All Posts By

Joan

America travel destinations Art and Culture Art Exhibits Art in America art of travel Arts and Entertainment Authors Chigirie Japanese Art Online Course Lifestyle The Art of Travel Learn to Plan Your Solo Media Trip

A French Bakery and The Barnes

  • By
  • December 17, 2018
  • Sticky
The Barnes Foundation

CLASSIC PHILADELPHIA ART AND CULTURE

PHILADELPHIA MEDIA TRIP NOVEMBER 2018

Philadelphia Art Culture The Barnes Foundation
Begin your Philadelphia art and culture tour at Le Pain Quotidien, (translated from French to English, “the daily bread”), a Belgium bakery and restaurant close by to The Barnes Foundation. Photos by Joan Mead-Matsui unless otherwise noted. 

My most recent Philadelphia media trip began at Le Pain Quotidien, (translated from French to English, “the daily bread”), a Belgium bakery and restaurant at The Granary, 1937 Callowhill St., Philadelphia, PA. Le Pain Quotidien is a franchised eatery founded by Alain Coumont. I chose Le Pain because I was in Philadelphia to cover The Barnes Foundation and the online menu reflected my hankerings that day. 

An eatery that features gluten-free, vegetarian-style fare is consistently my first choice for lunch and Le Pain Quotidien Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai was outstanding. The menu and decor are ideal for the diner who is looking for French-inspired pastries, soups, and savory lunch options and an assortment of healthy, plant-based selections. 

Le Pain emanates European culture with the comforting aroma of bread baking in the kitchen and a casual French-country charm. It’s a perfect prelude to an afternoon at The Barnes. 

Call ahead to be sure seating is available during peak times.1 215 789 9870

Philadelphia Art and Culture The Barnes Foundation and Le Pain Quotidien
Are you feeling “cultural” and hungry for artisan food? If you’re looking for a French-inspired meal that will set the stage for your visit to The Barnes Foundation, Le Pain Quotidien is close by and the aroma of bread baking is only the beginning of your romance with European culture in Philadelphia. 

AFTERNOON WITH THE MASTERS

Why are we so fascinated with museums? 

I’ll tell you why I can’t stay away from them or better yet, I’ll show you why you should set aside time to visit The Barnes Foundation. (See my gallery below). Photos by Joan Mead-Matsui unless otherwise noted. 

Museums are my go-to place for inspiration for my own art (https://chigirie.com) and an opportunity to tune into my creative side and tune out the noise and chatter around me. Too much time had passed since my last visit to a metropolitan museum and upon reading more about The Barnes (as it’s often called), I knew I had to set aside an afternoon to experience this Philadelphia treasure. The Barnes Foundation houses a must-see collection of art by the world’s greatest master painters, sculptors, and designers. 

As I made my way around the first-floor galleries, I came across paintings by my all-time favorite Impressionist painters: Renoir and Monet. And then, gallery upon gallery, the genre expanded to Matisse, Van Gogh, Picasso, Cezanne, Seurat, and Modigliani. 

I was so enthralled by the selection of paintings that I didn’t allow enough time to visit the second-floor exhibits but that’s all the reason I’ll need to plan a follow-up trip to Philadelphia. 

The Barnes, (as it’s known to many) is a non-profit Philadelphia cultural and educational institution recognized for its exceptional art collections, programming, and special exhibitions.    

Thanks to Dr. Albert C. Barnes for his vision and the foundation that honors his name for maintaining this collection of priceless treasures by impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modernist artists. 


Dr. Albert C. Barnes assembled a collection of African art, Native American pottery and jewelry, Pennsylvania German furniture, American avant-garde painting, and wrought-iron metalwork that are interspersed with the paintings throughout the galleries. Image courtesy of The Barnes Foundation

TIP: Allow ample time (three to four hours) to explore the galleries. 
African art, Native American pottery and jewelry, Pennsylvania German furniture, American avant-garde painting, and wrought-iron metalwork are arranged throughout the galleries in a manner that encourages time to view, study, and reflect on each object in the ensembles. 

Watch this video clip and visit https://chigirie.com for additional insights. 

Learn how to plan a solo media trip here

FROM THE BARNES FOUNDATION: 

The ensembles, each one meticulously crafted by Dr. Barnes himself, are meant to draw out visual similarities between objects we don’t normally think of together. Created as teaching tools, they were essential to the educational program Dr. Barnes developed back in the 1920s.

Directions: The Barnes Foundation is conveniently located along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA. No need to worry about parking. Visitors are invited to park in the lot adjacent to the foundation. 

For additional information, call 215.278.7000. 

Disclaimer: 

My visit to The Barnes Foundation was comped but my opinions are my own. 

No Comments
America travel destinations Art Exhibits Art in America art of travel Arts and Entertainment Central Pennsylvania Arts and Entertainment Central Pennsylvania Attractions Custom trips and tours Events Exhibits Family Travel Global Tourism historic architecture history Holiday Travel Lifestyle Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Attractions and Musuems Tour Guide App Tourist App Travel Travel Advice Travel and Leisure Traveler Information World Travel

Artistic Treasure: PA State Capitol Complex

  • By
  • December 3, 2018
  • Sticky

Rotunda Exterior Image PA State Capitol Complex
The Pennsylvania State Capitol Building complex, Harrisburg, PA Photo courtesy of Visit Hershey-Harrisburg

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building

An Architectural Masterpiece

Plan a visit to Harrisburg and add this National Historic Landmark to your itinerary.

Imagine you’re standing in front of the Pennsylvania State Capitol building around the time of its dedication on Oct. 4, 1906. Close your eyes and envision you’re looking skyward at what was considered to be the tallest structure between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The capitol building held that record for 80 years. That must have been quite a sight to behold.

