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Discover Lancaster Photos – Save The Date: Lititz Fire & Ice Festival

I’ve traveled to Lancaster County many times over the years, as you probably know, and each time I discover something new, a view, food, shopping, a back road, and this trip was no different. The promotional arm of Lancaster aptly named – Discover Lancaster, invited me for an overnight stay to one of my favorite spots, Lancaster. So close to Philly as well, about 90 minutes away, but a world away. It was really a perfect get away for me. (this winter they are having a special staycation promo, as well as giveaways on their Instagram for you to win a staycation.) I’ve been to Lancaster before when it snowed, so I was doubly excited when snow was forecasted for my stay.

Often I drive out for an afternoon, then drive home.

I stayed at the Inn at Kitchen Kettle Village which was adorable. I had never been there before, but my sister Judy always talked about it highly. They have about 40 stores, and just under 20 rooms, and suites for rent at 3529 Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse, Pa. There’s not a hotel per se, as the rooms and suites are located in and around the shopping area.

I had this whole cottage, it was adorable. There were two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, dining and living area.

As I watched TV, I could hear the Amish ride by with the familiar hoofs hitting the asphalt. It was very peaceful. From the website: Take a moment to enjoy the small things in life at the Inn in Kitchen Kettle Village. Make yourself at home here in our Lancaster County Inn and stay in one of our 18 unique guest accommodations that place you in the heart of charming Kitchen Kettle Village. Bustling with shops, cafés, a bakery, restaurant and more, our Inn, and the village it’s tucked into, are truly a beautiful piece of country living. Within driving distance of major metropolises like Manhattan, Washington, DC and Philadelphia, our quaint country Inn is ideal for getaways, annual shopping, and family excursions.

It was fun to create my own sampler gifts for friends. I can now talk about it cause their birthdays were this past weekend.

So many fun stores, especially the Christmas shop, Candle Store and gift store. I really loved this gift basket store. You can purchase authentic Lancaster fare online too, and ship to friends and family.

I can’t wait to go back and stay, as well as attend one of their many festivals.

Thank you Joanne Ladley, co-owner of Kitchen Kettle Village (which was founded by her parents. Such a great story too) for the hospitality, tour and history of your family’s business. I sincerely can’t wait to return to do more shopping. My friends loved the gifts I got for them for their birthdays. It’s a chefs delight.

Before heading for dinner, I caught the sunset on one of my random back road country drives i like to take.

It was Sunday, and I didn’t feel like going into Lancaster city, where I’ve stayed a few times, in 2020 I stayed in Lancaster a few times. I really like the quaint town. I had no idea how adorable it was, but during the first year of the pandemic Mike and I didn’t want to travel too far from Philly, plus we wanted to support Pennsylvania towns, and this is how we discovered Lancaster County was the perfect stay-cation spot. I headed to Miller’s, cause I like a good buffet as you know. Plus it’s Sunday and Shady Maple isn’t open on Sunday. The food choices are good here, spacious tables, and it’s about $30 for dinner. I was disappointed as the gift shop was closed by the time I was finished dinner. I like picking up old fashion candy there as wells as shoo fly pie to go.

I went back to my cottage and snacked on the gift left in everyone’s room, Pappy’s Corn. Plus all guests receive a $10 off coupon for the shops, which I used the next day.

I woke up for the sunrise. This is what I saw right outside my cottage. Then I was on my way to adventures.

If you go to the Discover Lancaster webpage, you will find lots of things to do, shopping, sightseeing, participating in or our favorite thing to do CAR TOURING. I decided to do the Cover Bridge Tour, which is a self tour. Not only are you rewarded at the end with a Cover Bridge, but you discover sites on your way.

Like my other favorite thing to do, look at birds, photograph birds, wonder what birds are thinking. In all the times I’ve been to Lancaster, I was never a bird watcher, until 2020. So now I am really excited to return, cause you can drive around in your car, and still enjoy the birds. I’m sure in the warmer months I’ll get out of the car.

Ice skating on an Amish Farm
(I shot this with a 600mm lens, but only using 400mm to not capture faces)

As you drive throughout Lancaster County there a shops which dot the landscape. I love going on treasure hunts for random items of fun. The Tannery was a hot spot for a trove of pleasure. Check out Discover Lancaster for lots of fun shopping spots especially if you want to be more organized.

Shady Maple’s for dinner, I don’t mind if I do. They are the grand daddy of buffets in Lancaster. Very reasonable at $25. It was Prime Rib night, another favorite. Afterwards I went shopping in their expansive gift shop, which is nearly as big as Macy’s first floor. They have everything you never knew you needed.

Before I knew it, my staycation in Lancaster County was over. I had been there for less than 30 hours and did so much. I’m excited to return a few weeks to attend the Lititz’s Fire and Ice with a planned overnight.

