Are you dreaming of landing that trout, bass, or other fish species?
“Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die” is full of breathtaking photography and detailed information about 50 of the world’s most spectacular fly fishing destinations. Author Chris Santella is a skilled freelance writer and storyteller who offers his readers a collection of 50 essays created by master fly anglers. The in-depth interviews feature extensive background information for each of the destinations with advice and fishing anecdotes that you’ll find enticing even on the coldest winter day. Santella’s work is one you’ll commit to memory and refer to as a resource guide when you’re planning your next fly fishing getaway.
I received a copy as a Christmas present in 2018 and although I receive hundreds of book review requests (on a variety of topics) each month, I’d never run across this gem. Santella’s guide covers all of the details and history fly anglers looking for premium places to fish need to know. The “IF YOU GO” that follows each essay: “Prime Time,” “Getting There,” “Accommodations,” and “Equipment,”is invaluable.
Santella is a regular contributor to The New York Times, Forbes.com, and other fly fishing publications.
Buy Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die.
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase but at no additional cost to you. I have experience with all of these companies and by linking to their product or a party that sells their products, I recommend the product based on their helpful and useful nature, and definitely not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.
When you walk in the doors of the Eagles Mere Inn, you’ll likely smell a sweet aroma coming from the kitchen. Shortbread cookies, warm cider, and aromatic teas are seasonal treats in the works throughout the year that is available for guests to sample. Consider your first whiff of delightful sweets as an indication of what’s to come during your stay at the inn.
Creating a Favorable Experience Is Key
Staging allows innkeepers Richard and Tammy Lobach to create an ideal atmosphere for their guests.
“We’re all about the experience. We’re trying to make our guests’ experiences a bit more current. But the house has a history. We’re giving the inn a fresh facelift. We love the history of Eagles Mere and we are incorporating that into this building.” ~ Richard Lobach, Eagles Mere Inn innkeeper
Be Prepared to Embrace History
What are guests looking for in a bed and breakfast experience? One guest reserved a room for one night and stayed a week. Richard attributes her change of heart to an abundance of peacefulness and a slowed pace that visitors seek when they choose The Eagles Mere Inn.
Eagles Mere is quiet during the winter months and Richard is candid with guests who seem disappointed to learn the borough doesn’t offer shopping outlets and nightlife.
“I tell prospective guests, If you’re looking to be entertained, you won’t find that in Eagles Mere,” Richard says.
What you will find are an inn and a village brimming with history and activities centered on family.
“We’re bringing the history of the town into the inn,” Richard explained.
He found his way into the hospitality industry as a bellhop right out of high school and has worked for several large hospitality corporations. His positions entailed taking over bankrupted, foreclosed, and underperforming hotels. But the hours were demanding and five years ago, Richard required surgery to repair a back problem and realized he had to change his lifestyle.
“I got a job at a bed & breakfast in New Hope, PA and when the position was eliminated, I (answered an ad and) came to the Eagles Mere Inn.”
Richard and Tammy, Allentown, PA natives, have been married for 32 and have two daughters.
“We went from seeing each other 30 hours a week to seeing, living and working together 24/7. I think with 32 years of marriage, we got that part. We learn from each other and sometimes we are able to listen to each other. Sometimes not,” he quipped.
Richard’s extensive background in hospitality management and Tammy’s many years in food preparation have enabled them to run the inn and stay on top of their evolving business as innkeepers.
Although they use seasonal chefs, during the off-season, Richard and Tammy assume a variety of roles. Tammy is shown in the recently renovated kitchen at The Eagles Mere Inn. Her day typically begins around 5 a.m.
“I started out in the J.C. Penney restaurant and I cooked my way through college,” Tammy noted.
Breakfast is available bright and early for “first on the scene” guests who are eager to begin their day. Featured breakfasts range from sweet or savory options to a buffet when visitors total 10 or more.
“What kind of things do you like for breakfast?” was one of the first questions Tammy asked upon my arrival at the inn, followed by “Do you prefer sweet or savory?”
In addition to her breakfast and dessert contributions, Tammy makes several treks each week to markets to buy fresh produce and other staples.
“I do all of the shopping and I try to buy fresh produce whenever possible. Whatever is in the store that looks really great, that’s what I serve,” Tammy says. “It’s great to have that flexibility because we are not a corporate property. I can go to a farmers’ market and buy vegetables and put them into a dish.”
The Eagles Mere Inn can accommodate up to 140 patrons in its three dining venues: A.C. Little Drinkery, On the Rocks patio and the 1887 Chop House, a more formal dining space.
“The inn is a continuously growing and product improvement plan. Take-outs, eat-in…you can do it all at The Eagles Mere Inn,” ~ Richard Lobach
More interesting facts about The Eagles Mere Inn:
(courtesy of Richard and Tammy Labach)
The guest rooms (17) were numbered when they first arrived at the inn but researching historical Eagles Mere documents helped them to assign a name to each room and the dining options.
In the Raymond room, they have “Raymond” memorabilia, a teacup that’s stored in a shadow box and pictures to go along with the former Raymond Hotel.
Some of the renovations have included new carpeting in 80 percent of the rooms, all new mattresses, water filtration systems, water softeners, air conditioning, remodeled tavern and front porch, and a fresh coat of paint.
What draws someone to a particular location varies from person to person but The Eagles Mere Inn, a Sullivan County landmark, is a favorite among folks who yearn for a peaceful country setting.
After several visits to Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania over the course of 20 years, I can’t understand how anyone could forget the timeless beauty of “the town that time forgot.” In 2017, I had an opportunity to experience Eagles Mere as a guest at The Eagles Mere Inn.
“..Let’s Not Forget…The Town That Time Forgot..”
The inn is far enough from the busy Route 42, the main road through the borough, yet only a short walk to the center of town and Eagles Mere Lake – two prominent hubs for year-round activities.
Eagles Mere is a family-centered hamlet that was founded in the early 1800s as a glass factory. By the late 19th century, the town had evolved as a mountain resort community renowned for its grand turn-of-the-century Victorian summer homes or “cottages.” The population grows from 120 full-time residents during the off-season but as summer arrives that number can grow to more than 3,000.
Eagles Mere Inn
The Eagles Mere Inn was built in 1887 and each guest room highlights historic places, events, and people prominent in the borough’s history.
The Lewis Glass Suite is named after the George Lewis Glassworks Era from 1804 to 1830. Located on the second floor of the inn, this two-room suite features a painted iron and brass queen bed, five delightfully large windows, sitting room with a sliding door partition, love-seat sleeper couch, 24″ smart television, comfortable chairs, and a private bath with a shower. All but two rooms have a television but you can certainly bring a book to read, a journal, and/or a drawing pad and pencils as a much-needed break from electronics. Eagles Mere is a haven for environmental preservationists and birdwatchers so be sure to tuck a pair of binoculars in your suitcase. All four seasons afford opportunities to catch a close-up glimpse of the wildlife that roams on hundreds of acres of nearby land.
Eyelet, handmade quilts, and soft cotton linens are all part of the appeal. Each guest room has a signature style that’s in keeping with the era and name given to each accommodation.
By day, the light floods in and in the evening, the sitting area is a comfortable retreat after an activity driven day.
The Whirlpool Room, standard king and queen rooms, junior suites, deluxe suites, select king rooms and standard full rooms are your lodging options. Accommodations range from $129 to $199 and a hearty country breakfast is included in the room rate.
Romantics can explore Eagles Mere for the entire month of February thanks to a special Valentine’s Day offer. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a “romantic weekend package” when you book a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday stay. That package includes the room, breakfast, 3-course dinner, wine, roses, and chocolate.
Call the Inn (570)-525-3273 to book your stay.
Taste testing is a fantastic opportunity to sample and share a variety of menu items. Sometimes, choosing one entree is daunting if you can’t decide what suits your taste buds.
A.C.Little’s Drinkery, located on the inn’s lower level is pub-style and casual and an ideal setting to relax or catch your favorite sporting event on television. Dinner is available from the inn’s small plate menu and you can find your perfect brew from among the selections from local wineries and micro-breweries. A current menu is available at this link. The same menu is also available for diners who choose to have dinner in the dining room located next to the lobby.
Book Your Event
Couples planning to marry or individuals looking for an intimate, picturesque venue can also reserve the beautifully manicured grounds for parties and events of all kinds. Eagles Mere offers many scenic vistas and locations for photo ops.
What do snow and ice bring to Eagles Mere?
The famous toboggan slide has entertained residents and visitors since 1904. Created by the volunteer fire company, the slide is especially fun for thrill seekers. Sledders have been known to race down the hill at speeds up to 45 mph, according to townspeople, also known as “cottagers” who own second homes. Eagles Mere provides the setting for anyone with an affinity for winter. Details can be found here.
Eagles Mere Lake covers 114 acres and is surrounded by hundreds of acres of forest. Inn guests receive complimentary lake passes that can be used to swim at the beach or paddle their way around the lake in the innkeeper’s two kayaks.
Golfers can get in a round of golf during their stay at The Eagles Mere Inn. Reservations and an overnight stay are all you’ll need to enjoy the inn’s membership benefits at the Eagles Mere Country Club. Learn more about the club’s rich history that dates back to 1911.
Eagles Mere is a treat to visit. We all need a healthy dose of yesteryear and history to fully appreciate life today. Specialty shops, a noteworthy bookstore, the old-fashioned sweet shop, museums, an enchanting selection of country inns, cottages, and rentals; and a private golf club are a few of the reasons why Eagles Mere continues to draw thousands during peak tourist season.
When you want to venture out of town, on the outskirts, you’ll find spectacular waterfalls and plenty of nature on hiking trails.
During the winter months, one might see Eagles Mere as a ghost town but rest assured, that’s merely an assumption and not entirely true. Don’t let that stop you from planning a romantic fall, winter, or early spring getaway.
Follow this link for more information about Eagles Mere.
The Eagles Mere Inn is located at 29 Mary Ave., Eagles Mere, PA. You can reach out to the innkeepers at 570-525-3273 or visit eaglesmereinn.com/inn.
(Details provided courtesy of PR Newswire – Nov. 16, 2017)
Get your fill of holiday fun in the quaint town of Morro Bay, CA.
Crab Pot Holiday Trees will set the mood and the inaugural Winterfest will deliver a dozen days of merriment from December 1 to 12.
Well-known for its signature 576-foot tall volcanic rock that sits majestically between the Pacific Ocean and the tranquil bay, MorroBay is a busy seaside village. If you need a getaway from the day-to-day stresses that zap your energy and holiday spirit, Morro Bay is a must-see waterfront city in San Luis Obispo County, California. Holiday shopping, outdoor adventurers, and boating enthusiasts will find this community friendly and enchanting.
They are trees constructed with durable, weatherproof PVC coated Crab Trap Wire. Morro Bay craftsmen build their first crab pot holiday tree from local buoys, crab pots and fishing gear last year in Tidelands Park on the Embarcadero.
It was such a hit, this year the city will again light its homemade creation in honor of the local fishing community, and decided to import and additional 14 crab pot trees from a Coastal North Carolina crab trap maker and place them all over town. ~ Jennifer Little, Morro Day tourism manager
According to Little, “Our fishing community works so hard throughout the year. This is such a great way to celebrate our maritime heritage at the holidays.”
The Central Coast Fisheries for Women coordinated the entire event to highlight the extraordinary local seafood and fishing families of Morro Bay.
December 1 – 12
Lighted boats and trees, Santa’s House (open daily), a Santa Crawl for 21 years and older, tall ships brimming with history in the harbor, and REAL snow for the kids are some of the events planned. Additional details are available here.
“Come enjoy 12 days of fun at the first annual WINTERFEST in Morro Bay, CA! Kids Get Free Stuff,” Little advises.
Stay in a Morro Bay hotel property in December and kids 12 and under will receive a free bay tour, free kite, free clam chowder. Find out more details here!
For information on all the exciting things to do and see in Morro Bay, visit www.morrobay.org.
A quiet dining experience at a table for two? A concert? Or both? Date nights don’t happen often enough and setting aside a night out can be a daunting task.
More than two years ago, Vincent Jordan, Vice President of Marketing & Player Development at Mount Airy Casino Resort, introduced me to the first-class accommodations at Mount Airy during a weekend travel assignment. Recently, my husband and I returned as dinner guests and were treated to a full-course, candlelit meal at Bistecca by IL MULINO, followed by a concert featuring jazz saxophonist legend, Kenny G, and a “meet and greet.”
Date night began at 6:30 p.m. on a Friday evening at a candlelit table for two. If you’ve never been to Mount Airy, Bistecca is located on the second floor and only steps away from the casino and several other dining options. The location is particularly convenient for guests and visitors who plan to try their skills (and luck) at the gaming tables and slot machines or get their taste of nightlife in Gypsies Lounge, one of Mount Airy’s busiest entertainment venues.
Bistecca is the perfect setting to reminisce over a meal that’s expertly prepared and served in a relaxed, casual setting. Celebrate your night together with a cocktail or a selection from an extensive wine selection from around the world.
Are you wondering about the type of fare you’ll find at Bistecca? The cuisine is a combination of Abruzzo-style and a modern steakhouse. Meats are hand-cut by the executive chef, the pasta is handcrafted, and the seafood and produce are extremely fresh.
Most of our meal selections came from the main menu. We selected ORGANIC ROASTED BEETS goat cheese and tomatoes, GRILLED OCTOPUSwhite beans and tomato, WHOLE GRILLED BRANZINOfennel, arugula, orange, COLORADO LAMB CHOPS, MARKET OYSTERS, TRUFFLE FRIES and STEAKHOUSE FRIES from the menu. There was more than enough food for two people to share. I wish I could say I favored one dish. They were all seasoned and cooked to perfection. Guaranteed, if you go to Bistecca, you will find something for even the most finicky palette.Before you go, you can view the entire menu here.
Reservations are recommended. Guests who haven’t made a reservation will definitely wait in line for a table on the weekends. Plan to arrive for dinner by 5:30 or 6 p.m. to allow plenty of time to relish every bite.
The clock was ticking as we finished our meal. After more than 90 minutes of culinary bliss, we were eager to pick up our Kenny G concert tickets at the box office.
Whether you want to be dazzled by top-name entertainers, dance the night away or laugh until your sides ache, after your meal at Bistecca, your night out isn’t over yet. Stroll across the casino floor after your meal and experience big-name talents on stage at Gypsies lounge. After you’ve nourished your taste buds, it’s time to celebrate the performing arts at one of Mount Airy’s shows.
Book your meal, entertainment and lodging online at mountairycasino.com. You’ll find Mount Airy is always jumping with activity, so why not spend the night.
Mount Airy Casino Resort, 312 Woodland Road, Mount Pocono, is the only full-service casino in Pennsylvania with an AAA Four Diamond Award. This swanky destination getaway is located approximately 90 minutes from New York City on more than 1,000 scenic acres in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
Mount Airy Casino Resort Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui, freelance travel writer and photographer.
Mount Airy Casino Resort, 44 Woodland Rd., Mount Pocono
Fernwood Resort: creating year-round family experiences
Gina Bertucci: Focus is on family at Fernwood
Activities=Quality Family Time
Family fun…Have you taken the time to create lasting memories with your family?
Creating an experience that’s all-encompassing for families and guests of all ages is one of the challenges Gina Bertucci, Fernwood Resort co-owner, embraces.
With more than 18,000 member families, Fernwood Resort and the Villas at Tree Tops & Fairway®, 2157 River Rd, East Stroudsburg, PA, is part of RCI and is one of the largest vacation ownership properties in the Mid-Atlantic region with 650 beautifully-appointed villas.
“We have both timeshares and rentals so we’re a mixed-use property,” Bertucci explained.
Lodging options range from one-to-four bedrooms with accommodations for every taste, with a home-like feeling and amenities from simple and economical to deluxe and spacious.
When you’re ready to venture out onto the property, you’ll also see why Fernwood has received awards for being green.
According to Bertucci, “As a business, when we were looking at how to develop these pieces of property, what did we do?”
The Pocono TreeVentures and zipline courses are examples of the extraordinary measures Bertucci and her partners have taken to preserve the beauty and nature on the property.
“We looked at ways to preserve this property. There’s a stream that goes through it, but really when you’re up in the trees, you really do appreciate the nature and the beauty of this region.”
Everywhere you turn at Fernwood, there’s something for everyone. A few of the free on-site activities are swimming and weekly pool parties, summer family movie nights, picnics and BBQ nights. At an additional cost, try horseback riding at Bushkill Stables, Pocono TreeVentures Ropes and Zipline courses, Blue and White Lightning Tubing and Paintball. Visit Fernwood Resort’s websitefor prices and hours of operation.
Approximately 15 years ago, Bertucci and other businesses affiliated with the Pocono Mountains Vacation Bureau got together to answer the question, how can we continue to showcase the Poconos as a region to explore and enjoy, and at the same time, preserve its natural beauty?
The Fernwood partners, for example, utilized approximately 10 acres of gorgeous farmland for the TreeVentures and Zip Line courses.
“It’s beautiful and challenging and when you’re finished, you think I just did something and it’s great exercise. It’s about authenticity,” commented Bertucci. “And not everyone has had a chance to try horseback riding? For other people, it’s shopping at the Crossings (Premium Outlets), canoeing on the Delaware River, bike riding, seeing nearby Bushkill Falls or following a lovely natural walking path at the 77,000-acre at the Delaware Water Gap National Historic site.”
What’s our recommendation for off-site family engagement?
Don’t leave the Poconos without a stop at Bushkill Falls, known as “The Niagara of Pennsylvania.” With each season the landscape changes, providing a unique experience each time you visit. We suggest you reserve a half-day for your adventure.
Bushkill Falls is the “Niagara of Pennsylvania”
Why should you plan a trip to the Pocono Mountains’ region?
As the nights turn chillier and the leaves that adorn the trees of the Pocono Mountains fall to the ground and create a gentle blanket of vibrant shades of red, yellow and orange, celebrate fall by tuning into the sounds of freshly fallen leaves underfoot. Celebrate the four seasons in the Pocono Mountains.
“There’s something for everyone in the Pocono Mountains. It’s all here and that’s fortunate for us. Family time is part of the fabric of our lives. You remember those moments together.” Gina Bertucci, Fernwood Resort.
Kalahari Resorts and Conventions’ Pocono Mountain location is a cultural treat for children and adults alike.
The resort is a treasure trove of African culture and folk art that offer endless educational opportunities for the youngest to the oldest guest. While children will be eager to check-in and head directly to the waterpark and arcade, each photograph and sculpture tells a story and is certainly worth your time to tour and ponder.
Take time to experience art
Kalahari is museum-like and the careful attention to detail reflects the Nelson family’s fascination and respect for indigenous African art, folklore, and culture. The resort provides an impressive and thoughtful selection of artifacts, photographs, and statuettes the family collected during their 11 or more journeys to the continent.
Head to the waterpark
No doubt the draw for kids is the family-oriented 100,000 square foot indoor waterpark. Even the names of most of the water park attractions: Anaconda, Lazy River, Crocodile Cove, Indoor/Outdoor Family Whirlpool, Wild Wildebeest, Lost Lagoon, Tanzanian Twister, Thirsty Turtle Swim Up Bar, Rippling Rhino, Zimbabwe Zipper, Splashdown Safari, Barrelling Baboon, Tiko’s Watering Hole evoke a sense of adventure. There’s an attraction for every age and when patrons need a break, they can find relaxation in one of the private indoor cabanas fitted with a flat screen TV, chaise lounges, and refrigerator.
More fun awaits you
And then, outside the water park, there’s the arcade with a whopping 30,000 square feet of video games and contests, Blacklight Mini-Golf, Mini-Bowling, and the NEW XD Dark Ride 5-D Theater. Kids and adults can move from one game to the next and effortlessly spend hours getting their visual fix.
When it’s time to refuel…
The eateries within the resort are particularly geared towards kids and families, but older children and grown-ups can also dine peacefully. Servers are well-trained and eager to please.
Your choices are Brandberg Food & Drink, Great Karoo Marketplace Buffet, Ivory Coast Restaurant, Felix’s Bar, The Last Bite, Java Manjaro, Café Mirage, Waterpark Dining and Pizza Pub. You’ll want to make a dessert stop at Last Bite Candy & Ice Cream and Java Manjaro, Kalahari’s signature cafe that features handpicked Rwandan coffee beans that are brewed on-site. In the background, recorded drum music from the streets of Cape Town resonates and enhances the African theme and helps to set the stage from the moment you arrive at the main entrance.
After your Safari adventure…
When you’re ready to call it a day, Kalahari offers 457 African-themed rooms and suites that are equipped to meet the needs of traveling families. The two-bedroom suite is equipped with one king size bed, two queen size beds and a queen size sofa sleeper that provides ample room for adults to relax without disturbing sleeping children. A coffee maker, television, refrigerator, flat screen televisions, and free Wi-Fi are a few of the standard amenities.
What to bring
Don’t worry about packing a suitcase full of clothes and gear. A swimsuit, cover-up, flip-flops and casual attire are all you’ll need for your overnight stay at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions Pocono.
A weekly special Character Breakfast is held on Saturday morning beginning at 10:50 a.m. at Brandberg Food & Drink. Breakfast gets underway at 11:00 a.m. The cost is adults/$25 and children/$15 and includes visits with character friends, family style dining, games, music, coloring contests, and great photo opportunities. Reservations are required and must be made in advance.
An award-winning Spa destination offers self-discovery activities
Find your reprieve at The Lodge at Woodloch
Imagine a world-class Spa destination where you can leave your troubles behind.
“Some people need more room in their bodies, some people need more room in their mind. Some students simply need to relax and move at a different pace from everyday life.”
Kimberly Matthew, yoga instructor
Kimberly Matthew’s goal is to turn people on to the world of yoga.
Open level yoga
Matthew teaches beginner to intermediate Chakra Yoga, one of many self-discovery activities offered to guests at The Lodge at Woodloch, an award-winning luxury adult-only Spa destination in the lake region of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
A perfect start to your day
Her morning Chakra Yoga class provides a perfect start to your day and is perhaps the first step on your personal journey to total mind-body revitalization. A large glass window overlooking a portion of the woodland retreat is in and of itself, sedative. Matthew’s class began with moments of meditation to prepare the mind and body for 50-minutes of beginner to intermediate yoga asanas designed to stimulate and balance your energy centers for physical, spiritual and mental wellness.
Focus is on the seven energy center of the body
“Chakra yoga focuses on the seven energy centers of the body,” Matthew said, but she also noted, “I think all styles of yoga help people connect with their bodies, their breath, and their energy body.”
Alleviate or eliminate lower back pain
Her personal journey with yoga began when she was experiencing acute sciatica. When different modalities failed to ease the pain, Matthew turned to yoga, which can alleviate or eliminate pain in the lower back and leg associated with sciatica.
Matthew chose teacher training to help other people out of their pain cycles. She completed her training and certification at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, MA, and has been teaching yoga for 18 years to students with dramatic brain injury and Parkinson’s to well, able-bodied people.
“I love to people watch and it helps everyone,” she said. “I even have a dear student who is 94- years-old, who flows through sun salutation and forward bends to grab her big toes. I tell her, ‘Lorraine, I want to be like you when I grow up.”
What are some of the benefits of yoga practice?
Matthew said, “Yoga brings on a sense of well-being by creating awareness, by opening soft tissue so joints move more freely…” and her goal for each class is “to connect with each student individually and give them exactly what they need.”
Students are encouraged to participate at a level that is right for them.
“If they have any pain or discomfort they need to back off and if they have to work at breathing, they need to ease out of the stretch a bit. Some people need more room in their bodies, some people need more room in their mind. Some students simply need to relax and move at a different pace from everyday life,” she said.
In addition to Chakra Yoga, Matthew also teaches several styles of meditation from labyrinth walking to mala meditation and meditation 101.