Checking out hotrods at Delaware Park Casino

The roar of engines revved as cool wheels entered the rear parking lot at Delaware Park Casino, joining many hotrods already on display. As each car cruised slowly by, onlookers turned heads to watch impressive vehicles with powerful, thundering sounds.

“Those were the good ole’ days,” I overheard one man in his 50s or 60s say to a man of about the same age. A sunny afternoon early in June, it made for a perfect moment for someone to reminisce about days gone by in hotrods…or wish they were around in those times.

So many stunning cars, I didn’t know where to start in wandering among them and taking photos. Custom Camaros, Corvettes and Mustangs came into view first – they always lure me in for a closer look.

I bought a metal sign showing the various generations of Chevy Camaro, my all-time favorite hotrod. The guy who had the signs set up for sale asked me if I had a Camaro or liked them. I told him I have a 2000, but they’ve always been my favorite and that my dad used to have a blue ’69 from his younger days and later, a red ‘67. The vendor said Chevy did really well with the Camaro over the years.

My dad’s red ’67, hard top, black stripe around the front end…he had that Camaro during my junior and senior years of high school and I couldn’t wait to get my license. I was hoping to be behind the wheel by sometime during the summer before senior year. Then, that September, drive to school in it, engine rumbling, even going slowly up the winding campus driveway.

Here are just a few photos I took of this muscle car at Delaware Park.

Red-Camaro-Blue-Flames-1

Dark-Blue-Classic-Camaro-1

Dark-Blue-Classic-Camaro-Dice-1-2

Light-Blue-Classic-Camaro-1

Animal-Camaro-2.JPG

A more recent and close second favorite lately is the Dodge Challenger and at this car show, many of the newest models were represented. In fact, this was the first time I’d seen so many of them at one car show. I’ve been seeing more and more of them whenever I’m out somewhere. I especially love the new models; they are awesome!

Black-Challenger-Front-End

Blue-Challenger-1

Classic-Orange-Challenger

Orange-Challenger-2

Retro songs played, from hits by The Beach Boys to musical numbers featured in “Grease” (“You’re The One That I Want” and “Grease Lightning”). Such great music! Not only that, but I feel as though I’m in my element at these car shows. You can see why, what with so many favorite cool wheels.

Red-Orange-Corvettes

Royal-Blue-Classic-Mustang-2

Classic-Chevy-BA

Conv-Classic-TransAm-1

Classic-Black-Mercury-BA-1-2

Classic-Black-Streetrod

Speedy-Red-Corvette-1

Purple-Conv-SSR-1

Purple-Flames-On-Red-1

Classic-BA-Blue-Flames

Green-54-Is-It-Fast-1

This makes the second time I’ve been to a car show at Delaware Park, the event in particular called Beers and Gears. Anyone attending could also grab a bite to eat from food trucks lined up in the lot area running along the casino’s main driveway. I’m already looking forward to next year’s car show because you never know what you’ll see.

Posted in Car Shows, Cars, Delaware | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Local music festivals heading into summer 2017

My local area has come alive with warm-weather entertainment, inspiring me to catch a few shows on the days and nights heading into summer. Last year, two of my high school friends and I went to Rose Tree Park for a free concert. With such great music, I couldn’t wait to see who’d be on this year’s schedule of performers. But along with the shows held there, the warmer months always pique my interest in fun activities and events that my friends and I could try to meet up for sometime.

Wayne Music Festival

Wayne-Music-Fest-1

A crowd of people milled about, others kicked back in outdoor seating, while music played just up the street as I arrived. The festival stretched between the nearest train station and Lancaster Avenue, along North Wayne Avenue. At that intersection, a police blockade was set up and just beyond, a band entertained from under the shade of a tent. So, even passersby in their cars could catch a glimpse of the festivities as they rode through downtown Wayne.

One band on a larger stage was going through member introductions and then the lead singer talked about songs on the set list. He said into his mic, “Freebird,” to which people in the crowd called out, “Freebird!” A beer garden was set up under a large tent within sight of the stage, allowing festival attendees to sit, relax, try a brew and listen to live tunes.

The smell of steaks, hotdogs and more festival food filled the air as they sizzled on vendor grills, releasing an occasional puff of smoke. A few restaurants also lined the street with tents just outside of their dining establishment.

Two that I’ve been to before and love include Christopher’s A Neighborhood Place and The Great American Pub. Outside of the pub, located on one corner, trees were decorated with strings of light, adding to the fun-filled atmosphere. Christopher’s is just down N. Wayne Avenue from the pub, walking toward Lancaster Avenue. I still have to try Matador next time I’m in the area.

Several vendors at the festival had their craftwork on display and one depicted images of Philadelphia icons in art. Necklaces with colorful gemstones were lined up in cases at another table. Between the shopping vendors and Wayne stores, this festival is definitely an event at which someone can make a day out of while enjoying great music. Main Point Books is one of the downtown stores, located along N. Wayne Avenue.

I’m not from within the city of Philadelphia. But for those who are or new to the area, Wayne is accessible by train and ready to enjoy when you stop at the Septa Wayne Station. This year’s festival was held for one day – Saturday, June 10. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the 2018 event as the second weekend of the month gets closer.

State Street Blues in Media

Media-PA-Sign

I found out a little late about this festival, held in downtown Media, Pa. and decided to check it out next year. Besides, I still had plans to attend the Wayne Music Festival. With many shops and dining options, the downtown area of Media is always a great place to visit. It’s another popular spot for festivals, including those for food and crafts. For more on that, check out my blog post on the 35th Annual Food and Craft Festival from fall 2015. So, having heard various blues songs over the years, but not actually attending an event focusing on it, I’m looking forward to going to the State Street Blues next time. It’ll be the chance to take in some new entertainment throughout town at participating venues.

Rose Tree Park Summer Concert Series

RTP-Outdoor-Stage

This annual event features a variety of music genres by bands who perform on an outdoor stage. In recent years, I’ve been to see The Fabulous Greaseband, Irish band Blackthorn and The British Invasion Years band. Along with classics by rockers from across the pond, British Invasion also covered classic American hits. The concert series just recently started up for this year and I’m hoping to check out many more shows in the current line-up.

I enjoy going to Rose Tree not only for the concerts, which are free, but also for other events held there. Some of these include a Wounded Warriors Walk and car shows. With a huge American flag waving overhead, it’s a great place for all-American activities.

USA-Flag-RTP-2

Since I mentioned car shows, I went to one early in June, set up in the back lot at Delaware Park Casino. I’ll be sharing some favorite photos from that event next.

Posted in Dining, Entertainment, Festivals, Food, Foodie, Media, Pennsylvania, Travel, Wayne | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Slow year of travel in 2016, plans for 2017 and beyond

This past year hasn’t been too exciting in terms of travel, after it turned out that I couldn’t make it to Sicily. What happened was that the money for the England trip, for whatever reason, couldn’t be applied to Sicily and made covering the cost more difficult. I still have a plane ticket to use until May 9, 2017. I’d have to go somewhere and come back by that date. It’s just a matter of getting any remaining travel expenses figured out. There’s also the idea of trying to find a travel partner among anyone I know. With my lack of travel abroad experience, I’m not sure if I’m ready for going solo. Although, I’m considering it because of the first-time adventure it would bring on.

I probably won’t use that ticket to explore Sicily on my own, due to extra costs in comparison to England. When it was still possible to go, I found out that I’d have to fly to Italy. I loved that because it allowed for an extra country on the way and I’ve always wanted to go there as well. But how would I cover airfare for the flights between Italy and Sicily, not to mention the overall tuition? A deadline of mid-November was approaching faster than the money could be saved and financial aid at my college wouldn’t be able to help with funding until spring. If I could visit
more places, I’d be a full-time travel blogger; at least, I’d hope to make that my dream career.

Despite having to let go of this Mediterranean adventure, I looked at it this way: it doesn’t mean that it’ll never happen. If ever I get another chance, I have the itinerary, so I’m not at a loss for what to do once there. One item on the schedule even included an excursion up onto the active volcano, Mt. Etna, a thrill-seeking experience I never pictured myself having the opportunity to do! Also in the plans, diving into the foodie side of culture with a cooking class. That’s definitely on my must-do list for European travel.

My family also encountered a health emergency when my dad went into the hospital in late October. Not knowing what was going to happen, it would’ve been best to back out of Sicily if I was all set to go. He had congestive heart failure and was kept for 12 days, but is doing much better now. Arrangements were made for a nurse and a physical therapist to see him at home once he was hospital. Medicine, better diet and exercise have become part of his new daily routine to prevent another scare.

Like any year at this time, winter weather always tends to hinder any significant travel plans. So, I’m just keeping it local in the next few months for that reason as well. If some mild temperatures
hold up during a certain January weekend, I’d like to attend a photo shoot at a dam in Maryland, to capture images of bald eagles. These majestic birds are among many subjects that I’d love to take photos of in nature. Besides, I can always make a stop or two there after we’re well into spring if it gets too wintry. So, that’s one possible trip within my surrounding region, even if I
end up waiting for warmer days.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy new year, as well as with any travels in 2017!

