Destination Lehigh Valley

May 27th, 2011 posted by

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This past wednesday I finished a 10.5 hour hospitality and tourism certification program called “Destination Lehigh Valley,” which is conducted semi-annually by Northampton Community College (NCC) and Discover Lehigh Valley. The course is intended to provide new hires to the tourism industry with a greater understanding of the importance that superior customer service and hospitality have in our industry. With roughly 23,000 jobs in Lehigh Valley revolving around tourism, this course could really be beneficial for a lot of service industry businesses in Lehigh Valley.

David Schweiger, the director of the Hotel and Restaurant Management Program and Hospitality Career Institute at NCC (he might also hold the Guinness World Record for longest job title ever), conducted this certification in conjunction with Mike Stershic, President of Discover Lehigh Valley.

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A State & State Combo

March 28th, 2011 posted by

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Last Monday evening on my drive home from my guitar lesson, I was the first to call WDIY during a segment of Folk Classics and won two tickets to see The Kingston Trio at the State Theatre. Later in the week I made reservations at the State Café & Grill. I had promised the owner, Juan Martinez, that I would visit for dinner.

The State Café is just off  Northampton Street on Fifth. Its open kitchen and intimate interior are a treat. The place was hopping, as I’m sure it usually is on a show night, being the restaurant closest to the theater. Our strategically located table allowed us to watch the “dance” of food preparation in the kitchen and the end of the Butler/Florida overtime game. Both were entertaining.

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My trip to the Martin Guitar factory

February 3rd, 2011 posted by

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Courtesy of C. F. Martin & Co., Inc.

My boss is a huge fan of Martin Guitars. He owns at least five of them and he’s been on the free factory tour numerous times (he says it never gets old). So one Friday, he took me to the Martin Guitar factory over in Nazareth to help me fulfill one of my New Year’s resolutions: Take a factory tour of Martin Guitar.

Our tour guide handed out individual headphones and battery packs for all of us in the group to wear, that way no matter where we were in the tour we could hear what he was telling us, and we were off.

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Lehigh Valley Arts Scene

October 19th, 2010 posted by

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One of Lehigh Valley’s biggest assets isn’t just one place or thing, but a collection of places and things…our local arts scene. Last night I had the pleasure of attending Arts Count, a rally in support of the arts hosted by the Lehigh Valley Arts Council at The Crayola FACTORY in Easton.

To say I was probably the least-creative person in the room would be an understatement. The room was packed with enthusiastic, like-minded people from all disciplines of the art world. Speakers included Mike Perry (CEO of Crayola), Chris Martin IV (CEO of Martin Guitar) and Linny Fowler, to name a few.

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Rush at The Great Allentown Fair

September 1st, 2010 posted by

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Rush concert at the allentown fair

Free admission + temps in the 80s + no rain + over 10,000 Rush fans = LOTS of people in attendance at the first night of The Great Allentown Fair. What a great way to kick off this annual Lehigh Valley event!

I have seen many shows at the Allentown Fairgrounds over the years. For last night’s Rush concert, I had fantastic seats on the track, six rows from the stage (and the speakers, hence the hearing issue I’m having today). And you’ll never guess who sat behind me! The mayor of Allentown! When’s the last time you saw the mayor of your town at a rock concert?

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Top 10 indoor things to do in Lehigh Valley

January 12th, 2010 posted by

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Top ten courtesy of coinlink dot com

Winter has certainly fallen upon Lehigh Valley. Too bad I can barely stand to be out in the cold for the time it takes me to get the mail, let alone spend hours in it skiing like I used to. But I know I’m not alone, so for those of you who are looking for things to do this time of year without having to dress up like an eskimo, here are my top ten favorite indoor things to do in the Valley:

1. Go-kart racing at Lehigh Valley Grand Prix in Allentown. (Learn about my first-ever go-karting experience.)

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Things to do in Lehigh Valley: 2009 Recap

December 1st, 2009 posted by

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It was about this time last year when I started coming up with my “Things do in Lehigh Valley” lists. These three lists (Top 5 Plays, Top 5 Restaurants, Top 5 Overall) were my New Year’s resolutions for 2009. Since the year is almost over, I’ve decided to take a look at how I did.

Lehigh Valley Theater: Top 5 Plays for 2009: I was three for five in this category (although one of the plays I planned to attend was actually canceled, so I was actually three for four). Here are my reviews of the performances I saw at three fantastic venues throughout Lehigh Valley:

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Only in Lehigh Valley: the Martin Guitar Factory Tour

October 20th, 2009 posted by

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C.F.-Martin-Guitar-Co.-028

My boss is a huge fan of Martin Guitars. He owns at least five of them and he’s been on the free factory tour numerous times (he says it never gets old). So on Friday, he took me to the Martin Guitar factory over in Nazareth to help me fulfill one of my last remaining New Year’s resolutions for 2009: Take a factory tour of Martin Guitar.

Our tour guide handed out individual headphones and battery packs for all of us in the group to wear, that way no matter where we were in the tour we could hear what he was telling us, and we were off.

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Explore Lehigh Valley on a budget

March 20th, 2009 posted by

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Liberty Bell Museum - Credit Ang Caggiano

Money is tight for all of us these days, so I wanted to share a list I recently put together of Lehigh Valley attractions and events that are either free or cost less than $5 per person. 

Museums & Galleries: • Liberty Bell Shrine Museum (pictured) – no fee, but donations are appreciated – see a replica of the original bell, which was hidden from the British in the basement of this church. • Allentown Art Museum – Admission to the facility’s main galleries is free on Sundays; however, a $5 fee is charged for admission to the special exhibit area. • Banana Factory – Admission is free to watch a glass-blowing demonstration, tour the galleries and 23 artists’ studios, and visit the gift shop selling handmade art. • Lehigh Valley Wine Trail – Visit all nine of the family-owned and operated wineries in the region; some wineries may charge a nominal fee for tastings. • C.F Martin Guitar Company – Free one-hour factory tours are offered from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (a small fee is charged for groups of 10 or more). After the tour, check out the 1833 gift shop, Pickin’ Parlor and company museum.

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Things to do in Lehigh Valley: Top 5 for 2009

December 30th, 2008 posted by

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2009 post-it

This is the final post in my 2009 New Year’s resolution series, which revolves around experiencing more in Lehigh Valley. Previous installments include the Top 5 Plays for 2009 and the Top 5 Restaurants for 2009.

I’ve lived in this area for 28 years now (I just celebrated my birthday on Friday), and I’m amazed how many things there are to do in Lehigh Valley that I didn’t know about. So my final resolution for 2009 is to experience five new things to do in Lehigh Valley.

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