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Archive for July, 2010

Hollyhocks and milkweed

There is nothing more old fashioned and storybook-like than hollyhocks. These beauties were growing at the Blue Jay Orchard along with this gorgeous milkweed flower. I have always known that milkweed attracts monarch butterflies but I never realized how beautiful the flower was until I got up close. No wonder butterflies love them!

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Blueberry picking

During our stay in Ohio we visited a farmers market in Chagrin Falls. We bought a box of some delicious blueberries and found out that the farm they came from had a “pick your own” orchard. We headed out one cool and misty that morning (perfect picking weather) to the Blue Jay Orchard. The berries were abundant and HUGE! All together we picked six pounds. The kids ate quite a few on the way home and my mom made a “blueberry betty” for dessert that night. It was a great outing!

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Fallingwater

On our last day in PA we had the opportunity to stop at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. For me, it was one of the highlights of our trip. My book club had read “Loving Frank” by Nancy Horan last year and even though I have always known a little bit about FLW and his buildings, it made me want to know more about him and the work that he had done. Last month I was browsing through our Netflix cue and noticed that Jeff had put the Ken Burns documentary of FLW on our list. I watched it and was smitten by this charming, arrogant and incredibly talented character. The setting for Fallingwater was gorgeous and the structure itself is facinating. The bedrooms and bathrooms leave much to be desired but who would want to sleep when you could be taking in the beautiful view from the living space or one of the balconies? A favorite feature was the stairway inside the living room that leads right down to the river below.

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On our trip to Bedford we stopped at the National Museum of the American Coverlet. I admit it sounds kind of dry but after my mom and dad raved about it, I was looking forward to checking it out for myself. We were given a tour by Lazslo who has dedicated his time and energy into this very important place. He gave us the history of the looms, the weavers and the importance of the invention of the Jaquard Loom which was the precrusor to modern day technology as we know it. Lazslo and his wife are passionate about keeping the history of coverlets and weaving alive for future generations and his enthusiasm is contagious. Here is a link to the website and if you are ever in the Bedford, PA area, I highly recommend a visit.
http://www.coverletmuseum.org/coverlet.htm

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Kittyhawk quisine

While traveling around it is fun to try out the local flavor. We all know about gumbo from New Orleans, sourdough bread from San Francisco, and clam chowder from Boston but how about a salad topped with french fries at the Kittyhawk restaurant in Martinsburg, PA?! Hey, I like my salad but now I know it can be taken to the next level (like a deep fried twinkie!) by just topping it with some french fries. Take a look at that! p.s. The Kittyhawk restaurant is located inside the Altoona International Airport and you can watch planes take off and land while you eat!

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My mom and I headed out on a day trip to Bedford while the Grandpa entertained the kids (thanks Dad). We had a great time and saw lots of interesting places. One of the more amusing sights was this coffee pot building. Being the coffee lover that I am, I had to see it. This type of architecture is called programmatic architecture which flourished in the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s due to the fact that more Americans traveled by automobile. Shop owners needed new ways to capture the attention of the mobile public and created buildings that advertised and attracted attention. Unfortunately there is not coffee shop inside today but it still makes a great photo op.
Another architectural beauty in Bedford is Dunkle’s Gulf gas station. It was built in 1933 by Edward J. Webber in the classic Art Deco style. The brochure we picked up at the Chamber of Commerce office says that this architect mainly designed traditional churches in the area so he must have had a lot of fun with this colorful and classically Art Deco design.

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Walnut Hill

Walnut Hill was purchased by my grandparents in the 50’s. It has been used as a gathering place for friends and family going on 60 years. My brother and I spent lots of time here as kids and now the fourth generation, our children, are enjoying it as well. My uncle who lives close by keeps the home and grounds pristine. It is so idyllic looking, it takes a while for me each time I am there to really soak in all the beauty. Enough of me trying to find words to describe it. I will let the pictures do the talking.

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