Posted in Adventures, Air Travel, England, International, Italy, Maryland, Nature, Photography, Sicily, Solo Travel, Travel, Weather, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel plans change, new adventure awaits

An opportunity to visit England this summer changed unexpectedly, yet I’m hoping that it’ll only lead to another chance soon. I have until early May 2017 to use my airline ticket, so I figured, why not make it up by going to England by then? While over there, I’d love to add several other destinations to my plans – Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and a return to Ireland – before coming back home.

galway celt knotwork

This might even end up being first-time solo travel experience, since I’m not sure if anyone will be able to join me. It’s hard for me to believe I could possibly be taking that on, considering I’m not an experienced globe trekker. However, so many bloggers writing about their solo adventures have inspired my wanderlust with the places they’ve been to and I would dream about following in their steps. Solo or not, a number of sites to see and places to eat are saved in Foursquare lists for each country in the British Isles. Too many to name in these enchanting destinations!

I also recently found out about a winter trip to Sicily, offered by my grad school. Unlike Italy, this small country isn’t one that I know much about in terms of sightseeing. A link sent out about the opportunity included photos of amazing ancient sites to check out. So, whether or not I use my airline ticket for Sicily, instead of going to the British Isles, I’ve decided to add it to my list of must-see countries. Maybe I’ll make it an Italy / Sicily / Greece combo trip in that case. It won’t be long until I know for sure about going to Italy’s island neighbor, but if not, I’ll be working on my U.K. travel plans.

Posted in Air Travel, British Isles, England, Foursquare, Greece, International, Ireland, Italy, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Sicily, Solo Travel, Travel, UK, Wales | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cool, unique rides rev up thoughts of summer

Car shows are always among my favorite events as spring warms up and we head toward summertime. A part of decades past, they inspire fans to reminisce about driving in the days of hotrods. For me, they’re about appreciating the cool cars we just don’t see everyday. At two events this month, a few cars in particular stood out to me. Here are some of my favorites (the first three were taken at Rose Tree Park in Media, Pa., the rest were taken at Delaware Park Casino’s Beers and Gears):

I don’t often see this model of an old Dodge, a Coronet. What caught my attention was how it reminded me of the menacing “Christine” movie car, although it wasn’t the same brand that set out chasing the onscreen teens.

Christine Car LAL 1

While checking out a McLaren, everyone was amazed at its lack of visible handles on doors that looked like they opened DeLorean-style. Maybe they were hidden under the top edge jutting out over the doors’ middle section. Well, either way, it sure was impressive!

McLaren 5

McLaren 7

The Chevy Camaro is my all-time favorite sports car and a custom-made model like I’d never seen before was a stunning set of wheels.

Super Camaro 1

Next, these two VW vans reminded me of when a neighbor owned one and I rode in it with them on trips to a local state park. It was more similar to the yellow one, minus the roof rack. They’re a symbol of fun times during my childhood.

Yellow VW Van 2

Red VW Van 1

I love these classic hotrods with eye-catching flames painted on the hood and along the sides! Although I see these at many car shows, this one came with its own unique element. The framed set of photos leaning up against its front end shared what must have been an amazing road trip in a head-turning cool ride.

Roadtrip Flame Car 1

This pick-up truck was unusual to me simply because of the name on it: Corvair. Until then, I’d only seen it featured on sporty little cars.

Corvair Truck 2

A real antique, this model by Stanley, as in the steamer company. I’ve seen old Fords (not usually blue) at various car shows and they always fascinate me because of how far back they were made. Not only that, but it’s the difference between them and cars of today. The same goes for this car, of course, carrying a familiar name and the history that goes with it.

Stanley Car 1

What seemed like an old cop car, now maybe used as a rat rod, drew my curiosity to get a closer look. The worn appearance made me imagine an intriguing past. Stepping up to it, I noticed variety of items on the dashboard and couldn’t help but wonder about them as well.

Trinket Rad Rod 1

Trinket Rad Rod 2

Lastly, an old Chevy pick-up, worn but showing a striking blue color was a reminder of an uncle’s classic truck. When I was younger, my parents and I sometimes happened to spot him out on the road and I always thought it was neat to see among newer cars.

Old Blue Ch Truck 1

Until next time, I’m looking forward to more car shows in the coming months.

Posted in Antique Cars, Car Shows, Cars, Classic Cars, Delaware, Pennsylvania | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel memories sparked, goals renewed via Facebook and old blogs

A particular experience that is waiting to be checked off of my travel bucket list was among recent “On This Day” Facebook posts. It was an article about options for staying at a lighthouse. Since the original date I’d shared it, new people had been added to my friend list. So, I thought, why not re-share this?

Maritime Windchime

Maybe recent connections would also enjoy reading about which beacons are available as unique accommodations. Besides, doing so made for quick access once more to an item hidden way back in my timeline. If a friend or I wanted to make reservations at a lighthouse, the information would be easy to find. That’s why I like the “On This Day” feature; it serves a purpose as a helpful reference, making content worthy of sharing again. Also, a travel goal is brought back to the forefront of my mind. Seeing that “stay at a lighthouse” article again was like a reminder sounding off: “Here’s one of your travel goals. Get to it; it’ll be amazing!”

I’m planning to re-share some old blog posts from another platform as well. Long before I used WordPress, a favorite place to share thoughts was on Yahoo! 360 and when that section was to be discontinued, I saved copies of all that I posted there. I also wrote on the Myspace blog section, but started to back up those posts as well, upon deciding to cancel my account. Although what I wrote about on both Yahoo! 360 and Myspace varied in topics, there were a number of travel-themed posts. Among those were a variety of road trip ideas; who doesn’t love a good road trip?

While on the subject of such adventures, I’m looking forward to further exploration of Delaware, including a number of scenic state parks; it’s a perfect idea, now that spring is here! To top off park visits, why not enjoy dining at a restaurant with a relaxing maritime view as well? A list of these were included in an article, entitled, “18 Incredible Waterfront Restaurants in Delaware That Everyone Should Visit,” via a Web site called Only In Your State.

Anyway, since I only have the hard copies of my old posts, I want to re-share them as new content here every so often. Depending on the destination, there may be more I’d like to add to the originals. I’m also hoping that they will help with my upcoming thesis, which will be a collection of short travel stories to complete my MFA in creative nonfiction.

So, here’s to renewing travel plans!

Posted in Adventures, Coastal, Delaware, Dining, Food, Foodie, Lighthouses, Maritime, Nature, Scenic, State Parks, Travel, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One trip a no-go, while other travel plans move forward

Earlier in the semester, I learned about two academic opportunities, both of which would lead to more first-time travel experiences. A trip to Los Angeles was for the purpose of attending this year’s AWP event, an Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference. The other possible journey, a 10-day global studies program in England, also piqued my interest. When I first wrote about these a couple of posts back, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to take on both and if not, which place would I visit? I loved the idea of going to L.A. and during leisure time, touring movie sites and spotting the names of favorite classic and present-day celebrities on the Walk of Fame. England would bring chances of visiting literary and film locations, as well as excursions to its neighboring countries.

Plane Overhead

The writer’s conference is coming up soon, yet I won’t be going out to the City of Angels for this year’s AWP. Attending one of these events was a goal I’d hoped to accomplish prior to my graduation, but I still have another chance within my region. As for L.A., I can set that aside for whenever I’m ready for a vacation along the west coast. Until then, I guess I’ll be dreaming of California!

What about England? Well, I paid my deposit a few days ago, setting in motion a first-time visit to the home of favorites in British literature. I’ll make it a point to stop at Shakespeare and Jane Austen sites along the way. In terms of on-screen adaptations of the latter, I’d love to see the places featured in “Pride and Prejudice” as well. The group I’ll be traveling with will be staying in Oxford, not too far from Highclere Castle of “Downton Abbey” fame; can’t miss that! Of course, there is a lot more on my must-see England list, since I’ve been wanting to go there for quite a long time.

Our leisure time abroad consists of two days and a handout for the trip inspired several ideas for sightseeing. We can visit Scotland, Wales and / or head on over to mainland Europe for a tour of Paris. I sure would love to make this trip abroad a 4-country experience! I’ll have to coordinate with some others as our departure date gets closer. But first I have to book my flights soon and then comes focusing on details of what places to explore.

Scottish Flag

Welsh Flag Bruxelles Bar

I also have to purchase a new DSLR camera, which I’ve been planning to do anyway after repeat shutter problems. Just before my trip to Ireland, I almost decided to leave my camera at home and at the last minute was in favor of bringing it along. It was a good thing, too. Taking photos often with my phone, the battery drained quickly and opportunities to recharge weren’t always long enough to reach 100%. Depending on sales, maybe I could get a wi-fi ready model this time. Whatever one I get, I just know that I’d certainly need a backup means of capturing images of my travels. That goes for local day trips as well, after months of only using my phone for photography.

Now that I’m in the early stages of going to England, I’ll be updating more between now and then, as I did fore Ireland. I did so partly due to having a journaling assignment for that global studies trip.

If you’ve been to England, what were your favorite places? If not, what sites are on your must-see list?

Posted in Air Travel, British Isles, California, Education, England, English Literature, Film Locations, France, Global Studies, Jane Austen, Literary, Los Angeles, Oxford, Paris, Photography, Scotland, Shakespeare, Study Abroad, Travel, UK, Wales, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment