Sunday, December 31, 2006

Travel Blog Year in Review

Lizzie Bean has done a bit of traveling this year and has visited many memorable places and eaten many fine meals.
List of trips we took in no particular order to the best of my recollection.
  • Our first major trip of the year was a Ski trip to Whistler, BC at the beginning of the year. Fabulous trip which was our favorite trip of the year.
  • We took many Philadelphia trips and we attempted to stay at different hotels on each visit. Loews was nominated as our favorite hotel to stay at in Philly for the 2006 year.
  • The worst trip was easily a day trip we had to Washington D.C.
  • Numerous trips to Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Several trips to Red Horse Lake located in Ontario
  • Our major family vacation to the Avon, N.C.
  • We made one trip to Atlantic City, which we are not too eager to repeat. The hotel we stayed at was truly the worst hotel we stayed at this past year. We both would prefer to gamble in Vegas, then again, who wouldn't.
  • Our Las Vegas trip this past October were we stayed at the MGM Grand, who downgraded our room and would have charged us the same without giving us any comps if we had not complained. Also had a bad experience with the Philly airport on this trip when they lost my bag and would still be lost if I had not done some Internet research of my own to find it.
Our Favorites for the Year

  • As mentioned above, our favorite Hotel in Philadelphia for 2006 was Loews
  • Our favorite trip was the Whistler ski trip
  • My favorite sandwich was the Zep from Eve's Lunch
  • Lizzie's favorite burger was from the Continental Martini Bar
  • The best Cheese Cake was really hard to pin down, because we have rarely had a bad one, but I do believe the best of the year is going to Old Man Raffertys in New Brunswick,NJ.
  • Favorite restaurant was the restaurant in Whistler was the Rimrock Cafe.
  • Favorite wine of the year was the wine we had at the Rimrock, which was a Famous Gate Pinot Noir.
  • Favorite Airline for the year is Cathay Pacific.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sheraton Society Hill

Hotel Reservations were made at Sheraton Society Hill, where we went for the first Friday at the beginning of the month. A really great time was had by both Lizzie and I. We got to check out lots of great new artists in the Philadelphia area. Further posts about that adventure will be forthcoming. The back log on our adventures is huge. The Sheraton at Society Hill was great, we love its location and the friendliness of the staff. We would make hotel reserations there again for sure.

Hotel Reservations from

Making hotel reservations online for traveling is becoming more and more common as ecommerce becomes an everyday part of our lives. In 2005, online travel was projected to be around 65 Billion dollar industry, so I am sure it is well over 70 billion by now. Lizzy makes reservations online at a number of other hotel reservation sites, and usually ends up going with what ever site has the better deal. However, with the guarantee of a 100 dollar rebate, it seems like is making an attempt to persuade us online travel shoppers to come and use their travel site.
With you can save up to 70% off of your reservations and then there is also the $100 rebate if you make a reservation on the Internet. Potentially getting money back if you find an online reservation cheaper at anther site is pretty cool. However some conditions do apply, so make sure you read the small print. But hey, 100 bucks is a hundred bucks, so you might as well give it a try. I am sure that if the site does not do as it says, it won't be around for long.
In addition to making reservations for hotels, flights, cars, vacation rentals or combination vacation packages, many other options are available. Just searching through the site gives me some ideas for future trips. I particularly like the bed and breakfast section...some of those bed and breakfasts sound too cool. Another groovy feature of the site is the destination guides which they may not have for every city, but it appears that many are, and it seems like more are being added all the time.
So I took the search bar for a ride and typed in Philadelphia for New Years eve. The hotel reservations that were available included accommodations from $59- $350, with a few of the places that Lizzy and I have stayed at being discounted more than when we had stayed there. Well I don't do the reservations for our travels, Lizzy does that, but if it is cheaper she will use it. However, does not have an affiliate program, so we would more than likely check our affiliate partners first, and then we would do a comparison. I will remind her when making our next reservations to use the site as one of the comparison sites.

Critiquing the site from a webmaster stand point, with an SEO Skew, the site does need some work to be competitive. The site is currently nowhere in the SERP's for the search term "hotel reservations" for which they want to be found. But it can be found for its name and for I am assuming its owners name. For example, Title tags need quite a bit of work, (Hotel reservations is in the title tag on the home page) the site name is used in them way too much. That's fine if you want to rank for or Barry Sowder, but it would seem that they would have their keywords in the front of the title on all of their pages, not just the home page. Far to valuable SEO real estate to be wasted on the site name or the owners name. Also, for wanting to rank for the search term "Hotel reservations", the site should have internal links with this as the link text, even perhaps in the top navigation. And were is the site map to be found? Optimize that site better for a better ROI. tsk tsk. Your SEO company must be slacking.

One last thing, if you have a blog, you may also be able to participate in a paid program they have for reviewing their site, which seems to be a really unique opportunity for bloggers. This site is not eligible for it because this post is a paid for advertisement.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

CD's Place Boyertown, PA

CD's Place Menu
Originally uploaded by Emperor Anton.
This a menu of Lizzies favorite Boyertown Diner, CD's Place, that she visits atleast twice a week...once being almost every Saturday morning at 8am. Ask for Lizzie's omlete. Having slaw dogs and good music, makes CD's Place Lizzies Favorite Boyertown Diner.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Slot Machines Prize Money Paris Casino, Las Vegas

Originally uploaded by arkworld.
Oh how sweet it would have come home from Vegas with all this loot. This is a photo according to Arkworld " is the one million dollar prize money for this slot tournament the Paris Hotel & Casino will be holding." Thats weird, how can you have a slots tournament. I can see a poker tournament, that actually involves a little skill. What skill is there in putting money into a machine? I picture little old laddies making lots of money at the slotts. I mayself had a few minor slot windfalls, but nothing that would pay for a good meal in Vegas.

Well I will have to keep my eye out for info on the slot tournament.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Art Galleries of Philadelphia

First Friday of every month is when the all the galleries in Philadelphia have openings for the Art loving public of the Philadelphia area. First Friday is concentrated in Northern Liberties, which is a section of Philadelphia located near Penns Landing and Society Hill. Were we will be staying at the Sheraton Society Hill this coming Friday evening. Lizzie has a friend, Elaine B Douds, who will be exhibiting her oil paintings at the Artist's House Gallery, with a reception from 5-830pm on Dec. 1st. An additional reception will be held on Sunday Dec. 3rd from 130-4pm. Elaine specializes in realistic still life paintings. We had last seen Elaine at the show she did with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts at the Gregg Conference Center gallery. We hope to get to spend a little more time with Lizzie's old friend, while viewing art galleries full of works of some of the Philadelphia areas new budding artists.

Thanksgiving Holiday

Our Thanksgiving plans were changed the week before. Due to some family problems, we decided it was best to stay home and have a traditional Thanksgiving. This was probably a very smart thing indeed. Lizzie and I worked most of the day making the meal(well Lizzie did most of the work) I was responsible for prepping the Turkey and for carving. I looked on Yahoo and got directions from Epicurious on how to prepare and carve the Turkey. The twenty pound bird was stuffed with the famous White Castle stuffing recipe, which everyone loved.
We did make a few little trips to a local restaurant, Durangos for dinner several times over the long holiday weekend. We especially had a great time on Monday after Thanksgiving because it is pasta night along with being open mike night. Great toons and the best Italian food in Boyertown along with an amazing selection of deserts which always includes at least one heavinly chocolate desert.Desert Tray at Durangos Saloon Lizzie's favorite is the Dark Side of The Moon. As much as I love their deserts, I think my favorite dish is their Sausage Marinara. Since it was Monday, my favorite dish was a special.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Preowned Honda Odyssey

George from

Lizzie and I after traveling to the Carsense Uwchland, PA location numerous times for the better half of a week, finally made a purchase of a 2004 Honda Odyssey. We originally had picked out a 2005 Jeep Libery, but brought it back with the 5 day grace period that Carsense gives you. George, our outstanding represenative, was a tremendous help. We test drove just under a dozen different cars, to include a VW bug, a mini cooper, a fun boxy little Scion, a honda CRV, a Mazada wagon, several other minivans, the Jeep Liberty, a Ford Freestyle, and of course our final choice, the Honda Odyssey.
If you live in the Philly area, I would highly recommend traveling to either of the Carsense locations. If you make it to the Uwchland location, ask for George, and tell them Lizzie Bean sent you.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Thanksgiving Reservations

Thanksgiving reservations are being made by Lizzie even as I type.

We initially had planned on staying over one night with all the kids. But she now is considering staying two nights, and then going shopping on Black Friday in Philly. Well as this adventure unfolds, we will update the blog.

Thanks Giving Plan Update:

Thanksgiving reservations have been made by Lizzie using We are dining at Maggianos, which has a special Thanksgiving menu, and we will be staying at the Omni Hotel at Philadelphia's Independence Park. We will be arriving in Philly early in the day Thursday to catch the parade(that is the goal), then the boys and I will be leaving Friday morning. Lizzie, her daughter and mom will be hanging out in Philledelphia for Black Friday shopping. She is far braver than I.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Aladdin Sky like Ceiling

The inside of the shopping area of the Aladdin Hotel Casino. At first I thought I was outside, but wait a minute is is 1pm in the afternoon, unless it is an eclipse. It looked so real, but if you scanned you could tell it was just the ceiling. A high ceiling nevertheless. The Truman Show was never so real.

Las Vegas Review

Lizzie and I got back about a week and half ago from Las Vegas, but my luggage did not get back until last Sunday. (see previous post) We stayed at the MGM grand, and would stay there again, except there are so many places to stay in Vegas, why stay in the same place twice.

We did a lot of exploring of the strip and the casinos near by. We also took the Tram back to Sahara to get in some Three Dollar Black Jack, but only broke even this time.

I have posted many fo the pictures of the trip on my Flickr account which can be reached by clicing on any of my photos, to include the above picture of the award winning MGM Grand pool.

My favorite meal was when Lizzie and I had breakfast beside the pool. Lizzie, me, a bunch of timid little birds eating my crumbs, and some landscape workers who were installing landscape lighting.

We also managed not to see a time share presentation. We had put a $20 deposit down, but went back and cancelled. We told them we had done some Internet research on the company, so we did not want to get involved with any high pressure sales presentation. They gave us our deposit back without a problem.

Other posts about our trip include:

Snack Pack On Southwestern Airlines

What a delicious meal we had. It was the same snack on both flights, however, we did smartly pack left overs from lunch on the return trip. Overall the flights were fine. Except for Southwestern Loosing My bag, it was an okay flight back from Las Vegas...we did make it home in one piece, and that is the important thing.

Update:And with a bit of Internet research, and a two hour drive, I was able to retrieve my suitcase from the New Jersey home they delivered it to. The did give me a 100 dollar voucher good for Southwest flights for a year, but I was unable to use it before it expired.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

We're in Vegas!

The flight was uneventful - which is what I prefer on any flight. We left on time and arrived right on time; picked up our checked bags; got on a shuttle to the MGM Grand and checked in. One problem with the check in - we didn't get the room that we specifically requested. We researched the rooms available at the MGM Grand and really wanted a room in the West Wing. After reading review after review - I knew that I wanted to be in the West Wing and was told online - that it was available. When we checked in - we were told otherwise - or that a non-smoking room was not available on the West Wing. Misty - at the desk told us that the room we were getting was nicer because it was bigger - but that it only had a "regular" king bed. You see, the best feature of the West Wing rooms and what everyone raved about in the reviews were the deluxe king beds with the pillow tops. That is what I wanted and that is what we didn't get. I'm sure at this point we could request to move. So many guests are checking out today - it is Sunday after all and I'm sure we could move if we were so inclined. The thought of packing everything up again - doesn't sound appealing at all.

Anyway - that's all the complaining I'm going to do today. After checking into the very nice, clean room - we took off to find Cat. They're staying at the Monte Carlo - right across the boulevard from the MGM. We walked over to that hotel via New York-New York - which was really crowded and not very inviting. We met Cat and Dave at the Monte Carlo Brewery & Pub. They had a limited menu at that time (it was after 10pm) and we were starving - not having eaten anything since noon - and it was about 1am our time. So we ordered Nachos, Quesadillas, Hot Wings and Pepperoni Pizza - 3 glasses of wine and 3 beers between the four of us. It was all great.

We had high expectations of going out on the floor and gambling - but when we got out to the casino - I was about to die from exhaustion. We decided to all head back to our rooms; get some sleep and I was in serious need of some servicing too. All was great and we're looking forward to an eventful day today.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Going to Vegas!

After many flip-flops on the decision of whether we should or should not go to Vegas - we're going!

The timing just didn't seem right this year and finances are unsure for the coming year as well - so there was a lot of debate and issues regarding this trip to Vegas. But, a trip is a trip and the constant need to travel won over the lesser need to be practical and responsible.

Of course we tried to find the best deal using and - but, unfortunately - all of the flights were at least one stop and paying a little more for a non-stop flight seemed preferable (did I mention that being practical wasn't the first choice for this trip). In general I've always had great experiences with both those services - but, time was a factor with this trip since we waited until the last minute to book the vacation.

We ended up going through Southwest - their flights are never part of the discount travel sites. They had a fabulous selection of non-stop flights to Vegas and although fairly limited for the dates we're traveling - we found a great hotel. We will be staying at the MGM Grand Hotel in the West Wing.

Needless to say - we're really excited about this trip. Since it all was planned so recently - we don't even have to wait long to go.

The reason for the trip - other than the 2nd annual business meeting that always takes place in Las Vegas - is to see Cat. We had the pleasure of being at her Vegas wedding last year in November - which was our first trip to Vegas ever - and coincidently - the first business meeting.

We'll be leaving Saturday, October 21st at 5:50 pm out of Philly International Airport and arriving at 8:25 pm in Las Vegas. Our return flight is at 4:45 pm on Tuesday the 24th and doesn't get into Philly until 12:45 am - the next day!

Friday, October 13, 2006

French Poutine

French Poutine
Originally uploaded by Emperor Anton.
Poutine and Chicken Fingers for lunch. We tried the regional food while in Gananoque. We had seen it on the menu the night before at the Lansdowne Restaurant. Apparently, it is kind of like nachos or cheese fries here in the US. Fries with cheese curds and gravy. I was quite surprised, but seriously doubt that I will find any near us in PA.

The Golden Egg

The Golden Egg
Originally uploaded by Emperor Anton.
Lizzie's Daughter pointed this egg out, so we stopped and took pictures. It is located along the road to Shawmere Cottages. Located along Red Horse Lake Ontario, Canada.

Red Horse Lake from Shawmere

The view from Shawmere of Red Horse Lake Ontario, Canada. The weather for the weekend we were there was unbelieveable.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Shawmere on Red Horse Lake, Ontario

We did make it back from our unplugged weekend at Shawmere. It was a much needed restful weekend that included trips to Kingston and Gananaque, two nights of campfires, a bike ride, and card games. I also got some great pictures that will be posted on my flickr account when I have the opportunity.
Since coming back form Ontario, I have been spending way to much time working on the Pixelheadonline blog. We moved it from a subdomain folder to a subfolder off of the root url of This turned out to me much more work than we had anticipated. All in an effort to get the blog cached in google.
Anyway, the trip was very relaxing. A more detailed post will follow when time allows, along with pictures.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Red Horse Lake Ontario Canada

Going back to Red Horse Lake for a short weekend, actually leaving in under 10 minutes. Lizzie, her daughter and I are going. We had asked several other people, but they bagged on us. Oh well. It is suppose to be a great weekend up there, sunny and in the 60's- very fall like. Taking our bikes so hopefully we will be able to get some bike riding, canoing, hiking and maybe a camp fire. Looking forward to being unplugged.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Going to Las Vegas?

We were planning our annual trek to Las Vegas (last year was the first), but now we're unsure if we'll be able to make it. We did enjoy Las Vegas and that was our primary reason to return. But, we've done an excess of traveling in 2006 - and the budget may not allow for this excursion. We did consider "slumming" it (something I really never wanted to do again). I feel far too old to be staying at seedy hotels - I've come to enjoy the luxury of finding only 1 or 2 hairs in the bathroom as compared to the layer of filth that seems to cover the surfaces of the 2 star or below establishments. Or the fresh coat of paint that has encased the filth for the duration of the hotels existence. But, Vegas may be worth it - we haven't decided yet.

On our trip to Vegas last year we stayed at the Sahara - which was a three star hotel. I thought that rating was very generous of those that rated the hotel. Overall it was old and dirty but it did have all the glitz that is expected of a Las Vegas hotel. It did offer quite a few conveniences with the monorail right at the hotel and one of the few casinos we found that had slot machines that would actually pay out in coins - if that's what you wanted.

If we do decide to go to Vegas - it would be on the weekend of October 21st - so we better make a decision soon.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Beach at Avon,NC

Avon, NC Beach house

Avon, NC is a nice little beach town, with one main road, and many little off shoots. The main road has most of the businesses on it, and the off shoots have all the houses. The Atlantic ocean is on one side and the sound is on the other. From our top porch, we are able to see both the sound and the Atlantic.

Beach Sand Dune- Avon, NC

Upon arrival, we were unable to gain access to our house due to its not being ready and a check in time after 5pm. So we drove around during the hottest day we have had since we have been here. We headed south on rt 12 and left town and once we were out of town, proceeded to turn around. When turning around, we decided to go and check out the ocean. Everyone except Lizzie ended up going in with what they had on. Their was a lot of sea weed, and cars were parked on the beach. Lizzie was worried that cars would be on the beach the whole time. I eased her fears by telling her that this is outside the city limits, so they will not be allowed on the beaches withing the city limits. I was right.

So about 5pm, we loaded our wet selves back into the cars(the cars reek) and went to see if we could check in. Lizzie went in and came out with a frown on her face. With time to spare, we decided to go and visit the Dairy Queen we passed at the beginning of town. Just gotta love DQ. After DQ we came back and were then able to check in to hour beach house.

We unpacked and ordered two pizzas from Ninos pizza, since Lizzy had eaten there on a prior trip. Very good pizza. Inspite of the eagerness to go back to the beach, we were way too tired to go to the beach again. Lizzy and I went to bed about 9pm.

The next day, Sunday, we got to the beach at about 1030am- 1pm, then again for several hours after 5pm. Moderate waves. Lizzy made hamburgers.

Monday began the over cast weather. Monday thru Wed it was over cast, but inspite of the weather, we made it to the beach every day atleast one time if not twice.

Monday afternoon when the kids initially went to the beach without us, Lizzie and I went shopping. I was looking for some NewSkin for a hole that was developing in my foot. Once we located the towns pharmacy, I discovered they were out of it, so we headed over to the hardware store for the next best thing, Duct tape.

We also stopped off at Deep Blue gift shop and bought gifts for those who did not come and a few for those who did. I got a new swim suit because the only one I had was for a swimming pool, and the mesh netting served to collect the granular ocean sand. Both times I wore it, when taking the suit off, I deposited atleast a pound of debris on the floor. This also made for some extreme discomfort for me...ouchy.

After the hardware store, Lizzy and I stopped for lunch at Toppers Pizza and Pasta. Lizzie had a black olive onion personal pan pizza. I had a chicken cheese steak, that was not a Philly Cheese steak, but it was quite delicious in its own right. Not Norristown bread, but still quite good. I would eat it again.

The best day of the week for the beach while we were there, I would have to say was Friday. It was in the mid to high 80's, and very calm. Upon waking in the Am there was not a cloud in the sky. The waves at the beach were coming in at a decent rate, atleast good enough for a few good bodyboard rides. More than one wave was able to slam me down into the sandy beach. Also noticed a number of people riding skim boards into the waves.

We had bought a skim board at Connors Supermarket, a grocery store located in Buxton for $8-quite a bargain. Too bad none of us could use it. I guess we gave up a little to easily. I for one was not even able to get on it. Perhaps next time I will take some lessons. Not sure I want to take skim board lessons. Pretty sure I would rather take regular surfing lessons.


We did manage to dine at several restaurants while vacationing with the crew.

  • The first other than Sonic or Dairy Queen(yes there is a DQ) was Topper's Pizza and Pasta were Lizzie and I had lunch. Nice place that had a cool picture that Lizzie liked.
  • Mack Daddy's Seafood Grill& Raw Bar was the next place we visited. Actually took the whole gang out here for dinner one night. They put down a sheet of paper that covers the whole table, so the kids were able to let their creative juices flow. Should have gotten some pics of their creations. So Mack Daddy's gets a thumbs up for a family type atmosphere. Lizzie and I woulld also give them a thumbs up for their wine selection. The Red Truck wine was quite tasty, so much so that we got a bottle at the Village Grocery Store. All of the food was awsome, to include the frog legg apetizer and the deserts. Loved the Creme Brule.
  • We also had pizza from Nino's Pizza, since Lizzie had eaten there before.
  • We also ate pizza again at Island Pizza and Steam Bar located in Waves in the St. Waves Plaza. Great gormet pizza. The waitress we had here, had been working at Mack Daddy's the previous night when we were there. She said she remembered us and that they had saved one of the kids drawings and put on the wall. Will have to get them to send me a pic of it.
  • Uncle Eddy's Frozen Custard in Buxton. Lizzie and I ate here twice. Once with the kids and once without. They have this one treat that is like a blizzard, but not a blizzard. You can get as many ingredients in it as you would like.
  • Fat Cat Ice Cream in Avon.

We really did not eat out that much. With six of us, it became very expensive to eat out. We manly ate pre planned meals. This was ideal since our house came with a complete kitchen.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Driving to Avon, NC

The Avon trip began 45 minutes later than planned. Lizzie told me to set the alarm, I did, but she didn't tell me to turn it on. David woke us up 20 minutes after 4am and asked if we were leaving. Well we got up and and got into the prepacked cars and we were on our way. Stopped on the way at a WaWa for gas, coffee and a couple of bagels. The kids were all asleep, so it was just Lizzie and I, although we were in two separate cars. The drive was pretty uneventful: I do recall arriving in VA at 830 am. We also passed two Sonic restaurants, but did not stop.


When the kids woke up, I told them we passed several Sonics and they flipped. One of David's friends is giving away 1 million meat on a KOL(an online game) for the first person to get a picture of themselves infront of a Sonic sign. The kids woke up when we stopped for a bathroom break in VA. Thankfully, because I really needed a co-pilot to keep from getting lost. A true shock came when we came to the bridge to cross the Chesapeake bay- twelve dollars..holy hanna. But halfway across we came to the conclusion that there price was just and would have been acceptable to ask 20. About 30minutes later after two tunnels and two long sections of bridge we made it to the other side. My two passengers made it through both tunnels without breathing. On the other side the two teens began groaning from hunger, so we began to look for some grub. As we came around a turn, to their surprise, there was another Sonic.
So we stopped and had a delicious meal.

Sonic Brandi

We even got two frisbees from our server, Brandi, because we were so enthusiastic. We are continually seeing the commercials, but have none in our area. I have heard they are only in ten states.
After chowing we were on our way. Within an hour and half, we were in Avon, but unable to get into our beach house.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Avon, NC- Outer Banks

Lizzie and the gang will be traveling to Avon, NC next week. Did some research and apparently Avon is known for its wind surfing and para sailing. Lizzie will have to take some lessons. Driving directions from Boyertown, Pa:

Turn right onto the PA-100 S ramp to Pottstown - go 4.7 mi
4.7 mi
5 mins
409.5 mi
(10h 36m)
5.6 mi
(8m 33s)
Bear right at PA-100 - go 1.7 mi
1.7 mi
2 mins
404.8 mi
(10h 30m)
7.3 mi
(10m 53s)
Continue on Pottstown Pike - go 13 mi
13 mi
20 mins
403.1 mi
(10h 28m)
20.3 mi
(34m 29s)
Bear right at N Pottstown Pike - go 4.9 mi
4.9 mi
7 mins
390.1 mi
(10h 4m)
25.2 mi
(42m 20s)
Bear right at Pottstown Pike - go 0.8 mi
0.8 mi
1 min
385.2 mi
(9h 56m)
26.0 mi
(43m 37s)
Continue on PA-100 S - go 2.2 mi
2.2 mi
2 mins
384.4 mi
(9h 55m)
28.1 mi
(46m 28s)
Bear right into the US-202 S entry ramp - go 3.0 mi
3.0 mi
3 mins
382.3 mi
(9h 52m)
31.1 mi
(50m 21s)
Continue on West Chester Byp - go 0.8 mi
0.8 mi
1 min
379.3 mi
(9h 48m)
31.8 mi
(51m 34s)
Take the Wilmington Pike ramp - go 0.4 mi
0.4 mi
378.5 mi
(9h 47m)
32.2 mi
(52m 20s)
Bear right at Wilmington Pike - go 4.5 mi
4.5 mi
8 mins
378.2 mi
(9h 46m)
36.7 mi
(1h 2m)
Continue on Wilmington West Chester Pike - go 3.0 mi
3.0 mi
5 mins
373.6 mi
(9h 37m)
39.7 mi
(1h 7m)
Continue on Concord Pike - go 5.0 mi
5.0 mi
7 mins
370.6 mi
(9h 31m)
44.7 mi
(1h 16m)
Bear right into the I-95 S entry ramp to Delaware Memorial Bridge/Baltimore - go 8.6 mi
8.6 mi
10 mins
365.7 mi
(9h 23m)
53.3 mi
(1h 27m)
Take the SR-1 S/SR-7 S exit 4A to Christiana/Mall Road - go 0.3 mi
0.3 mi
357.1 mi
(9h 11m)
53.6 mi
(1h 28m)
Take the SR-1 S/SR-7 S exit 4A to Christiana/Mall Road - go 1.1 mi
1.1 mi
1 min
356.8 mi
(9h 11m)
54.7 mi
(1h 30m)
Continue on SR-1 S - go 4.3 mi
4.3 mi
5 mins
355.7 mi
(9h 9m)
59.0 mi
(1h 35m)
Bear right at S Dupont Hwy - go 2.3 mi
2.3 mi
3 mins
351.4 mi
(9h 3m)
61.3 mi
(1h 38m)
Continue on SR-1 S - go 35 mi
35 mi
38 mins
349.1 mi
(9h 0m)
96.1 mi
(2h 24m)
Take the US-13 exit 97 to Salisbury/Norfolk - go 2.0 mi
2.0 mi
3 mins
314.3 mi
(8h 14m)
98.1 mi
(2h 27m)
Bear right onto the S Dupont Hwy S ramp - go 317 ft
317 ft
312.3 mi
(8h 11m)
98.1 mi
(2h 27m)
Turn left at S Dupont Hwy S - go 9.5 mi
9.5 mi
11 mins
312.2 mi
(8h 11m)
107.6 mi
(2h 41m)
Continue on S Dupont Hwy - go 12 mi
12 mi
16 mins
302.7 mi
(7h 58m)
119.4 mi
(3h 0m)
Continue on Sussex Hwy - go 15 mi
15 mi
20 mins
291.0 mi
(7h 39m)
134.1 mi
(3h 23m)
Continue on Sussex Hwy S - go 12 mi
12 mi
16 mins
276.3 mi
(7h 15m)
146.1 mi
(3h 43m)
Continue on Ocean Hwy - go 3.7 mi
3.7 mi
5 mins
264.2 mi
(6h 56m)
149.9 mi
(3h 48m)
Take the US-13 S ramp to Norfolk - go 409 ft
409 ft
260.5 mi
(6h 50m)
149.9 mi
(3h 48m)
Take the Salisbury Byp ramp - go 11 mi
11 mi
12 mins
260.4 mi
(6h 50m)
161.2 mi
(4h 3m)
Continue on Ocean Hwy - go 27 mi
27 mi
38 mins
249.2 mi
(6h 35m)
188.3 mi
(4h 49m)
Continue on Charles M Lankford Jr Memorial Hwy - go 92 mi
92 mi
1 hour 58 mins
222.0 mi
(5h 50m)
280.4 mi
(7h 11m)
Take the I-64 E/I-64 W ramp to Chesapeake/Suffolk/Hampton - go 345 ft
345 ft
129.9 mi
(3h 28m)
280.5 mi
(7h 11m)
Take the I-64 E ramp to Chesapeake/Suffolk - go 10 mi
10 mi
12 mins
129.9 mi
(3h 28m)
290.7 mi
(7h 25m)
Take exit 291B to Elizabeth City (VA-104 S)/Dominion Blvd (US-17 S)/(VA-168 S) - go 0.3 mi
0.3 mi
119.7 mi
(3h 14m)
291.0 mi
(7h 25m)
Merge into I-464 S - go 0.3 mi
0.3 mi
119.4 mi
(3h 13m)
291.3 mi
(7h 26m)
Bear left onto the VA-168 S ramp to Nags Head/Manteo - go 14 mi
14 mi
16 mins
119.1 mi
(3h 13m)
305.4 mi
(7h 45m)
Continue on S Battlefield Blvd - go 0.8 mi
0.8 mi
1 min
104.9 mi
(2h 53m)
306.2 mi
(7h 46m)
Bear left at VA-168 S - go 0.8 mi
0.8 mi
1 min
104.1 mi
(2h 52m)
307.0 mi
(7h 48m)
Bear right at VA-168 - go 0.2 mi
0.2 mi
103.4 mi
(2h 51m)
307.2 mi
(7h 48m)
Continue on NC-168 - go 18 mi
18 mi
25 mins
103.1 mi
(2h 50m)
325.5 mi
(8h 17m)
Continue on US-158 - go 3.9 mi
3.9 mi
6 mins
84.8 mi
(2h 21m)
329.4 mi
(8h 25m)
Continue on US-158 - go 24 mi
24 mi
32 mins
81.0 mi
(2h 13m)
353.1 mi
(9h 3m)
Bear right at US-158 - go 0.1 mi
0.1 mi
57.3 mi
(1h 35m)
353.2 mi
(9h 4m)
Continue on N Croatan Hwy - go 1.6 mi
1.6 mi
2 mins
57.2 mi
(1h 35m)
354.7 mi
(9h 6m)
Bear right at US-158 - go 2.4 mi
2.4 mi
3 mins
55.6 mi
(1h 32m)
357.1 mi
(9h 10m)
Continue on W Croatan Hwy - go 1.4 mi
1.4 mi
2 mins
53.2 mi
(1h 28m)
358.5 mi
(9h 13m)
Continue on US-158 - go 3.6 mi
3.6 mi
6 mins
51.9 mi
(1h 26m)
362.1 mi
(9h 20m)
Continue on S Croatan Hwy - go 3.8 mi
3.8 mi
5 mins
48.3 mi
(1h 18m)
365.9 mi
(9h 26m)
Continue on US-158 - go 3.5 mi
3.5 mi
5 mins
44.5 mi
(1h 12m)
369.4 mi
(9h 32m)
Turn left at NC-12 S - go 0.2 mi
0.2 mi
41.0 mi
(1h 7m)
369.5 mi
(9h 32m)
Continue on NC-12 - go 40 mi
40 mi
54 mins
40.8 mi
(1h 6m)
409.9 mi
(10h 37m)
Turn right at Harbor Rd - go 0.5 mi
0.5 mi
1 min
0.5 mi
(1m 22s)
410.4 mi
(10h 38m)
Arrive at Avon, NC 27915

Thats going to be a nice long drive. Two cars and four kids.
Lizzie and I will get out though, we are bringing babysitters.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Red Horse Lake, Ontario

Red Horse Lake is located in the Heart 1000 Islands area of Ontario, about half an hour from the "CANADIAN GATEWAY TO THE THOUSAND ISLANDS", Gananoque, which is a charming little town off of the St. Lawrence River. Lizzy and I(surprisingly) made the journey to Red Horse Lake on Friday evening after work. At only a 5 hour drive from the Philadelphia area, it is a great place to visit for a vacation.
Lizzie had planned on making the trip early Saturday morning to visit her parents and daughter who were vacationing there for two weeks. She had also planned on taking several of her sons. I was planning on spending the entire weekend with my own kids. However, plans changed, and none of the boys wanted to go when it was time to leave. Also, she had changed her mind about the departure time and decided to leave Friday after work instead of Saturday morning. I changed my plans because I did not want her to make the trip by herself and I saw the disappointed look on her face when the boys cancelled. A decision I am thankful I made, because I look forward to making the trip to Red Horse Lake again.

The above picture is Lizzie sitting on an Adirondack Chair on the cottage porch looking out at Red horse Lake mid Saturday morning.

Red Horse LakeTrip Events

  • Departed Boyertown 645pm
  • Slices of Pizza from Pasea mio in Allentown
  • 1130pm Watertown...Gassed up at the Sunoco
  • midnight Canada
  • 1245am Shawmere Cottages, Red Horse Lake, Ontario
  • 8am discovered sleeping
  • 830am Breakfast
  • 10am trip to Gan
  • 1230 Boat ride on the Red Horse Lake
  • 5pm Slaw dogs with Dixie Slaw
  • 8pm Trip to Thousand Islands Charity Casino:-(
  • 1100 back at camp in bed
  • 730am up with the Loons
  • Coffee and walk by the lake
  • Breakfast at Twist Outlet Major Gas store(funny name, but good breakfast)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Wake-Forest Return Trip

We had a good time. It is now morning on Sunday and we are packing up and getting ready to go home. Very restful trip.
Ate at Cities Bar and Grill last night...Lizzie said she had some of the Best Crab Cakes she has had, and the best she has had in Winston-Salem(she did have them at all three restaurants). I had the small 12 0z prime rib, which melted in my mouth. Tom had a Filet Mignon Neptune, which is a Filet Mignon with three grilled shrip with Bernaise sauce. He said it was the best meal he has ever had to date, and the best restaurant he has ever been to.
On another tanget went wine shopping last night and found one of Lizzies favorite wines...Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon...was unable to find the famous gate.
Well got to go, Lizzie is getting cranky due to hunger. Will finish review later.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Returning to Wake Forest University

Lizzie and I will be returning to Wake Forest for a parents weekend next Friday and leaving on Sunday. Lizzie made reservations via for The Marriott Courtyard near the University. Hopefully we will get some time to go out into Winston-Salem to site see, but we may have many events scheduled for us by the camp. We are also taking our bikes to ride around campus and any bike trails that we may find.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Calling Cards

Some time ago, when we were going to Whistler, we had been talking to a bartender who works at the airport. She had been on vacation in Europe with her daughter, and her daughter made some phone calls with her cell phone. Low and behold our bartender got a surprise when her phone bill came. The roaming charges were amazing. I guess her daughter had been talking to her boyfriend a little too long. Anyway, I am wondering why people don't just use International Calling cards as their emergency communications back up when on vacation. These calling cards are really cheap. Take for example the International calling cards from, which I have discussed on Network of Sites: Affiliate Programs to Develop a Network of Sites. When you search for calling cards to call from Germany to the US, rates vary from about half a cent per minute to 61 cents per minute. Rates vary due to amounts of minutes being purchased, service charges such as connection fees, and types of phones being used. Had our bartender gotten one of these for her daughter, she would have not only saved money, but prevented the shock from an excessively high cell phone bill.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Winston-Salem, NC-Wake Forest University

Travel Blog for Winston-Salem,NC trip from Boyertown, PA and back. Kept a hand written journal in the car. Listed events such as radio stations listened to and stops we took.

  1. 555am-Harrisburg- Pa Turnpike- 96.1WSOX with the greates hits of all time- oldies
  2. Lizzy got hungry at 66.1 miles into the trip.
  3. Reminder( add Argentos Cheese Steak toCheese Steak list –Huge and tasty)
  4. 97.3 WRVV The River outside of Harrisburg
  5. 608am called my dad, wished happy fathers day-woke him up—oops
  6. 630am got off Carlisle and ate at McDonalds(103 miles), well ordered and ate in car. I had a Mc Griddle egg,ham and cheese…very tasty and so unnutritious. Lizzy bought… total bill $11.30
  7. Got $10 at Texaco off of the Carlisle turnpike exit-2.73/gallon-no receipt
  8. Then got on 81S, using first Carlisle ramp.Turned the off radio at 720am
  9. Oh, got a Sunday Sentinel at the Texaco. Back in the late 70's my brother and I were newspaperboys for the Sentinel.
  10. Found out and later heard on NPR radio that the US Soccer team tied Italy last night. Apparently the goal was an accident. However, US had made another goal, but for some reason it was not counted. The US did not make it out of the first stage. They lost two and tied one by luck.Check the scores here. One year the US will get over its idea that American Football is so great, and acutally take itself seriously in the World Cup Soccer arena.
  11. 759am-101.5 Classic Rock-Hagerstown MD.-Greencastle
  12. 748am 155.9miles-Steppenwolf: "Born to be Wild"
  13. 168miles West Va, 70 mph speed limit. Passing Falling Waters at 821am,
  14. 194.2 miles bus blog.... travel the states looking at and perhaps eventually buy a vw bus. Find em on ebay or else were.. travel to see conjunction with a Travel Blog
  15. Who sings Sister Christian..motoring…whats your price for flight…finding Mr. Right”....Answer is...Night Ranger
  16. 840am 105.5FM 215.5 miles Queen “you’re my best friend”
  17. 842am passed exit 30 off of 81S mile marker 300.5
  18. Shanedoah Valley golf club charitycharity fund raiser event on radio
  19. Where to go next winter? Banff…will need passport. Oh pretty sure we are going to go to Las Vegas in November...must make it a yearly us there in November...check back here for further updates.
  20. 902am 88.3fm USA radio network news
  21. 945am , 289.7 miles 93.1fm MIX
  22. 955am, 98.5 fm,301.4 miles1001am
  23. 94.3 ‘the Cars” are on the radio again, 307.2 miles Harrsonburg Star 94
  24. Nice farm off of Interstate highway 81 Mile marker 331.5
  25. 1030 am-342 miles into trip "Hey What Can I Do" by Zepplin 94.3fm
  26. 1039am the station is fading, 353.3 miles into trip
  27. Got off highway and wen to Shell Foodmart at exit 171 maybe-Arcadia. Bought $28 in gas at 2.85 a gallon. I got a Vanilla Moonpie and a Power Aide. Lizzy go Pizzeria Combos and Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies(one of her favorites). Tom, Lizzie's third son who we are taking to camp, got Pizzalisious Pringles;5 packs of gum:3 Hubba Bubba,1 sour wringlies, 1 Juicy fruit;and 1 Dorritos cracker pack.
  28. 1055am-352 miles-Traffic jam at 166.2 milemarker. When we passed there was wreckage strewn all over the side of the was a nasty wreck.
  29. 1107am-1620am radio report accident on 81S at milemarker 165
  30. 1107am-96.3fm-"Fat Bottom Girls" on ROV the Rock of VA
  31. 1120am moving again
  32. 1136am searching radio channels
  33. 1137am 101.5 fm oldies 372 miles into trip, mile marker 146
  34. 1208pm 406 miles into trip channel surfing
  35. came across station 90.7fm which was playing some real funky stuff
  36. 1210pm 96.3fm 408 miles- George Thurogood " One Burbon, One Scotch..."
  37. 1218 off highway exit 101 Claytor State Park and went to Taco Bell - 14.72 for lunch:Chalupa, taco Salad and Nachos Grande. Then had two Choco Tacos for 2.92.
  38. Tom won an Underdog doll in one of those crane games. Lizzy (oops another mistake) always touts that her kids are so talented at those crane games.
  39. 1246 Back on ther road after lunch
  40. 1252pm-424 Miles into the trip radio is off.
  41. 1257pm- radio is back on 96.3fm
  42. 104pm- passing ramp to 77S
  43. 120pm-98.7Fm-464 miles Pink Floyd song on radio
  44. 135pm-470.7 miles back up to 70MPH and in North Carolina
  45. Had a Kudzu siting
  46. 138pm-476 miles-I74E-Almost there
  47. 220pm- 515 miles- Wake Forest-Yea
  48. 4pm-Drop off at Wake Forest and make our way to La Quinta Travels of Lizzie Bean: Winston-Salem, NC-Wake Forest University

