The Closing of Glen Onoko

Photos of waterfalls in various state parks have me inspired to venture along trails and take in these spectacular sites for myself. A few are within a short driving distance from where I live, including the falls at Ridley Creek State Park.

Lately, I’ve been awaiting the chance to explore more of my home state of Pennsylvania, for starters, to follow waterfall trails. I first
heard about Glen Onoko through a Facebook group page, where many members shared their photos of waterfalls. Right away, the hiking
destination became a must-see place in my home state. As a bonus, it’s on the way from my town to Ricketts Glen State Park, which I’ve been wanting to go back to for so long. My first and only visit there was during high school, when a few teachers arranged a winter camping trip for those of us in an outdoor adventure club. Unfortunately, I don’t have photos from that experience. Anyway, the combo of two places would make for an amazing road trip through natural beauty. I’ve been wondering if there are any spots that allow for views of waterfalls from where people can set up tents.

Then last month, I began to see posts on Facebook about Glen Onoko closing on May 1, along with a petition against doing so. From various comment threads, the decision to close was due to unsafe trail conditions. Having never been there myself, I don’t know any detail about the terrain in getting to the waterfalls. Now that the falls trail is closed, I hope that it can reopen sometime in the future.
Many who have been there would love the chance to go back; others like myself await a first time to take in the trail’s beauty.

Until then, I need to get more gear for such adventures anywhere. This past winter, I purchased a pair of hiking boots, although they might not be the best for an all-out hike.

Since there are plenty of park trails I haven’t been on, as well as not trekking through Ricketts Glen in years, I want to have the safest footwear and other essential items. I heard about the opportunity to hike Glen Onoko and see the waterfalls, scheduled within the last few days before closing. I would’ve signed up, yet simply didn’t feel I had the right boots and
lacked anything else needed.

Posted in Adventures, Broadway, Camping, Glen Onoko, Hiking, Nature, Pennsylvania, Ricketts Glen State Park, Ridley Creek State Park, Scenic, State Parks, Travel, Waterfall, Waterfalls | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A summer car show under unpredictable skies in downtown Media

Now that warm weather is finally here again, car enthusiast events are coming up soon and I’m looking forward to taking in the sights of cool rides. One that I went to last year was at Delaware Park Casino and the forecast kept calling for rain. But it held off long enough or shifted slightly in direction and allowed for a cloudy, yet enjoyable day.

It looked to be no different for this car show in downtown Media, Pa., held in mid-July with a large crowd roaming among classic and new hot rods. For most of the day, it was fairly nice out and I was able to snap numerous photos of a favorite subject. Even though this was nearly a year ago, the weather made the day extra memorable. So, here are many stand-out cars from that event.

A ’50s favorite.

Classic all-American muscle by Chevy.

Pop culture and presidential history.

These look straight out of the “Fast and Furious” movies.

Cool retro wheels all lined up.

Car shows always have something interesting among the display; this skeleton was hangin’ out on an old truck’s engine.

Marilyn and Elvis.

I love the red racing stripes on black!

Eye-catching red Corvettes.

Even that skeleton is checking out the cool cars cruisin’ through town.

A ’69 Camaro; this and the ’67 and ’68 models are always my favorites.

’50s flame detail taking the town back in time.

Getting around via two different types of retro rides.

There’s always at least one particularly unusual car at these shows; in this case, the green custom model.

When it comes to sports cars, the Chevy Camaro is tops for me; but the Mustang is my favorite Ford vehicle.

A ’68 Camaro in a unique copper.

A ’67 Camaro with a huge engine; someone’s young son got to sit in the driver’s seat for a few moments and you could tell he thought it was awesome!

This and several other Corvettes lined up together were built for racing.

Impressive lightning detail!

And a foreboding reflection of the sky.

Here comes the rain! I think that Camaro is an early ’80s model.

Rain fell in little spritzes at first, then steadily heavier, sending car owners into a rush to protect their vehicles. Windows and convertible tops up, engine hoods down. Someone had difficulty cranking the windows up for a few moments as the rain intensified into a downpour. By then, I snapped a couple hundred or more photos. So I slowly headed back to my car, taking shelter under business awnings and managing to capture a few rain-splattered images along the way.

A lifted pick-up truck quickly covered.

A few more classic Camaro shots as the rain fell, including the green one with its engine under a tarp.

Shelby Cobra.

Cool flame duo.

Tail fins. I love the added touch of an old suitcase, covered with classic travel stickers, in this car. Anyone up for a rainy road trip?

