Hubs Birthday Weekend…

About a week ago was Tim’s 40…*cough … something birthday.  We tend not to make a big deal out of birthday’s and holiday’s but it’s nice to do something special for each other during that time.  So on Saturday we had some errands to run so I decided to surprise him and take him to a Lancaster brewery he’s been dying to try…Wacker Brewing Company.  The story behind this place is pretty cool.  It’s an older brewery dating back to the 1800’s that closed 55 years ago only to reopen a few months ago.  They don’t try to do anything fancy, just make good beer in a cool old warehouse.

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Can you tell which beer was mine?  🙂  We had a few pints, got a soft pretzel and hung out by an open window to enjoy the breeze.  They will start to have live music soon on some week nights, have a dart board area and it’s attached to the Thistle Finch Distillery.  Just a chill place.  As we were settling our tab I also bought Tim a t-shirt.IMG_20150530_174921971

Do check out their website a head of time since they do keep some different hours and as of right now aren’t open on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.
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On Sunday, Tim’s actually birthday, we made plans to meet up with friends in Gettysburg.  It’s a good half way meeting point for us in an area that has tons to do.  We gathered around lunch time at Appalachian Brewing Company and then made our way downtown.  We love Appalachian Brewing and have a location closer to us in Lititz.  The food is always good, beer is good and atmosphere is fun.

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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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Enola Low Grade Rail Trail & Columbia Kettle Works

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What a beautiful weather last weekend!!!  Last Saturday we were deciding how to best spend the day and decided to walk part of the Enola Low Grade Rail Trail and then head into Columbia, Lancaster County to try a new (to us) brewery.  Around 11am we arrived at the rail trail and began our walk.  It’s a great, flat walk along the Susquehanna River with the option to take the Turkey Hill Overlook Trail.  We decided to stay on the flat rail trail which was a 5 mile walk out to Safe Harbor Water Power Plant and a 5 mile walk back.

We were staving after the walk and our feet were starting to take a beating so we were excited to get back to the car to take a short drive to downtown Columbia to check out a brewery that has been on our list since we moved here.  Once at Columbia Kettle Works we both requested water while we thought about our beer selection…the bar tender never let our water glasses empty…we must have looked rough.  I ordered the Coffee Stout for my first beer and Tim had the Dunderhead.  As a huge stout fan I was surprised I liked the Dunderhead better.  I made that my second beer!  We also ate there and I ordered the Four Cheese Panini and we had an order of Hammond’s pretzels also.  Beer was great, food was amazing and the people were so nice!  Wish they had an outdoor eating area but they are only a year old.  I can’t wait to go back!

 

Girl Time – Lancaster County

Our girl time concluded last week with a day exploring Lancaster County.  The day before my mom, sister and I did The Hershey Spa, Chocolate World and the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre.   You can read more about that below:

Girl Time – Hershey Spa

Girl Time – Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Our day started with a trip to Green Dragon Market, which is only open on Fridays.  My dad and Tim (hubs) joined us as well but we drove separately so they can ditch us later.  I’ve only been here once before and it’s a fun place to walk around.  It’s a farmers market/flea market.  I knew I wanted to get cheese spread from King’s Fresh Meats (next to the pickle stand).  Once we found this stand I purchased a tub of the jalapeno popper spread and cheddar horseradish.  My sister purchased an onion flavored spread.  This stuff is cheese spread crack and my sister can’t stop raving about it!  I wish I could find it at more places than Green Dragon!  The other thing I must always get at markets like this is fresh soft pretzels!!!  It’s one of my weaknesses and PA Dutch Country is where it’s at when it comes to soft pretzels!  Auntie Anne’s is headquartered in Lancaster but my favorite soft pretzels of all time are actually from Roots Market which is similar to Green Dragon but only open on Tuesdays.  Well needless to say we found the pretzels and then found a dry spot to sit down and enjoy them while they were still hot.

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Did I mention my sister got engaged a few days before?

Once we were done with Green Dragon our plan was to head to Kitchen Kettle Village.  The boys decided to join us there too so we could eat lunch together and then they would take off.  I would consider Kitchen Kettle Village to be a part of the Amish touristy part of Lancaster County.  I had never been, since I’ve never really done a lot of the touristy stuff in Lancaster before and I’m trying to save a lot of it for when people come to visit us.

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Our drive from Green Dragon to Kitchen Kettle was so pretty, if only the sun would have come out.

Once there we decided to eat lunch first at The Kling House Restaurant.  We timed that right!  Ton of people leaving when we got there and a ton a people waiting after we were seated.  It’s a cute old house and the food was great!  I got the vegetarian sandwich…yum.  After lunch the boys and girls parted ways (I think my dad was itching to go get his new smartphone).  My mom, sister and I walked in and out of the shops there.  We didn’t buy much but it’s a very cute area and you can easily spend a whole day there!  Around 3ish it looked like it might rain so we decided to leave and head towards the outlets…mostly to go to Reading China and Glass but we also ended up at the Loft Outlet too.  After a bit of retail therapy we went back home to meet the boys and enjoy dinner at Issac’s Deli.

In true fashion, my parent’s always have a lot of things they want us to help them with whenever we get together and they always happen at the last bit of time we have together.  So that night we taught my dad how to use his new smartphone, scanned a bunch of old newspaper articles for my mom, fixed her email address book, Tim did some other stuff on her laptop, etc.  In the morning we went out to breakfast and they took off back to Ohio and we took naps.

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