It’s Fasnacht Day!!!

You might be thinking…what is a Fasnacht?  That was me, a little over a year ago.

Now that I’ve entered my second Fasnacht season I feel like a pro!  I’m now the one telling people new to the area all about them.  I’m feeling like a, dare I say, local?!?!?

So what is a Fasnacht, Faschnacht, Fosnot, Fosnaught, or Fausnaught?  Well it might just be one of the yummiest, once a year treats around the Lancaster County area!

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Upon quick glance it’s a donut.  But not just any donut…a special one, a fasnacht.  It’s denser and creamier tasting – often due to the mashed potatoes that are added.  It only comes around the beginning of lent.  The official day is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday – or Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Carnivale.

Being this is a Pennsylvania Dutch area the tradition lives!  It’s a time to use up the oil, butter, lard, and sugar in the home to prepare for a Lenten season.  Many of the churches and local grocery stores in the area sell them.  Some only today, Fasnacht day!

Want to learn more?  This Nearpod lesson I made for my students and faculty gives a fun overview.

Spring House – New Brewery is Open!

One of my favorite breweries, now that we live in PA, is Spring House Brewing Company in Lancaster.  They brew a lot of beers that are near and dear to me since I am a dark beer lover…Big Gruesome, Lil’ Gruesome, Kerplunk, Satan’s Bake Sale, Blood Lust…

We’ve been to the downtown Tap Room location many times and have taken family and friends there when they come to visit.  It’s right next to Central Market on King St. and it has the BEST food!  I LOVE the Black Bean Burger Wrap and Tim loves the Red Hot Sausages.  It is a small space so you do tend to have to time it right.

We were excited to hear they were moving their brewery itself from outside of Lancaster city to Lancaster city.  They opened a few weeks ago and we knew that this past weekend we had to check it out!

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The location of the new brewery is on Hazel street.  It’s not really near any of the touristy things or right downtown and honestly that’s ok by us.  It’s nice to have a place to go that you know you don’t have to time right…you can just go.  There is plenty of parking and the old warehouse looks fantastic!  We got there around 3pm on a Saturday and hadn’t had lunch yet so we were excited to have a few beers and check out the new menu.

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The inside is sweet!  Big and open, rustic and historic but functional.  Its hits right on their theme without being too kitschy.  The back half of the old warehouse is the brewery and the front half is the eating and drinking area.  The whole place has an open feel with the upstairs being a catwalk of sorts where it looks like you could hold events and parties.  There is also an outside patio in the front and it looks like there might be more patio space to be developed on the side of the building.  It was too hot outside for anyone to enjoy the outdoor seating on this day but it looks like eventually it might be enough space to double the amount of seating.

The menu is different than the Tap Room but we knew that going in and were excited to find some new favorites.  They also have a raw oyster bar if you are into that.  We sat at the bar, which is pretty big.  We both ordered a beer and a pretzel rope to start.  I’m a sucker for a soft pretzel and this was great with good cheesy dipping sauce…although it’s hard to find a bad one in Lancaster county.  I ordered the Big Gruesome and Tim had the She Monster.

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We also ordered entrees.  I had the Spent Grain burger – a vegetarian option with all the fixings.  Tim ordered the Rubin and somewhere in there we both had another beer.  When they brought out the food they ended up bringing Tim a burger instead of a Rubin.  They were so nice they gave him a beer to help ease the pain of waiting for his order to come out.  Food was great!  Loved the spent grain burger (we like to use our spent grain to make grain bars) and Tim loved the Rubin.

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The staff was hustling and there were a lot of them.  For a Saturday at 3pm, and only being open about a week and a half, the place was also pretty full!  I’m not even sure they are fully open yet…more of a soft open.  There were a few seats around and some shared tables but it was hopping.

One of my favorite things about Spring House is that you can also buy half pints.  So if you don’t really want another full beer you can get a half one!!  Yay!  Especially good for me since my dark beers have a higher alcohol content.  We will be back soon!

 

WWII Encampment

To round out our weekend that seemed to keep us feeling as though we were going back in time we wound up at the WWII Encampment event at Wheatland.  So we went from 1800’s baseball to WWII era in a matter of 24 hours…not too bad huh?

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This was my first time at the Campus of History in Lancaster, PA otherwise known as President James Buchanan’s Wheatland.  Even though you are definitely in the city of Lancaster, it’s a little sprawling, green, lush campus that doesn’t feel city like at all.  We easily parked in the lot and walked the grounds and visited the various set ups the participants put together.  Through LancasterHistory.org you can find out a lot more information on this area and the different events.