As a life-long Pennsylvania resident, I’m sorry to note I had only seen my state’s capitol building from a distance until earlier this year on a sunny late September day. As the traffic whizzed by me, I took a moment to admire the dome from the sidewalk in front of the complex. I realized I had no idea what entrance to use. As I walked up and down two flights of exterior steps twice, I checked my watch and realized I was five minutes late for my scheduled tour. I stopped briefly to ask a bystander to point to the main entrance that would lead me to the main lobby and the man directed me to two sets of double doors. A security guard mapped out my trek to the lobby where I found the information desk surrounded by several large groups of visitors who were ready to embark on their tours. There, I met my tour guide.

Visit Hershey-Harrisburg arranged my tour as part of a three-day media trip to Hershey and Harrisburg. I left Central Pennsylvania with a significantly greater understanding of why Harrisburg has remained Pennsylvania’s capital since October 1812 thanks to my tour guide, Jill Fetter. She’s the Capitol Visitor Services director and The Pennsylvania Capitol Shop manager in the Main Rotunda and an expert in both the building’s history and design.

The 272-foot, 52 million-pound capitol dome glistens with Vermont granite and is topped with a green-glazed terra cotta tile roof and inspired by Michelangelo’s design for St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Photo Courtesy of UncoveringPA.com

Philadelphia architect Joseph Huston (1866-1940), designed the massive capital structure based on his vision of a “Palace of Art” and that’s exactly what you’ll find. The building and furnishings cost $13 billion.

Aside from its obvious grandeur and size, the exterior of the building is a gateway to the splendor you’ll find inside – classic American Renaissance style architecture that’s combined with artistic details that are unspeakably magnificent and illuminated by approximately 4,000 lights and 48 portholes in the dome.

Suffice to say, the building lives up to its reputation as the most beautiful capitol building in our nation. In fact, history has it that President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the capital as “the handsomest building” he ever saw when he attended the dedication of the building.

PA State Capitol Building Architecture Art
A visitor stops for a moment to gaze at the statues and ornamentation as he descended the grand staircase in the main building. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

The interior focal point is the grand staircase – an ideal vantage point for visitors to view eight large murals by Philadelphia artists, Edwin Austin Abbey, and the famous Barnard  Statues by George Grey Barnard, and 17-foot bronze doors that each weighs a ton. Keeping your eyes fixed on one element at a time might be difficult for even the most disciplined spectator as your tour guide describes each of the massive installations of stained glass, murals, and paintings crafted by the most talented artisans of that era.

Pennsylvania historical exhibits
Love art? The capitol building is as much a series of exhibits as it is a hub for lawmakers and lobbyists. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

Some of the largest rooms feature a European influence with distinctive Renaissance elements – Italian in the House Chamber, French in the Senate Chamber, and English in the Governor’s Reception Room. Add to that mix Greek, Roman and Victorian installations of exquisite art and ornamentation displayed throughout the building.

PA Senate and House Chambers Tours
When the legislature is not in session, you’ll have a chance to gaze at the murals, gold embellishments, custom-crafted lighting fixtures, and exquisite woodwork in the chambers. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex Tours
What will you learn during a tour of the PA State Capitol Complex? This massive structure is an ideal opportunity for students of all ages to learn local, state, and national histories, law and politics, and art and architecture. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

Historians, politicians, teachers, students, architects, travelers, and anyone with an appreciation for history and art and a fascination with politics and lawmaking, should visit the Pennsylvania State Capitol complex. Architectural students will want to study how Huston, the architect-of-record, incorporated motifs that embody Pennsylvania’s achievements in history, animals, industries, occupations, and modes of transportation into his design. Whether your glance is towards the dome, straight ahead, or under your feet, you’ll find examples of Huston’s affinity for art. One example is the Moravian tiles you’ll see intermingled on the lobby floor. They were designed and manufactured by Henry Chapman Mercer of Doylestown, PA as a way to illustrate and incorporate the talents and wares of local craftsman.

Henry Chapman Mercer Moravian Tiles
As many as 400 tile mosaics by Henry Chapman Mercer, a Doylestown, PA craftsman, are interspersed throughout the first floor of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building Rotunda and nearby corridors. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

William B. Van Ingen 24 Stained Glass windows
The “Militia” is one of 24 stained glass windows in the Senate and House Chambers crafted by Philadelphia native William B. Van Ingen. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

There’s so much to see and take in at the State Capitol Building.  Take the time to download the PA Capitol Self-Guided Tour Mobile app to learn about the self-guided tour stops, how a bill becomes law in PA, and research additional information in five languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German.

Tours are free and offered every half hour Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or on weekends and most holidays at 9 and 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. You won’t be able to tour the capitol building on New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas day but you’ll have plenty of other options before or after those holidays. I encourage you to register for a tour so won’t miss a detail along the way. A Capitol Tour Guide will fill your head with architectural, artistic, and political highlights that will make this building’s incomparable beauty come alive for you. If you decide to wait to schedule your tour until you arrive in Harrisburg, be sure to check the schedule before arriving at the capitol complex.

PA State Capitol Complex Tour Guides
Allow Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex tour guides, Jill Fetter and her staff, to show you around one of Pennsylvania’s most extraordinary buildings.

For help planning your trip to Pennsylvania, visit www.VisitHersheyHarrisburg.org.

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

No Comments
Shop for Sunglasses

Sunglass Warehouse: New Styles

  • By
  • December 3, 2018
  • Sticky

Sunglasses for your adventurous spirit

Sunglass Warehouse

This post is sponsored by Sunglass Warehouse.

If you own several pairs of sunglasses, you’ll never need to ask, “Has anyone seen my SUNGLASSES?”

Maybe they’re in my car or in my handbag. In 2017, I sampled six pairs of fashion eyewear from sunglasswarehouse.com and I keep a few pairs in each of our cars so I never leave home without my sunglasses.

FORGET EXPENSIVE DESIGNER EYEWEAR

The last pair of expensive designer sunglasses I purchased did not come home with me after playing a few sets of tennis. I left them on a bench near the tennis court and I experienced buyer’s regret for at least a few weeks after losing them.

Forget the expensive designer eyewear if you’re prone to breaking or losing your sunglasses.

