"You've got to go there to know there." -- Zora Neale Hurston

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Weekend to Remember

     For someone who claims he doesn't travel -- see last month's post  Why I Don't Like to Travel -- I seem to do a lot of traveling. Okay . . . in my defense, I usually don't go very far. My comfort zone is a couple of hundred miles, a three or four hour drive.

     Last weekend we journeyed to Lancaster, Pa. B has some family in the area, including her 98-year-old mother who lives in an assisted living facility. Lancaster, she tells me, has become a destination for many retirees because it has top-notch health facilities, a variety of independent and assisted living options, and a notably caring community.

     We didn't stay with her mother. We stayed in a very nice B & B a few miles outside of town. And I was surprised -- the place was full! Who would go to Lancaster, Pa. in November?

E. J. Bowman House Bed & Breakfast

      The area is a tourist destination for people who go to see the Amish riding in a horse and buggy. We didn't see any Amish on our long weekend, but we did see a few Mennonites (I think of them as Amish-lite). And we also saw a few other attractions. For example, there is a lot of history connected to the area. Lancaster was the capital of the Unites States for exactly one day during the Revolutionary War. It was also the hometown of a U. S. President . . . President James Buchanan, who is never considered among the best of the U. S. Presidents. But still, he was a President.

Home of James Buchanan, U. S President, 1857-61

     There's also a college on the edge of town. Franklin & Marshall is a small liberal arts college that's part of the Centennial Conference, which includes Swarthmore, Haverford, Johns Hopkins, Gettysburg, Bryn Mawr and a few others.

Kind of screams college campus, doesn't it?

    There's an historic downtown area with a theater and an arts hotel and a stadium for a minor league baseball team. I didn't take a photo of the baseball stadium (not very interesting), but I was very impressed with the train station.

One impressive train station ... and I like the bicycles

     An interesting thing, in my book, is how you can be walking along the city streets . . .

Street scene in the city

      . . . and then drive out just a few miles, and you're in the country, with corn fields all around. A corn field probably doesn't seem very exotic to most people. But I never see a corn field where I live. Any undeveloped land around where I live is covered with hills and woods, not farms and fields.

Recently plowed under

     Finally, I have to make one confession. Most people, when you ask them what their favorite store is, say Nordstrom's, or R.E.I., or something like that. My favorite store is the local convenience store. We have 7-11 and AM/PM, and they're both perfectly adequate as far as convenience stores go. But they don't hold a candle to Wa Wa, which you find in New Jersey and around Philadelphia. But even better than Wa Wa is Turkey Hill, and we ran across several of them around Lancaster. And, by the way, regular gas was selling for $2.93 a gallon. Now there's a trip worth making!

My favorite store, esp. when gas is $2.93!!



DJan said...

It's amazing how cheap gas got so quickly. I'll bet the place you pictured here is now much colder and less fun to walk around in. The temperature has dropped all across the country, including here in the Pacific Northwest. We got our first freeze last night. :-)

Olga said...

That is a pretty area. My impression of PA is tainted by having been born in coal mining territory. And then I couldn't even trade on it because Loretta Lynn beat to the whole coal miner's daughter thing.

Meryl Baer said...

Lancaster - especially the city - has come a long way since hub and I moved there over 40 years ago. However four years ago seeking change we moved to the crazy tax-high state of New Jersey. But we have the beach! Lots of our friends still live and love Lancaster - the area is unusual in that it gets better over time. (of course the Amish would not agree - too crowded and touristy for them).

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm sold. Now what's the address of the B&B?

stephen Hayes said...

I've yet to visit this part of the country. Must put it on the bucket list.

Jono said...

My stepmother was from Lancaster and I grew up (allegedly)just south of Philadelphia. It's good to be reminded of things I used to know about. Thanks!

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Anonymous said...

Surprised that gas is so cheap over there.

Anonymous said...

My husband of over 40 years has blood relatives in that area of the USA when he was in the US Army thousands of miles from his home on the west coast although born in Coney Island Hospital in NYC he tracked some blood relatives down to the area where you speak. They told him never to grace their doorstep again, and spoke terrible about his own father, that was enough for my sweet hubs, he has no use for PA at all, and his family suffered when his younger brother a baby was born near Scranton and died because of pneumonia because no one would look at him at a Podunk major hospital in the city of Scranton, no thank you at all for that state of Pennsylvania...for all the history and other you know what many many suffer beacause they live in poverty, homelessness and hunger and no jobs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darkseas said...

Actually, it's not Wa Wa, it's Wawa. Wawa used to be a dairy on Route 1 in Delaware Co., PA that delivered milk, butter, ice cream, and other dairy products to homes in the mornings. On delivery days you would put out the empty bottles and leave the milkman a note in the top of one of the empty bottles telling him (or later, her) what you wanted left for you that day.

Their motto was "Wawa. To the Indian it meant wild goose. To you, it means the finest in milk."

As home delivery of dairy products slowly disappeared due to the competition from grocery stores, Wawa, the corporation, remade itself, and after a few tries the current convenience stores are the result.

The nice thing about the chain is that their gas prices are highly competitive and you can check their web site for the current price at each store location. The food is decent and the restrooms are generally clean. There are several that we usually stop at when we travel in Virginia.

Tom said...

Darkseas, I stand corrected. And now that I know the history, I think I like Wawa even more!

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