This event was great because there was a little bit of everything, Italian troops, Seebees (now I now what this is and I feel smart typing it 🙂 ), communication soldiers, airplane mechanics, and a bunch more!  There were also tents with displays and a trailer set up like a 1940’s house that you could walk though.  All the items they collected over the years was so interesting and some even had period music playing and airplane take off noise going off in the background which really made it come to life.  Sunday morning wasn’t too busy so it was great to be able to talk to all the guys and gals and ask questions.  Everyone was so nice and knowledgeable.  They all kept saying the big WWII event they all look forward too is coming up in a few weeks in Reading, PA.  I think this is what they were talking about and if we are around we might have to check that out.

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This is really my favorite time period in history and I know it’s Tim’s, my history teacher hubby.  For me personally, it’s the the connection of it being my grandparents era and my grandfather fought in WWII in the Pacific.  I love the music, style, the way our country came together and sacrificed.  It makes me proud to be an American.  It really is our greatest generation.

Vintage Base Ball

We had one of those weekends where we’ve stepped back in time.  Vintage base ball yesterday and WWII encampment today.  I’ll post of the encampment tomorrow but for base ball…here we go!

For a few weeks now I’ve seen different tweets and Facebook posts about Vintage Base Ball day with the Strasburg Railroad.  We’ve gone to vintage base ball games before when visiting my family in Ohio but this event seemed pretty cool.  You drive to the Strasburg Railroad and hop on the train to take a short ride to a field where you can get off and enjoy a vintage base ball tournament.  We kept an eye on the weather and when it looked like it was going to be a great day we were in!  We are both big baseball fans and love history so this seems a match made in sunny day heaven.

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The Strasburg Railroad has a lot of themed train trips but this was my first!  I think all the trips are the same route, about a 45 minute round trip or about 9 miles I think I heard them say.  There are a few places to stop along the way if you wanted to make a day out of it.  The old steam train doesn’t go very fast and the price of your train ticket depends on the type of car you want to sit in…coach, open air, parlor car, dining car etc.  We opted for the cheapest coach car which was $14 each.  We headed to the end of the line, the locomotive switched ends and headed back.  It was on the way back that they dropped most of us off at the base ball tournament.

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After we got off the train it was a little walk to the fields.  Verdant View Field is the name of the farm field where the games were played.  There were two fields set up and two games going on at a time.  There was also a little concession stand set up with kettle corn, hot dogs and various drinks.  We got there right as the first games were about to start, set up the blanket we brought on the third base side and settled in to watch the Rising Sun Base Ball Club vs. Mohican Base Ball Club of Kennett Square.IMG_20150516_114905658

If you’ve never seen Vintage Base Ball it’s pretty different.  They don’t use gloves, you can catch a ball after one bounce and the person it out, they pitch underhand, they all have fun nicknames and depending on the team and tournament they may have some other different rules and traditions.  You can learn more about Vintage Base Ball here.IMG_20150516_122922336

It’s a much more intimate base ball experience.  Really a gentleman’s game.  Usually the team members come into the crowd and show the ball and answer questions.  There was one unusual play that happened during the game and the spectators didn’t really understand what happened and they stopped the game and explained to the crowd what the rule was.IMG_20150516_123509488

During the game the Strasburg Railroad train came by a few more times and dropped more people off or others got back on the train.  It was so relaxed and enjoyable.  We stayed a few hours, until the end of the first set of games in the tournament and hopped back on the train.  We were hungry, had a lot of sun and it was a pretty humid day.

They do this event in October and I can’t wait to go again!

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Mount Hope BrewFest

This past weekend we had a great time going to the BrewFest in Mount Hope, Lancaster County.  Friends at work raved about this festival so we decided to join in the fun and get tickets for the second session of the day that went from 4:30pm – 8:30pm.  We’ve been to a few brew fests before and this was by far the best mostly due to the location at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Fair complex just north of Manheim, PA.

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This location was awesome!  Parking was a breeze and since it’s set up more for the Renaissance Fair it was nice and spread out, lots of shade and sitting areas!  We were advised to head to the back of the park first and so that’s what we did and met friends soon after.  So many local breweries were represented and we sampled most in our cool little tasting glasses.  There were lines at the tasting tents but they moved quickly and all the breweries and fest goers were friendly and in great moods.  Another highlight was that food was included with our ticket price.  It wasn’t anything fancy but when you are at a beer fest food is key to soak up all the samples.  There was pizza, soup, buffalo chicken dip, brats, burgers and more all nice and spread out so you would hit different vendors as you walked around.

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