It probably won’t be too long before the next lineup of cars draws a crowd of admirers along several streets in town.

Posted in Car Shows, Cars, Chevy Camaro, Chevy Corvette, Classic Cars, Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang, Media, Pennsylvania, Pop Culture, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An art trail gem tucked along Aston backroads

I’ve been a local to the Delaware County area of Pennsylvania all my life. Yet I never took the windy roads leading to Heron Crest Studios and neighboring art sites, collectively called Rockdale Arts District. One artist was talking to a visitor about the crowd being drawn to the open house event this past weekend and for me, it was due to social media. A woman in a group on Meetup suggested it as an outing and I signed up to go.

My favorite moment was another artist’s story about one of her paintings, depicting a ditch in Iowa. It’s interesting to find out what’s behind artwork and she described this as a teaching piece. Although the colors and patterns were attractive, the scene was of environmental loss. She went on to tell how pesticides impacted the ditch area negatively.

Paintings by other artists hung on hallway walls and in their individual studio, including many nature view I love. Among them were groups of trees topped with autumn foliage, shorelines reflecting vibrant sunsets, an old ship out on the sea. They make me wish I had the talent to paint, imagining myself set up with art supplies in stunning natural surroundings to recreate what I see. The studios overlooked wooded areas, which would surely bring about inspiration just gazing into the tree-covered hills. Even a walk along the streets could do so. This small tree filled with purple blossoms is worth taking brush strokes from easel to canvas.

Some artists had jewelry and re-purposed textiles which they used to make clothes and accessories ready for sale. Even the way in which creations were displayed would appeal to the taste of anyone who loves interior design. A coffee table was made out of polished wood in an abstract shape, complimented by a vase of orange flowers just off center. Above a hallway doorframe, small pieces of nature-inspired art were placed in square shelf sections.

I loved such details for giving a place that personal feel of home. But I was also drawn to old architecture nearby. Many elements of time-worn structures always have something about them that stand out to me. This old church had the name Crozerville on it and several towns away in Chester is Crozer Hospital, which has ties to the Civil War era. Walking along a ground-floor hallway, you’ll see a photographic timeline of the medical center’s past to present. So the church name made me wonder about any historical connection.

Houses neighboring the church also looked to be of old architecture, yet in good shape. There was even an empty Breyer’s Ice Cream store, one side almost completely ivy-clad. I never knew that brand was in the area, other than containers of it’s cool treat being sold at grocery chains.

Overall, visiting the art studios made for a nice day out and between stops at them, I saw other new-to-me sites. There was a small park for enjoying a picnic and the sounds of creek waters nearby. At a fork-in-the-road intersection, a WWII memorial stands to honor fallen soldiers. I’ll have to go back for more on-foot exploring, as I was behind the wheel when these came into view.

Posted in Architecture, Art, Historic, History, Meetup, Nature, Pennsylvania, Social Media, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The iconic and stunning Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris

When I was a student at a local community college, I took an art history class covering works from cave paintings to the Renaissance era. In discussing architectural gems, several European cathedrals were among sites of which to know various terms and historical facts. Some of these I hadn’t heard of prior to that class. Yet Notre Dame Cathedral is iconic on the same level as other famed attractions holding a great significant past. It is easily recognizable and known worldwide, an important symbolic structure in Christianity.

Yesterday, seeing a BBC Facebook post about such a massive fire engulf the site was a horrifying shock and I could only hope that the cathedral was able to be saved. I know firefighters were doing everything to prevent a total loss of this beautiful, stunning place beloved by locals, travelers to France and admirers from afar.

I caught a news update about what was saved, what was sadly unable to be recovered and that French officials pledge to rebuild. However long it takes, I don’t know. I’d love to visit France and see Notre Dame while there, either in its process of being rebuilt or afterward. Yet I have no set plans for any major travel at the moment. Paris has always been on my list of must-see destinations because it’s romantic and ideal for art and architecture lovers. As I await the chance to wander this gorgeous European city, I’ll be following any word on Notre Dame’s rebuild.

Posted in Architecture, Art, France, Historic, History, International, News, Paris, Travel, Travel News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ways a true love will make my heart race on Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day, I’m single, yet I have plenty of ideas for how a special someone could sweep me off my feet in celebrating the holiday of romance. Whether nearby or far off, spending time with a love interest in these settings would make a date spot one seriously heart-melting experience.

