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Berks and Beyond, Featured »

[13 Mar 2011 | Comments Off on Circle Of Life On Display At Cabela’s In Berks County | ]
Circle Of Life On Display At Cabela’s In Berks County

The first time I visited Cabela’s in Hamburg, Berks County, I felt like I had walked into a Jeff Foxworthy skit. I saw more plaid shirts than Larry the Cable Guy’s closet and more severed heads than Stephen King’s nightmares. Ok, so they were critters mounted on trophy boards, but still, there were a LOT of them coming out of the store.
I was pretty convinced, too, that Larry the Cable Guy lived in the back of the store. Really. There was a pick-up truck in the Bargain Cave with a …

Featured, Lehigh Valley, Poconos »

[29 Jan 2011 | Comments Off on Pennsylvania Skiing — A Great Way To Beat The Cold Weather Blues | ]
Pennsylvania Skiing — A Great Way To Beat The Cold Weather Blues

Eastern Pennsylvania just got a dumping of somewhere between 9 to 18 inches of snow, depending on where your shovel hit the pavement, and to be honest on days like this I don’t like to travel farther than the wine store down the street. I’m a warm-weather person. If I go out in the snow and cold, it’s usually to some place with a great heating system and some warm spirits.
I know I was in the minority last summer when many people were complaining about the constant heat and string …

Berks and Beyond, Featured »

[14 Dec 2010 | Comments Off on Clark Griswold Had Nothing On Koziar’s Christmas Village | ]

When I was a kid and we lived in suburban Philadelphia, there was a man near Willow Grove who really went all-out with decorating his house every Christmas. My parents would take us over to see the place and it was lit up with an enormous number of lights and moving figures that included Frosty, Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, Rudolph as well as other displays and favorites, including, of course, the Big Guy.
I never knew who the home owner was, but he was clearly a couple decades ahead of …

Featured, Poconos »

[17 Nov 2010 | Comments Off on There’s More To Jim Thorpe Than Bike Trails and Haunted Jails | ]

As you climb the steep steps from Hazard Square in the center of Jim Thorpe and look up the hill to the mansion that, let’s face it, looms over the borough, you may get a sense of déjà vu if you have ever visited America’s most popular tourist destination – Disney World.
The Harry Packer Mansion was the model for Disney’s Haunted Mansion and if you let your imagination run a bit, you might just see someone – or something – peeking at you from behind the curtains on the upper …

Featured »

[11 Nov 2010 | Comments Off on “… The Last Full Measure of Devotion” | ]

The first time I visited the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. was on a misty, chilly night when I was helping to chaperone about 100 of my son’s energetic and occasionally over-dramatic high school classmates. I didn’t really know much about the memorial, so when we approached out of the fog and I saw the 19 larger-than-life statues emerge as if they were trekking through a rice paddy, it was an eerie and evocative moment.
The Korean War memorial is still one of my favorite stops when I’m in …

Featured, Lehigh Valley, News »

[14 Oct 2010 | Comments Off on Open Gate Farm Tour Offers Family Fun and a Good Reminder | ]

The last time I heard any real numbers, the Lehigh Valley was losing farmland at a rate of about 3 square miles a year. I’m sure the current recession has put a little hitch in that giddyap, but it’s still a concern. One of the attractions of the region is the rural, open nature that has long surrounded the cities of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton and their immediate suburbs.
But take a Sunday drive in the Valley these days and it seems the biggest cash crop over the past two decades …

Bucks-Mont, Featured »

[10 Sep 2010 | 3 Comments | ]

On a sticky day in late August as the heat wave of 2010 was waging one of its last battles against the thermometer, the Cestere family from Long Island was attending a rock concert at one of Bucks County’s oddest parks.
Actually, they were the concert.
Armed with hammers provided by the owner of the nearby campsite where they were spending the week, Joe Cestere, his wife, Doreen, and teenage daughters Jessica and Brittany spent the afternoon tapping out tunes on the various boulders at Ringing Rocks Park high above the Delaware …

Featured, Lehigh Valley »

[4 Sep 2010 | Comments Off on Dutch Springs: Lehigh Valley Scuba Landmark Celebrates 30th Anniversary | ]

When you think about scuba diving, what exotic locations pop quickly to mind? The Florida Keys? The coast of Belize? Australia’s Great Barrier Reef?
How about Nazareth, Pa.? Didn’t think so.
But Dutch Springs, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this weekend, has become one of the hottest scuba destinations for divers on the East Coast over the past three decades and now draws more than 35,000 dive students and enthusiasts each year.
“If you are not involved in scuba diving, you may not know that we have scuba here in the Lehigh …