Sunglass Warehouse review by Joan Mead-Matsui
Sunglass Warehouse has a fantastic selection of sunglasses to suit your every mood and activity. 

Sunglass Warehouse offers a variety of styles and frames that can be worn for all of your activities from hiking and cycling to fly fishing. Your options are to buy sunglasses at affordable prices with no worries if you happen to lose or break them, or obsess about your designer frames when you should focus on your activity and have fun.

What if your sunglasses fall off your head into the water while you’re fly fishing or on a canoe or kayak trip? Will you dive into the water to retrieve your glasses? I hope not.

Sunglasses are not only accessories. They also protect our eyes from UV damage and Polarized lenses improve visibility for activities like fly fishing. Each of the five pairs I’ve sampled has withstood the test of time, after countless hours on the water.

Sunglass Warehouse has hundreds of styles of sunglasses that are priced at $20 or less. If you prefer round, square, oblong, Aviator, textured, black, blue or brown, you’ll find what you’re looking for at www.sunglasswarehouse.com. Click on the coupon below to find your perfect pair. 


 

The site is easy to navigate and filters allow you to find your ideal pair from among Sunglass Warehouse (SW) Exclusives, Festival Shades, Brow Bars, Flat Lenses, Matte Metals, Retro Classics, Bold Shades, Colored Lenses, Cut-Out Shades, and Rose Gold.

 


DISCLOSURE:

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.

 

No Comments
Lifestyle

Learn Journalism and Travel Writing

  • By
  • December 1, 2018
  • Sticky
Plan Your Solo Media Trip Mini-Course

PLAN YOUR SOLO MEDIA TRIP (LIKE A PRO)

Mini-Course Available here

Plan Your Solo Media Trip Mini-Course
Plan Your Solo Media Trip is a high-value, low-cost mini-course available through joanmatsuitravelwriter.com. Learn practical tips from a four-time award-winning freelance travel journalist. 

GET STARTED TODAY! 

Imagine the possibilities that await you in the travel world! Learn and grow your travel business with “Plan Your Solo Media Trip (Like A Pro),” a mini-course I’ve designed to teach you how to arrange a solo media trip. 

Finding a course that prepares you for your career AND matches your lifestyle and needs can be a challenge. 

That’s why I created “Plan Your Solo Media Trip,” a high-value $10 mini-course that will teach you THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PLANNING AN EXTRAORDINARY SOLO MEDIA TRIP. You can buy it here, now, and get a jump on your plans today. 

My goal for my mini-courses (with additional course offerings in the works) is to teach you the tips and techniques I’ve learned as a journalist and travel writer while covering a myriad of destinations and events on more than 50 media trips. Throughout my careers in journalism and travel writing, I learned we all need a coach now and them to help us achieve our dreams.   

BECAUSE if you’re like me, you WANT TO UTILIZE YOUR SKILLS AND TALENTS but when you’re embarking on any new venture or career, you simply don’t know where to begin. I’m here to guide you.  

The truth is my years as a print journalist were some of the best days of my life and winning four newspaper association press awards was the icing on the cake.

I didn’t have demanding editors pressuring me to take on additional assignments and I rarely turned down assignments but I knew I couldn’t pass on an offer to cover services and amenities at lodging destinations in a popular Northeastern Pennsylvania resort region. With more than 1,300 published features’ stories to my credit and eight years writing for the same publications, I accepted my first freelance travel writing position with a tourism website.

Oh, rest assured, reporting on local, national, and international travel is exciting but even more so, when you can tailor your itinerary to reflect your interests and skills. You owe it to yourself to be part of the planning process.

That’s the beauty of a solo media trip. 

Let me guide you along. BUY my mini-course today and get started on your journey into travel writing.  

 

 

Plan Your Solo Media Trip
Learn how to plan your solo media trip today.  

No Comments
Lifestyle

ARTPIQ: Inspiring Artists

  • By
  • November 19, 2018
  • Sticky

ARTPIQ: INSPIRES ARTISTS

Hands-On Workshop Culminates with Vernissage

ARTPIQ is an artists’ platform that helps budding artists connect with other artists and collectors.

Six emerging, talented artists from around the world gathered at the vernissage (a private viewing of paintings before a public exhibition begins) on an idyllic rural farm near Dusseldorf following their three-week residency. 

ARTPIQ’s Summerhouse Dusseldorf was an artist-in-residence camp for international up-and-coming artists that culminated in the Vernissage at Hof Lindenbeck on September 1, 2018. Brazil, South Korea, Italy, and England were some of the artists’ countries of origin. The budding masters’ assignment was to dedicate every day completely to art and find inspiration to create art in for their surroundings.  Visits to local art institutions, prearranged sessions with a life coach, and an opportunity to connect with artists (at the art academy) and collectors added to their overall learning experience. 

The art created during the project was presented to a curious audience at the vernissage. For this purpose, the organizing art company, ARTPIQ, worked closely with the newspapers, Handelsblatt and Wirtschaftswoche. The event was also sponsored by start-ups such as Harvest Moon, Little Lunch, a pharmaceutical company, Gerstaecker and Kremer Pigmente.

ARTPIQ, an online art-funding platform was founded in March 2017 and is based in Düsseldorf. ARTPIQ offers artists a means to represent their vision so that they can sell their works and raise necessary funds. The company believes that every single artist is unique and has a story to tell and aims to democratize the art market by connecting collectors and investors with emerging artists. 

Artist-in-Residence Camp Dusseldorf
ARTPIQ offers artists a means to represent their vision so that they can sell their works and raise necessary funds.

Katharina Wenzel-Vollenbroich, CEO of ARTPIQ, answers below offers additional insight into the ARTPIQ platform and its role in assisting artists.

  1. Why is art so important to our world?

Art is important for many reasons. Ultimately, it’s about the intimate experience of connecting with another’s emotions, views, and vision. But art can also reflect the world around us, offering new perspectives on political, social and psychological issues. It provokes curiosity, incites new questions, and in certain cases, can inspire us into action.

 

  1. How were the artists selected?

The artists for the Summerhouse project were selected after we asked artists to submit work based around the theme of water — something that relates to both the local area, and the climate issues we’re currently seeing. The quality of work submitted for entry was way beyond our expectations. This made choosing which artists to select an extremely difficult process. Both I and Janine sat down and spent many grueling hours debating which ones we felt offered the best balance of talent, technique, and vision. We eventually came to a decision, but it was far from easy.

  1. How would you describe the farm? 

The farm is a protected house just outside of Dusseldorf and is surrounded by beautiful nature, where horses and chickens once lived. There is a small river which crosses the plot of land; there are also large trees surrounding the house, both of which have a calming effect. The house itself is a cozy space with up to 7 bedrooms — suitable for a group of people wanting to independently live together — or in the case of the ARTPIQ summerhouse, talented emerging artists.

  1. What were the students’ living conditions? Did they have full access to studios, Plein Air, models, etc?

Throughout their stay, we made sure the artists lived in comfort so that they could focus on creating new and exciting works. Food, accommodation, and materials were all provided. We also took some trips out as a group to experience the area around the farm, and the city of Dusseldorf itself.

  1. What were some of the mediums the students used? Did they have specific criteria or instructions they were required to follow?

No, we didn’t have any specific criteria or instructions. We gave artists complete freedom. We understand that shifting between mediums happens, and is not only necessary, but it’s also where the magic often happens, especially as collaboration starts to occur. So we provided everything we could in order to facilitate the artists’ creativity. I think the art produced is an amazing reflection of what can happen when artists can really focus on what they’re good at.

  1. How did you prepare the next generation of artists for what lies ahead i.e. earning a living?

As a platform, our goal is to support emerging artists journeys into earning a living from their craft. We help to sell their works online, using a number of digital marketing techniques, including social media and email marketing. We also have an investment model were collectors can invest not only in an artwork but an artist themselves. This can give artists the capital to invest in long-term artistic projects. Without that cash flow, it can often be difficult for emerging artists to express themselves, especially if they have to take on full-time jobs to support their practice. What we do is try to make sure this doesn’t have to happen.

  1. What are a few of the important lessons the students learned during ARTPIQ?

I wouldn’t go so far as to call them lessons, but the collaborative element of the ARTPIQ summerhouse project certainly showed that sharing ideas can develop greater works of art. I guess you could say that being able to focus solely on creative output helped them to understand that you sometimes need time solely devoted to creation to really get to grips with what you want to achieve as an artist.

  1. Please list the sponsors’ names.

Gerstaecker, Kremer Pigmente, a pharmaceuticals’ company,  private person sponsors, Harvest Moon, Little Lunch – furthermore we had a collaboration with Handelsblatt and the Wirtschaftswoche.

See more at https://artpiq.net

 

No Comments
Central Pennsylvania Arts and Entertainment Central Pennsylvania Attractions Chocolate chocolate attractions Chocolate Manufacturer Custom trips and tours Events Exhibits Food Food and Travel history Holiday Travel Lifestyle Museums Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Attractions and Musuems

You’ll Dream of Chocolate

  • By
  • November 12, 2018
  • Sticky
Chocolate Hershey Bar

HERSHEY, PENNSYLVANIA

Melding Chocolate Culture with History

 

Milton S. Hershey School
The Milton Hershey School, a private, cost-free residential school was founded by Milton Hershey and his wife, Catherine, for children from lower-income families. The lobby mural brings to life the iconic entrepreneur and philanthropist, Milton S. Hershey.  Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

Most of us love a story with a happy ending.

We’ve all heard of extraordinarily successful entrepreneurs and we can’t help but wonder how they rose above the day-to-day challenges associated with running a business. Milton S. Hershey is an individual we can admire for his dream and vision but he wasn’t an instant success.

Where can you learn more about Milton S. Hershey and his legacy?

At the Hershey Story Museum, The Hershey Company’s most recent building endeavor.

The Hershey Story Museum
Learn how Milton S. Hershey rose from rags to riches. Plan a visit to the Hershey Story Museum. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

The Hershey museum opened in January 2009 in the heart of downtown Hershey, a magical town where the streetlights are modeled after Hershey Kisses and the aroma within each building is a reminder of why chocolate is a good as gold. More than 160,000 people visit the museum every year.

The story goes that around the turn of the century, chocolate was a booming business and Milton Hershey was so inspired, he sold his caramel business and broke ground for a new chocolate factory in nearby Derry Township, his hometown. For as long as I can remember, the Hershey bar has been a symbol of chocolatey sweetness and the iconic chocolate-colored wrapper that has evolved over the years is also a reminder of days gone by. But it’s more than the chocolate that’s represented in the museum. It’s Milton Hershey’s rag to riches’ story. Walk into a grocery store or anywhere that food is sold and you’ll likely find a product manufactured by the Hershey Company. More than a century after Hershey built his factory, Hershey products are manufactured and savored around the world.

Milton S. Hershey legacy
Buttons. dials and story-board exhibits teach children about Milton S. Hershey and his legacy. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

My recent media trip to Hershey was a fascinating mix of chocolate culture. The Hershey Story Museum, 63 West Chocolate Ave., Hershey, Pennsylvania, helps to tie together the entire Hershey experience with a mix of exhibits and archives that will ignite your curiosity about the art of chocolate making and demystify the man who started the company from scratch. Where are the ingredients sourced? Where does Hershey find such large quantities of cocoa beans to mass produce chocolate? Where do the sugar and dairy that are key ingredients in many of products originate? The exhibits answer those questions through visuals and hands-on experimentation that every child and adult should experience at least once.

The Hershey Museum Cuba Exhibit
What was Milton Hershey’s relationship with Cuba? Find out at the exhibit happening at The Hershey Story Museum, Hershey, PA. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

Milton S. Hershey Cuba Award
Discover why Milton S. Hershey’s was awarded
the “Grand Cross of the National Order of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes” by Cuba’s president in 1933. Image courtesy of The Hershey Story Museum.

The “Failures to Fortunes” exhibit is one that particularly illustrates how determination can result in ultimate success. Milton S. Hershey found success while at the Lancaster Caramel Company and grew his company from there into a booming chocolate business. Each piece in the exhibits is presented so they appeal to adults and children. 

Don’t leave the museum without stopping at The Pantry Cafe for coffee, sweets and confections, a smoothie, breakfast and lunch sandwiches and salads and other treats to round out your museum experience.

Come to the museum as a family or plan a school field or scout trip to the museum. Winter can be long and boring. Check out the calendar of events here and beat the January and February blues at The Hershey Story Museum.

Chocolate World
What do you love most about chocolate? The taste, smooth texture, or the creaminess that melts in your mouth, or all of the above? I’d love to know your answer. Please leave a comment on the form below and share your thoughts on Instagram at #ChocolateWorld.

Hershey Chocolate World

The Hershey Story Museum is only a few Hershey Kiss miles away (nine minutes) from Hershey’s Chocolate World, another extraordinarily popular attraction. This one is free. You can board the chocolate making tour and find and smell the outrageous chocolate aroma throughout your tour.  Hershey’s famous characters tell the story of chocolate making that begins with cocoa beans and ends with the wrapping process.

Chocolate Hershey Bar
The M.S. Hershey timeline helps keep the evolution of Milton Hershey’s cherished business in perspective. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

chocolate tours
Hershey’s famous characters greet you around each bend and help describe the chocolate-making process. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

Find your seat on the indoor tour tram. Tours run continuously throughout the day every 30 minutes (during business hours) and it’s WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE. After you’ve learned everything you should know about chocolate making, head to the 3D Chocolate Mystery Show and by that time, oh, you’ll be ready to create your own candy bar. The fun continues with the Hershey Trolley Tour, a seasonal way to view the incredible array of attractions Hershey offers its visitors. Book your tickets in advance online for the Holly Jolly Trolley that’ll delight your children. Or stop at the Central Ticketing office to purchase tickets. Caroling, stories, and a visit from a special guest will keep you entertained and set you in a holiday mode.

I visited Hershey in late summer and early fall and arrived to find flowers in bloom and meticulously manicured grounds and a flurry of activity.  Each season brings something new in this old-fashioned town. Put down your electronic devices so you can appreciate the farmlands and rolling hills that lead to Hershey. Play a game about what you see, or count the number of cows along the way to prepare your family for the attractions that will greet them at Hershey.

For more information about Hershey and Harrisburg attractions, visit www.VisitHersheyHarrisburg.org.

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

Fields marked with an * are required

No Comments
Hiking in Northeastern Pennsylvania Historic hotels Lifestyle Lodging while fly fishing Mountains outdoor fun Outdoor Recreation Pennsylvania Family Pet Friendly Lodging Pennsylvania Lodging Places to eat in Northeastern Pennsylvania Pocono Mountain entertainment Pocono Mountain fly fishing Pocono Mountain outstanding lodging Pocono Mountain Resort Pocono Mountain resorts Pocono Mountains Lodging Pocono Mountains Tourism Scranton Ski Resorts Travel Travel and Leisure Travel News travel planning World Travel

Hotel Anthracite: Every Detail Tells a Story

  • By
  • November 5, 2018
  • Sticky
Hotel Anthracite outdoor dining

Settlers Hospitality Group Salutes Carbondale’s Heritage

Hotel Anthracite: Carbondale’s Past Revisited

Every piece of art that adorns the walls throughout the Hotel Anthracite tells a story. You won’t find a stock photo in the lobby, restaurant, hallways, or guest rooms and each piece, whether it’s a framed photograph or another medium, is in some way related to Carbondale, Pennsylvania’s rich coal mining and cultural history.

Hotel Anthracite - Kol Steakhouse
You won’t find stock photos on any of the walls at the Hotel Anthracite, Carbondale’s newest hotel. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

Unwavering Service

Hotel Anthracite, The Settlers Inn, Ledges Hotel, Silver Birches Resort, and Sayre Mansion are all owned and managed by Settlers Hospitality Group, an award-winning hospitality company based in Hawley, Pennsylvania. The company’s goal is to provide their guests with a one-of-a-kind tribute to the heritage that surrounds each of its properties. I was a hotel guest at two of the group’s properties: Hotel Anthracite and Silver Birches Resorts and also treated to a fantastic full breakfast at The Settlers Inn.  The message is consistent – exceptional accommodations and cuisine and unwavering service.

“The key operating philosophy of the hotel arm of the Settlers Hospitality Group is to provide an independent and authentic lodging experience that is guest-focused, locally flavored, and pet-friendly,” Chris Simpler, Hotel Anthracite general manger, explained.

Simpler commented in detail about the hotel’s history and features as he sat across the table from me during our lunch in KOL Steakhouse, the hotel’s signature restaurant. As I sampled the OUTSTANDING Baby Greens and Quinoa Salad, topped with grilled chicken that was drizzled with a Champagne Blood Orange Vinaigrette, Simpler delved deeper into why guests will travel to stay and dine at the hotel. You’ll read more about the food details later in this article but suffice to say, the hotel has covered all the bases with style, creativity, and artistry.

Hotel Anthracite outdoor dining
Take your romantic dinner or gathering outdoors on the patio. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

Simpler was born and raised in the Hudson Valley and found himself back in Northeastern Pennsylvania to partner with Settler’s Hospitality. His wife Jenna (Simpler) runs the resort side of the Silver Birches Resort, a Settlers property that celebrates the history of the Lake Wallenpaupack region.

Indoor-Outdoor Connection

Jeanne Genzlinger, the matriarch of the Settlers Inn family was the main designer and the neutral color palette she selected is an ideal backdrop for the history and outdoors’ themes. Jeff George, (artistic design), S. Robert Powell (Carbondale historian) and Juan H. Espino (artist: The Looking Glass Gallery) all played significant roles in the historical detailing within the walls of the Hotel Anthracite. The decor is the best of all worlds because as you enter the Hotel Anthracite, you’ll find historical charm effortlessly blended with modern amenities guests expect. Take note of the large chunks of official anthracite coal on display in the Hotel Anthracite lobby and the photos of the Gravity Railroad and its first locomotive, “The Stourbridge Lion.” They’re your cue that the decor is intended to educate, enlighten, and motivate you to discover more about Carbondale’s past.

“We have utilized that foundation to bring photography and recreated historical elements to Hotel Anthracite,” said Simpler.

Carbondale Anthracite Coal History
Towering Anthracite Coal immediately shine a light on Carbondale’s anthracite history. Photo courtesy of Hotel Anthracite.

Finishing Touches

Hotel Anthracite Carbondale
One of my favorite guest room features is the view overlooking one of Carbondale’s neighborhoods.

“The feeling we were going for was to bring the hotel back to emphasize what’s out the windows. The neutral palette is great to work with because you have a lot of flexibility. It’s a clean and modern look but it also fits well with the historical theme we have,” he said.

Hotel Anthracite Renovation
All rooms were recently redesigned to provide guests with all new furnishings and linens.

Hotel Anthracite business traveler
Business travelers can count on high-speed internet and an efficient work area.

Hotel Anthracite lodging
If rest is at the top of your list after sightseeing and other outdoor activities, the beds are dressed in super-soft sheets and a down-alternative comforter.

Formerly known as the Carbondale Grand Hotel and operated as a Best Western until the Settler’s group purchased and renovated the building, the Hotel Anthracite averages 15,000 stays a year in their newly-appointed rooms. The management is in tune with their guests’ needs and expectations and consequently, delivers a high-quality package. In the guest rooms, for example, guests will find all-new beds, topped with standard and king-sized pillows, towels, linens, curtains, and new sofas.   Certified botanical organic bath products are provided in dispensers rather than single-use throw-away bottles to reflect Settlers Hospitality’s commitment to conservation.

YES to Pets

Pets and their families stay in comfort with the pet program in place. Yes, the hotel has pet-assigned rooms to protect guests with allergies but Simpler said, “We always do something personal to welcome the dogs to our property.” Be sure to inquire about the pet policy when you reserve your room.

Simpler’s way of thinking about The Hotel Anthracite is, “Why not make it a great experience that people talk about.”

KoL Steakhouse Dining: A Natural, Easy Fit

Hotel Anthracite menu
Add a slice or two of protein to your Baby Greens and Quinoa salad and you’re good to go.

What thoughts does the name “Kōl” evoke? If your guess is a “play on words” reflecting Carbondale’s anthracite legacy, you’re correct, according to Simpler.

“It (the name) is a natural, easy fit,” he said. “It aligns with our history.”

Kōl Steakhouse is for diners who want a dining experience that’s different – fine dining in a casual steakhouse setting. Renowned Executive Chef Michael Bodner begins with locally sourced aged beef and then adds his own creative flair to the regional fare and daily specials.

My choice was the mouth-watering Chicken Milanese Anthracite, a moderately priced entree ($19) from the Chef’s Plates’ section of the menu. The savory breaded free bird farm chicken breast is seasoned with aromatic basil and arranged with tomatoes, balsamic, asparagus, and accompanied by creamy risotto. I said “NO” to dessert because my palette was content. My meal was a perfect-sized portion and combination of flavors.

The wine menu offers more than 100 different bottles of wine in a full range of styles and prices. A handful of local wines are available, thanks to the hotel’s sommelier who put the wine list together for all of the Settler’s Hospitality Group’s properties.  Looking for fresh, local beer on tap or in the bottle? Come to Kōl Steakhouse and quench your thirst.  The bar is stocked with a variety of liquor and chances are if you have a particular mixed drink concoction in mind, the bartender will be able to accommodate your hankering.

“You need to deliver something more – a new experience,” is Simpler’s philosophy.

View sample menus here.

“What will you do in Carbondale?”

Hotel Anthracite Carbondale
Once the weather in Carbondale turns chilly, you’ll find lodging guests and diners relaxing near the fireplace in Hotel Anthracite’s lobby. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

Simpler noted, “In the months I’ve been here (as manager), I’ve come to know the untapped opportunity and potential here in Carbondale is huge. Settlers Hospitality management and staff have proven that folks will drive from hours away to dine at their hotels because the experience and food are so fantastic.”

Community Partnerships = Endless Opportunities

Once you’ve taken an architectural and historical tour of Carbondale, venture into local communities and set your sights on Northeastern Pennsylvania’s four seasons. The Settlers Hospitality Group partners with local businesses in each of their hotels’ locations so guests have access to a variety of activities that range from skiing, cycling, hiking, to world-class fishing that will get your heart pumping.

Travel Tip: Hotel Anthracite is a mere 25 minutes from historic sites in downtown Scranton and less than 35 minutes from Honesdale and Hawley. Allow at least a half-day to explore each town. 

The Lackawanna Heritage Trail, a popular multi-use trail system. exemplifies how a partnership is a win-win for all businesses and visitors. You’ll find the Carbondale Trailhead literally across the street and less than a half-block away from Hotel Anthracite. Simpler says guests can borrow a bike through the  BikeShare program at the hotel and The Carbondale YMCA and ride to the New York border on a bicycle.  The trail opened less than a week before my visit and you’ll find the link to my companion story here.  Spend some time at the newly-built Riverfront Park along the Lackawanna River and stop in at The Chamber Gallery and view the latest exhibit.

Travel Tip: Buy your Pennsylvania fishing license and bring your fishing gear. The Lackawanna River is known for its assortment of cold-water and warm-water fish species. Depending on where you fish, the river is home to trout, bullhead, bass, perch, and bluegills. 

History buffs should plan a self-guided walking tour and take in the architecture. Carbondale’s array of historic buildings has helped put the city on the map. Don’t miss the historic Memorial Square, City Hall, and the Trinity Episcopal Church and its extraordinary tiffany-windows. Aside from walking, cycling, and cross-country skiing,  Elk Mountain Ski Resort undoubtedly has a trail for you, whether you’re a beginner or advanced skier. Inquire at the hotel about individual and family ski and rental packages. If you’re like me, combining business and pleasure does involve some advanced planning but your trips can be exceptional and memorable.

Conclusion: Whatever your reason for traveling, Hotel Anthracite is a first-rate lodging choice. Hotel Anthracite is a small-town treasure in Northeastern Pennsylvania and a base camp to explore a revitalized region with so much history and culture.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Comments
Lifestyle

Aching Travel Writers’ Feet?

  • By
  • October 29, 2018
Callus removal

Oh, My Achin’ Feet

Get Rid of Calluses: Tips For Travel Writers 

COPY BY JILL WHITE, GUEST BLOGGER

Edited by Joan Mead-Matsui, Publisher

Traveling is one of the most beautiful things you can do for your soul but walking and standing for hours can wreak havoc on your feet.

There’s a saying: Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. You can see lots of marvelous places, meet interesting people and do things that will leave you with memories that will likely bring a smile to your face for years to come. Unfortunately, one negative part of traveling is that it will put pressure on some parts of your body. Your feet will be no exception and you could develop a callus.

Guest Blogger Jill White
Learn how to care for your feet before, during, and after traveling from Jill White, guest blogger.

Waking up with a callus on your feet after long hours of walking or doing the physical activities can be painful. You might feel such pain on your feet that you won’t be able to put your feet on the ground.

Wearing improperly fitted shoes can result in calluses on your feet and they’re not only painful, but they also make your feet look ugly. Hence, it is important to find the right solution to rid your feet of the discomfort. Fortunately, calluses are typically not serious and they can be treated easily by several methods but the first step is to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or a podiatrist.

What is a CALLUS? 

A callus is nothing but a thick, hard patch of dead skin. Thickening and hardening of the dead skin cells occur due to continuous friction on a particular area on your feet. It protects the skin from further friction but gives you pain. Hence, removing the callus is ultimately the best solution.

How do you properly remove a callus?

There are several home remedies, medical, and surgical treatments that are helpful in removing a callus. Contact your physician before you attempt to remove a callus or any growth on your feet or visit a podiatrist. They’re trained to treat problems safely and effectively. If a callus is not unusually severe and causing considerable pain, your doctor might suggest some fruitful home remedies.

Tips to try at home remedies for removing callus

He might suggest you try one of these methods.

Use electric callus remover: These days electronic callus removers are available. These types of removers are the small handheld machines that have an attached roller which operates on battery. When you take the roller close to the area around the callus and turn on the machine, the dead skin will be removed by the roller. This is a painless method of precisely removing the thickened dead skin of the callus. There are many affordable callus removers on the market.

A pumice stone is another effective solution and can help reduce the appearance: Pumice stone is the rock that is formed by the hardened lava of the volcano. This type of stone has a porous surface. When you rub the callus with this stone, dead cells are effectively removed. Gently rub the pumice stone on the callus while dipping your feet in the warm water. This will gently remove the callus from your feet.

Callus removal surgery: This method of callus removal is advised only when the condition turns out to be serious. A Podiatrist performs the surgery and effectively removes the callus. Sterile surgical blades can be used by the surgeons to cut the thickened skin to remove the callus. If the callus has occurred due to the friction between the longer and the smaller metatarsal bones then the surgical method is effective in the removal of callus.

Follow the preventive measures. 

It is better to follow the measures that prevent the growth of callus on your feet. Some of the useful tips include:

  • Always wear the correct shoe size.
  • Buy sensible shoes designed for walking. (Keep high heels for evening wear.)
  • Wear socks while wearing shoes.
  • Keep your feet dry.

Travel writers, journalists, and photographers often spend a lot of time on their feet. By following these simple preventive steps you will minimize the wear and tear on your poor feet so you can enjoy traveling again. A mile-step journey starts with one single step.

You can find a podiatrist in your area here.

No Comments
Fly Fishing events Fly Fishing Retreats Lifestyle Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited activities Women's Fly Fishing Retreats

Sharing Ties Through Fly Fishing

  • By
  • October 24, 2018
  • Sticky
Women's Fly Fishing Retreat Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s Women’s Initiative Leadership Retreat

 

Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited
“Sharing Ties – PA Women’s Initiative Leadership Retreat” brought women from Trout Unlimited chapters throughout Pennsylvania for the first annual retreat. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission partnered with PA Council of Trout Unlimited to organize the inaugural retreat held at GodSpeed Hostel, Port Matilda, PA on April 20, 21, and 22. PA Council of Trout Unlimited financed the event.

The “Sharing Ties – PA Women’s Initiative Leadership Retreat” resulted in such positive reviews from participants that plans are underway for the second annual retreat, says Amidea Daniel, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Youth and Women’s Program coordinator and Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited Women and Diversity Initiative Committee co-chair.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission partnered with PA Council of Trout Unlimited to organize the inaugural retreat held at GodSpeed Hostel, Port Matilda, PA on April 20, 21, and 22. PA Council of Trout Unlimited financed the event. 

Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited Women's Initiative
The retreat was so successful, plans are underway for the 2019 retreat.

Daniel said, among the participants’ comments she heard throughout the weekend were, “Loved seeing more women connecting and working together to get more diverse audiences on the water,”  “Enjoyed connecting with Heather Hodson from WA via Skype – her ideas and enthusiasm are contagious,” and “Looking forward to next year’s retreat to see what everyone implemented in 2018.” 

Daniel and Kelly Williams planned the retreat with the assistance of a steering committee made up of “energetic, passionate, and determined women” according to Daniel.

Trout Fly Fishing
Amidea Daniel hands out door prizes at an evening event held in conjunction with the retreat.

 

Together, they set the stage for 25 women from 13 TU chapters and 16 counties and other organizations across Pennsylvania to network, share ideas, and work together on ways to help connect more ladies to PA’s waterways through conservation projects, fishing and outreach programs. Participants identified and shared resources and ideas for new programs and events aimed at increasing future engagement among members.

“Icebreakers;” break-out sessions; the Costa SLAM Film Event; art; project and idea sharing; fishing; casting; discussing barriers and solutions to implement programs; and a guest appearance by Washington State’s Women’s Initiative Ambassador, Heather Hodson, via Skype were among the activities offered throughout the weekend.  

Daniel said she was impressed by the enthusiasm and excitement she witnessed during the introductions during the opening session.

PA Women Anglers
Leadership is one of the goals of the Pennsylvania (PA) Trout Unlimited Women’s initiative and a topic that was discussed in details at the large and small-group breakout sessions.

“Many of the women expressed excitement when they saw so many other ladies interested in connecting to Pennsylvania resources through fishing or conservation programs,” Daniel noted. “When they introduced themselves each person began to realize they are not alone in trying to get more diverse audiences interested not only in fishing but also protecting the resources we all enjoy.”

The less experienced and beginner anglers soon found mentors among the group members. Daniel said, “The few that were new to fly fishing were quickly taken under the wings of women who had experience. Lots of ideas and experiences were shared.”

Women Fly Fishing
Rachel Grube is new to fly fishing and enjoyed the camaraderie. The fly-fishing skill level ranged from beginner to advanced.

Rachael E. Grube, a Watershed/GIS specialist with the Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation and a beginner fly angler, was inspired by the passion so many of the women she met had for fishing and aquatic ecosystem conservation.

“Every woman there had a different story about how she became interested in Trout Unlimited or conservation in general, and I think knowing the reasons why a woman might decide to get involved is a key factor when targeting women as new members or volunteers,” Grube said via an email interview. “Everyone had new ideas about how to get even more women involved in fishing and aquatic conservation. Sometimes working in conservation can be discouraging, but hearing details about successful programs and events will allow me to plan future conservation programs more strategically.”

Check water temperature
Conservation and responsible fishing practices were on the agenda. During one of the breaks, members had a chance to fish in the nearby stream.

Trout Water Best Temperature
Before fishing, a simple test revealed the water was at the perfect temperature.

Trout Fly Fishing
Door prizes brought smiles to the participants’ faces.           

Fly-Fishing Retreat Door Prizes
Door prizes ranged from hats to gift certificates for guided fly-fishing trips.

Joan Mead-Matsui is an award-winning freelance journalist; travel writer, photographer, and fly-angler from Clarks Summit, PA. She discovered her love for fly fishing five years ago and covers her adventures on her website joanmatsuitravelwriter.com and several publications.  

No Comments
Affordable NYC Transportation Bus Rental Lifestyle Limousine Travel NYC Limousine and Bus Transportation Travel in Style

Travel in Style: New York City Limo or Bus?

  • By
  • October 23, 2018
NYC transportation

NYC Limousine Services
Relax and let a limousine driver show you around New York City. When was the last time someone opened a car door for you?

Make the Best Use of New York Limo Service and Have a Pleasurable Ride

Jill White is a 26-year-old blogger with a passion for writing and travel.  Read her qualitative article and find out how you can combine comfort and convenience with an age-old transportation system so you can RIDE IN STYLE.

Guest Blogger Jill White
Learn how to travel through the Big Apple in style from guest blogger, Jill White.

New York is a densely populated and beautiful destination famous for its iconic sites. It’s also well-known for its restaurants, universities, and theatres. You can accomplish your dream and ride in style in the beautiful city of New York by hiring limousines. There are many car companies in New York that offer limo services and you can hire a classic, sleek hummer limousine or a modern stretch limo and make your occasion more special. Limo services are available for working-class and middle-class people. The demand for limousine services in New York is huge and the companies are providing varieties of these limousines for the comfort and convenience of their customers.

 Special Features of Limo Service

Many limo services are designed with decent interiors and have features such as elegant upholstery especially for corporate transport. The limo service can be made use of even for wedding purposes and the well-decorated cars set the stage for a romantic environment, with floral decorations and dim lighting. The limousines are stylishly decorated on the exterior for party goers and the interior is fitted with a high tech sound system, luxury equipment, and large LCDs. Hence, party goers can have great fun.

 Airport Limo Services

The airport limo services provided in New York are excellent and the vehicles offer stress-free transportation to customers with their fleet of sedans, hybrid sedans, and SUVs. The limo services in New York are provided around the clock and corporate officials can gain their best experience traveling in these luxurious vehicles. Officials can travel in comfort and style to their home or hotel from the airport by hiring the limo services. The other transportation service that can be utilized by customers also includes bus rental services. The best feature of the limousine services is that they are updated from time to time and the vehicles are very spacious and perfect for everyone.

 Bus rental Services in New York

Looking for budget-friendly transportation services? Consider the New York bus rental services. You can conveniently access and book bus rental services online. A wide variety of vehicles is provided to people across New York City.  The cost of these services is mainly calculated based on the mileage and the number of hours used. Reap the benefits of a discount by booking for large groups in advance.

The services are made available for small and large events, and changes can be made while booking online even through a mobile device. There are buses available for 55 passengers, 49 passengers, and even 28 passengers. Many of the services can be booked easily and in minutes from anywhere. The buses can be used for corporate outings, sporting events and for school trips.

 Conclusion:

Both services are affordable and excellent transportation services available to you at competitive prices. Safety and comfort are your chauffeurs’ priorities. The priority of the chauffeurs towards their customers is their safety and comfort. Commuters can ride safely in these vehicles that ensure safety and pleasurable ride.

Publisher’s Note:

You can get NYC travel and tourism information from NYC THE OFFICIAL GUIDE by clicking on this link.

 

 

 

No Comments

advertisement

Contact Information

joanimead@gmail.com

Copyright © 2017 Joan Matsui . All rights reserved