The Moshulu ~ I love history, including sites with maritime tales. Docked at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, this historic tall ship is quite a place to win my heart with dinner out on the water. Lights reflecting on the Delaware River’s gently rippling surface would add extra ambiance to a beautiful evening.

Gone Country ~ There’s always been a side of me that loves horses and donning cowgirl boots; red ones for Valentine’s Day. A guy who loves country girl spirit can get my heart beating faster anywhere we’d share an adventure on horseback.

Cove Resorts ~ A touch of snowfall in the Poconos, surrounding a suite filled with cozy amenities for two inspires me to crave winter. I’d surely enjoy fun on the slopes with a special guy, then warming up by a fire together and clinking wine glasses to our love.

The Melting Pot ~ Starting the night with indulgent chocolate covered strawberries will melt my heart. It’s the perfect sensuous dessert for a couple’s sense of romance, paired with the sparkle of champagne.

Camping or Glamping ~ The summer person I usually am, I’d want to visit a park in one of the southern states for a romantic getaway in nature. One with waterfalls appeals to me even more, as a loved one and I hike trails to take in such beautiful sights. Another favorite idea is beach camping, spending time together while listening to the sound of waves rolling in.

Keeping a Lighthouse ~ Well, sort of. A love interest would make my eyes light up at the idea of staying at one of these historic beacons. Watching a ship pass by, wondering together in the mystery of its seafaring path conjures a perfect coastal romance for me. Maybe a special someone and I would take in the sight of vessels while snuggling close on a porch swing. Maybe we’d catch a glimpse over a candlelit dinner, between gazing into each other’s eyes.

Private Drive-In ~ My heart would be set afire for a guy who arranges watching a romantic movie projected onto an old barn. I saw this on an episode of “Gilmore Girls” and fell in love with such an idea for cuddling close. If only I could live out that scene with a dream guy in my dream car, a red ’67 Camaro. I imagine using that cool ride because it was part of a favorite long-ago daydream.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Posted in Adventures, Beaches, Camping, Chevy Camaro, Coastal, Date Ideas, Date Night, Date Spots, Dating, Dining, Food, Foodie, Glamping, Hiking, Historic, History, Holidays, Horseback Riding, Lighthouse, Lighthouses, Love, Maritime, Movies, National Parks, Nature, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Poconos, Romance, Romantic, Scenic, State Parks, Tall Ships, Travel, Valentine’s Day, Waterfall, Waterfalls | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Back to Delaware Park for spring Beers & Gears Car Show, Part 2

The most recent Beers & Gears car show at Delaware Park Casino took place back in the fall, however I was unable to go. I still had more photos to share from the last one I went to, held on May 12. It’s always difficult to choose, but here are some of my favorites from that event, continued.

I love these two classics, both in such attractive shades of blue, parked next to each other as though ready to race. Hmmm…I wonder which one would win? They also remind me of the line-up of cool rides at diners and drive-in movie theaters.

When I went to a car show that was part of Blobfest in Phoenixville, Pa., I saw many rat rods for the first time. Since then, these worn and rusted out relics from the past always catch my eye. I’ve seen interesting knick-knacks lining the front window of one; another decorated with webs and all-too life-like spiders. This one in particular, a ’57 Chevy, was the first rat rod I’d seen of a favorite car from that decade.

A contrast of Camaro designs over the years, yet both so cool and full of muscle.

Facing another beast, a stealthy black Dodge Challenger.

As a kid, I used to watch “Lassie” reruns after school and I liked the old (to me, at least) truck driven by Timmy’s dad. One of my uncles also has a classic Chevy pickup that I see on the road every once in a while. So, along with the cars, I love the trucks of yesteryear. I guess you could say I have my own sense of nostalgia from these workhorses. And as a bonus for this one, of course, is the flame detail.

My all-time favorite, the Camaro, was in attendance and in many colors and model years. These two ’67s with different shades of blue each has its own appeal. One in solid dark blue, almost sneaky, until blazing right past you. I imagine hearing it before seeing it! The lighter blue has racing stripes running front to back, a feature adding flash for a go around the track.

The Slingshot was unlike anything I’d ever seen before and from the crowd of curious onlookers it drew, I guessed the same was true for them. Every so often, I’ve spotted a three-wheeled vehicle on the road, two front wheels and one in the rear. But this was much more unique, exotic and faster in appearance.

I love the deep, dark midnight blue paint job of this Dodge Challenger; it adds a sense of mystery to muscle. Most of the time, I see these powerful rides in black, grey or bright colors such as neon green. But they’re cool no matter what shade an owner favors. And I’m tempted to take one for a test drive!

As a Chevy girl at heart, I had to snap this photo of the popular brand’s bow tie symbol against the sky. Next up, a handful of classic Camaro eye candy!

This ’67 in a pale yellow was for sale! I didn’t ask the price, not wanting to seem as though I was in the market to buy.

Yet it’s on my bucket list to own this dream car in red, with a black stripe around the front end. The ’68 convertible was easily my favorite overall at this car show; Vroom, Vroom!

Well, I have one more of these events to post about in catching up on last summer. I’m already looking forward to the many car shows of 2019. I wish I could’ve made it to one in Atlantic City this month, especially after hearing about some rides known from the big and small screen on display, along with the Philadelphia Auto Show. There’s always next year. Until then, a cool slogan makes for the perfect way to bring photos of hot rods to a close for now.

Posted in Atlantic City, Car Shows, Cars, Chevy Camaro, Classic Cars, Delaware, Delaware Park, Dodge Challenger, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Phoenixville, Rat Rod, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s been going on in my life

Since my last entry, a lot has been going on that took my attention away from blogging over the summer and beyond. I began to actively seek new employment, mostly applying to jobs via Indeed through the mobile app. This led only to a handful of interviews at marketing companies and car dealerships. In both fields of work, I applied because they were entry-level positions and I felt that I could easily incorporate my communication skills on the job.

Although the marketing positions didn’t relate directly to travel, I would love to work in that capacity in the tourism industry. So, I figured, try these entry-level opportunities. For selling cars, I thought of how I love cars and going to car shows. That would help to show an enthusiasm in me for talking to customers about a potential new vehicle. Whichever type of work I’d find myself in, I could use social media knowledge for business purposes.

I continued my job search as the summer months passed and then in early September, my mom had a sudden emergency. She had been fine throughout the day before, even going on a few light errands with no sign of a problem. Unable to breathe, she was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and they had to revive her several times. We thought it was a heart attack, much worse than the one she had back in 2010. For the next 10 days, my mom was in ICU and doctors were concerned about her brain. She was never able to respond to us or show awareness that we were in the room. Doctors said that if she were able to go home, she would never be the same. We made the decision to pull the plug. My mom had suffered from a full blockage between her heart and brain. She was out too long while EMTs tried to revive her, resulting in too severe brain damage. Only several months earlier, she was celebrating her 64th birthday.

Since then, I’ve been helping my dad with various errands and figuring out bills that my mom paid with their shared finances. That’s starting to get a bit more organized. One of them required my dad and I to go into Philadelphia; he wanted me to go so that I’d know the details as well. After leaving the city, heading along I-95 southbound, we were in a minor accident with another vehicle. Ours had too much damage to be driven and we had to call for a tow truck. Luckily, traffic was crawling at 30-35 mph at the time of the accident and our airbags didn’t even deploy. Until after Thanksgiving, I drove my dad around for further errands while awaiting the other car’s repairs to be finished. At the auto shop, we learned that the airbags fell just short of being deployed on impact.

This first holiday season without my mom has been very difficult; I wasn’t sure how we’d get through it. My dad was also in the hospital for a few days with what was thought to be pneumonia. It turned out that he had a heart attack, which we believe was brought on by the stress of my mom’s passing and the accident. A-Fib is another health issue he suffers from and had been in the hospital briefly during the summer for that as well. He’s doing better now, although things will still be difficult for a long time. Meanwhile, my job search continues with the goal of helping out financially. I’ll also have a work-from-home income to pad whatever earnings I make from traditional employment. My dad is a Vietnam Veteran who served in the 101st Airborne Division and is on a fixed income.

For now, I thought I’d give this update after a long absence from blogging. I want to write more of a tribute post about my mom as well, which I’d like to do for her birthday. She and I went to a tall ship festival back in May at Penn’s Landing. It’s one of the events I wanted to post about shortly after attending, but my job search efforts picked up around that time. Anyway, my mom had a love of maritime history, inherited from her parents and I became interested as well. So, in my tribute post, I’ll go with how she loved that topic and places rich with related stories. Her favorite place was the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Those also tie in to her interest in military history and veterans’ issues; my mom was always very patriotic at heart. I have a lot of great memories by which to remember her. I just hope now that 2019 goes without any such sadness, not only for myself, but for everyone. I wish all a safe and happy new year.

Posted in Car Shows, Careers, Cars, Family, Health, History, Maritime, Military, North Carolina, OBX, Outer Banks, Patriotic, Social Media, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments