A Christmas Carol invitation

December 3rd, 2008 posted by

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Scrooge

The holidays are always the same for me. Just like in the movie Four Christmases (which I saw last weekend), I visit three or four different households on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and each house always offers some kind of "surprise."

This Thanksgiving was no different.

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Goodbye, old friend

December 2nd, 2008 posted by

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Last week, during my daily commute along Hamilton Boulevard, I watched the lime-green-and-purple Laser roller coaster slowly disappear from the Dorney Park skyline. Although I knew it was coming, seeing the double-looped coaster being taken down was a bit sad for me to see.

The Laser is directly responsible for me gaining the courage to ride roller coasters again after I literally slid right out from under my lap belt on an old wooden coaster when I was a kid. Don’t ask me how I came to go on a coaster that flips you upside down – twice – but after surviving my first ride on the Laser, I was willing to try anything. Heck, when Steel Force came in ’97, I waited in line for hours to ride the coaster with a 200-foot-drop over and over again.  

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Nature at its Best

December 1st, 2008 posted by

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Bushkill

Given a choice, I would much rather travel the back roads than hitting a highway any day. Last weekend, while driving the "less traveled," more scenic roads north of Lehigh Valley to visit my fiance's family in New York, I recalled some really neat experiences I had there. Specifically, I'm talking about my trips to Bushkill Falls, aka the "Niagara of Pennsylvania," located in the Delaware Water Gap.

Call me a nature freak, but I love being outdoors. While Bushkill Falls is not open until March, I am definitely putting it on my calendar as an inexpensive attraction for my family when the weather gets warmer.

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Pasta e Vino

November 29th, 2008 posted by

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If you’ve followed my blog posts by now you probably think that all I do is write restaurant reviews. But it’s just not true. Sure, I love to eat out at fancy places as much as the next person, but there’s another side to me too. However, you’re not going to see that side this time, since I have yet another dining recommendation for you!

You’ve seen me mention that Easton has a burgeoning dining scene. And one of my favorite places to dine downtown is Sette Luna. It’s been around for several years, and expanded its space about two years ago to add a larger dining room and bar. The menu is what I’d call “upscale Italian”: The gourmet pizzas Josh and his staff make feature cornmeal crusts that are to die for, the pasta is homemade and the wine selection is diverse.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

November 28th, 2008 posted by

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Beersampler

And I’m not just saying that because it’s the holiday season. I’m excited for the return of Rude Elf’s Reserve! What is that you ask? It’s my most favorite microbrew from The Brew Works; both the Allentown and Bethlehem locations.

I first tried it about five years ago, when it went by another similar name. Visiting Bethlehem Brew Works, I asked the waitress what beer she recommended and she told me Rude Elf’s Reserve. After hearing a description of it (medium-to-dark beer with essences of cloves and cinnamon) I thought it sounded disgusting but decided to try it anyway based on her recommendation alone.

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Temple vs. Lafayette

November 27th, 2008 posted by

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Christmas

The 144th meeting of Lehigh vs. Lafayette on the grid iron was this past weekend on College Hill, but I headed up there for a different sporting event: basketball.

Friday night I went to watch my Temple Owls take on the Lafayette Leopards at Kirby Field House. My dad and Sneaks, who are also big Temple fans, accompanied me to the game. I know Sneaks is a big fan because of former Temple coach John Chaney. On the other hand, I think my dad feels obligated to root for the Owls due  to the amount of money that was spent on my long tenure there.

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8 Unique Christmas Gifts I Found in LV

November 26th, 2008 posted by

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Gnome

It’s only two days till Black Friday and if you’re like me, you’re still trying to figure out what to buy and for whom. Here’s a list I started of some unique Christmas gifts I didn’t find at the mall …

1.  Moravian Star – Since my grandmother grew up in Bethlehem, I thought a star from the Moravian Book Shop might be a nice keepsake for her.

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Keep your ski tips up

November 25th, 2008 posted by

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Last Saturday I was trudging through the snow in 20-degree weather from my car to Beaver Stadium to watch Penn State win themselves a trip to the Rose Bowl when I realized that with weather like this, it was gonna be a heck of a good ski season. After all, Blue Mountain Ski Area is scheduled to open this Friday, which would make it the earliest opening I've ever seen in Lehigh Valley.

I have a close affinity to Blue Mountain. I skied my first black diamond there. I mastered the art of parallel skiing there. And I had my first – and only – skiing accident there.

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To Market, To Market

November 24th, 2008 posted by

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Allentown farmers market

With the holidays fast approaching, I thought this week would be a good time to share with you my all-time favorite place to shop for food (ready-to-eat meals and individual ingredients): the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market. It is 90,000 square feet of some of the highest quality, freshest food around and has an old-world-style that I love.

My trips there have a set pattern. I park smack dab in the middle of the lot, head inside and wind my way past 65 merchant stands, always stopping at my favorite three.

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A Big Thank You!

November 24th, 2008 posted by

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We all owe a big “thank you” to the Lehigh Valley Erectors and Ironworkers Local 36 for volunteering their time and talent to erect Easton’s Peace Candle this year.

We were concerned that the Peace Candle might not be in place this year, but according to LehighValleyLive.com, “Dan Schaffer, vice president of Lehigh Valley Erectors, said Ironworkers Local 36, which was founded in Easton, was happy to offer its services. ‘We feel we owe Easton something and we’re happy to be back,’Schaffer said.”

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