayre Mansion innkeepers
Sayre Mansion innkeeper, Timothy Bobb and his sidekick, a French Bulldog named “Bradford.”

“If there’s bad weather and guests are traveling (by plane), more than likely, I know there was a delay. When they finally arrive, they probably want to find a restaurant or they need a moment to refresh,” Timothy said. “I’ll be sure to ask, ‘Do you need a glass of water? Would you like a cup of coffee? Can I suggest a local restaurant?”

Timothy Bobb, Innkeeper

Customer Care: A Rewarding Experience

The reward, he said is to watch that person evolve from the harried, aggravated traveler to a very comfortable relaxed guest in a short amount of time. The Sayre Mansion, a boutique bed & breakfast, is the only Settlers’ property that currently, does not have an on-site restaurant but you will be treated to an outstanding breakfast each morning in the hotel’s dining room during your stay.

Bradford the French Bulldog
Bradford is a hit at The Sayre Mansion. His responsibilities include meeting and greeting guests.

PET ALERT: Canine friends are welcome at this pet-friendly bed & breakfast but be sure to contact the inn before you book your reservation.

What makes Timothy is particularly well suited for his position as The Sayre Mansion innkeeper?

He began his career in interior design, held similar innkeeper positions, and also owned and operated a catering business before joining Settlers Hospitality Group at Silver Birches Resort, a sister property in the Lake Wallenpaupack region of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains

The Sayre Mansion Conservatory

The “Conservatory” is a favorite with guests who yearn to sleep under the stars and city lights. Photo courtesy of Settlers Hospitality Group.

BETHLEHEM TRAVEL AND DINING FACT: Finding the perfect restaurant will not be a problem. Bethlehem is home to a variety of restaurants and many are within walking distance from The Sayre Mansion. Asian, Italian, pub-style, and diners. You name it and you’ll likely find a palate-pleaser meal along the streets of historic Bethlehem. My dining experience at Bolete is a “10-plus.” (more details forthcoming).

The Robert Sayre Library was my home during my stay. My recently renovated suite featured two rooms: a spacious bedroom and library decorated with turn-of-the-century furnishings with a plush chaise-style lounge chair that became my second all-time favorite piece of furniture. The queen-sized bed dressed in lavishly comfortable linens is at the top of my list.

Accommodations: The Mansion and The Carriage House offer a variety of lodging options and depending on if you’re traveling alone on business or you have your family in tow, there’s a room for you. I toured every guest room in the mansion and they’re all furnished with comfort and elegance in mind.

Breakfast at The Sayre Mansion
The breakfast buffet features fresh fruit, home-baked muffins, breads, pastries and a heartier breakfast that’s made to order.
The Sayre Mansion Robert Sayre Library Guest Room

You can count on extreme comfort in every guest room managed by Settlers Hospitality Group.

The Sayre Mansion Robert Sayre Library Sitting Area
The voracious reader will have no problem finding a comfortable chair by the fireplace to read a book, work, or watch TV in the library.
Sayre Mansion Living Room

Relax by the fireplace as you sip your favorite tea or coffee. The inn is decorated with antiques and period-style furniture.

Sayre Mansion Decor
The decor is elegant and thoughtfully accented with art and antiques. You’ll feel at home without the “overwhelmed” feeling.

When the opportunity to travel to Bethlehem unfolds, The Sayre Mansion is a model bed & breakfast, with exemplary service and amenities for the consummate traveler or anyone who wants to experience a bed & breakfast at its finest. Robert Sayre found the location to his liking only steps away from city life in historic Bethlehem.

Points of Interest: Lehigh University, St. Luke’s Hospital, and most historic attractions are within walking distance. Tourism information can be found here.

Book a reservation at The Sayre Mansion online or call
610.882.2100 for more information.

Additional properties owned and managed by Settlers Hospitality Group:

The Hotel Anthracite, Carbondale, PA

Settlers Inn, Hawley, PA

Ledges Hotel, Hawley, PA

Silver Birches, Hawley, PA (adjacent to Lake Wallenpaupack)

Disclaimer:

My lodging was comped by Settlers Hospitality Group but my opinions are my own and based on my own experience.

Transcription of my interview was provided by Transcribe.

About us: Transcribe has been around for 8 years. We began as a simple do-it-yourself transcription tool but evolved as the overall speech recognition technology matured. We introduced a dictation (voice typing) feature a few years ago when it became reliable enough. Last year we introduced a state-of-the-art automatic machine transcription for pre-recorded audio and video. We support a wide set of languages.

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Harrisburg Dining Harrisburg Restaurants Lifestyle Where to eat in Harrisburg?

BRICCO BRUSSELS SPROUTS

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  • March 11, 2019
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Bricco Harrisburg

You’ll Savor the Flavor

The word on the street is Bricco Harrisburg prepares the best Brussels Sprouts.

“Try them,” I was told. I ordered them and it’s a fact.

What makes them extraordinary? Prepared with a Sriracha, honey & lime vinaigrette, the “Crispy Brussels Sprouts” appetizer is the perfect start to any meal you order at Bricco. The truth is you can satisfy your sweet tooth with one serving of Brussels Sprouts while adding a vitamin-packed vegetable to your diet.

Bricco Brussels Sprouts
Crispy Brussels Sprouts are the perfect beginning or start to your meal at Bricco, Harrisburg.

So why focus on an appetizer when the entree is equally as delicious? The sprouts set the stage for the food that followed. Chef Collier and his team prepared an organic chicken breast (made to order gluten and dairy-free) that was brimming with flavor. The variation, with mushrooms (of course from Pennsylvania – The Mushroom Capitol of the World) elevated the meal to a new level of perfection.

Chef Collier Culinary Team
Bricco customers can watch Chef Collier and his team create your meal within the open kitchen area.

If you’re wondering what night to dine at Bricco, keep in mind the menu changes weekly but the theme — inventive Mediterranean dishes, California-style stone-oven pizza, and homemade pasta does not vary. Guaranteed, whatever you order, will be a crowd-pleaser. Chef Collier and his team draw from favorite flavors from the South of France, Italy, Greece, and Spain and quality and flavor are consistent.

Bricco is Harrisburg’s only Distinguished Restaurant of North America (DiRoNA), Wine Spectator and Santé magazine award-winning restaurant,

Expect Joseph Benkovic, Bricco restaurant manager, to stop by your table and answer any questions you might have about the restaurant, food or wine menu, or ingredients. He can also give you a historical overview and more information about The Olewine School of Culinary Arts.

Bricco is a collaboration between The Olewine School of Culinary Arts and the Harrisburg Hotel Corporation. Up-and-coming chefs bring their ideas and skills to the kitchen. The program was founded and funded by the Benjamin Olewine III family. Bread and delectable desserts are among the creations the apprentice chefs create for Bricco clients.

Bricco Harrisburg
Bricco is conveniently located in downtown Harrisburg, PA, and within walking distance to many historic attractions.

Bricco is open for lunch and dinner daily. You can view a menu or make reservations here.

My trip was comped by Visit Hershey & Harrisburg but my opinions are my own and based on my experience.

Learn more about Hershey and Harrisburg at https://www.visithersheyharrisburg.org.

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Fly Fishing Books Fly Fishing Books Fly Fishing Stories Teach your children fly fishing

DOWN BY THE RIVER

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  • March 8, 2019
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Down By The River

An Interview With Andrew Weiner, Author

When is the best time to teach your children and grandchildren to fly fish?

My answer is ANYTIME your child expresses an interest.

Read my interview with Andrew Weiner, the author of “DOWN BY THE RIVER, A Family Fly Fishing Story.” Andrew crafted the perfect Young Reader tale about one family’s fly-fishing trip.

“Art,” the main character watches and listens as trout dart by in the riverbed as his mother, perhaps, unknowingly, demonstrates her perfect cast. Meanwhile, Grandpa tells stories about fishing and family that enhance an already perfect day.

DOWN BY THE RIVER CHILDREN'S PICTURE BOOK ANDREW WEINER
Andrew Weiner learned to fish at a very young age. His life-long love of fishing eventually led him to author “DOWN BY THE RIVER: A Family Fly Fishing Story.”

A few weeks ago, Andrew reached out to me to introduce his book “DOWN BY THE RIVER: A Family Fly Fishing Story.”

What led him to create DOWN BY THE RIVER? He explains in our interview.

How closely do the characters relate to your evolution as an angler?

They don’t specifically. I grew up in NY originally, and we would take family vacations to Maine, staying in a cabin at The Five Kezar Lakes in North Waterford. We would fish every day as a family–my dad, mom, and two sisters. It wasn’t fly fishing. When we moved to California my father and I continued fishing–deep sea fishing and some lake fishing, and then eventually some stream fishing as well. I didn’t start fly fishing until probably the early 90’s, and though I continued fishing with my dad until a few years ago, until about two years before he died in 2017, we only fly fished together once. The story evolved from when I first started writing it 15 years ago, where it was a boy who wanted to go fish with his parents, to a story about fishing with his mom and grandfather. Part of what has generated so much support for the book is the mother being such an important part of the story as an angler. Orvis’s #5050onthewater movement coincided with the lead up to publication. Women fly anglers, particularly on Instagram, have been huge fans and promoters of the book.

What led you to tell this particular story?

It was a combination of things. Part of it is my love of fly fishing, part of it is my love for children’s books. I’ve worked in publishing since 1977, and even four years prior when I worked at the local public library my last two years of high school. I also felt that there was an opportunity to engage kids in the sport and the outdoors and conservation through the story. The story evolved from what I described above, but it was my editor Susan Van Metre who helped craft it into a publishable story. Funny story–today is International Women’s Day, and last year I posted a photo of myself with my two sisters in a boat in Maine. I mentioned where we were and Susan saw the post, and it ends up that it’s where she goes fishing with her family now. It was meant to be.

To what extent is fly fishing a part of your life?

I am passionate about the sport and the places it takes me. Basically, all of my vacations for the last 20 years or so have either been fully focused on fly fishing or have at least had a small opportunity to fish. It has been interesting to reach out via Instagram and Linkedin to the fly fishing community. After years of being part of the publishing community it’s been rewarding to become a member of the fly fishing world, known and appreciated by many folks because of the book and my commitment to the sport and conservation.

What do you hope young readers will learn from your book?

Several things. First is the joy of actually fishing and catching a fish. Second is how wonderful it is to share the activity with family and loved ones. Third is the value of the places where we fish and the importance of preserving those places across the generations. My ex-wife’s sister-in-law is a teacher and she shared the book with her second grade class, and then they all did a project answering her questions about the book. One question was what is the lesson of the book, or what they most got out of it, and so many of them talked about Art not giving up after he didn’t catch a fish right away, so I guess that’s something kids will learn from the book, too.

Did you know the book would follow a particular format/plan?

I did have a clear view of the format of the book as a picture book, and even did a version of the text with suggested illustrations. Susan told me I should just let April Chu (I was so lucky she agreed to do the book) have her way with the illustrations, and the fact is it came out almost exactly as I’d anticipated. I did always plan to have the informational backmatter. It’s something that is common in Abrams kids picture books that adds value and depth. The flies on the endpapers grew from the original concept. I gave April 24 critical flies, but she got so engaged that she ended up with almost 80 unique flies in the front and back.

Author "Down By The River"Andrew Weiner
Andrew Weiner holding “Down By The River” in At City Lights bookstore

What role does conservation play in your life and how can we teach children to responsibly enjoy our natural resources?

I’m deeply committed to conservation. These are very difficult times with so many critical environmental regulations being obliterated. I think kids being in the outdoors is vital to the conservation and environmental movements, and I’m heartened by how many are already active. I support a couple of dozen environmental organizations myself. It’s one of the most important issues for me. Bottom line–getting kids into nature will make them stewards themselves.

Author "Down By The River"Andrew Weiner
“Down By The River” author Andrew Weiner

Author Bio

Andrew Weiner is a longtime publishing professional and an avid fly-fisher. He lives in Albany, California.

Buy a Copy – Down By the River

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Award-Winning spas Forest Bathing Hawley PA lodging Hiking, fishing, and nature trails in Northeastern Pennsylvania Lifestyle Lodging with outdoor activities Northeastern Pennsylvania lodging Pennsylvania spas and resorts The Lodge at Woodloch Where to stay in Northeastern Pennsylvania

The Lodge at Woodloch

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  • February 22, 2019
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Forest Bathing - The Lodge at Woodloch

Reconnect With Nature

What is Forest Bathing?

What comes to mind when you hear the words, “Forest Bathing?”

I admit I was somewhat confused and intrigued the first time I heard the phrase. Is it frolicking under a cascading waterfall or immersion in a cool mountain stream?

Actually, it’s neither. Forest Bathing, or its Japanese counterpart,
Shinrin Yoku (forest bath), was developed in Japan in the 1980s as preventative health care that promotes healing as we absorb nature through our senses. The management at The Lodge at Woodloch, an extraordinary award-winning spa destination in Hawley, Pennsylvania, added Forest Bathing to its long list of services. Activities are centered on enabling guests to leave their worries behind as they unwind and reconnect with their true inner being. The management team and staff take their roles as hosts and concierge seriously to the point that every detail, from the decor, activities and classes, men’s and women’s spas, and dining areas, is purposely tailored to promote self-care. Forest Bathing is an ideal vehicle for guests to cast their worries to the wind.

Forest Bathing - The Lodge at Woodloch
Allow nature to heal you and replenish your zest for life. Try Forest Bathing, an activity available to guests at The Lodge at Woodloch, an award-winning destination spa resort in Hawley, PA.

Watch clips from my recent assignment at The Lodge at Woodloch to learn more Forest Bathing and this extraordinary destination in the Pocono Mountains’ Lake Region.

Our guide, Derrick, took us on a gentle meditative walking tour of the grounds surrounding The Lodge at Woodloch. We rooted about for edible native plants, listened intently to forest sounds, meditated for brief intervals, and rounded out our Forest Bathing experience with a brief stopover at the lodge’s greenhouse, where we enjoyed a cup of woodland tea. Watch this video to catch a glimpse of my first Forest Bathing experience.

During a recent assignment at The Lodge at Woodloch, I bundled in layers of clothes as I set out on my first Forest Bathing experience with our enthusiastic guide, Derrick and an inquisitive, nature-loving husband and wife team who were also guests at The Lodge at Woodloch. Winter had already set in with below normal temperatures but the cool air was invigorating. We met at the lodge and after an introduction, we stopped along a path to enliven our sense of smell with a sprig of wintergreen.

Travel Note: Forest Bathing is not synonymous with exercises like hiking or jogging. The pace will vary but the focus is on nature as medicine. Your guide will likely stop periodically and encourage you to reflect on what you see, feel, hear, smell, and possibly taste.

Forest Bathing is one of the many activities, workshops, and events available to The Lodge at Woodloch guests. Whatever your passion, whether you’re artistic, love to cook, can’t get enough of the outdoors, I guarantee your retreat will be memorable and uplifting year-round. The schedule changes daily. You’ll find an up-to-date schedule here.

Foraging plants while foraging for native plants
Forest Bathing offers an opportunity to get outdoors and learn more about woodland plants, herbs, and reacquaint you with nature’s healing benefits.

Before your stay comes to an end, you should carve out time for a spa treatment at the lodge’s newly renovated men’s and women’s spas. Couples can reserve individual “me-time” to unwind after a busy day.

Robert Baldassari, The Lodge at Woodloch general manager, said he is honored to receive many awards and accolades over the years and attributes each and every award to his “truly amazing team.”

Baldassari commented, “One thing that sets The Lodge at Woodloch apart from other destination spas is our motto of curating choice. Guests can choose to be as active or relaxed as they like, they can choose to enjoy our healthy and artfully crafted spa cuisine or splurge on a steak and wine. Furthermore, they can choose among dozens of offerings each and every day.”

Call 1.800.966.3562 to book your stay and schedule your appointment.

Disclaimer:

My visit was comped but my opinions are my own and based on my experience.

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Harrisburg Dining Harrisburg Restaurants Harrisburg Vegan Vegetarian Restaurants Lifestyle Where to eat in Harrisburg

Plant-Based Food & Brew

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  • February 2, 2019
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The Vegetable Hunter Vegan Vegetarian Restaurant logo

Whole Foods and Boutique Brewery Meet on Harrisburg Restaurant Row

Years ago, if someone suggested I limit my meals to include only vegetables, I would have said, NO WAY.

But incorporating plant-based food options into my daily regimen is nothing new. My diet has always been centered on vegetables with meat, poultry, and fish as side-dishes unless of course my mother’s homemade meatballs and other comfort foods I’ve grown up enjoying are on the menu.

The Vegetable Hunter vegan vegetarian restaurant
The Vegetable Hunter is owned by Kristin Messner-Baker and conveniently located on Harrisburg’s restaurant row. Shown is the “Superfood Protein Bowl” packed with energy-rich ingredients.

Fast forward to 2018 when “The Vegetable Hunter” quickly became one of my favorite restaurants. During a recent media trip to Harrisburg, arranged by Rick Dunlap, Visit Hershey-Harrisburg, I had an opportunity to sample a variety of menu items Harrisburg restaurant owner Kristin Messner-Baker and her staff brought to the table. The menu caters to vegans and vegetarians with generous portions of quality plant-based whole foods made to order.

“The Vegetable Hunter” is where Kristin’s hunger for travel, culture, and different types of cuisine met with recipes rich in made-from-scratch healthy ingredients she created and tested. After experimenting for several years, while raising her family and practicing law, she decided to open The Vegetable Hunter in 2014.

“I had a dream of opening a restaurant,” Kristin said. “I worked in restaurants with many different types of cuisine before, during, and after attending college and law school.”

Kristin Messner-Baker
The Vegetable Hunter Restaurant Harrisburg
Eat in or take out one of Kristin Messner-Baker’s vegan and vegetarian selections. The menu includes Appetizers, Large Plates, Bowls and Tacos, Sides, Desserts, Handcrafted Small-Batch Beer, Cocktails, Smoothies, and an assortment of cold drinks.

What makes The Vegetable Hunter’s menu so appealing?

Kristin has compassion for her patrons who are not accustomed to a vegan or vegetarian diet and she recognizes and caters to them in the same way she feeds her customers who pass on animal-derived ingredients. Her goal is to offer “creative vegetable-driven quick dishes, magical elixirs, complimented by small-batch beer made with unique and fresh ingredients.” The menu offers such a variety of tastes and textures with the sweet or savory selections that will suit everyone’s hankerings.

From left, Raw Brussels Sprout Salad; Kale and Quinoa; Chick Pea Salad, and Asian Noodle Bowl.

She developed her restaurant model with help from her husband, John Baker, a graphic designer, illustrator, and high school history teacher. John helps at the restaurant when he’s not teaching and their love for music and traveling are a few of the elements that give the restaurant a unique spin.

Kristin Messner-Baker, “The Vegetable Hunter” owner, offers a selection of made-to-order vegan and vegetarian fare and thirst-quencher options. She incorporated a boutique brewery, featuring handcrafted small-batch beer selections and created a relaxing atmosphere.
The Vegetable Hunter vegan vegetarian restaurant Harrisburg Restaurant Row
When a contractor’s estimate to renovate the former barbershop decor exceeded her budget, Kristin said she, “Came in with a sledgehammer and ripped out the walls and floors.” The exposed brick is an ideal backdrop for memorabilia and images of some of her favorite musicians. Her family and a contractor helped to put the interior back together.

Recommendations (based on the plates we shared)

Asian Noodle Bowl: Rice Noodle Broth Bowl with bok choy, carrots, broccoli, chili sauce, and boiled egg (Vegans can request no egg).

Superfood Protein Bowl: kale salad, chickpea salad, thyme roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, spicy raw beet salad, boiled egg, and homemade hummus (Vegans can request no egg)

Chick Pea Salad: garlic, cumin, shallots, and parsley

Spicy Raw Beet Salad: lime juice, cayenne, and jalapenos

Raw Brussels Sprout Salad: with balsamic vinaigrette

Curried Egg Salad: Mixed greens, tomato and onion in pita

You can view a full menu here.

Location

614 N. 2nd St., Harrisburg, PA.

Telephone Number:

717-695-6229

Disclaimer:

My trip was comped by Visit Hershey-Harrisburg but my opinions are my own and based on my experience. Don’t miss a beat! Check out upcoming events in Hershey and Harrisburg.

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Bass Fishing Catfish Fishing Crappie Fishing Fishing Fishing Guide Services Lifestyle Susquehanna River Fishing

KOINONIA GUIDED BY FELLOWSHIP AND CONSERVATION

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  • January 29, 2019
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Dave Neuman Koinonia Guide Service

On the Water

with Dave Neuman, Fishing Guide

Dave Neuman, is one of four fishing guides available through Koinonia Guide Service.

What is Koinonia? Dave Neuman, Lewisberry, PA, pondered that question when he accepted a position as a fishing guide for Koinonia Guide Service based in Carlisle, PA.

Watch this video of Dave Neuman to hear his answer and his thoughts about fishing, Koinonia, and spirituality. Be sure to subscribe to my new YouTube channel.

Whether you’re floating down the Susquehanna River in one of Dave Neuman’s shallow running aluminum bass boats or foraging for fish side-by-side with Dave on his private stretch of land, your fishing experience will be packed with individualized lessons, patience, and laughs – a lot of laughs. Dave’s sense of humor will put you at ease from the moment you meet him.

He’s one of four highly-skilled pro-staff guides available through Koinonia Guide Service, a seasoned business owned by Rod Bates. Koinonia’s fishing adventures are rooted in Rod’s commitment to promoting fellowship and conservation while offering his clients a safe, educational, productive and memorable experience.

Dave Neuman Koinonia Guide Service
Dave Neuman spends his free time outdoors guiding anglers on the Susquehanna River or on his private stretch of heaven on earth. “Holy,” his canine fishing companion, often assistance with scouting for fish.

I met Dave on Oct. 17, 2018, while I was on assignment for Visit Hershey-Harrisburg. If you live in Northcentral and Northeastern Pennsylvania, you know 2018 brought record rainfall to the state, which resulted in unusually high water levels in all rivers and streams and sporadic fishing throughout the summer and fall months. Rick Dunlap, Visit Hershey-Harrisburg, graciously arranged a mid-afternoon guided fishing trip for me with Dave as my guide, but on that particular day, the river was not fish-able due
to high wind.

That’s when Dave invited me to fish in a rural stocked pond that’s home to a variety of fish species from Smallmouth Bass to Crappie and surrounded by acres of extraordinary scenery. My visit was as much an afternoon retreat as it was a fishing event. The beautiful fish I’m holding below was my first catch of the day, thanks to Dave’s instruction. I’ve fished since I was a child but the last six years I’ve devoted to learning to fly fish. Quickly, I realized how casting a spin rod requires an entirely different skill set than launching a fly onto the water.

Fishing with Dave Neuman
With assistance from Dave Neuman and his canine companion, “Holy,” shown along the water’s edge, I managed to reel in a Black Crappie. After an hour of “warm-up” casting in a well-stocked pond, we headed to a nearby stream in search of bass.

As I prepared to drive back to the Hilton downtown Harrisburg on Wednesday evening, Dave offered me a guided trip on the nearby Susquehanna River. We made plans to meet at a boat launch on Friday afternoon. While the temperature was typical of a Pennsylvania fall day – chilly, the boat rides back and forth to the channel where Catfish often hide, was exhilarating and so was the moment I felt a hefty tug on the line. Out of the water came a TROPHY-SIZE 28-inch Catfish. Watch this brief clip from my YouTube channel.

While listening to Dave’s instruction and seriously doubting my ability to reel in a large Catfish, out of the water came this gorgeous fish. Catfish are FIGHTERS and fortunately, Dave was closeby to help as needed.


Yes, Dave is a perfect example of Koinonia’s commitment to extraordinary service. The beginner to the advanced angler can count on a guided trip that best suits their needs. Canoe and wading trips are available during warmer weather for anglers who prefer a more active approach but individuals who find wading physically demanding can opt for a float trip. Be sure to let Rod know your preferences when you book your date

You can learn more about Dave in this video also available on my YouTube channel. Share his story with your fishing friends.


Rod Bates describes Dave Neuman as a “Die Hard” angler, who “Spends more time on the water than anyone we know of.”

What should you bring on your guiding fishing trip?

Don’t leave home without a valid fishing license, clothing appropriate for current weather conditions, rubber-soled or wading shoes or boots, rain gear, sunglasses, lunch or snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, and of course, your camera to record your fishing trip.

What should you leave at home?

I remember years ago, during my first guided trip, I worried about whether my casting was up to par. It wasn’t and by no means do I have a perfect cast today. That’s when instruction through Koinonia’s guided service is exactly what you need.

My Advice

Be sure to leave your worries or pre-conceived notions about your perceived skill level behind you when you meet Dave Neuman. If you’re in the Harrisburg area Feb. 2 to 10, you can meet Rod and learn more about Koinonia at the Great American Outdoor Show, Booth # 2408, in the fishing hall at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center. Stop by their booth or schedule your trip by calling Rod Bates at 717-805-7082.

The Great American Outdoor Show and the PA Farm Show are two of many events held throughout the year at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center. You’ll find a full schedule here.

My guided trip was comped by Visit Hershey-Harrisburg but my thoughts and opinions are my own. To learn more about Pennsylvania’s state capital, its businesses, and activities available, click here.

Treat your family and yourself to a day fishing on the mighty Susquehanna River, known for its trophy-sized fish.
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Lifestyle The New York Times Travel Show travel destinations travel shows

The 2019 New York Times Travel Show

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  • January 22, 2019
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Padma Lakshmi


Spotlight on India

Padma Lakshmi
Padma Lakshmi, award-winning food writer and television host, will headline the annual travel industry event. Photo credit: Inez & Vinoodh

Food Expert and ‘Top Chef’ Host Padma Lakshmi to Headline Show

(content courtesy of The New York Times)

The New York Times Travel Show has announced that award-winning food writer and television host Padma Lakshmi will be headlining its annual travel industry event,  discussing travel, food, and her best-selling book, Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir.

Ms. Lakshmi established herself as a food expert early in her career, having hosted two successful cooking shows and writing the best-selling Easy Exotic, which won the “Best First Book” award at the 1999 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards; and later, her second cookbook, Tangy, Tart, Hot, and Sweet. For the Food Network, Lakshmi hosted “Padma’s Passport,” where she cooked diverse cuisine from around the world and later, “Planet Food,” a documentary series on the Food Network and broadcasted worldwide on the Discovery Channel. Ms. Lakshmi has been the host of Bravo’s television competition series “Top Chef” since 2006 and was nominated for an Emmy Award for her role as host and judge for the program in 2009.

Ms. Lakshmi will be in conversation with Emily Weinstein, deputy food editor at The New York Times, and the editor of NYT Cooking on Sunday, January 27 from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. The session is sponsored by Presenting Sponsor Incredible India.

Following the program, Ms. Lakshmi will be signing copies of her books “Love, Loss and What We Ate: A Memoir” and “The Encyclopedia of Spices & Herbs” from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

The 2019 New York Times Travel Show–now in its 16th year–will take place Jan. 25-27, 2019, opening with a Trade Day exclusively for over 10,000 travel industry professionals and media; Saturday, Jan. 26, and Sunday, Jan. 27. will be open to over 22,000 consumer travelers, as well as to travel professionals and media. The three-day showcase will feature global cuisine tastings, cultural performances, travel book signings, one-on-one conversations with travel experts and special discounts and offers for consumers of all ages from over 600 exhibitors. The Show will be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Additional Programming

This year, the Travel Show will also feature other program highlights including a Trade Day keynote panel on the state of the travel industry, moderated by James Shillinglaw; along with expanded Travel Product, LGBTQ and Family Fun pavilions. For the first time in New York Times Travel Show history, a passport acceptance event, hosted by the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State, will also be held.

Cultural Stages lineup

Taste of the World

Meet the Experts Pavilion

Travel Seminars

On-site book signings

For exhibition opportunities at the New York Times Travel Show, email nytts@mse-management.com.

For speaking opportunities, email ccanderson@mse-management.com.

For sponsorship opportunities, email Brad Kolodny at kolodbi@nytimes.com.

2019 New York Times Travel Show Sponsors

Incredible India is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2019 New York Times Travel Show.

South African Tourism and Visit California are Gold sponsors of the 2019 Travel Show; Allianz Global Assistance, Greek National Tourism Organization, MSC Cruises, Visit Florida, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi and Hungarian Tourism Agency are Silver sponsors; I Love New York, Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Puglia Promozione and the Georgian National Tourism Administration are Bronze sponsors.

Israel Ministry of Tourism is the Taste of the World Sponsor.

Girls LOVE Travel, GoNomad, Healthy Aging Magazine, Insider Travel Report, ManAboutWorld, Passport Magazine, TA Connect, TravAlliancemedia, and Travel Market Report are media sponsors for The 2019 New York Times Travel Show.

About The New York Times Travel Show (www.NYTimes.com/TravelShow)                 

The Travel Show is the largest and longest-running trade and consumer travel show in North America, featuring the Travel Industry Conference, Consumer Seminars, Meet The Experts Pavilion and an interactive Exhibition including more than 600 exhibitors representing travel to all seven continents, positioned within 16 pavilions (including Adventure, Africa, Asia, Australia/South Pacific, Canada, Caribbean, Cruise, Europe, Family, Global, Latin America, L.G.B.T.Q., Mexico, River Cruise, Travel Products, and U.S.A. Pavilions). In addition to discounts and special offers, the show provides educational seminars and live entertainment for families, individuals and couples and seniors. Join the conversation and follow @NYTTravelShow for the latest Travel Show news.

About The New York Times Company

The New York Times Company is a global media organization dedicated to enhancing society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news and information. The Company includes The New York Times, NYTimes.com and related properties. It is known globally for excellence in its journalism, and innovation in its print and digital storytelling and its business model. Follow news about the company at @NYTimesPR.

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Lifestyle Northeastern Pennsylvania Jewish Communities Pocono Mountain Places to Worship Pocono Mountain synogogues

Multi-Talented Rabbi Band Frontman

  • By
  • January 21, 2019
  • Sticky
Rabbi Baruch Melman

Members, Stroudsburg Temple Israel Celebrate Chanukah

Rabbi Baruch Melman, Temple Israel, Stroudsburg, PA, took the lead as band frontman during the final service of the eight-day 2018 Chanukah season.

Chanukah is a Jewish celebration that commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the second century B.C., where Jews rose up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt.

The party at Temple Israel on Sun., Dec. 9 featured a candle-lighting ceremony, blessings, the singing of Hatikvah (translated to “the hope”), Jewish holiday music, dancing and singing, traditional fare, and a visit by “Zoe the Clown.”

All photos by Ken Schurman, VIP Studios, Inc., Mount Pocono

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China Chinese culture Lifestyle Places to see in China Tips for Safe Travels to China Travel to Asia World Travel

Don’t speak Chinese?

  • By
  • January 21, 2019
  • Sticky
China: The Great Wall

Selena Chen says, “That’s okay.”

How To Travel To China Without Speaking Chinese

Tips for Safe Travels from Selena Chen

It can be scary traveling to a foreign country and being unable to communicate with the locals. Finding your way through busy city streets can be intimidating. English, French or Spanish is often spoken in many countries, but when you go to China, Mandarin is the language of choice. Some Chinese cities like Beijing and Hong Kong – due to their cosmopolitan nature – have more English speaking people than others.

Due to China’s vast size and population, it’s often very overwhelming for foreign tourists visiting for the first time. Culture shock can often be something many will experience. In this article, we are going to offer you some amazing tips that will show you how to travel in China without speaking Chinese.

How to travel to China
Traveling to China can be scary but Selena Chen tells you what you need to know to get around in her country.


Crowded Hongqiao Railway Station In Shanghai

Carry around your Hotel Card

The most frustrating thing when traveling in a foreign country is getting lost in the streets and not knowing your hotel name. Most of the hotels across the globe have business cards with their contact address. You will find these cards at the front desk or in your hotel room. You can give the hotel card to the taxi driver without uttering a word, and they will drop you to your hotel. If you are traveling to China for business, have a guide to direct you.

Order food by pointing at stuff

Chinese cities have an array of delicious street foods. It will take time when taking a Tour in China to learn all the food names in the city. A simple way to order food is to just point at what you want to eat. Food vendors will easily notice that you are not a local and will make every effort to understand you through visuals.

Order Chinese Food while you're in China, without knowing the language
Pointing to the food you want to order from a menu is one way to order Chinese food when you don’t speak Chinese.


Chinese Food Menu With Photos

Research on Historical sites     

If you are still wondering what to do in China, then you need to consider touring the multiple historical sites that China has to offer. China has a rich heritage with ancient temples and palaces. If you are planning on visiting the Great Wall or Forbidden city, do your research on the historical sites. This preparation will help you relate what the tour guide is speaking – even though you do not understand what they are saying. Google should be your friend for this.

China: The Great Wall
Tourists flock to The Great Wall of China

Take advantage of hostel tours

If you are traveling on a budget take advantage of the various hostel tours. These tours are convenient because you get to see what the city has to offer and get dropped at your hotel room in the afternoon. They are also budget friendly. Ensure that you are familiar with the local laws in China for tourists. This includes respect of the local cultures and habits. The Chinese economy has been on an upward trajectory, and this has made the cities relatively safe. Hostel tours reduce the complications associated with learning local languages and laws.

Using Phone Apps

With today’s modern technology, using your cell phone is a tremendous advantage when it comes to translation and traveling in general. There are many apps you can download before coming to China. The most important one, in this case, would be Google Translate app. You can simply type or speak any words into the app and a quick Chinese translation appears and comes in handy when you need to communicate with a local who doesn’t understand your language. Make sure you install a VPN before using. You can only access Google services by using a VPN connection while in China.

China Map
Guest blogger, Selena Chen helps you to navigate in China.
MAP OF CHINA PROVINCES
COURTESY OF SELENA CHEN

Conclusion

While you can travel and navigate the Chinese cities without learning Mandarin, it’s still important to learn a few words like help, thank you, please, hotel room or hospital. This comes in handy when you absolutely need to communicate with someone or are lost. You can also request the hotel staff to write what you need on a piece of paper. When shopping you can show the attendant the paper. Business has become one of the key reasons for visiting China.

Guest Blogger Bio

Selena Chen is a Chinese tour guide and business assistant in China. She majored in English and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2008. Foreigners who visit China from all over the world hire her to help with translation and interpreting services. You can find out more about her services at her website www.mychinainterpreter.com before you travel to China.

Photo sources: (Creative commons – licensed for reuse)

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:China_administrative.png

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benefits for trout unlimited fisheries restoration fly fishing Fly Fishing Destinations Lifestyle places to fly fish

Celebrate 25 Years of Japanese Art at Chigirie.com

  • By
  • January 17, 2019
"The Trout" Print

Buy “The Trout” and I’ll donate 10% of the proceeds to two well-known and deserving organizations.

Celebrate with me! I’m commemorating my 25th art anniversary at chigirie.com. You can purchase “The Trout” in three sizes at joanmatsuitravelwriter.com/shop.

Friends and acquaintances who know me well understand why I love to fly-fish but they’re also aware I’m an advocate for responsible fishing, land and water preservation, and the healing effects nature provides. Much of my time on the road is spent fly fishing and appreciating our waterways that Trout Unlimited (TU) has worked so hard to preserve. TU and Casting for Recovery (CfR) will each receive 5 percent of the proceeds from the sale of “The Trout” prints.

TU is a national organization that’s at the forefront of fisheries restoration work at the local, state and national levels. Its 300,000 members and supporters are organized into 400 chapters and councils from Maine to Montana to Alaska with approximately 30 offices nationwide. Over the years, I’ve assisted with TU fly fishing education programs and I’m one of the founding members of my local TU Women’s Initiative.

Casting for Recovery (CfR) is a non-profit organization that provides phenomenal healing outdoor retreats for women with breast cancer and at no cost to the participants. Their retreats offer inspiration, connections with other women and of course, one of the greatest healing powers known to mankind, nature. CfR retreats are open to women with breast cancer of all ages and in all stages of treatment and recovery. Women from all walks of life have benefited from CfR’s inspiring program model for more than 20 years with 60 retreats across the country that serve 800+ women each year. CfR partners with volunteers in Canada, UK/Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Italy and its volunteer teams are made up of medical and psychosocial professionals, fly fishing instructors and alumnae. Click here to learn more about CfR.

“The Trout” original was a commissioned piece I created around the same time I took my first fly fishing lesson with my local Trout Unlimited chapter and the PA Fish and Boat Commission. The original trout collage was used to create trail art at a neighborhood community park and I donated the original to the park as an auction item.

The unveiling of “The Trout” trail art at a community park.
“The Trout” is permanently displayed as trail art on a walking trail in Pennsylvania.

If you’re not familiar with Chigirie, the Japanese art of tearing paper to create a collage (or painting with paper), glance at The Trout and you’ll see 50 or more tiny pieces of pre-dyed torn paper I blended (without paint) to create a layered effect.

The Trout is my one and only fishing-related art project and I’m thrilled to be able to offer prints and support TU and CfR.

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