Did eat at Jimmy's Oyster Bar... it was fine, nothing special though...the oysters were tasty. However, prior to going there, we went next door to the hotel to the Village Tavern and had some fine appetizers and cocktails. Bruchetta was quite tasty. The menu looked very good, but I had my heart set on oysters...perhaps when whe go back to pick up Tom.

La Quinta is a very nice hotel. The swimming pool is quite extrodinary for a hotel pool, and the continental breakfast was by far one of the best continental breakfasts we have eaten. The beds were very cozy and the rooms were very spacious. Overall the experience at La Quinta was favorable and we would stay there again.

In the morning after the continental breakfast, we began our journey home.

  1. 9:27 leaving La Quinta
  2. Pilot Mountain State looking mountain
  3. 1009am...Tom called from camp...having fun, wants to stay two more weeks.
  4. 10:21am..entering VA 55.6 miles into return trip
  5. 10:2am exit 84 Grahams ford ..8.78 gallons..Kangaroo Gas...2.61/gal....23.01
  6. 10.59am back on the road
  7. 1:03pm...Mint Spring, exit217, 224 miles into the trip. Got off highway for lunch. First went to a little deli in search of slaw dogs. The owner advised me to try the truck stop across the highway, since they do a lot of business with truckers. The deli also had Eavers Classic Cars and Collectibles Museum which has Elvis Presley's last Cadillac and many other classic cars. A nice stop for classic car enthusiasts. Ended up eating at the Subway on the other side of the highway. The highlite of my lunch was not the company of the young family with 5 children, but the taste of the FlatHead Lake Monster Granny-Apple soda I drank...quite tasty indeed. The bottles are really cool looking...almost Sobe esque. Apparently there is a legend about Flat Head lake...guess I should read up about it on their site.
  8. Back on road after eating
  9. 3:02pm Robert, Lizzies oldes son, called to ask if he could take a shower...LOL
  10. Briefly listened to 94.3fm, but decided to listen to Fine Young Cannibals instead.
  11. 3:18pm...332 miles WVA
  12. 3:37 off highway for an excursion of smashing results...
  13. 4:02pm 359.2 miles Maryland
  14. Phoenix Color company...what do they do? Printing company according to Google.
  15. 4:13pm...371.4 miles we enter PA
  16. 4:58pm..419 miles..we get off of 81 on York Rd to make our way to Little Johns, a Carlise Restaurant, to have dinner with my dad and step Mom. Lizzie had the same thing she had the night befor, Crab cakes, which she said were really good. I had the Portabella pasta...which was just as good the next day for lunch. Pieces of portabella over pasta with a soy sauce, with artichokes and sun dried tomatoes thrown in for color. We were really full, so we didn't have desert, but I am told they have a really good Conconut Cream Pie.
  17. 5:55pm...back on 81 for a short section...just getting off at the last Carlisle exit and then getting on the PA turnpike. An hour and a half later, we are back in Boyertown.

An uneventful trip for the most part, but a nice little get away. Have to plan for next months return trip to pick up Tom. Lizzie says she wants to stay some where closer to Wake Forest University.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Winston-Salem, NC-Wake Forest University

Next weekend, Lizzie Bean will be venturing to Wake Forest University, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina for a summer camp participant drop off. For one night Lizzie will be staying at La Quinta Inn & Suites located off of Griffith Road in Winston-Salem, NC. I am trying to talk her into going to Jimmy's Oyster Bar for dinner on the 18th. She isn't crazy about oysters, but does love seafood...I heard Jimmy's has great seafood. We shall see if the concierge at La Quinta recommends it.
Lizzie made reservations online with She had compared prices on and as well, but her final purchase for this trip was with and La Quinta. Of all the hotels in Winston-Salem, La Quinta had the best customer reviews. If there is not a rating scale available, which was the case here, Lizzie uses customer reviews to make her travel plans.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

New Brunswick, Home of Rutgers State University of New Jersey

Following the Anniversary party of the previous post, Lizzie and I headed off to the Hyatt Regency located in New Brunswick, NJ the home of Rutgers State University of New Jersey. The Hyatt is located minutes from the NJ Turnpike, walking distance to the town and the University. Lizzie and I were actually unaware of the fact that Rutgers is located in the town. We actually thought that Princeton was close by.
Upon checking into the hotel, we got our suits on and went down to the pool, but due to a load of baseball players in the pool we decided to seek other entertainment. We went back up to the room, changed and went to the Drafts Pick Sports Bar and recieved some great dining advice from our bartender. We then left the hotel for the restaurants off of George Street, where we decided to follow our bartender and conceirges advice, and chose to eat at Old Man Rafferty's. Love that place. Any place thathas a philosophy statement of " life is uncertain... eat dessert first" is a place after my own heart. Just when I thought the deserts could not get any better, we found Old Man Rafferty's. I think they were teasing us when they sat us around the corner from all the deserts. If the meal we had, had not been so good, it would have been considered torture. Lizzie had a scrumtuous Grilled Veggie Pizza or at least she had a quarter of it. I followed the advice of our bartender again and got a bowl of the Famous Tomato Basil Soup. If tomato soup tasted like that when I was a kid, I would have eaten it every day. I also had the Italian Country Salad, which unfortuneatley more that filled me up. Unfortuneately because, I was so full I could not eat my own desert. Should have taken their advice and ate it first. Lizzie, however, indulged in a piece of Brownie Delight Cheesecake, which she alloud me to taste. Every bit as good as the previous posts cheesecake.
Now all we need to do is plan anther excursion to New Brunswick so we can feast at Old Man Rafferty's.

Mastoris Fine Dining- Bordentown, NJ

Had an anniversary party to attend this past weekend at Mastoris, a fine dining restaurant. I am not sure if it is coincidence, but the cheese cake in New Jersey is soo good. Mastoris and The Clinton Diner had the best Cheese cake I have had up until that time. The anniversary party was for Lizzie's Cousins parents 50th wedding anniversary. Once the surprised bride and groom arrived, we began a splendid meal which began with two different kinds of bread - cinnamon bread and cheese bread. Then there was salad, followed by pencil tips( a type of pasta), soup, the main course. As unbelievable as it was, their were more than 5 choices of main courses to choose from. I had veal marsala and Lizzie had a shrimp salad. After the main course, we were treated to a fabulous wedding cake, that the lightest tasting icing. Following all the food, the kids showed a home made movie of chronologic photos of their parents lives. Quite interesting to see how the fashions have changed.
Then upon leaving Mastoris, we stoped off at their bakery and purchased a heavenly slice of Cheese Cake.
Overall, it was quite a pleasant dining experience. The kids did a splendid job with the festivities.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Cheese Steak Again

Had another trip to Philly last weekend, this time for an art show at the Pa Academy of Fine Arts due to a very fine artist whose work was in the show. Quite an exhibit. Did not have nearly enough time to view all the fine artists works due to a lame foot and empty stomachs. Ended up at the Independence Brew Pub again. Lizzie had a pizza, I had a chees steak for the second time that day, and out other companion, Sam had Fried shrimp. Not a particularly great meal, but for Cinco De Mayo it was very empty, which was what we were looking for since our first choice of restaurants , Maggiano's of Little Italy was packed and Lizzie was in no mood to wait 45 minutes to an hour. We had been to Maggiano's for several company parties, and have been very pleased. But settled for the Independence Brew Pub, and had an average time. Oh one last thing, Sam ordered a piece of Cheese cake that was huge and Frozen. Took with us along with Lizzie's Pizza.
After dinner, we were torn between catching the train home or finding a room for the three of us. We ended up spending the night at the Marriot, which is a fine hotel. Very friendly staff, and nice beds. Due to not having any clothing though, Sam and I had to venture out to get Lizzie a tshirt to sleep in. Who would know such a task would be so difficult. Everything it seems shut down between 8 and 9, including CVS. So ended up at the Hard Rock Cafe and got Lizzie a $40 Tshirt.
In the morning, we showered and then hopped the train back to Norristown. In Norristown, Lizzie treated me to one of the best sandwiches I have had in quite a while from a place called Eve's Lunch. Eve's does not have a website, but has had reviews. Her phone number is 610-277-6600 with hours of 10am-7pm M-S. The two cheesesteaks I had the previous day were nothing compared to this sandwich. The Sandwich was what is locally known as a Zep, which stands for zepplin due to the shape of the sandwich. The sandwich is basiclly like an Italian but has no lettuce. I am informed that Zeps originated in Norristown. The Zep I had was a Cheese Steak Zep. I did take pictures with my phone, but they just don't do justice to these sandwiches.
Well made it home with a full stomach and new place to eat.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Gotta Go to Chicago...

Feeling like it's time to run again. I've been climbing the walls lately with only a few day trips under way over this long, long winter. Now that spring is starting to creep in ever so slowly - it's time to start planning. And it looks like Chicago is going to be the winner!

We'll be off to see our favorite couple who had the fabulous Las Vegas wedding last November. I've been promising Cat of Chicago that we would visit - and now we will. I haven't been to Chicago in years and Adam has never been - poor boy. He'll be in for a treat! From what I remember Chicago has some amazing food! There is a place that has the best burittos that I think I've ever had (we'll be sure to post when we return as I can't remember the name of the restuarant now). And, of course the famous Chicago deep-dish pizza!

It looks as if the weekend will be May 20th - I'm so excited. We probably won't get to review a hotel during this venture, but there will be lots of other events to write about when we return!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Weekend vistas

A very mello Weekend for Lizzie. Friday she went out for dinner after having gone to Otts exotic plants nursery. Wow what a lot of strange plants. It's like a trip to a rain forest. And evan more unbelievable is the fact that they dont have a web site. Their facilities are definitely web worthy.
Then Lizzie and I headed out in search of an outstanding meal. Several places we stopped at were very crowded so ended up at a pub, called Ortino's Northside. To be fair, Lizzie and I both had salads, so we don't think we had a great sample of their faire. The portions were ample though, and the food of the other patrons looked very appetizing. The wine and beer selection was very respectable. Will have to make another trip.
Lizzie went out with her good friend on Saturday, and visited the American Grill in Collegeville, not once, but twice in the same evening. Hmm must be good food. All I know, the desert is quite tasty.
Then on Sunday, Lizzie visited the Cold Stone outside of Coventry. We never go away hungry from that place. Lizzie and I would have shared, but she likes chocolate a little too much for me, and the Boston Cream was just calling my name.
And that was the end of Lizzies weekend. But fear not, trips are on the horizon.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Philly Cheese Steak

We have been critizied. Sam says we never go any where, so why do you have a travel blog. Well I guess everyone has to start somewhere. It also wouldn't be the best to leave to travel with a house full of kids. So we travel as much as a middle aged couple with kids can. Our most recent over night trip was to Philedelphia. Actually we had two separate trips to Philly. And neither time I believe did we have a Cheese steak. Although I hear they are suppose to be tremendous. I did have one yesterday from the only pizzeria in Oaks, PA. Oaks is about 45 minutes from Philly, or 10 minutes from Valley Fordge. (great bike riding) Actually was a chicken cheese steak with peppers. Sandwiches come either 12" or 18". HMMM. Thankfully I work not too far from their so I can eat them at least weekly. If you get to Oaks, the pizzereia is off of 422 heading into Oaks on the left just past the underpass. Great selection of pizza slices also. Oh they are closed on Monday.

Back to our Philly trips. On the first trip, we took Lizzie's daughter to Philly for a night. I had a business meeting in the evening, so it was convient for me to stay there. The two girls went and had dinner at the Independence Brew Pub by the Reading Terminal Market. Lizzie and I have eaten there numerous times. Quite a nostalgic place. It is quite the hang out on weekends, with several bars and pool tables up stairs. Ah , ya gotta love it...Independent label fresh brew beer and pool....hmmmmm....Homer would be in paradise. Not that Lizzie and her daughter had any beer. Then they went back to the hotel and watched tv in the comfort of their Hilton Gardens hotel, a very fine 3 star hotel. They treat Lizzie jr like a skittles. I on the other hand had to make my way from the Hilton Gardens to Cherry Hill, NJ which was very accessble via rt 30. The following morning we made out way down to the Reading Terminal Market and had an unremarkable breakfast at the dinner that was located inside the market.

I then left the two laddies to wander around Philly, while I went to my sons Reading Junior Royals finals. What a remarkable game it was indeed. My sons team came in first for the tournament and the season. 4 games that weekend, of which all three were amazing. The boys lost one and won 3, and due to the Delaware Ducks team coming in second they placed first. The finals where at held at the Hatfield arena, which is great because of the wonderful cosy seats. Usually these cold arenas have cold metal bleechers.

While my sons team was winning the playoffs, the girls were busy walking and shopping in China town. Lizzie managed to find an Astro Boy wallet( she loves Astro Boy) She also bought a few little things for the boys. They then hopped a train to meet me in Ambler. This in itself was a treat for Lizzie's daugher.
The second trip, involved taking two of Lizzies sons to Philly. We got to Philly on Saturday morning, checked in to our four star Loews hotel room, and then headed out to Philly. The rooms were adequate, but the staff was really friendly and helpful. Also, if you want to bring your cats or dog, Loews is pet friendly. The bed however, needed a little help. Not quite the memory foam I am used to sleeping on. My back was in terrible shape for the next entire week or so.