It’s a 10-day celebration, says the Lititz site, we’ll have all the Fire & Ice awesomeness you’ve come to expect, like wow-worthy ice sculptures, yummy food from our downtown restaurants, and on select days, your favorite food trucks. Of course, there will also be plenty of shopping in the warmth of our downtown shops. – Come back to Lancaster and Discover it with me. Thanks Discover Lancaster!!


A Weekend Escape: Seaview, A Dolce Hotel near AC

I’ve passed the Seaview Dolce Hotel a million times over the years as I’ve traveled to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge just up the street, or gone shopping at my cousins nautical store down the street, the Seafarer. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to stay there and this past weekend I had a chance to experience it and the wonderful service they provide.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think my first time at this glorious resort would be during the middle of a pandemic, but here we are and it’s great to be able to get away to a place which takes it serious, and where you will feel safe, even normal again. This is the front desk, normally there’s people staffing it with masks on, but for the photo I wanted a clean shot. As you see there is socially distancing markers on the floor, and the desk is protected by safety glass. Check in was a breeze. We were in Room 258. We took the elevator with our bags, but used the stairs (see on right) for most of our trip to help burn off our Quarantine 15 lbs.

They had me masks and plexiglass, but I fell hard when I saw the TV remote wrapped in plastic. They take disinfecting to a new level of comfort.

The bedroom was beautifully decorated, and had chairs which you know I desire. I love to just sit in a chair all night reading, watching TV and enjoying time away from home. Mike does as well, and I caught him catching some zzzz’s within moments of arriving. The next day I took the center photo and tweeted about the lovely view and how I didn’t want to get out of bed, they’re so firm, yet comfortable. If we hadn’t just bought a Purple bed, I’d be label searching to see what Seaview used. I immediately sketched out the room in my head and said how can I create this at home.

Seaview’s has a beautiful and spacious outdoor pool area surrounded by lush landscaping. The chairs are socially distant, and only 40 people are allowed in the pool area at a time. Which isn’t a problem as the hotel is operating at half capacity during the pandemic. The four-story hotel will only use its first and second floors so guests not wishing to use the elevators
can stay on the first floor or ascend only one flight of stairs as well.

For more than a century, Seaview has reigned as the Jersey Shore’s most iconic resort. The pristine 670- acre retreat blends the architectural beauty and historic charm of a turn-of-the-century resort with the services, style and amenities today’s travelers and meeting planners desire, including state-of-the-art meeting and event space, award-winning dining, and two championship golf courses — The Bay Course, opened in 1914 and The Pines Course, opened in 1929. – from the website. The property is gorgeous, and there’s a mile long walking path along the golf course. There’s also a 9 hole family fun golf course near the hotel for the kids to practice on before the hit the big links. It’s called the Turtle Course as sometimes turtles can be found taking a short cut through it on the way to the sea.

Since I don’t play golf, but love watching golfers, I headed to the golf cafe both days to watch the action before it got too hot for me. July has you might have read has broken records for it’s 90f plus days this year, we’ll just call it the 2020 factor. Each table has an umbrella so if it gets to hot you can have your waiter open it.

The sunset over the bay was beautiful while dining, that’s Reed’s Bay in the distance there, you can see it from the patio and from the front facing hotel rooms. The cobb salad and steak was delicious. The following day I had the One Handed Burger at the recommendation of James Zeleniak of Punch Media pr.

Speaking of the front of the Seaview hotel. Theses comfortable adirondack chairs pepper the spacious property. I love sitting in these chairs. I can’t wait to go back and just sit in one of these chairs all day. I was in and out a lot over the weekend as you know my family is staying in Longport and my other sister is in Stone Harbor. Next time I go to the Seaview I’ll be staying put. I bet it’s great in the Fall. Mike and I loved everything about it. The ambiance, the classical architecture, the pool area, the dogs, did I mention it’s dog friendly.

Photo from Website

Adding to its copious outdoor space, Seaview made upgrades to its wisteria-clad pavilion, complete with a state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen and new lighting, creating the perfect space for airy functions, clambakes and other activities. Both days I was staying there families were holding functions. It was so nice they could still get together, safely outside.

The Seaview hotel was a nice alternative to staying on a barrier island. It was lush, green, the building was beautiful as were the rooms. It was easy to navigate and find all the amenities, including tennis and basketball courts. Additionally, Seaview is adding a horseshoe pit and shuffleboard court, for additional outdoor fun to its al fresco activity offerings such as corn hole on the expansive front lawn.

“In light of everything that’s going on in the world, people want to be outside,” said Director of Sales and
Marketing, Mike Tidwell. “We wanted to enhance activities on our sprawling grounds for additional
outdoor fun this season and beyond.”

It was comforting to know that the Seaview took Covid19 serious:
• All employees received COVID-19 safety sanitation protocol training, and employees will follow Personal Protective Equipment recommendations from the CDC.
• Public spaces and communal areas will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times per day, with an
emphasis on hard non-porous surfaces.

It’s great that it’s not too far from the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge See the water tower, that’s Seaview. Plus it’s just minutes from Atlantic City and my sisters house in Longport (about 20 minutes from her.)