Went to the terminal market and checked out the shops. Went back to the hotel and took a nap, paid a 10 fee each to use their luxurious health facilities. Quite a nice hotel gym. If you feel like being pampered and are willing to pay the extra fees, this is quite a nice little spa. Then after napping, we headed to South Street for dinner. We ate at Johnny Rockets, a little diner that is a 1950 ice cream shop type restaurant . Great shakes, and a fun atmosphere make this a great place to bring kids.
After dinner, we walked around a bit more checking out the various South Street shops, then caught a taxi back to the hotel. We all ordered room service and watched a movie.
The next morning we got up, checked out and walked around in search of breakfast. Numerous places that Lizzie had jaunted as a college student were visited, but ended up at Little Pete's diner. Nice breakfast. Not sure if it had a bath room.
After breakfast, we ambled around the shops in Philly(tower records and others) then headed back to Boyertown.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Washington DC Day Trip

Had a short day trip to DC for a class trip. Inspite of a little sickness the trip was very nice. Started out by going to the Arlington Cemetery . Upon arrival we walked up to the Arlington House because Lizzie has a distant relation to General Lee who once lived there. After the Arlington House, we walked down to The Tomb of the Unknowns and caught the end of the changing of the guards. The precision and dedication of the guards is so awsome.
Next we headed down to the bus and to fruitlessly hunt for a coke. Lizzie was still feeling ill from what we thought was the bus ride, but latter found out was a stomach virus that was going around.
We boarded the bus at the designated time and then left to have lunch on a senic vista. Well I guess that is what you can call the park by the Lincoln monument. We found a park bench and started to eat our lunches while looking out onto the Potamac River. Only a few bites into her lunch though, Lizzie became very sick. The rest of the trip she spent sitting in park benches or theatre seats.
After lunch we were dropped off at the Air and Space Museum and then told to meet back at the museum of Natural History to view a movie. We managed to walk to the Hirshorn museum. And at this point we had the most exicting part of our trip(other than Lizzie spewing) was when we witnessed a robin chasing a squirrel around the garden. Not something you see everyday. The bird chased the squirrel into a hedge of bushes and down the entire length of the hedge. Quite a funny site.
Another highlight of the trip was the demonstration of the migrant workers who were protesting the recent changes in legislation. We had to cross through their demonstration inorder to get to our next stop.
We made our way to the Museum of Naturual Hisory to watch a really nice 3D movie about the four animals in Africa. The hightlight for us came at the end of the movie, when Lizzie again had to get sick and was only able to relieve herself by using her sweater.
After cleaning up we made our way back to the bus and headed home.
Well we made it home with no further problems. We will have to make another trip to the capitol when Lizzie feels better.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Clinton Station Diner

Recently, we had a short excursion into New Jersey to take Sam to visit some friends. Sam is number two son. After dropping him off, we stopped at the Clinton Station Diner, a restaurant in Clinton, NJ . What an awesome Restaurant. The first thing I noticed upon entering was the line of fish tanks along the wall facing the entrance. The next thing that I noticed was the deserts, of which I would suggest you partake. Usually, I have found when deserts look that good, they don't taste very good, in this case, I was wrong. The cheese cake alone was worth the trip. Our server, Lisa Isabella Basile(love the sound of her name), was very helpful. She helped us choose two items that were huge in portion and taste. Oh, and the salad bar was one of the freshest and best selections that I have had in quite some time.

Another note worthy item is about "Mount Olympus" the world's burger. This thing is grotesque - it's so enormous. It's made of 25lbs of meat and the total weight of the burger with all the fixn's is 50lbs! Now, they will give it to you for free plus $500 if you and four of your closest friends can finish it in 3 hours. Not too shabby!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Skiing at Whistler

Here are a few pics of the ski trip to Whistler taken with the Lizzie Cam. We got extremely lucky, as it was reported there was record snowfall for January 2006 in Whistler. Unfortunately I did not take many pics and my camera also had a lot to be desired. Would have loved to have gotten some pics while up on the glaciers, but the weather was usually pretty severe up there, and taking pictures would not have been advisable. Most of the pics are of Blackcomb viewed from Whistler village as seen from The bottom quarter of Blackcomb(took me about 15 minutes to get down from there) There is also a pic of the lodge at the top of the Whistler village Gondola. There were three Gondolas, one at Creekside Village which was the furthest away, and the Whistler village Gondola and the Blackcomb Gondola. Well hope you like these pics. I would say Whistler is a must ski place...try to do so before the 2010 Olympics, which are going to be in Vancouver, and many of the events will be at Whistler.

The ski rental place we used was Summit Ski Bike Board. They were great, and very helpful. Especially liked the end of day Valet treatment. For a little extra, they even put our boots on the driers over night. After the first day of skiing, my legs were numb, and after talking with Dave the ski rental manager, I switched boots and skis and had a much better time for the rest of the trip.


The food at Whistler was great. From the breakfast on top of the mountain for 15 extra dollars, which not only gets you a great buffet, but gets you up on the mountain for the first runs of the day. Quite a bargain. The other meals we ate were equally impressive.
For lunch for all but the last day where we ate up on the mountain, we ate at the Dubh Linn Gate Old Irish Pub & Restaurant.The waiting staff was friendly and pleasant and the Irish faire was quite pleasing. Oh, and a great selection of beer.
At the end of each ski day, we ended up at the Longhorn saloon for several pitchers of beer and pub fair. Seems like everyone ended up there, and a lucky few were able to get a massage from the on staff masseuse(there was quite a line of clients waiting for her skilled hands)
One night we went out for dinner at Citta Bistro for and played a game of music bingo, and thanks to Bobby, Lizzie's Brother, won a Candian Molson cooler, which will be auctioned off on ebay in a mystery auction.
But our favorite restaurant of the whole trip was the Rimrock Café. As a treat, Lizzie's brother, Robert, took us out our last night in Whistler. Scrumptious and very easily the best dining we have done in quite a while. From The Famous Gate Pinot Noir to the dessert, the whole meal melted in our mouths and left us feeling content and almost ready to go home. Our waitress, who was back working for the first night after breaking her leg playing hockey, was a delight.


The next morning bright and early, we packed our rental, and headed off to the airport. One last comment about our trip that truly deserves mentioning. The flight was spectacular. We flew on Cathay Pacific Airline, which had been named airline of the year in 2005. I believe they deserved it and should get it in 2006 as well. The flight staff was unbelievably attentive, encouraging us to spread out. From the three choices of meals, the free drinks, and free movies...they have every other airline beat.

The only real problem of the trip was getting to and leaving JFK . We got lost both times, and if it had not been for the directions of my friend Richard, we would surely still be lost in Manhattan.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Lizzie Bean Goes Away....

It all started with the need to get away and run...

I've been running since I first got my license in 1977. I started exploring the US first. I went from PA to Florida... then to Atlanta, Oklahoma, New Orleans and up to Virginia. There were many places in-between. Then in 1982 I left for Europe. I spent most of the six months I was there in Rome, but traveled throughout Italy and Austria. When I returned to the States - I started running again. I continued to go back to Rome whenever possible over the years that followed...

That feels like a life-time ago. One old, worn out marriage and four kids later - I find myself running again. Some trips are not so far away from where I now call home - Boyertown, PA.

I have a new travel companion, since my husband decided to run away too - but in the opposite direction. My companion, confidant and best friend, Adam, gets dragged along, like it or not, on all my excursions. He too, I must say is well-traveled as he's made his way through Germany and the surrounding countries, a good portion of the US and in the very near future - we'll be off to British Columbia, Canada.

That's my introduction. Now on to the travels...

We'll start in November 2005 when we ran off to Las Vegas, NV - first time there! The event was to enjoy the wedding of one of my best friends.

Now, Adam and I had actually never been to Las Vegas. I never had the desire - I'm not much of a gambler - as I said before, I'm a runner and I stand by that. But, I wouldn't miss Cat's wedding for anything! We'd been waiting YEARS for her to find the perfect man. And finally - she did. So, everyone was invited to Las Vegas - and off we went.

I must say it was a beautiful city to fly into - sitting there in the middle of the desert. A bizarre metropolis surrounded by nothing - except beauty - for endless miles. The parts of the city that we saw were clean, alive and packed with people - and this was two weeks before Thanksgiving.

We stayed at the Sahara, which was very unimpressive. I guess I expected it to be something special as it was a huge, well-known casino. But, much to my dismay, it was old, falling apart and not particularly clean. Now that I've seen other places in Vegas - next trip - and there will be a next trip - we'll stay somewhere else. And there were many options. I would like to try Caesars - if only for the pool alone.

We did a good bit of gambling. Me - I stuck by the slot machines - so, I lost. But, Adam played some blackjack - with much success.